Thumbnails are the Miniature visual windows or ‘mini- posters’ to each and every video on YouTube respectively. If you want your video to clock in more views than YouTube Thumbnails integrate an important part of the metadata which needs to be properly optimised to gain you traction in multiple ways.
Just as we check out a trailer before seeing the movie, similarly the YouTube thumbnails help you translate the content of the video on to the ‘showcase’. It helps decide the YouTubers to whether see the video or not, as Thumbnails are the first thing which viewers see.
Important points to remember while ‘designing’ your YouTube thumbnails
Prioritize the USP of the content:
Firstly, always make sure that your YouTube thumbnail has a direct relation with the content of the video. For example if you have a show wherein you are showing an interview of a power couple then the audience would very much want to see the ‘faces’ of the duo in the thumbnail rather that of the host. You should also learn to identify and prioritise the USP of your video. You can directly snip a scene from the reel of the video and voila- there’s your thumbnail.
Design your YouTube Thumbnail Creatively:
Be as creative as you can get with Photoshop or any other photo editing suit. Remember to be creative but not misleading. There are ample examples of videos on YouTube where the said video and thumbnail are drastically different. So even though they do invite a lot of views, they gain tremendous negativity as well from other YouTubers in terms of comments and feedback. It’s better not to cheat your audience. The thumbnails could be so designed to arouse curiosity about the videos and entice them with ‘what next’ syndrome. Avoid any titillating YouTube thumbnail, if that does not form the crux of your video unless it does as it can easily put your video under the ‘sleaze’ category. It should be “click-friendly”.
Sync your YouTube thumbnail with the video content:
It’s a known fact that YouTube related searches also feature in Google search feeds. Try to encash on this opportunity and use the video related traffic generated to one’s advantage. The thumbnail should be in sync with the keywords in the video title as well as in the description. YouTube has an intelligent algorithm to detect the synced and relevant thumbnails with that of the respective video/s. For example, If it’s a news piece on Arvind Kejriwal and you put up an image of a Hollywood Actress (which is completely unrelated), then it will be very difficult to be found on either YouTube or Google related search feeds.
Apart from that properly optimized YouTube thumbnail helps your video find a base in
a) Suggested video page for Coke studio Atif Aslam
b) Video end screens
c) Playlists of a related album.
d) Embedded videos
YouTube Thumbnails outlook:
The YouTube thumbnails should be so designed to accommodate features relevant to the video without looking congested with multiple elements while using a photoshop. The image/s used which apart from being bright and clear should be visually compelling. Thus, this ‘composite’ image should be able to behold the YouTubers and extract ‘watch –time’ for your video.
Conclusively, it happens sometimes that even though the YouTube thumbnails are properly optimized, the relative videos many a times, fail to make a mark because the overall content of the video could not generate buzz! Thus, if you feel you have a good content ‘drum’ it up with the right thumbnail. Alternatively, there are YouTube partners who get the privileged access to customise their thumbnails. Don’t fret over it if you aren’t one as there is enough room available to be creative with your current features on YouTube playbook.
P.S. The way your YouTube thumbnail looks is directly proportional to the number of clicks and hence increasing it views.
The content marketing team at Vidooly publishes articles and blogs on current and relevant online video industry related news.