JP Quick Tips

Improve YouTube Views with Custom Thumbnails

For years, you have had to choose between an unflattering screen shot and a more unflattering screen shot. When your options are bad and worse, how are you supposed to entice viewers to click “play”? Take back some power on how your videos appear to users! YouTube is now allowing select channels to upload an image for their custom thumbnails.

An eye-catching thumbnail image can make your video stand out on the page, increase your views, and even bump you up in the rankings for certain keywords. Here are a few tips for creating attractive and effective thumbnail images:

1. Choose pictures that are attractive but relevant. Your audience doesn’t want to be deceived into clicking on your video; they’ll click away quickly. YouTube tracks how long visitors stay on your page, and if the average time spent on your page is three seconds, your rankings will take a huge dive.
2. Stills from your video are more effective than a perfect image. You still need to grab viewers’ attention. An appealing still from your video makes users think that your content might be interesting, rather than you are good at choosing a picture.
3. Text can tell your viewers what you are about. Use photo-editing software to add a short description or benefit of your video. Why should they watch your video? Tell them in less than 12 words.
4. Color is key. Stand out on the page by using contrasting colors. Viewers’ eyes will travel right to your video if your colors pop on the page!

Do you have the custom thumbnail option? Go to your Video Manager and select Edit for any of your past videos. If you have the capabilities, under Edit you will see three options for thumbnails and a Custom Thumbnail button.

Don’t have the custom thumbnail? All good things come to those who wait. YouTube is slowly rolling out this feature and you may have it soon. To speed up the process, activating advertisements on your videos (monetization) may help. Go to your YouTube Channel Settings and activate Monetization.

It’s simple, free and a great way to get more views and more interaction on your YouTube channel. We’re excited to implement this great marketing tool for some of our clients.