When asking yourself what the most important part of a video is, you're most likely to think of audio or image quality. Many people are surprised when I tell them the most important part is actually your video thumbnail.
Although those other things are important, without a brilliant thumbnail your video isn't going to get seen by your target audience and here's why...
What is a video thumbnail?
A video thumbnail is a still image that acts as the preview image for your video. Think of a thumbnail like a book cover or movie poster; it gives viewers an insight into your video and what they can expect to see if they choose to watch.
When selecting a thumbnail for your video, you can typically choose from various still images taken from within your video. This type of thumbnail is usually a little blurred and shows the person speaking or mid-blink, which isn’t very enticing to viewers. I would always recommend uploading a bespoke thumbnail that you’ve designed yourself to gain more views.
Why You Need a Quality Video Thumbnail
A thumbnail can make or break your video; it’s the one thing that can make the difference between your video getting thousands of views or none at all.
There are millions of new videos being uploaded onto YouTube and other platforms every minute, which means there’s a lot of competition to grab the attention of your target audience. The best way to grab attention and stand out from your competition is through on-brand, eye-catching video thumbnails.
The key reason why you need a quality thumbnail is to entice people to hit play. The more people click through to the video, the higher your watch time and the higher the audience retention. As these key metrics start to build, your video content is more likely to appear at the top of search results. This can help to grow your brand awareness and win new customers.
A carefully thought-out video thumbnail won’t only encourage people to click through to your video, but it will also help viewers understand the subject of the video, enticing people to share your video and keeping viewers engaged for longer. It will help provide some context.
Things to Include in Your Video Thumbnail
Thumbnails are the first impression potential viewers have of your video, which is why it’s important to get it right, but what makes a good thumbnail?
You need to include several things in your thumbnails design if you want the best chance of enticing viewers to click through.
- Include faces for that personal touch
- Use minimal text to avoid overcrowding your image
- Use bright, saturated colours to help your video stand out from competitors
- Be consistent with your colours, font and layout to ensure it is on-brand
- Include high-quality imagery to catch peoples attention
For more in-depth tips on what makes a good video thumbnail, check out our recent blog: The Six Elements of Clickable Video Thumbnails.