4 Best Practices to Create Clickable Video Thumbnails

4 Best Practices to Create Clickable Video Thumbnails (Episode 122)

video marketing podcast Sep 26, 2022

"Don't judge a book by it's cover" still holds some truth to it in general. But for videos, you need to help your viewers decide why they need to click your video among the rest of videos that promises great, if not similar, content. Or else, your video risk getting scrolled away to oblivion. 

Welcome to 'Video Tips,' the Video Made Simple podcast segment where we offer strategies for on-camera presenting, scripting, and video marketing: all the tools you need to get started with videos.

In this episode, Chris Schwager, Video Marketer from Ridge Films, talks about the importance of making your thumbnails stand out, four essential elements your thumbnail must have to entice viewers, and four best practices for generating thumbnails that drives clicks for your videos on social media, YouTube channels, and other platforms. Chris also provides a few examples of a great thumbnail title and how intrigue plays a role in making people click the video. 

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Video Transcription:

 Chris Schwager 00:00:01

Welcome to the Video Made Simple podcast. It takes a mystery out of video production and provides business leaders support to help them break through the monotony of day to day communication.

[00:00:12] I'm your host, Chris Schwager. And if you want prospects and clients to click the play button of your video, whether it's on social media, YouTube, or emails and increase views, then here's a video marketing tip, make that thumbnail clickable.

[00:00:28] Most of the time a thumbnail is a static image within the player that represents your video and gives the audience an idea of what the viewer will see at a glance. The term thumbnail originated with still images. A thumbnail was a smaller version of a full digital image that could easily be viewed while browsing a number of images.

[00:00:51] A video thumbnail is your viewers first impression of your video. I can't stress how important it is these days to get that thumbnail looking right. Because it is the click bait. A good thumbnail makes you wanna watch a video, but it will also create a perceived point of difference from competing videos around it such as you might have been seeing on YouTube.

[00:01:15] So the essential elements of a thumbnail, here's a couple to consider.

[00:01:20] First, thumbnail title. Have it clearly convey your video subject, which needs to be simple. Promise what you're going to deliver in that title. Two, be big, bold, and easy to read when you include text in your thumbnail. Three, the face or the hero at the forefront of the thumbnail can improve clickability. For example, if it's a celebrity face or it's somebody recognizable, so consider that. Four include branding. If it's a well known brand, of course, you know, the apple for apple Mac, of course, people are gonna know there's something in there about apple. So it's very easy to recognize.

[00:01:59] The best practices for generating thumbnails. Here are a couple there's multiple CTAs. You can use to call them to act on your video. So here's a couple that you're gonna be able to use. One don't rely on random generated thumbnail of the app, such as YouTube or Instagram. You've gotta personalize your thumbnail as much as you can and that takes time. Writing subject lines and thumbnails is one of the hardest things to get right. Uh. There are specialists out there that can support you with that. You know, we are very particular about it and we know how much energy goes into providing thumbnails for our clients. In video emails, for instance, put the name of your prospect or the client in the thumbnail. You know, who can resist a message that has their name on it. So that's a really great tactic. I use a whiteboard scribble, a black marker on a white board and hold it up as the first image. So it's auto populated by the time I publish the content, because I want that to be fast. It's not overly attractive. But it works. It definitely works. Hi Jonah. It totally works to have that in there.

[00:03:07] Two, make it look different. Now I'm talking about YouTube because if your colorful thumbnail is in the sea of other competing channels, all with beautiful colored thumbnails. And it may be time to think about how you can look, make it look different and change it up a bit. Colors are a key factor in how to make your thumbnail great. But if everybody's color, maybe you consider black and white or just changing it up in the design and getting professional design to look at it. Example, YouTube platform is either primary, white or black or gray. So. Bold colors can really pop out. Use the colors that feature your brand design to leave a longer impression. And so that people won't forget. So I'm talking about really corporate cohesion here. I'm talking about a color that's recognizable. If people already subscribe to your brand, they're gonna get that consistent look and feel across all of your videos, no matter where they are.

[00:04:05] Three use close ups as hero images, as much as possible faces really matter in this process, make humans stop to register the face and study it. Whether they're done subconsciously or otherwise, faces can really help convey what the video is going to be about. And we all know that faces, we all gravitate towards faces in any decision making process.

[00:04:30] And four, make it large, make it bold, make it loud, sum up precisely what the video will be about. Thumbnail strategy, posing a question to make people want to click and find out how good it is and what it is you are trying to say . Is vitally important.

[00:04:49] So here are some examples of what a catchy thumbnail might look with the text. So here's a dog food company. They could probably put why I will never choose this dog food. Now that is really interesting and particularly when you've gotta maybe the product on there as well, it's a very compelling title to be clicking on because those that are purchasing dog food, for instance, want the pros and cons and they wanna explore everything before they go down that rabbit hole. Uh. Another great one. Uh. "Is this dog food real?" Again, very compelling. Um. Leaves the, uh, potential viewer wondering yes or no to that question, which is a really great start as well. And finally, another example of dog food. "Is this the best dog food" Arguably. You don't know until you click and find out. So there's some great examples of how to customize video thumbnails. It can make all the difference when it comes to viewers clicking through to your video.

[00:05:54] Good thumbnail makes you wanna watch the video, a bad thumbnail or no thumbnail is gonna do nothing. If you want more personalized coaching on creating thumbnail images to improve your performance of your videos, then jump on a 15 minute video call with me and tell me what I can help you with join in next week where you'll get weekly Video Made Simple ideas to present your videos like a pro that's all for this episode.

[00:06:19] Thanks again for listening and see you next week.


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