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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The Number One thing you can do in Video Marketing

photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.com
photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.com

This is a quick blurb. It won’t take me very long to share this best bit of Video Marketing wisdom. It also happens to be the same wisdom that exists for all adventures and activities in life that are worth while.

You ready?

Start.

Yup.

That’s not me starting my blog, that’s me telling YOU to START.

THAT’S the biggest and best thing you can do! What do they say, an ounce of action is woth a pound of ton of theory? (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Don’t know how to do it? Doesn’t matter, I know you can figure out, just START. Pick up your phone, turn it to selfie and start talking. That was awful? What was awful about it? Delete it and fix what you didn’t like.  Or don’t, and post it to Instagram live. Sign yourself up for YouTube. Sign yourself up for Vimeo. Watch a tutorial. OR DON’T. Just think about what you want to share with the world and your clients, talk about it, and film yourself doing so. THEN figure out which tutorials you need. As you do it, your videos will get better. You’ll figure out how to make or buy a logo or intro. You’ll know exactly what to look up when you have something to play with and figure out how you want to adjust it. There are video editors EVERYWHERE. They come equipt on most computers, you can buy apps on your phone and Youtube even has an editing platform.

Another thing they say is, “You can’t steer a parked car.” (Michael Hyatt?) In this case, you have to start doing the STUFF to get better at the STUFF.

Like anything you first begin, it will be rough. That’s just a part of the learning curve and life, really.

But it will be worth it, you’ve seen the statistics.

“Well begun is half done.” (Aristotle)

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” (Mark Twain)

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step.” (Lao Tzu)

Etc Etc. You get me.

Just do it, okay?

 

 

 

 

 

And always, if you REALLY don’t wanna do it yourself, you can hire me. Just throwing that out there.

 

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