Video Glossary

Video Thumbnail

A video thumbnail is a static image that acts as a visual representation of your video.

What is a video thumbnail?

A video thumbnail is a static image that acts as a visual representation of your video. It’s typically the first thing viewers see before clicking to play your content.

Video thumbnails appear on video hosting platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Livestorm. They help viewers understand the subject of a video quickly.

A good thumbnail can increase viewer interest and drive more clicks and views. In contrast, an unappealing one can negatively affect video performance.

Why do video thumbnails matter?

Video thumbnails are an essential element of video marketing. A well-designed thumbnail gives viewers a quick preview of your video and an idea of what to expect before they watch. That sets expectations and can lead to higher retention rates.

Thumbnails can also make your video stand out from other content. An eye-catching thumbnail can grab viewers’ attention and make them more likely to click on your content, ultimately increasing views and video engagement.

How to create video thumbnails

You can create a video thumbnail using a relatively simple workflow. But making high-performing thumbnails isn’t always an easy process.

Designing thumbnails that stand out and drive views requires thought and effort. Use these tips to guide your creative workflow:

  • Choose an engaging image: Your thumbnail should accurately represent the video content while also being visually appealing. Use high-quality images that are relevant to your video topic.
  • Add a text overlay: Include a few words of text, such as the title of your video or a brief description. Text overlays give viewers more context and help them decide whether to click.
  • **Pick colors carefully: **Choose colors that stand out on video hosting platforms. When in doubt, use your brand colors or select contrasting colors that make text overlays easy to read quickly.
  • Keep the design simple: Avoid cluttering your thumbnail with too much information or too many images. Clean and simple designs are easier for viewers to process at a quick glance.
  • Test and optimize: To find what works best for your video content, test different designs or color palettes. Use video analytics to see what drives the best results.
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How to add a thumbnail to a video

Most video hosting platforms let you upload custom thumbnails for each video. Here's how to add a thumbnail to your videos:

  • In the video settings, select the option to upload a custom thumbnail.
  • Choose the image you want to use as your thumbnail and upload it.
  • Adjust the thumbnail size and position if needed.
  • Save your changes and publish your video.

Keep in mind that some platforms have specific guidelines for thumbnail sizes and aspect ratios. Check these specifications before designing and uploading thumbnails.


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