Video Search Engines are becoming increasingly more powerful for businesses and brands. Top social video search engine sites like YouTube have become a leading competitor in the social media marketing realm. Both long and short content plays important roles on YouTube. The ability to convey a story and sell an idea is readily done throughout the platform. However, how do you get people to view something they do not click on? The answer is you can’t! Just below we go over our YouTube Video Thumbnail Preflight Checklist.

Curiosity Clicks the Mouse

In our Youtube SEO Best Practices we go over a ton of helpful tips to help increase your Youtube Channel Rankings. Today, we are going over the power of the video thumbnail in depth. Prior to posting a YouTube Video there is a preflight checklist that we all go through. We write our tags, our compelling captions and a variety of other pre-post touch ups that are essential. But to fully increase the performance of your YouTube Videos you have to take advantage of Thumbnails.

Just like the title and first sentences of a description, the thumbnail is the first thing viewers see in the search browser. Since many users are skimming and only looking at search results for a couple seconds, eye appeal is essential for attention. This is where the video thumbnail comes into play. Through a variety of tactics creating a compelling thumbnail can drastically increase the performance of your YouTube Videos. Just below we are going to go over some tactics you can utilize to spice up your YouTube Videos!

Preflight Thumbnail Checklist

When trying to create the perfect thumbnail for a video it is important to keep some things in mind.

  • What is you content about?
  • What is the main idea?
  • What are the Key Words?
  • What Niche is it in?

Keep these concepts in mind when creating your thumbnail to ensure the best results possible.

1. Check the Top Videos

It is important to know what videos you are up against when it comes to increasing your YouTube video rankings. If you want to rank first then you have to know which videos are ranking high and check their strengths. For example, if the top video has millions of views but the thumbnail is simply a cut from the video. Then, it is possible to out rank that video by maximizing click through potential with an attractive thumbnail. In addition, when you know what the competition is using for thumbnails you can use this as an advantage to be more creative. Having a thumbnail that pops out from the crowd will drastically increase traffic.

2. Use Your Personality To Your Advantage

For those businesses/brands that show their employee’s faces or are not afraid to step in front of the camera. Use this to your advantage! Creating that personal face to face interaction, even if it is done through a screen is crucial in strengthening to bond between customer and brand. Do not be afraid to include yourself in the thumbnail! If people are intrigued with you or your content then they will create a mental connection to click/watch any video that pops up.

3. Include Key Words

When I create thumbnails for my videos I always put the title or keywords on the thumbnails. This is because I want the users to know exactly what they are clicking on. That way the retention rates of my videos are as high as possible. This is beneficial both for data analytical purposes but in addition it shows YouTube that my channel has value. Thereby, increasing my over all channel ranking.

4. Utilize Your Logo

Add your watermarks or logo to all your thumbnails. When building a brand it is important to gain as much exposure as possible. To help  build a brand’s reputation, adding a logo to thumbnails can help to create the brand image. Viewers will begin to attribute the value of the content with the logo attaching an emotional bond with the brand. That way when repeat viewers see the logo they will know what to expect and have a higher probability of clicking through to start watching the video.

5. Consistency Is Key

Throughout your progression in building your YouTube Channel remember to stay consistent with your content. Meaning that your thumbnails should have a certain theme to them that stays relatively consistent throughout your posting. Viewers are not very receptive to change. Constantly changing thumbnails will leave viewers and subscribers feeling confused. The goal is to become a familiar face to viewers to have the best customer to brand relation.

Wrap Up

This wraps up the YouTube Video Thumbnail Preflight Checklist. To have the best probability of ranking high on the search browser for videos, it is essential to use thumbnails in your strategy. Thumbnails act as the window to the content, it gives a glimpse into what is expected. Using the 5 tips above will help to create a strong thumbnail that will increase your CTR on your YouTube Videos. Remember to peak the curiosity of viewers in a creative way.

Grow traffic, convert more, and run complete marketing campaigns at scale.