There’s more to social media than meets the eye. The modern social media user understands that initial appearances and aesthetics go a long way in attracting clicks on YouTube. Being the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube attracts more than 2 billion users a month who trust the service for news, information, and entertainment. To keep up, you need to learn how YouTube Thumbnails can generate more views for your videos.
While the titles of the videos play a key role in giving users what they search for, it’s the thumbnail that ultimately decides whether they click on the video or not. Being the only visual cue that users have access to when they find a video, it’s all that users base their opinions on before clicking on the video. It is imperative that content creators pay attention to customized thumbnails rather than opting for the basic frame that YouTube selects as a default.
What Is A YouTube Thumbnail?
The static image that acts as a visual preview for a video is called a thumbnail on YouTube. Its role is similar to that of a book cover. While the cover plays a key role in enticing readers to proceed and read the book by generating curiosity, it shouldn’t give away too much. Finding the key balance between the visual design that appeals to the target audience and tells enough of a story to entice them is the role of a thumbnail.
The term ‘thumbnail’ is a visual preview for anything related to software and platforms. Even an operating system has a thumbnail. While the adage asks us not to judge a book by its cover, publishers wouldn’t spend the resources they do on a cover design if that were true. While a good thumbnail isn’t a guarantee to entice users, a bad thumbnail is sure to drive them away.
Tips To Optimize YouTube Thumbnails To Attract Viewers
To make an effective thumbnail effective, the creator needs to put themselves in the shoes of the target audience they want to attract and visualize the impact the thumbnail has on them. It is necessary to remember that every video is a drop in the internet ocean and users have a lot on their plate.
There is a lot of work to be done and very limited time. Should the situation arise where they come across your video and the thumbnail convinces them that the video has the answer to their questions, they are most likely going to click on it. By crafting a thumbnail that speaks to the target persona you wish you to attract for your brand, you have attracted a subscriber that belongs to your target demographic. Congratulations!
Want to elevate your game further? We’ve got you covered! Read our blog: Top 10 Free Video Editing Software For YouTube Content Creators.
Use People, Fonts, and Colors
Studies show that thumbnails that have a person in them perform much better as they personify the video and give viewers the impression that a video is a person inviting them to click on it subconsciously. Explainer or how-to videos that have a person in the thumbnail looking straight at the viewer in a one-on-one fashion perform even better. Visually, it would help to make the thumbnail stand out from the rest of the clutter with bright and complementary colors that create a contrast.
The earliest creators to go viral like Shane Dawson and Ray William Johnson deliberately used a lot of yellow in their thumbnails as the psychology suggests it increases the urge to click. While there are tons of fonts to choose from, it is important to choose one that best fits the tone of the content consistently. Bangers, Anton, and Ultra are few enticing fonts that have the best success rate on YouTube.
The Right Copy for the Right Thumbnail
The first impression that a user obtains from a video is first, the name of the video and subsequently, the visual from the thumbnail. To further drive the point home, text can be added to the thumbnail to give the audience a quick sneak-peek into the content present in the video. While text can help drive the point, one should remember not to overdo it and clutter the thumbnail with verbose sentences. The rule of thumb is to restrict it to six words or less to prevent the thumbnail from appearing bulky and exhausting.
A key point to keep in mind is the color of the copy has to complement the color of the background for it to be visible to users. Text is necessary even if you are the greatest visual storyteller there is. Ensure your text size, font, and color are optimized for it to appear clear across multiple devices of varying sizes.
Incorporate Personal Branding
A YouTube channel is a brand within itself and a good marketer never misses the opportunity to lure users in with the brand. It is highly recommended that the logo of the channel be incorporated into thumbnails for an instant connection with the audience. If your channel has a following, these users can spot your video through logo recognition even if the video is embedded on another website. Your logo, in its true color and font, is a massive part of brand communication and needs to be displayed everywhere.
There is no shame in marketing yourself by screaming it to the world at all points, particularly through YouTube thumbnails. How the logo is placed is crucial, though. Firstly, make sure the logo isn’t too big and overpowers the entire thumbnail. While placing it in the corners works, avoid the right bottom corner. The logo will get hidden by the length of the video, making it seem unprofessional.
Experiment with styles
While every video deserves its thumbnail, creators should make sure the thumbnails follow a common visual language, making it instantly recognizable to the user. The consistency also showcases a sense of creative professionalism. If you have different categories of videos, different styles can be used for each category, as long as each video within the category adheres to a similar design. This helps users looking for a certain category of videos from a user’s channel. A key point is to always use HD images in the thumbnail, no matter the style. Be it 1280*720 or 1920*1080, choose the best possible image available.
Viewers on YouTube are fickle and choose to watch a certain video only because it answers certain questions that they have in that exact moment that drives them to click. It is, therefore, necessary to drive them to click by spelling out exactly what the video offers, right on the thumbnail. Be it educational, informative, or entertaining, all videos need to tell the users exactly what is on offer in the video. The thumbnail is the most important targeting tool on YouTube as it draws in the exact crowd that the video seeks.
If you promise the viewer something on the thumbnail and fail to deliver it, that user will never trust the channel again. The more you deliver on the promise of the thumbnail, the more positive engagement the video generates. As obvious as this may seem now, but avoid using any visuals in any of your marketing strategies that are not related to the video being offered.
Optimize for multi-channel use
As a creator in today’s fast-paced world, it is necessary to think about the different ways in which audience segments will consume the content. The thumbnails, therefore, have to have the same impact on a viewer irrespective of the device on which they choose to view it. Be it large screens or mid-size devices, the thumbnails need to drive home a point across the board. If the color contrasting varies across devices or the font size changes everywhere, there is some work left to be done on the thumbnail. Making the viewer work isn’t an option. If the thumbnail is even 1% harder to read than another video, viewers will instantly migrate.
Also, check out our blog: 9 Things You’ll Need For Your Video Thumbnails To Get Clicks.
The aesthetic impact of a YouTube channel transcends into the thumbnail as well. Thumbnails, as harmless as they seem, can make or break a video and their importance is extremely understated. Check out competitors and other inspirational creators from a similar space to understand what audiences are attracted to. The main purpose of this blog was to shine a light on the importance of thumbnails and why they shouldn’t be ignored. Follow the tips in this blog for engaging thumbnails that never fail.
Bookmark this toolkit! Read this blog: Top 10 YouTube Thumbnail Maker Tools To Impress Viewers.
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