The adage "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" may be familiar to you. Your video's thumbnail serves as the viewer's initial impression of it.
The number of views on a video thumbnail can be the difference between thousands and a few.
But how do you produce one and how do you recognise what makes a good YouTube video thumbnail?
This is what you will discover:
What are thumbnails for videos?
A still image that serves as the preview for your video is known as a video thumbnail. It resembles a book cover somewhat. And, like a book cover, it ought to pique the interest of potential viewers.
With static photos, the word "thumbnail" first came into use. A digital image's thumbnail was a scaled-down replica of the full image that could be quickly viewed while exploring a collection of images.
Thumbnails are used by even the running system on your computer. You can see from the aforementioned example that when accessing this folder of photographs, the computer displays a scaled-down version of the original file.
A video thumbnail should provide a viewer a sense of what they will see when they choose to watch, even though it is not just a scaled-down rendition of the video, like its still-image forebear.
If the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" were true, book publishers wouldn't spend so much time and money creating covers that look appealing.
By default, YouTube (and other video sites) will choose a thumbnail for your video from a variety of still images from it if you don't select and submit one yourself. And I'm here to inform you that it will probably not be flattering.
It's practically a given that the default thumbnail will include an odd or unpleasant facial expression if your movie has a speaker.
In the aforementioned example, I uploaded a video of myself taken using my webcam. In each of the three default thumbnail choices, I am depicted with an odd expression on my face. Additionally, there is nothing that clarifies the subject matter or the appeal of the video.
It doesn't appear attractive or professional. Why should I bother watching your video if you can't even appear like you care about how it looks?
Although YouTube offers you a variety of thumbnail options, creating a custom thumbnail is more preferable.
Important components of a thumbnail
If a thumbnail is what your audience sees when they first view your material, you should work to make it appealing.
You have the chance to effectively market your film and yourself using a custom thumbnail. If your video is merely one of many on the same subject, give your audience a cause to watch it.
A excellent snapshot
As a result, your thumbnail must constantly:
Transmit the topic of your video clearly.
Show the speaker's face whenever you can in a kind and engaging manner.
Specify your brand.
be responsive to all platforms.
These components are plainly seen in the aforementioned example.
The title of the video is huge and simple to read.
The speaker in the video (our own Andy Owen) strikes a lighthearted pose to express a feeling.
Visible is the TechSmith logo.
We inform you that a free template is available to assist.
That's a lot of data packed into one picture. Additionally, it aids anyone seeing it in determining whether the video is appropriate for them.
See How TechSmith Optimises YouTube video thumbnails for Viewers for more information.
Four strategies for standing out in your thumbnail
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of videos on YouTube for just about any topic. Furthermore, many of them will feature unique video thumbnails.
So how can you differentiate yours from the competition?
These were the first five results I found when I randomly searched the phrase "How to make a video" on YouTube. You can pick up a lot from just them!
1. Utilise colour
Colour may radically alter an image. A splash of colour can improve even thumbnails with a dark or neutral backdrop. The aforementioned examples all employ colour to catch your attention.
2. Use up-close shots of faces
These all display a person's face. The face is visible on all of them, even the ones that feature cartoon characters. Furthermore, it is obvious that each face is expressing emotion. You don't want your subject to appear emotionless or uninterested.
3. Employ strong, obvious text
Anyone who views your video thumbnail should be able to tell right away what it is about. Keep the title hidden from them.
4. Be dependable
This is particularly valid if you're seeking to expand your channel. No matter how many other films appear in the search results, fans will always be able to identify yours by using consistent colours or themes in thumbnails.
People will want to return to your site to access more of your material once you've established your credibility as a creator. Facilitate their task!
Create your own unique video thumbnails now
It's time to start creating thumbnails that leave a lasting first impression now that you are familiar with thumbnails and some recommended practises for video thumbnails.
To determine what works for you and your audience, try with various styles and colours.
A video thumbnail is what?
A still image that serves as the preview for your video is known as a video thumbnail.
Why are thumbnails for videos important?
When it comes to a viewer going through to your video, a stunning bespoke video thumbnail can make all the difference. A compelling thumbnail entices you to view the video. No thumbnail at all or a poor one will not leave a good first impression.