Much has been written and discussed on creating a proper thumbnail for your videos. We've discussed optimizing custom thumbnails before, but only recently did it become something everyone could do. Thumbnails are your "magazine covers," your initial impulse as to whether a viewer will be interested. They not only need to be enticing, though, they need to accurately describe what a viewer will see in the video, or at least not outright lie about it. Thumbnails are like content itself, where certain triggers: sexy, funny, outrageous, etc., will sell the video and get people clicking.
5 Tips for More Engaging YouTube Video Thumbnails
1. Make the Thumbnail Enticing. Be sure you create custom thumbnails that are interesting enough that you would want to click on it. This is you being objective about your work: would you want to watch this?
2. Select an Image with Action. You just standing there with a dull expression on your face won't do: you need something that expresses fun, and doing that involves capturing an image that shows action.
3. Choose an Image that Explains Your Video. Nothing gets people clicking "dislike" more, and causing your search results to go down, than showing say, a scantily-clad woman on your thumbnail and there's nothing about scantily-clad women in the video. Those are the kinds of videos you run across that have a long red line underneath the likes/dislikes.
4. Include Text on Your Image. Yes, action is important. But sometimes it doesn't quite sell someone on what the video is. Try to come up with a short phrase, hopefully three words or less, that describe the contents in an exciting way that you can plaster onto the image without obscuring the image. Here's a good one:
5. Choose an Image that Stands on It's Own. Similar to number three, you want an image that can give viewers a good idea what your video might be about even if you don't include text. This is important because when related videos come up at the end of a video, they won't include titles, so your image really needs to convey your topic.
QUESTION: What tips do you have for video thumbnails that drive more views?