When they browse through videos on YouTube, a video thumbnail is what attracts the attention of viewers first and foremost. This is a clickable, small sized image that either hooks or repels viewers. A thumbnail is generally the first impression of the uploaded video, and helps viewers determine whether or not they will click on it. You can get a wide range of frames on YouTube from the video that you upload, which acts as a preview image. However, a freeze-frame of this type does not always work well. You would require something that is attention-grabbing and can convey at a glance what your uploaded video is all about. Here are some tips to help you create better YouTube thumbnails and bag more views.
Use YouTube thumbnail of appropriate size
You have to use a thumbnail that looks professional, and is of the right dimensions and size. According to the guidelines of YouTube, the image size of your thumbnail needs to be not more than 1280 x 720 pixels. The width should be at least 640 pixels, while 16:9 is the best aspect ratio and you can find it being used most frequently in YouTube previews and players.
Never make a thumbnail image too small. Thumbnail images that display in the search results on YouTube are comparatively small. But you should remember that videos uploaded on YouTube can be embedded as well. Thus, you would like to have an image of larger size scaled down rather than a smaller sized image that would be scaled up. It can make sure the image is of superior quality.
Use a high-quality photo as the thumbnail background
Your viewers’ attention can be grabbed by nothing better than arresting visuals. An image of superior quality can serve as a teaser for your video. It can lend a context to it, as well as provide the viewers with a chance to get familiar with the style of content that your channel uploads.
Always use a colorful and vibrant image. There should be a clear color scheme, so that the thumbnail is color corrected and brightened. You can also filter the thumbnail picture to match the image in the background. Everything can work together in an appropriate way, to lend a sense of unity.
Use text that is informative. Do not put excessive text over your image, to inform about the exact content to the viewers. Make use of transparent boxes behind the text, so that it can easily be read. Do not put text over a thumbnail which is tough to read. It can repel viewers like few other things can.
Include title text within the thumbnails
Add text headings on the thumbnail of videos, which can help viewers know about what your videos are about. You cannot use a simple image to convey the content of your video to the audience. It is important to capture your core idea into a title that is compelling and can quickly grab the attention of the audience. This is also important for YouTube SEO and ranking your videos as well. The better your titles and content, the more likely they are to rank over other videos.
In case you create a video series, you could number the text headings in your video thumbnail. Numbered YouTube thumbnails, similar to a TV show with seasons and episodes numbered, can help the audience keep track of the videos that they are watching.
Use a Talking Head
‘Talking head’ images, with the photo of face of a person – generally the uploader or speaker -have been proven to gain more clicks. This is because when the individual in the video makes eye-contact with viewers, an instant connection is formed. It adds a human element to the thumbnail, make it more personal and attract more likes and comments – as seen even on social platforms such as Instagram. You can get 38% higher engagement with ‘talking head’ photos.
You can often find many YouTubers adding a face in thumbnails, whether of exaggerated, happy, sad or weird faces or pointing at the text within the videos.
Make the thumbnail images accurate and honest
A thumbnail is meant to give an idea about the content of your videos, and you should not include something that misleads your users and hurts your reputation and brand value. The viewers will click on your videos only to leave as quickly as they came, leading to high bounce rates. Ultimately, your videos will not be displayed by YouTube anymore in the search results.
Your YouTube thumbnail should ideally be a teaser for the content of your videos, and show just enough without revealing all.
The importance of having correct thumbnails for YouTube videos cannot be overemphasized. These have a major impact on the branding of your channel, as well as on the click through rates. With proper YouTube video thumbnail images, you can have the best possible impact on the audience and draw their attention easily along with proper video title and description.