Video thumbnails are crucial to increasing your video’s visibility. If you have gone through all the work of coming up with an idea, creating a video and finding a platform for your video, of course you want your message to reach a wide audience. Video thumbnails give potential viewers a sneak peek into what your video will be like and attract them to the amazing content you’ve created. A good thumbnail makes them click “play!”
How to Create a Good Video Thumbnail
A video thumbnail is a still image that acts as a preview for your content. Usually, your audience can click the thumbnail or near it to watch your content. A good thumbnail can drive people to your content. Here are the steps to help you attract your audience with the right thumbnail for your video:
1. Do It Yourself
Many platforms, including YouTube, autoselect a video thumbnail, but usually this is a random image and not the best representation of your work. Always choose to create your own rather than letting a platform select one for you.
2. Start Paying Attention to Video Thumbnails
What images make you click? Which videos on your platform have the most views? Try making a list of common elements you see in successful video thumbnails that make you decide to click and any commonalities for popular video thumbnails.
3. Keep It Simple
The best way to make a thumbnail is to create a custom image, though you can also choose a still from the video. Whatever you do, try to choose a clean and uncluttered look and if you include text, keep the content simple. Think about the main message you’re sending and the most exciting part of your message. Try to distill those ideas into the simplest image and the fewest words possible. Remember that some of your audience may be seeing your video thumbnail on a mobile device with a small screen so you want it clear even in a tiny size.
4. Choose Emotions
One way to get viewers clicking is to make your still image an appealing and friendly face showing a positive emotion. Consider what your video is about and choose a still picture showing an emotion that best reflects your content.
5. Add Movement
If possible, create a video thumbnail with animation and movement. This can be more appealing than a flat image.
6. Test It
If you’re serious about getting views, you might want to A/B test two or more thumbnails to see which one gets the most clicks. This is especially important because a video thumbnail you especially like may not be the one your audience responds to. If you see that one still image gets a hundred clicks and another gets over a thousand, you have solid evidence of which one is best. Testing is an accurate way to see what works, and if you test consistently you will get to see what images your specific audience reacts to best so you can create video thumbnails with this in mind, helping you land even more views.
7. Write a Headline
YouTube lets you use seventy characters with spaces for a headline. A short and catchy headline that leaves a sense of mystery can work seamlessly with your video thumbnail to make viewers want to see your message.
8. Think of Your Brand When You Create Videos
If you have a business logo, you might want to incorporate it into each video thumbnail. Or, you may want to make sure all your video thumbnails look like they’re from the same brand. Look closely at your thumbnails’ mood, style, colors and design. They should fit in with your brand or aesthetic so your fans and customers can recognize your style. This will build trust in your brand by creating consistency and make it easier for your viewers to spot your video in a sea of still images on a platform.
The Bottom Line About Video Thumbnails
Video thumbnails are the first impression your viewers have of your content, and you want to have the greatest impact possible. While you may think doing more in your video thumbnails is key, simplifying, branding and thoughtfully choosing the few elements that will make the biggest impact are the secrets to creating video thumbnails your audience will want to click on.
Choose wizMotions if you need help creating amazing videos so your thumbnails lead to inspiring, shareable content that gets your message across. We help to design videos that speak louder than words with a team of professionals, including dedicated project managers and world-class friendly customer service. We work on your deadlines and customize videos for your specific needs.