PLEASE DEAR GOD choose “Custom Thumbnail”

Which would you click on?

A few (several?) weeks ago I posted a blog called “5 Things to consider while uploading your video”. And I cannot believe myself that I forgot to talk about Custom Thumbnails. D’OH!

I think it’s okay, because “custom thumbnails” really should have its own blog anyway. So there.

A thumbnail is the image you see a video as when you are scrolling on your screen.

These are the book covers for the video

If you’ve spent ANY time on the internet interacting with videos, you might have noticed that sometimes, this cover image  NEVER even appears in the video.

Back in the day, this confused me. I’d be waiting for the introduction picture to flash because back in the day, for Youtube anyway, the “custom thumbnails” were just a still that you got to PICK from your video as opposed to something you could upload. But things change and I digress.

The thumbnail is to the book cover what the video is to the book. We all know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” YET, we also know that we tend to DO just that. The same goes with a video.

If you check out the first photo at the very beginning of this blog, which of the two videos would you click on? The first is a still that YouTube gives me as a Thumbnail, the second is a frame of the video that I chose exactly for my funny face, then added some pictures about the topic (Live streaming on Youtube) and a title, so someone has a quick overview on my subject.

If you take notice of the successful videos and videographers/video marketers/vloggers/youtubers etc etc… A majority choose a custom thumbnail.

You have the ability on most platforms to do this.

Youtube
Facebook
Instagram – although this is different because you cannot upload an edited still, you can choose from your footage what you want.

On the subject of Instagram, for one of my MOST FAVORITE videos I posted, I didn’t realize I could pick a custom still, so I didn’t. And in Instagram, you cannot go back and pick one. I think I missed out on a lot of interaction because, can you see the still it picked?

Wtf is it???

……………..

I should have picked one of these.

Wouldn’t these have been a lot more engaging?

It takes a few (sometimes more) minutes to both create a thumbnail, or to pick the correct still from your video, and to upload it, but it is SO worth it in terms of views and engagement.

Wistia, a well-known video host and video marketing company extraordinaire did a study with their videos and an audience unfamiliar with them,
using different thumbnails.

Top pic: system generated still Middle: Picked still Bottom: Customized thumbnail

“The Photoshopped thumbnail (hands) and the thumbnail we selected (Jeff) had similar play rates and a 35% improvement in play rate compared to the system-generated one. These two versions also had higher engagement rates than the one with an automatic thumbnail. Total result was an increase in total time watched of 50%.”  – Two Thumbnails Up

 

 
Wistia has data that putting a little effort into creating a thumbnail or at the very least CHOOSING  a still will increase play rates. In this case, they say a total watch time increase of 50%. I don’t know that it’s THAT much, but if so… CRAZY!

Do me a favor, upload custom thumbnails for your marketing videos. KTHX.

If you don’t want to do it as a favor for me, do it for your followers and tribe. They’re missing out on your great content because they’re a bit too hesitant to click on that blurry/out-of-focus/who-knows-what-it-is shot that you have up masquerading as a video.

Happy editing!

Katie

 

I’ve included resources below (until I make all of these myself. 😉 ) so you cannot use ignorance as an excuse for not doing it.

To enable custom thumbnails on Youtube: Click here

For how to make a custom thumbnail: Click here

For YouTube tips on custom thumbnails: Click here

Tips for creating a good custom thumbnail: Click here

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When you want to change your Facebook Business Page’s URL, do this.

Happy #TutorialTuesday everyone!

If you have a Business Fan page on Facebook, (I’m glaring at you because you better!) have you messed with your custom URL? Basically your URL or Username is what comes after the www.Facebook.com/ part to let the computer know which page we’re looking at. Especially if you’re going to put your link somewhere for people to see it and type it in it’s important to have a custom URL to make it easy and pretty. No one wants to see or type in Facebook.com/wszYlk3jyp2. Just watch this video and change your link to whatever you’d like! (as long as it’s available of course. 😉 )

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5 things to Consider Adding to your Videos while Uploading

photo by Taduuda on Unsplash.com

Okay, so you’ve done the hard work of taking and editing a video and are now going to post it. Do that, but also consider doing these five additional add-ons.

Consider adding Closed Captions/Subtitles

Not only do you broaden the audience of people who can watch your videos to those who are deaf and perhaps those that can only read English, but, statistics show there is more engagement with subtitled videos. Facebook reports that a captioned video increases view time by 12%. Not only that, but Facebook also reports that 85% of videos are viewed  without sound. For a bit of extra effort, there is a surefire way to increase your video’s engagement. Especially when Facebook autoplays videos without sound.

You can add subtitles automatically through both Facebook and YouTube, but there are also programs to allow you to create SRT files and upload them. To add subtitles to Facebook videos, click here. To Youtube, click here. Alternatively, you can add them straight to your video project as text titles.

Consider making your video a Featured Video

On your website, on your Facebook, on your YouTube… you can create a Featured Video that will be highlighted for people to watch first. If you are creating an introduction video to your company, telling an important brand story, or just want your current video to be seen longer, make it a featured video so it doesn’t get lost in your newsfeed or buried in your multitudes of 10 second videos or Lives of you eating pizza.

Facebook
Youtube

Consider creating a Call to Action

I’m probably kicking a dead horse, but, calls to action work. A call to action tells the watcher what to do next. Should they watch X video? Should they subscribe? Should they share? Should they tell a friend who ___? Should they visit your website? What is their next step. Often, telling someone what they should do prompts them to do it because it’s easy and requires no thinking beyond, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

This could be a simple line in the description of your video “Check out our website for more awesome stuff!” or, if you’ve decided to add it before uploading, it could be an easy end of video screen with text saying “Subscribe!” . If you do want more than that I would recommend  baking the CTA into your video (with audio or something visual) is a good idea. So is a hyperlink overlay, see next item.

Consider adding annotations to your videos in YouTube

If you’ve ever watched a video on Youtube and as the speaker is mentioning something you should check out, a popup appears in the video, you’ve experienced an annotation or overlay. This is done in the YouTube Video Manager section and can be a great way to create calls to action, where you give an EASY “where to go next” option (literally, all they have to do is CLICK). Whether to your featured video, to subscribe to you, promote your website or sponsor another channel, this form of Call to Action is a great one.

Additionally, you can choose to highlight what you are saying in the middle of a video. If you are mentioning a product you sell in the video, consier linking to the product right then and there so if someone feels inclined, they can explore.

Check out this article for some great ideas.

And lastly,

Consider scheduling your videos

While some may subscribe to the “add it all in bulk, get it out there” mentality, I much prefer creating in bulk, and then choosing when I want to release.  This is also a good option if you find yourself uploading your video at 3 am. While some insomniacs might see your video, it’s possible that by the time the rest of the world goes to look, it might be lost in a sea of other content.

To schedule on Youtube you must be in their Partner Program.

Alternatively, if you do like to get it up in bulk, you can use Buffer to share at your leisure.

Buffer is a great way to do this if you use YouTube to post your videos, but then share them out to Twitter or Linked-in. With Buffer (or Hootsuite or many others) you can post them NOW, but not share them on to your other sites until you choose.

Take note, if you are doing it this way, I would recommend not sharing to Facebook as the Youtube shared videos do not get as many hits as the organically uploaded to Facebook videos. This is partly because Facebook ranks their own videos better, and that Facebook videos autoplay causing more people to watch.

 

Keep inspiring!

Katie

 

(Update 03/30/17 I should have added this to this post, ag! But it is now its own post. Check out “Adding a Custom Thumbnail” here.)

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Upload a video to Facebook

Have you seen how some videos play as you scroll past in Facebook, and some you have to click to play? That is the difference between videos uploaded to Facebook, and links shared from YouTube. In this video, if you are new to social media marketing/video marketing or would just like to learn without fumbling how to upload a video directly to Facebook, here ya go!

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