// Learn how to add a thumbnail to your YouTube videos using your Mobile phone (iPhone or Android device). A tutorial to help you add, upload and change thumbnails for any video on your channel with the YouTube Studio App.
You’ve probably heard this phrase plenty times – “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Though these are words to live by, it is often the most neglected advice.
Every day, every minute, every second, your videos are judged by their thumbnails. In fact, video thumbnail plays a very important role in encouraging viewers to hit the PLAY button.
With so many videos on the Internet competing for attention, a video thumbnail can determine whether your video is watched or ignored.
Here are few points to keep in mind when you select a thumbnail for your video:
1. Add text to represent your video content
Your thumbnail should convey your viewer what they’re going to see in the video. This is why it should sync with the title, description and the content of the video.
A good tip is to include some text in your thumbnails. Platforms like Facebook have a restriction on the amount of text you can put into a video thumbnail, so keep that in mind!
In fact, you can also include some hashtags in the thumbnail. Compare the views of this Jimmy Falon video to others:
As someone who regularly watches videos on different platforms, I request you to avoid using click-bait video thumbnails. This causes a lot of annoyance to the viewer and give out a ‘cheating’ vibe. And this is not good for your brand.
In the not so distant future, platforms like YouTube and Facebook can slowly start identifying such users using machine learning, and start penalising them.
2. Make it visually appealing
Impress your audience at first sight. Use the right color palette, but also make sure it doesn’t end up too gaudy and bright. You can use some image editing tools like Pixlr to enhance the colors by editing the image’s saturation and by using hue filters.
Tubular Insights claim that something as simple as sharpening the edges can have also a subliminal effect on your thumbnail!
3. Include a human face to build an emotional connect
This usually makes people click you video because it makes them feel more connected. Once that connection is made, viewers are more likely to watch the entire video.
If possible, use a close-up shot because it helps the image stand out, irrespective of the device it is being viewed on. Look at the views on these BuzzFeed videos:
Tip: Based on what emotion your video is trying to evoke, use a face that exaggerates this emotion!
4. Brand your thumbnails
Given the real estate of the thumbnail, it can become difficult to add your brand’s logo. But try to include it whenever you can. This ensures your video stands out in a collection/list, and helps the viewer identify your content.
Have a look at the Vice YouTube channel:
5. Run A/B tests
Well planned A/B experiments will improve the performance of your videos almost instantly, so don’t ignore this valuable strategy!
Blog post inspired by Rocketium