How to Maximize The Power of YouTube Thumbnails
Never underestimate YouTube thumbnails and their power.
They can drastically impact the number of people who actually click through to watch your video.
Below you’ll find some actionable strategies you can utilize to help your videos get more clicks!
Add a Photo
Pictures of people add personality and instantly make the video seem more inviting. More specifically, pictures of women smiling into the camera can actually increase engagement even more.
That’s why you see so many women in advertising campaigns. Companies have been using this trick for years. And if you don’t have the luxury of being a woman or would rather not use your own face, grab a picture from your favorite stock photo site.
Just make sure you have rights to use the image on YouTube. Remember, if you are a YouTube partner, that counts as a commercial use. So make sure you are using the image according to the website’s license and terms.
One strategy I often use is a photo on one side of the image and text on the other. That way it has a personal touch and it’s informative at the same time. It also looks very balanced.
Use Bright and Contrasting Colors
YouTube’s layout is mostly gray and white so using red, orange and other pastels is a great way to make your thumbnail stand out in the feed.
Try to avoid using too much gray and black unless you are using them in contrast with a brighter color, of course.
White text on a red background is a lot more effective than white text on a gray background. Just look at the difference…
Which image do you think would grab your attention in the YouTube feed?
Small changes in color can make a tremendous difference in your click through rate.
Minimize Your Thumbnail Headlines
Don’t try to fit too many words in your thumbnail because it will be difficult to read.
Even though YouTube recommends a 1280×720 sized photo, it gets reduced to around 200 pixels in the news feed.
Also, use larger fonts to increase readability.
Play With Fonts Faces, Sizes and Colors
Varying up the size, style and colors of the font can also have a huge impact.
Notice how the words “traffic” and “24 hours” are in a different font and color for emphasis. Pick out the most important words or phrases and call them out by increasing the font size, face and switching up the colors.
Take Advantage of The Two-Headline Benefit
Because YouTube also displays a headline, you actually get two chances to grab the viewer’s attention — once in the main title and again in the thumbnail.
No need to waste space by saying the exact same thing in the thumbnail.
Use this bonus to highlight the key phrases/concept in the video, or add a relevant question to the image to create interest.
Use an Online Thumbnail Creator
If you want to make your thumbnails fun and even more powerful, you can try a service like TubeSlicer.com. They offer point and click software and you can even easily insert your picture to many of the templates for maximum personalization.
If you have any questions for Lisa about this post, just leave a comment below.