Above: A very creative YouTube video thumbnail, YouTube supports up to 1920X1080 thumbnail sizes, though 1280X720 is the optimal. Its important to create a striking, eye catching design that best describes your video, and prompts viewers to click and watch it. Misleading or unrelated thumbnails are widely used to draw attention but frowned upon and could get your video removed if it receives enough complaints from audience members.
The thumbnail is used across YouTube and the web, in various sizes (predominantly small) so ensure any text used is fairly large and legible.
UPDATE: Don’t sweat, even though Youtube has discontinued this feature, branding videos can still be embedded into your production the standard way.
Youtube has recently launched a new feature called InVideo Programming, within this section you are provided with an option to add a 3 second Introduction video to your new or existing Youtube videos.
This is great news for anyone who wants to brand their content without having to re-upload the video, thereby causing you to lose the in-place statistics (views/likes/comments/shares) associated with the content in question.
Simply add your intro video to your Branding Intro collection. (Youtube wont allow any video longer than 3 seconds, so keep it short and be creative).
Another reason why this is such a great feature for content creators is, the ability build and grow your channel without having any specific branding embedded within the videos themselves . This will allow you to sell off your channel/property to potential media buyers who can then re-brand the newly purchased content/media/property with their existing branding/CID.
UPDATE: Sadly due to complaints by the Youtube community (what else is new) branding videos will be discontinued on Youtube as of the 31 March 2015, so unfortunately there goes another brilliant feature.
A Branding Intro can be used to:
• (Obviously) Brand/Market your channel or product
• Prompt views to subscribe
• Prompt subscribers for a call to action
• Market another user’s channel or product
• Generate revenue
Youtube Channel Art diminsions:
• Youtube recommends a minimum image size of 2560 X 1440
• File size no larger than 2MB
• Bare in mind the area in which the image will be cropped for each specific platform