Here’s how you can get more clickable YouTube thumbnails.
WHY DO THIS:
If you’re a marketer or business owner, you want more views on YouTube. The first step in getting a view is getting a click, so it’s important to make good video thumbnails.
Get more views for your business videos by getting more clicks on your thumbnails.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
- Determine if you have restrictions on how formal your thumbnails will need to be. The more attention your thumbnails can get, and the more they stand out, the more clicks they will get. This may or may not be in keeping with your brand.
- Understand that most people view YouTube on mobile, so the images will appear very, very small.
- Understand that thumbnails do not appear by themselves, but are in competition for attention with many other thumbnails. So they’ve got to stand out.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Editing software like Photoshop or Canva.
- Make any graphical text in the thumbnail very simple, in an easy to read and large font.
- Make any text complement the title. It doesn’t have to say the same thing exactly.
- Make the thumbnail relevant for a video topic that people want to watch.
- Use “big heads.” Since thumbnails appear small, and people like to click on faces, make the face very large in context. At least half the height of the thumbnail.
- Use a face that’s looking at the camera.
- Show whites of eyes and whites of teeth.
- Very emotive faces get more clicks than dull portrait photos.
- In general, business thumbnails get better clicks with happy faces than serious faces.
- You can add a white halo around faces to make them stand out even more.
- Thumbnail colors should be bright and stand out from other thumbnails.
- Thumbnails should be over-sharpened and over-contrasted.
- Size should be 1280×720 or larger, 72 dpi, PNG, not larger than 2 MB.
- You’ll want to make each of your channel’s thumbnails look very similar, so that a viewer likes one of your videos can very quickly find another one in Suggested Videos. So a consistent theme color may be in order.
- You may want to use your logo or some other signifying graphical symbol with each video. But it may also be too distracting. Sometimes, using an ongoing host’s face in a repetitive manner (along with your thumbnails consistent theme colors). But make sure the thumbnails are distinct enough that the viewer can distinguish between them.
Now your thumbnails will be more clickable, and get you more organic views.
Dane Golden is CEO of VidiUp, a video content marketing agency. His mission is to help brands get viewers to come back to their videos again and again through use of helpful how-to content, driving loyalty, conversion and ROI.