One of the first elements Youtube users notice (or look at) are the video thumbnails. Thumbnails are the small “still” screenshots of the video which usually give some kind of indication of the content contained within the video.
The mistake that many Youtube publishers make which can cost them a lot of views is not choosing the BEST thumbnail available to them.
On your video settings page you are offered a choice of 3 video thumbnails to choose from. Youtube picks these randomly, usually one near the start of your video, one near the middle and one near the end. There is no gaurantee that any of these will be suitable but at least the option is there for you to choose “which one is best”.
So, What Should You Choose?
You should choose something that makes the view ‘intrigued’. That leaves them guessing what is goin to follow on from that “still”.
If for example you have a video of someone slipping over and falling into a muddy puddle (a poor example) then you wouldn’t want to show a close of of someones face. Ideally you would want a thumbnail showing the person ‘mid fall’. So it is a kind of action shot, leaving the viewer wondering what exactly happened to the person in the video.
You need to DRAW them in and get them to click.
Choosing A Custom Thumbnail
It is possible to choose a custom Youtube video thumbnail. All you need to do is join Youtubes partner programme and that option will be made available to you.
Instead of just having the three random thumbnail images to choose from you will see an option to the right hand side of them to choose a ‘Custom thumbnail’, which is ANY frame from your video.
Experiment with your video settings (thumbnails) and see your video views increase as more and more people click through.
If you haven’t yet downloaded my FREE Youtube tag extractor software you can do so by entering your email address into the opt-in box in the top right hand corner of this screen.