While surfing on youtube, we tend to scroll and scroll and scroll, until something catches our eyes. With numerous people uploading videos every second on YouTube, it is a herculean task to make sure your video is visible to the audience.

It is a general saying that ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. 

Well, it doesn’t imply on youtube and human tendency towards it. People will convert to click a video if its presentation is intriguing. Youtube states that 90% of videos that are performing best have custom thumbnails on Youtube. 

So if you’re in a dilemma of video not getting views and clicks, the first thing needed to do is check the thumbnail, as it is a big factor for engagement. 

Milton Glaser said that there are three responses to a design- Yes, No and WOW! And Wow is what you should aim for. The main goal of a thumbnail is to grab attention and encourage potential viewers to click on it. 

Following are the tips to create effective and click-worthy thumbnails-

1. Do you have a Quality Image?

Youtube is now easily accessible from multiple devices such as Laptops, Mobile phones, Television, tablets, etc., each of which has different screen dimensions. To avoid the blurry thumbnails on each screen, it is recommended you make your thumbnails of adequate size to maintain its high quality throughout the platforms.  Take into account the specifications for each device, such as maximum upload size (i.e 1280 * 720 px), minimum size (i.e 640 * 360 px), maximum file size (i.e 2MB) and the aspect ratio (i.e 16:9). 

As a viewer, you will not click on a dull quality thumbnail, will you?

2. Is your subject easy to recognise?

Having a clear picture that gives an overview of the video is very effective. As thumbnail displays are small on a smartphone, it is harder for the viewers to grasp the details through the wide shot image. Therefore the closeups images for the subject is much more powerful for a video thumbnails than a wide shot. Along with being easier to view, these closeup shots build interest and curiosity in the viewer for the content. 

3. Humans read humans easily

We tend to see faces in every corner of the world. It is a known fact that a human brain gets naturally intrigued on faces. It is not likely that when you look at a meal and you will find it to stare back at you. But when you see a person enjoying that cheesy piece of pizza, it makes you want it to. 

When putting a face in the thumbnail, it endorses the feeling of attachment. People tend to find a connection with familiar faces. To build a strong thumbnail, choose a picture that conveys emotion, an image that contains the action shots so that the viewer can get an idea of what that person is about to do. It makes people curious about what will happen now.

4. Colours play an important role

You might have done it too. You scroll onto 20 videos and from that, your eyes will be caught onto one. One will be something intriguing to your eyes. 

Colours play an important role in grasping the attention of the viewer. Using colours that do not complement the content makes the thumbnails just bland. But the ones that are contrasting to each other are more highlighted. Colour can also be played around as it relates to emotion and has meaning. For example, the yellow colour can be easily spotted. It denotes brightness, energy, freshness, etc that instantaneously catches the eye of the viewer.  Yellow colour in the thumbnail will definitely stop the eye and people will psychologically be bent towards your content. Depending on the nature of the content, you will be able to choose the right colour to deliver that emotion.

5. The Rule of thirds- an artistic approach!

Implementing the rule of thirds to display the components of the thumbnail such as a face, text, image and the subject makes the thumbnail well balanced. It is just like a grid of tic-tac-toe, in which the components should be placed properly on the 4 intersecting points of the line. This method is highly recommended as this makes thumbnails easy to grasp and decipher. It will help to get the attention of the viewer on the essential components so as to generate their interests to know more and thus urging them to click the video. An imbalanced and jumbled thumbnail will not only create confusion but also not give the brief message of what it wants to convey and result in viewers ignoring it.

6. What and How of your Text

Not everything can be communicated through the image. Text can help to highlight the focus words. As adding text is vital to give the verbal meaning, it is important to avoid too much text in a small thumbnail. The intend is to give brief information so as to attract the viewers, but too much text-text will just lose the interest and its attractiveness. Keeping the limit of 6 words can be efficient to maintain the balance. The text should also be bold and strong being easy to read. One thing that is not known to many is that fonts play an important role in influencing the tone of thumbnails. For example, the SANS-SERIF font gives a modern & business-like attitude, SCRIPT font communicates sophistication & elegance and SERIF fonts presents the traditional & simple style. Choose your text and fonts wisely depending on the type of content.

7. Consistency in your visual identity

To make sure the audience remembers you, consistency in the presentation should be maintained. Once the audience is familiar with your design, they will click the video as they know it is you. This is what can be called as the branding of a thumbnail. It should consist of elements such as Logo, a particular set of fonts, style of faces or emojis and the colour of overlays & schemes. Remember to keep the same style for every thumbnail so the audience can tell which are part of your brand.

Just as the movie poster or a book cover, thumbnails converse by giving a brief idea on what you will experience. Madison Miller, a beauty and lifestyle influencer, mentions that creative and bright thumbnails help to skyrocket views. Also in search-based content, thumbnails play an important role in increasing the click rate. The main purpose of a thumbnail is to get you interested enough to click on the video. These tips mentioned are easy to take action on and will effectively contribute to better viewership. To Know more visit Confluencr.

Did you give attention to your thumbnail yet?? Let us know at hello@confluencr.com. Drop an email to us and let’s build a click-worthy thumbnail together.