Let’s face it — we usually judge a book by its cover. We do the same thing with YouTube videos; if we don’t like the thumbnail, chances are we won’t see it. Since YouTube expanded custom thumbnails to all partners in good standing last August after much-deserved pressure from content creators, creators have no excuse in making a video “cover” that pulls viewers and exemplifies what it’s all about. Here are five things creators should consider when creating a custom thumbnail for your video.
1. Select A Scene That Epitomizes The Video
The easiest way of making a custom thumbnail for your video is choosing a scene that reflects the work as a whole. It could be a climactic scene that will generate interest or a screenshot of a very colorful opening scene. If you want the work to speak for itself, then make a thumbnail from the video itself.
2. Make Your Colors Stand Out
One surefire way of attracting your audience to your video is ensuring the colors in your thumbnail reflect the mood. NMR discussed the importance of color schemes in an article that ties good new media practices with pairing the right color for your brand and, in this case, your own thumbnail. If you want people to feel good about watching this video, then choose the colors that reflect that emotion in your thumbnail. Hot pink doesn’t count.
3. Be Honest
As the saga of the reply girls attests, deceiving viewers into boring content doesn’t make for consistent pageviews for a channel. It’s just good practice to make customized thumbnails for your videos accurately reflect the video. Getting viewers snookered into watch a video that they won’t be interested in because of your awesome thumbnail will hurt your chances of getting more views for your channel in the long run.
4. Faces Are Important
Unless your video is a time-lapse of the San Francisco Bay, putting a face to a video will definitely grab the attention of the viewer. If it’s your own vlog or web series, your face is by far the most representative image of your brand. People always put a face to a name or brand, so your video thumbnails should try to include a face.
5. Keep It Simple
If there’s one thing that will turn off people from watching your video, it’s having too much stuff in your thumbnail. Don’t let unnecessary text or elaborate, neon-like colors distract people from watching your video. By making your thumbnail simply attractive and to the point, you’ll pique viewers’ curiosity, not push them away.