Video thumbnails might not seem to be a big deal when it comes to maximizing views, but they actually matter more than you can imagine. Here, in the post, we are going to talk about how important thumbnails are and how you can create eye-catching video thumbnails that can bring in the right kind of traction your videos deserve. Let’s get to it.
Importance of Video Thumbnails
Videos are now the best way to relay content, and one of the best platforms to showcase them is YouTube. Many of us can go through piles and piles of visual content in the site all day, and in the process, we scroll past so much more. In fact, almost 1.9 billion YouTube users visit the site every month. So yes, we get a hint of what’s inside the video through click-bait titles, but the real thing that gets us to pay a bit more attention is the little rectangular box with the eye-catching and vibrant colors – the thumbnail.
Video thumbnails’ importance is rather underrated. In fact, not everyone knows how to create video thumbnails that can truly grab viewers’ attention. If you think your thumbnail creation skills need to improve, we’ll show you how you can up your game.
Video Thumbnails Compared
Whenever you type a query on YouTube, you’ll notice that thumbnails are everywhere. Even image programs like Google Image Search use image thumbnails to organize the visual information.
Thumbnail can be considered the first impression of your content, so make sure you take advantage of this in the best way possible. There is a thumbnail algorithm and according to that, the frames with the highest scores are selected, improved and rendered as thumbnails with different sizes and aspect ratios. Take, for example, the model below:
Image Credit - Processing pipeline of the thumbnail algorithm
Though the above pipeline works well, it would not take the place or beat the appeal of custom thumbnail images like the ones below.
Creating your own thumbnail
In this marketing world, making content that viewers and fans want to watch makes or breaks the whole deal. What’s more important for video creators is to follow some useful guidelines when it comes to making great thumbnails and using them as the video theme. So, it is important to take care of the points below:
1) Conveying the topic of the video content
2) Convincing the video viewers in a way that they click through to the video
3) Not copying but differentiating the brand from the others
4) Making sure that the thumbnails are optimized for any device
First things first, what tool can be best used for thumbnail creation? Well, you can use tools like Canva for this bit. If you’re not yet familiar with this online tool, it is basically used for designing and publishing, helping creatives work on their portfolio. Moreover, it is considered a great resource for non-designers. Canva also has a library of up to millions of photos and images, filters, icons and fonts that are available for usage. This way, you have little to almost no limitation in exercising your artistic freedom.
If you are not a designer, in just five easy steps, you can make your own bespoke thumbnail with Canva:
Pick a template:
There are different ways you can lay out all the excitement of your video in a single image, so choose from the hundreds of pre-made templates available at Canva to get the ball rolling.
Choose an image:
As mentioned earlier, there is a library of files and images that are at your disposal. You can pick from the thousands of professionally-made imagery, photos and graphics and place them on your template. If you can’t find one that suits you, feel free to upload your own!
A placeholder comes with every template to indicate where the text should be placed. There, you can edit the text, the font, and even add in emojis and stickers to bring more activity to the video thumbnail.
You have a plethora of options for video thumbnail use, and it comes in the form of themes, backgrounds, filters, and many more. The possibilities are endless.
Download and share:
If you’re one that’s big on indecision, it may take a while before you get to this point, but you eventually will. When you’re all done, you can finish it all up, save your progress if you like, and download the image. By then, it is yours to use for your YouTube video.
Note: We recommend that you download the file in the PNG format for increased compatibility.
What to consider when creating a thumbnail?
There are many ways you can showcase your channel, and with the use of your thumbnails, you can create a set that looks visually cohesive and in theme, or you can customize to make each thumbnail unique. Your thumbnails can even be a direct expression of who you are as a person and what your channel is all about.
While you design a thumbnail, you have unlimited creative freedom and enjoy convenience and efficiency. You can keep on using different ideas for thumbnail creation by checking out the competitors in the same niche. Moreover, you can start making thumbnails for your other YouTuber friends. To wrap things up, here are a few more tips on how to design your thumbnail in a way that attracts more views:
Use images of people
When you use images of people with genuine smiles, candid actions, and seemingly unrehearsed poses, you engage in people’s empathy. You get to tap into what we believe is “human”, so people are more drawn.
Strategic use of bright colors
Do not use bright colors all throughout. Give the eyes some breathing room, but also grab their attention to very specific focal points.
Use readable fonts
Yes, aesthetics is key, but another thing that can open doors is functionality. If a viewer can read your text in a slight glance, guaranteed you’ve got a point across. Video thumbnails are usually small, so you don’t have a lot of space to add your texts. To make the most of this space, it’s important to write something that inspires people to click.
Try it and then Test it
A/B testing is also considered as an important part of the process. You may use tools like TubeBuddy, a browser extension which offers handy tools on top of YouTube platform. It helps you run A/B tests to boost your YouTube SEO. A good planning and A/B testing strategy will greatly improve the performance of your video channel.
So there you have it, a few steps and tips to enhance your thumbnail game. We’re going to leave you to it now, and we hope you get all those views you need to make it to the top. Have fun with the process!