You may appreciate it, or you may frown at it – but the good ol’ video thumbnail is the first thing that viewers will see on your video. And video thumbnails give either a good or a bad first impression. One might disbelieve, but thumbnails can actually make a huge difference to a video by hiking the views or narrowing it down.

Because thumbnails are an excellent way to make people click and watch. The more they are visually striking, the higher is the chance of the video getting clicked. From video marketing angle, small things matter the most. The background score, the faces on the video, the lighting, so and so. Therefore, choosing the right video thumbnail is paramount for the success of any video.

Though the old adage goes by, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, we still tend to make our decision just by looking at the outer appearance. That said, thumbnails on videos are the metric these days upon which the videos are judged. Standing out in the crowd more often depends on apt thumbnails.

YouTube, being the online video streaming giant, proudly possesses 1.8 Billion monthly users. That said, your videos need at least a hundred thousand views to consider successful. Thumbnails are like mini posters for your video that briefly show what the content is all about. The current era is mostly about visuals. An engaging image on your video not only has a great potential to attract viewers, but also represents the video content with a strong impact.

What are Video Thumbnails and what are their primary role behind Youtube videos?

Video thumbnails are mini images that so got their names from being the size of a human thumbnail. These are easy to scan and quick to register. Any interested viewer can simply click on or hover on a thumbnail to expand it further to see the full picture. The main purpose these mini posters serve on YouTube is, to entice viewers on clicking on the videos.

Suppose you have just finished watching a video and you get to see an engaging thumbnail of another video. By instinct, you will click on it to find out more. That’s exactly why a marketer must always have thumbnails strategically put on their videos.

Whether you have a product or a service, video thumbnails are key elements in your video optimization strategy and cannot be overlooked.

Thumbnail act as a Conversion Machine!

Yes, it might sound crazy, but thumbnails, when done perfectly can bring lots of positive changes in your conversions. Behind the creation of every video, the fundamental intention is to spread it to as many people as possible. And when it doesn’t, all the efforts you have taken to create it goes in vain. Conversion happens only when your video is watched by many. This is only possible when the video features a strong thumbnail.

Moreover, our attention span is waning day by day. Marketers and YouTubers, have less than 10 seconds to hook their target audience. Which makes it all the more challenging to gain views. If you can’t catch their attention, your video won’t catch the buzz and the dream of creating viral content will remain a dream.

A boring thumbnail that doesn’t pique the viewers’ interest is likely to be ignored and moved on. Just like a book cover determines whether the book will be read or not, so does a thumbnail to a video. So imagine all the possibilities these tiny pictures have in spreading your videos to all and sundry. We’ll discuss the benefits of thumbnails in video marketing in detail. Keep on reading folks!

Coming to the key benefits of video thumbnails, one must never forget that these visual snapshots are one of the most crucial video optimizations. Hence, you have to make them enough creative, authentic and accurate. Only then people will click and watch your video content.

1. Boost Video Conversion Rates

Just as they multiply the traffic to your channel, thumbnails also give your video conversion a robust impetus. If the video is not clicked and watched, it doesn’t matter how compelling your content is. As we now know that viewers click on a video by looking at the thumbnail, once they do that and starts watching your video, the rest is taken care of by the script.

If the content is powerful and attracts your audience, then chances are there that they will convert. But the first step towards conversion is to make them watch your video, which is done by a perfect and enticing video thumbnail. Sparking your viewers’ interest in your content directly impacts your video conversion.

2. Maximize your Video and Search Traffic

Thumbnails are the first thing that drive eyeball and make heads turn. During web searches, if your video features a nice thumbnail, the result won’t show up in the plain text. This attracts viewers’ attention and teases them to watch the full video. Playing a key role in web searches, a video thumbnail image is remarkably instrumental in increasing views and traffic.

A visual snapshot of your video is one of the vital optimization aspects to attract views on YouTube, and augment branding.

3. Spread your Content/Message through Thumbnails

Thumbnails are like mini posters that speak a tonne about your video and its content. People can get a quick idea of what your video is about and thereby deciding whether or not they should watch it. Custom thumbnails emote the true essence of your content and therefore never settle for a generic thumbnail.

Try to make it custom. When you don’t prefer your video to be created in templates, then why should your video thumbnail be generic? Upload custom poster frames and then be ready to smell success.

4. Save Space with Thumbnails

Thumbnail images show a lot of information conclusively, yet in a small space. You may show different media content in a tiny preview image and let you tease the audience. And yes, you may say thumbnails are like teasers that slowly unfurl the main content. They are small pages allowing the viewers to have control over what they want to watch.

5. Thumbnails are remarkably User-Friendly

Video thumbnails are relevant in video marketing in a way that are user-friendly and let your audience have a great UX. These can be processed quickly and are fun to watch. Thumbnails lessen the effort for anyone by making them aware of the video content beforehand. And thumbnails are not just relevant for videos. They can also be perfectly used in websites.

6. Thumbnails increase Interactivity

As mentioned above, thumbnails can be implemented in websites that create interactivity with your audience. The clickable option of a thumbnail makes it all the more charming and entertaining. Anything interactive, entices the human psyche. That’s what exactly happens when you incorporate thumbnails on your videos.

7. Thumbnails Speak about your Skills and Prowess

Let your viewers have a taste of your skills in video marketing, as well as video making. The thumbnails you choose for your videos, give an idea of the concept even if the images are small in size. The main motto is to captivate the attention of the viewers. Anything that stands out from the rest, will definitely get into their notice. And custom thumbnails, when designed right, are enough to tingle the viewers’ curiosity and make them want to the video in its entirety.

What are the Best Practices for Video Thumbnails!

Creating click-worthy thumbnail images need some basic rules to be followed and maintained. Thumbnails have been remarkably effective in video marketing, grabbing the audience’ attention and portraying the content of your video. So considering all these factors, let us delve deep into some of the best practices and tips to create impactful video thumbnails.

Put a close-up of the video subject or the product. Leverage the close-up images of your products or video subjects, as people are psychologically driven by close up faces. If you are creating a comparison style video, then think of putting up the images of the two video subjects you are striking the comparison between. Close shots of human faces draw the eyeballs faster than anything else.

Showcasing strong emotions on an image is also beneficial to entice the audience. Emotions connect individuals, so more the emotion quotient in your video, higher is the chance of people getting drawn to your content. Ensure the white of your subject’s eyes is visible that exaggerates the emotion quotient in your audience. The more they are driven by strong emotion, the faster they can connect with your video.

Bright backgrounds with contrasting colors are instrumental in making your video stand out. Complimentary colors stand against each other and grab attention. Dark, shadowy blurbs often repel the audience from continuing their watch. So remember to create custom thumbnails that have enough brightness, and has something to stand out as a focal point. Designing your thumbnails as such is a surefire way to catch a lot of eyeballs.

Add text to the thumbnails for enhancing the quality. Remember, thumbnails are just snippets for the video and must contain as less text as possible. Several social media platforms have strict guidelines regarding the word count to put on thumbnails, so be sure of that. Don’t use click-bait texts to lure audience, and then give them something they don’t expect. YouTube severely penalizes Clickbaits.

It’s better to use human faces if possible. Our eyes process human faces faster than anything. Feature a human face in the thumbnails with emotions that people love to see. The face can be yours, or one of your friends or a marketing influencer. When a product is shown by a person, it creates a sense of trust and reliability and urges the viewer to click and see more.

Success is short-lived if you are not consistent. Lack of consistency fails to evoke a sense of brand recognition. If your videos differ from each other in terms of style, look and feel, and branding, audiences are less likely to have a positive impression on your brand as a whole. Dissociating your digital assets from your brand is the worst mistake marketers must ever make.

The first 20 seconds is the crux of your video and is considered to be the creamy layer. Try and choose a thumbnail that represents this 15-20 seconds, and puts forth the actual story. Hook the audience with the glimpse of these crucial moments that adds value to their viewing. Because some are willing watchers, who would watch your video no matter what. But mostly you will get non-subscribers who are yet unaware of you or your brand. This group is more likely to leave if they are don’t greeted with value early in the video. Thumbnails help you in this.

The Most Vital – The Thumbnail Size

The most accepted and ideal YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels. Make sure the image has a clarity even in such small size. If the image gets pixellated or cropped so as it covers the most critical piece, then all your efforts go waste. The minimum width has to be around 640 pixels and the recommended ratio happens to be 16:9.

With better-sized thumbnails, you can leverage YouTube to its fullest and win video clicks. Ensure the maximum file size must be not more than 2MB. And all the common file types are accepted as YouTube thumbnails, viz; .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG.

Final Words

With all said and done, an effective thumbnail has a far-reaching effect on your videos and video marketing campaigns. An effective online campaign depends on several aspects. A custom video thumbnail is the most vital among them. So while planning for the script and doing your research, think of creating a striking thumbnail to enhance the effectiveness of your video.

With thumbnails incorporated, you can successfully market your videos. Get better conversions and make the entire process of your video campaign seamless. There are several resources as to how to add thumbnail to YouTube video on Android devices. Check out those resources to upgrade your arsenal.

You might think about how to make your own thumbnails for YouTube videos that bring tonnes of views to your contents. However, it is always recommended to consult a professional agency, that is an expert in creating engaging designs and can bring out what exactly your target audience wants. If you are in search of some good video thumbnail examples, you may reach out to us. We are happy to help always! 🙂

One may optimize his/her explainer/promotional videos with thumbnails that create a great first impression and boost visibility. Planning about it beforehand saves all the time and stress that you may otherwise face. And thus, the bottom line is, if you don’t draw people to your video contents, it is unlikely that they will get clicked upon and viewed.

Create thumbnail image templates that you can update as you release the episodic videos, no matter where the videos are played, these images would look astonishing. Updating video thumbnails create a sense of refreshment in the eyes of your audience. There are myriad of thumbnail ideas for YouTube, that can draw the viewers in.

With these few tips, you can get a winning video thumbnail to maximize the visibility of your video and brand. So start creating your videos with awesome custom thumbnails and spread your word across your target audience.