It’s surprising how influential the thumbnail graphic can be when it comes to getting people to click on your video. That’s why it’s much better to choose your own thumbnail image when uploading to YouTube or Vimeo, rather than letting the service pick a random one for you.
Here’s an excerpt from my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book that explains how to create the perfect thumbnail image in three steps.
“One of the easiest ways to get more views is by having an appealing thumbnail image. When you upload a video, YouTube usually selects three screen grabs from which you can select the thumbnail. The problem is that it’s likely that none of these provide an image that instantly tells the potential viewer much about your video.
The good thing is that you can use a customized image as the thumbnail instead of the selections made by YouTube or Vimeo. Here’s what to do:
1. Find the perfect still shot. Search through your original video (the one you had before you uploaded it to YouTube) until you find that one shot that perfectly describes what the video is all about. This might be an action shot, or it could be a close-up of a face or product, or it could be anything that grabs the viewer’s attention. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s relevant to the video. When you’ve found it, export it as a jpeg or PNG image, or even take a screen grab.
2. Add text. Use an image editor like Photoshop, Pixelmator, GIMP or even Preview to add text to identify the video. Make sure that the text is large enough to read easily on a small screen found on a smartphone. The file size should be less than 2MB.
3. Click on the Custom Thumbnail icon (shown in the graphic on the right) and upload. This can be found on the Info and Settings page, which is accessible from the first icon (the first one) at the bottom of the video viewer. Viewers will now see your custom thumbnail.”
You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.