7 Elements of a Clickable Video Thumbnail [Infographic]

how to create the best video thumbnail infographic

The video thumbnail–that little preview picture–could make or break your video traffic. That’s right–if you don’t put some thought into your video thumbnails, you may not be maximizing the number of clicks your video gets. In search engines, videos demand more attention than other search results.

Choosing the Best Video Thumbnail to Boost Clicks

Thumbnails are personal. They should be tailored to your target audience, not to the entire world. The possible thumbnails for a single video are endless, so keep in mind that there is no “right” or “wrong” video thumbnail icon. However, your thumbnail will have a greater potential of converting users if it follows these elements:

1. Color

video thumbnail colors branding

Color is a must to pop out to your audience in the search results. Improve the shot’s lighting if necessary to make colors stand out for your thumbnail. Perhaps edit in some splashes of color (e.g., background, text, icons).

Don’t go too overboard with colors, either. Make them appealing, not necessarily begging for attention. Use a color scheme to brand your business in your videos.

2. Consistency

Your video thumbnail ideas should have a consistent theme. This will further brand your channel–when people see thumbnails similar to your previous ones, they will start to recognize it as your brand’s videos.

For instance, perhaps you always include your logo at the top right corner of the thumbnail. Or maybe you always use the same text font. You could also show various scenery shots as your video thumbnail image.

3. Text

video thumbnail examples with text

Text is never essential for thumbnails. However, many creators like to add a little bit of text to their thumbnails. This is because sometimes the user looks at your thumbnail before looking at the title.

Text in a thumbnail can clarify the plot or purpose of your video. However, you will want to save most of the text for the title and video description.

4. Quality

Your thumbnail is also the preview image for an embedded player. If you plan to embed your videos, or if you want other websites or blogs to use your videos, then high-res video thumbnail quality is a must.

If you are selecting a thumbnail from your video, having a high-quality video in the first place is necessary to generate a high-quality video thumbnail preview. Make sure all your editing is done on a large scale, as your final product should ideally be 1280 x 720.

5. Character

4k video thumbnail examples

What makes your video stand out? Your thumbnail should not look like all the other video thumbnails in the search results. If your video is not unique, you may not make it in this competitive digital library.

You want your thumbnail to catch the user’s eye. For instance, different thumbnails in the screenshot above may stand out to you for different reasons. Choose thumbnails for your videos that are tailored to your audience.

6. Focus

Even your thumbnail has to have clear focus to be successful. Besides confusion, a crowded thumbnail leads to a sloppy brand perception. Instead, stick with the trends and make your thumbnails clean and easy to follow.

Determine what the focus of your video is, then choose a thumbnail from there. If you are doing a product review of the iPhone 7, use a picture of the iPhone 7 instead of a generic review thumbnail. If your video is a vlog, center the thumbnail on the subject’s face.

7. Deliver

video thumbnail

The most important aspect of any video thumbnail is delivery. In other words, create a video thumbnail that follows the content–don’t fool your audience. Without trust between you and your audience, you’ll never establish a leading brand.

Many creators produce videos with jaw-dropping thumbnails and misleading titles, only to receive negative viewer pushback for not delivering with content.

With YouTube’s new algorithm, the quality of your content is much more influential than the length of your content. If you are leaving viewers wanting, YouTube and other search engines won’t waste their time with you.

A good rule of thumb is to always deliver a thumbnail that includes at least one thing (person, object, scenery, idea, etc.) from the video.

How to Select Your Thumbnail on YouTube, Facebook, and More

Selecting a video thumbnail for YouTube is pretty straightforward. Once you have uploaded your video, select your thumbnail at the bottom of the upload center. Once you become a regular uploader, you will access the ability to insert custom thumbnails.

On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other video platforms, the website typically uses the thumbnail of your video file. Therefore, to change a video thumbnail of the file on your computer, follow these steps:

How to change video file thumbnail on Mac:

*Note: to add a custom thumbnail (an image that is separate from the video), simply click Cmd+C on your thumbnail image file, then repeat the process for Cmd+V onto the video.

How to change video file thumbnail on PC:

Creating High-Quality Content to Reinforce Your Thumbnail

Remember, the best trait of a thumbnail is that what follows is quality content. If you struggle to create top-notch videos, Valoso can help. Our experienced, professional videographers and video editors can film and edit for you to create the next big hit in your video marketing campaign.

If you would like a free quote for your next video project, click on the banner below or register for free at Valoso!

video thumbnail