Your Thumbnails aren’t just something you should do to look professional; they are one of the key reasons potential viewers will click on your video. Sure, your title needs to be good, but if they’re looking for help on a certain topic, it’s going to be your thumbnail that convinces them to click on your video over the three others that cover it too.
So how do you ensure your thumbnail wins you the click? How can your thumbnails help you gain more subscribers? Here are 7 tips to help you get more clicks and subscribers with your thumbnails.
Have a Strong Brand
When you head onto YouTube to watch your favorite channels and click onto the subscriptions tab, what do you recognize first? Your eyes will lock onto the thumbnails you recognize instantly.
Your thumbnails need to do the same for your audience and appeal to those who don’t know you yet. Be conscious of the colors and styles that appeal to your audience and work within it – someone looking for a video on minimalism won’t click on a thumbnail with graffiti-style text on it.
Set the Scene
Your thumbnail should act as the hook for the “story” you tell in the video. Is it shocking? Cute? Fun? Whatever the story you’re telling, be it for entertainment or to teach your viewers something, it has to come through in your thumbnail.
If your thumbnail and the content of your video does not align, people who click on your video will quickly click off your video to move on to something they really do want to watch, which tells YouTube there is something wrong with the video – if people aren’t sticking around to watch it beyond the first few minutes, they’re not going to recommend it to anyone else.
Don’t Be Vague
While a good thumbnail is intriguing, it should not be vague or mysterious. If you’re going to show them how to build a table, have an image of the finished product in the thumbnail. When you create your thumbnails ask yourself what questions will come up in a potential viewer’s mind and decide if they are reasonable for the video.
Videos that typically do this wrong are vlogs where there is one minor hiccup in the day or one that can be easily misconstrued, which the creator takes advantage of to get clicks. When the questions raised are too deep or too dramatic, you’ll only disappoint viewers if you don’t fulfill their expectations. You should always look to meet or exceed their expectations, don’t do the opposite just in the hopes of getting a higher click-through-rate on your videos.
Don’t Blend In
While you do need to conform to certain niche norms, you should also try to stand out from the crowd. When you’re making your thumbnail for your video, do a quick search for other videos on the topic and look at the top 5 thumbnails. How are they similar? How can you create a thumbnail that stands out while still sticking to genre/niche norms? Experiment with thumbnails and analyze what works best.
Remember Color Evokes Emotion
McDonald’s uses red and yellow in their branding because it’s supposed to be exciting and, supposedly, increases appetite. When you use color in your own thumbnails be conscious of the effect and feeling they create. You can dive into color theory if you have the time, but here are some basic moods colors evoke:
- Red signifies danger, passion, and urgency
- Orange signifies warmth, fun, and friendliness
- Yellow signifies youth, optimism, and excitement
- Green signifies relaxation, calmness, and health
- Blue signifies strength, confidence, and trust
- Purple signifies luxury, quality, and beauty
- Pink signifies love, care, and playfulness
- Black signifies power, efficiency, and control
Optimize for Scale
This may sound obvious if you already do this, but don’t make your thumbnails as a huge image on your screen and not test what it looks like when it’s small. Remember that many of your viewers are going to be on their phones, and so if you pack too many different things into the thumbnail, it’s just going to look like a cluttered mess. Also check; How to remove a Youtube Video
Always zoom out on your design until it’s as small as it would be on a smartphone and see if it still works. If not, it’s time to edit to make text bigger and reduce the number of images in the thumbnail.
Use a Keyword on Your Thumbnail
Some channels do extremely well without text on their thumbnails, but most channels do better when the title of the video or major keywords are included on the thumbnail. Remember that your audience will browse the thumbnails before the titles, not the other way around, so you better make sure that thumbnail communicates exactly what your video is about.
Then, make sure that the font is clear, reflects your niche, and isn’t indecipherable when it’s shrunk down. Choose keywords that make sense within the context of your thumbnail and when possible, choose one you can change to a new topic but keep within the same vein on future videos. For example, travel vloggers will put the location in clear font over a simple image and repeat this for every video they create.
The importance of thumbnails can be overlooked, but cannot be overstated. They are the advert for your video – get it wrong, and they’ll turn to someone else’s video even if the content would be perfect for them. Get it right, and you’ll win the majority of traffic when you show up in search results both on YouTube and Google.
Famoid Blog – 2020