Let’s go through typical video thumbnail errors that prevent content from becoming an audience favorite.

This is our last article on the role of video thumbnails and headlines. In a previous article on what is CTR on YouTube, we presented criteria for creating good thumbnails. It’s time to go through them in practice.

Remember that a good video icon is created with one or several items:

  1. a recognizable plot; 
  2. an interesting or intriguing thumbnail; 
  3. understandable components and lack of visual noise; 
  4. memorable and attractive focus points; 
  5. appropriate and readable text.

It’s pretty simple: No beautiful and clear video thumbnail – no views. 

For viable videos, it’s essential to create aesthetically attractive thumbnails. Thumbnails are what attract users and stimulate clicks on the video.

Let’s analyze existing previews. For variety, let’s look at various video topics.

Text on the Thumbnail

Examples of successful video thumbnails:

On all banners, the phrase is located organically enough. The viewer can read the text, and the proposals themselves don’t interfere with the image but only complement it. 

Examples of weak thumbnails:

Errors: 1) Unreadable text (the white font disappears on the background). 2) Too much text on the thumbnail, plus it appears on the inscription of the package. 3) The small text block font makes it unreadable and therefore uninformative.

Focus and Accent Points

Examples of successful video thumbnails:

The thumbnail authors took care of the audience by emphasizing the main points. As you can see, it’s enough to designate the desired object on the preview with an arrow to help the viewer understand what will be discussed in the video.

Examples of non-informative thumbnails:

The first thumbnail seems to be created as clickbait since an unremarkable object is marked to simply attract attention. We advise you not to create previews where the content does not correlate with the thumbnail and title; viewers will simply stop watching your videos. The second and third thumbnails are overloaded with a large number of frames, arrows, and phrases.

Get Viewers Interested 

The ASMR trend is quite popular, and it’s important to highlight your videos among thousands of similar ones. For example, the second thumbnail does not directly show what the blogger will talk about (as in most cases), but makes it possible for the viewer to guess what will happen in the video.

The Presence of Large Details, Clear and Understandable components, and No Visual Noise

Examples of successful video thumbnails:

Each thumbnail has a clear plot. In particular, the second one has visible dynamics and script. These thumbnails make it possible to decide whether to watch a video in just a few seconds.

It’s important that thumbnail authors show main characters and their emotions. 

Examples of weak thumbnails: 

The first thumbnail does not have enough dynamics. It would be great to add the trajectory of the ball. The thumbnail in the middle is uninformative; the viewer cannot understand what the content is about. The last thumbnail is the least successful; since there is no storyline, and no main characters, it’s difficult to catch and interpret what is happening.

Harmonious Color Scheme 

Examples of successful video thumbnails:

Use no more than three colors to not to create a repulsive impression. The abundance of colors can distract from the content itself. And vice versa, a thumbnail that’s too pale can go unnoticed. The video thumbnail below should be redone a little. Perhaps if you removed the geometric shapes the picture would be more harmonious. 

Summary: it’s worth highlighting common errors by creators when creating video thumbnails:

  • Adding a video frame instead of creating a thumbnail
  • Non-compliance with the mandatory technical conditions of YouTube
  • The thumbnail does not display the contents of the video
  • Busy thumbnails
  • Lack of a plot
  • Incorrectly placed components that create a feeling of chaos
  • Errors in the text: blocked pictures, unreadable phrases, busy thumbnails
  • Video icons that are too pale or with too much contrast

While reading this article, some of your videos with unfinished previews lost views. Instead, they could be gaining views and helping you get into recommended videos. 

Read the previous article to find out what will happen to the video if you increase the thumbnail CTR by at least 2%.