What’s the one thing that will make people click play on your YouTube video more than your competitors? If you said thumbnail image I think you’re right.
Your YouTube thumbnail is the image that accompanies your video when it appears in search results, on your channel and when it’s embedded. Automated thumbnails DON'T encourage users to click 99% of the time.
Tool Tip: Check out FotoJet's free thumbnail templates and maker here.
Need Inspiration? 1. What’s the star of your video? Are you the star of the show? If you are then your thumbnail needs to include a photo of you. A friendly face is more clickable than an inanimate object. Before you select an image of yourself remember that your thumbnail should meet the expectation of your audience. For a consumer or small business audience that gurning face that YouTube offers you as a thumbnail could well be the best choice. Take a screenshot and use it as the basis of your thumb. A more serious video aimed at corporate businesses should include a more sedate, posed image. If you aren’t the star of the show who or what is? Is it a tutorial? A how to? A recipe? If so perhaps it’s the finished product that is the hero. Make sure you get a good quality shot of the finished product that you can use as part of the thumbnail. 2. Add text You can’t rely on people reading the title of your video. Use text overlay to ensure they can see what the video is about. According to YouTube more than 1/2 of views come from mobile so it’s pretty crucial that the text on your thumbnail works when it’s scaled down. In this case, big is definitely better. 3. High contrast Saturated colours and high contrast images also have a stronger visual impact on YouTube. Experiment with different colours and find one that works for you. 4. Add your branding Your video thumbnails should be consistent with your brand and your channel. Are you using the same colours and fonts each time? Do they match your branding elsewhere? Are you including your logo?