Are you are struggling to grow your audience on YouTube, Facebook or any other Social Media platform hosting videos? It could be your video thumbnails.
If you are on YouTube and you are using one of the three default random thumbnails they provide, then your thumbnails probably “suck”.
VIDEO THUMBNAILS = A TOP 10 CRUCIAL RANKING FACTOR
Your video’s thumbnail image is one of the 10 most critical factors in getting someone to click and view your video.
Yet, look around on YouTube and you see that it is rather underutilized, despite it’s simplicity.
That spells COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.
Here are three proven ways to have your video’s thumbnails stand out from the crowd and get clicked on.
1. Make Them Engaging
You want to elicit an instant response, a motivation from your potential viewer. You can encourage that response in a few ways:
a) By “Telling a Story”
Your video thumbnails need to say something interesting about what the viewer might find after clicking.
It can be anything: a “teaser”; “dramatic”, say, reflecting triumph over difficulty; “funny”. It can also simulate or show action or movement.
You have endless possibilities, but your objective is to create interest and curiosity.
b) By “Showing Emotion”
Your thumbnails need to show an emotion, fitting the story.
Aim for positive emotions. They are usually stronger, as this will elicit a positive response in your viewer. Excitement is also good for a response.
c) By “Being Relatable”
Your viewers will react better to thumbnails they can relate to.
TIP: Put YOURSELF on the video thumbnail. Your story and emotion are best portrayed by a human (and to lesser extent an animal) vs an object. And, people are naturally drawn to other people.
BONUS TIP: Get close in on your face and eyes. Thumbnails are small, so a full body shot is less recognizable. Also, we humans find someone’s face and eyes captivating.
2. Make Them Pop
Here you focus more on the technical quality of the image, than the content of the image.
a) By Using “Photo Editing Tricks”
Increase Saturation or “Vibrance”
When you increase saturation you will see greater intensity of colors. Decrease saturation and you will see the opposite – your image will look duller, grayer – flat.
TIP: In Photoshop, you have the “Vibrance” option as a better alternative for photos with people. While saturation affects all colors, vibrance is a bit smarter at avoiding skin tone colors and elevating other colors.
Up the Sharpness
Since video thumbnails are rather small, you can use a bit more sharpness to create more definition.
b) By Increasing Text Size
Your text must also be large enough to be readable. This one below is too small:
TIP: If it is large enough for your bifocal-ed grandmother to easily read on a mobile phone, then you’ve hit your mark.
3. Make Them Consistent
As you grow your following, you want your viewers to instantly recognize that the video coming across their screen is yours.
You have only a fraction of a second to capture your audience’s attention and entice them to click – especially on mobile.
This one below is an example of what not to do with thumbnails.
For all the reasons why branding is good for business, you also have the opportunity to leverage the trust you’ve built with your brand via your video thumbnails.
Here are a few things you can infuse with your brand to create consistency across your published video content.
Include The Obvious
From your existing brand, these should be consistent with your offline physical media and your online properties.
This is where you have some flexibility.
Do you want a vertical bar with your logo on the left? A horizontal bar with the title on the bottom? A thought bubble with your text?
You can use these shapes, placement and color of them to create themes.
For example, product demos, faqs, announcements. Then, on YouTube these can be organized into playlists.
Many Simple Ways to Up Your Video Thumbnail Game
Using these simple ideas, you will banish any default video thumbnails YouTube or Facebook provides (which “suck”) .
More importantly, you will be leveraging your thumbnails to brand your content, attract more viewers and grow your audience.
More Thumbnail Tips – Click Here
Tools and Templates for Making Thumbnails – Click Here
Go Deep on YouTube Optimization – Click Here