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Great First Impressions: Creating Video Thumbnails That Grab Viewers

September 15, 2014

It might seem shallow, but in the online video world looks are everything. People decide within seconds whether or not your video is worth watching. What your video’s thumbnail conveys is a big factor in that viewing décision – and during searches on Google and other search engines, video thumbnails are the top driver of viewers to a video. Think of video thumbnails as mini-marketing posters for your video. No matter how useful or great your video is, people won’t know unless they actually click on the thumbnail to start watching.

Here are a few suggestions on how to create that captivating image.

1) THINK OF THUMBNAILS DURING YOUR SHOOT (NOT JUST IN EDITING)
While you’re filming your video, it’s vital to take great still shots. Don’t rely on getting screen captions during the edit, especially if your video is interview based. You’ll end up with lots of awkward shots of the subject with his or her lips in various unattractive positions. Take some great portraits during the shoot – ones that can also hint at the content within.

2) CREATE A MOVIE POSTER

You don’t have to stick solely with the raw images shot during production. Using a design program to combine images, add a title or illustrations will make images that can sell your video just like a movie poster does.

3) FEATURE YOUR BRAND

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Bugs (small logos onscreen) and branding are an important chance to promote your brand and also build a video reputation. When viewers see your brand or bug onscreen, they’ll know these are videos they trust and want to see.

4) ENTICE VIEWERS TO SEE MORE
Use images that hint at the video’s content. You don’t necessarily have to use an image from the video. It can even be a bit of created magic that sells the mood or tone of the video.

5) TEXT OR NO TEXT?
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Usually the title of the video should tell it all. But some brands use text as part of their series look, like this dog training series. If you’re going this route, be succinct. Three to five words is the maximum. Make sure the text stands out from the background and is big enough to read on all devices.

6) CONSISTENCY
If your thumbnails have a consistent look, your fans can find them more easily on search engines. How do you maintain a style? Keep the look of your thumbnails within a colour palette, stick to a style of font, lay-out and other visuals elements that make your brand recognizable and stand out for the crowd.

LAST BIT OF ADVICE
Be sure to preview the thumbnail in the actual size that it will be seen on peoples’ devices. While small text or a mosaic can look great in full screen on your laptop, it can become indecipherable when it’s literally the size of your thumbnail on an Android phone.

We’re always happy to coach clients on how to make the most of their videos before, during and after creation . Contact us for more information!

This article was posted on September 15, 2014 at 19:40 in the Corporate category.

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