Video marketers almost always underestimate the value of the video thumbnail — that’s why we’re writing this post. Most of the attention is typically to the content itself and then finally the presentation of the video on a website or landing page. The video thumbnail often seems like an afterthought. Don’t forget the video thumbnail is part of the video conversion strategy. A catchy and relevant thumbnail will catch the viewer’s attention and entice a click, which ultimately ends up as a video play.
Back to basics for a second. So what’s a video thumbnail? A video thumbnail is the poster image which functions as a link to your video. It has magical powers, either it will convince people to watch, or it will deter them from watching. If you’re using a online video platform, it most likely has a function that will automatically choose a thumbnail for you via a still image extracted from some point of the video. The automatic capture image won’t likely be of good quality to drive the intended conversion results, so you’ll want to make sure to design your own for each video. Here are a few tip to help you optimize your video thumbnails for conversion:
1. Clearly Depict What’s Included In The Video
Before you set out to create the thumbnail understand what you want to convey in the image to show potential viewers what your video is all about. Don’t overload the thumbnail with lots of text or a busy picture — choose an image that represents the video’s overall content.
2. Include The Video Title in The Thumbnail
It’s important to make sure to include the video title in the thumbnail. Make that one word worth the those thousands of pictures or frames in your video. Thumbnail text tends to catch the viewer’s eye and will quickly tell them what the video is about.
3. Pick an Enticing Image
You want to find or create an image that will represent your video and will draw the viewer’s eye, and entice them to click play. Make sure you use an image that accurately depicts your content, false advertisement with an irrelevant yet catchy thumbnail can get the viewer to click but will cause them to drop off immediately if the content doesn’t match the thumbnail.
4. Make The Thumbnail Image Stick Out
Pay close attention to the colors, patterns, backgrounds, and fonts you use for your thumbnail. Using solid backgrounds, bright colors, bold patterns will help to make your thumbnail stand out.
5. Make Sure The Dimensions Are Correct
Pay close attention to the quality and dimensions of the thumbnail. Make sure the image does not stretch and distort once it is uploaded to the online video platform and configured with your video. Pay attention to recommended dimensions.
As you can see, video thumbnails are very important to the conversion goals outlined in your video strategy. Thumbnails should be planned in the creative development and production process in the case a specific image is required. If you’re fully invested in your video marketing strategy than optimizing thumbnails is a no-brainer. Use the tips above to fine tune your video thumbnails today.