The Importance Of YouTube Thumbnails
In this post I want to over the importance of YouTube thumbnails. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about thumbnails and instead of answering each one of you individually I’m going to give you this article.
YouTube thumbnails are extremely important! I’m going to prove to you why and I’m going to show you how to make great thumbnails that will promote your channel.
Why Are YouTube Thumbnails Important?
First of all, why are thumbnails are important? Well, because your YouTube channel is a brand. Our life is surrounded by thousands and thousands of brands.
We have a brand for every little thing we do. For a toothbrush, for a car, for a TV, clothing, food, etc. There’s tens of thousands of brands everywhere around us but on a daily basis we choose to utilize certain brands over and over and over again.
Now that’s not an arbitrary selection process, that doesn’t just happen by accident, it’s not an accidental choice. We choose to use brands that trigger an emotional response from us even if it’s only in our brain.
When we feel that emotional attachment to a brand then we’re likely to use that brand and choose that brand over the other brands. Same thing goes for YouTube.
You have to understand that every single channel out there is a brand and you’re competing with other brands. The view time is limited, you’re competing with everybody on YouTube for a very short attention span.
People work harder these days, people get less leisure time and they’re OCD as hell. Think of the great channels out there, these are the channels that will manage to build the brand that has an emotional attachment with their viewer.
Until you get an emotional connection with your viewers and with your subscribers your brand is not going to be strong enough to generate a viewership base that’s gonna take your channel forward. At some point your channel needs to grow on its own.
It’s okay that you promote your videos now but at some point you need to have a big enough subscriber base and returning subscriber base that takes the snowball effect and makes your channel grow on its own.
Building Your Brand
In order to get this you must build your brand and the only way to establish your brand is to make an emotional connection with the potential subscriber, with the viewer, with the current subscriber.
The thumbnail is the face of your brand but think about when you go into the supermarket. Your brand is on the shelf, the product has a label, the product has the package and you see that package and that’s your moment of meeting the brand.
At that moment you must make the decision to choose that brand over the other. To choose Tide over its competitors, at that moment you need to make the decision to choose that brand over the others and there’s a split second for this to happen.
That’s why companies invest billions of dollars into packaging and into labeling. The thumbnail is the packaging and labeling of your channel.
That’s the only chance you have to get the consumer, the customer, the potential subscriber to click on your video versus the other videos in your category.
Now think about having a bad thumbnail basically denying yourself from the opportunity to build your brand. By not having good thumbnails you’re not promoting your brand, you’re depriving yourself from the only opportunity you have to build the brand with your viewers.
Here’s an example with the detergent. Imagine Tide has a detergent but every single bottle is with a different color, a different logo with a different color scheme with different fonts. That’s ridiculous.
Setting Up Your YouTube Thumbnails
Now think about you having thumbnails with different colors, different fonts, different color schemes that completely look different from each other.
Now you understand why it’s ridiculous, now you understand why it’s important to have thumbnails that look identical to each other. Not the same thumbnail but have the same color scheme and the same font.
Now let’s get down to the most important part. Unlike products like Tide you are most likely the brand that you are trying to promote.
Unless you put your face on the thumbnail you’re not pushing the most critical element of your brand to the front of the packaging to invoke that emotional reaction from the consumer.
Why do successful YouTubers have their face in their thumbnails? Their face is there because they are the brand and you have to have the strongest feature of your brand on your packaging and your packaging in a YouTube channel is the thumbnail.
So to have their face plastered all over the thumbnail is not something they do by accident. They do it on purpose and that drives the attention, that drives their brand awareness and recognition. That is the importance of YouTube thumbnails.
Furthermore human beings are genetically programmed to have an emotional connection and the reaction to a human face versus anything else is obvious.
Let’s say you have a thumbnail with a beautiful design of geometric shapes and 3d forms and then you have a face of a human being smiling. Your eye will automatically be genetically programmed to look at the person’s face versus any other shapes or forms or designs.
This whole thing brings me to the following conclusion which I really need you to hear and people pay a lot of money for this advice. Your thumbnail is the gateway to your customers, to your viewers, to subscribers.
That’s why your thumbnails are the face of your brand, that’s why your thumbnails all have to look in the same brand language. Okay, what does it mean having the same brand language?
There is a software called Thumbnail Blaster that I use for all my thumbnails. It comes with many already created templates you can choose from. Thumbnail Blaster makes it quick and easy to create your thumbnails.
Thumbnails Are The Face Of Your Brand
That means every single thumbnail that you have needs to have the same color scheme. Use three or four colors. I recommend red, green, white, yellow or black. I don’t recommend using any other colors.
Make sure every single thumbnail has these colors and no other colors and that the formatting of the colors is in the same manner. Make sure your face is on the thumbnail as much as possible.
Your face will trigger this immediate recognition and emotional reaction from your viewer and get to click on your video. The fastest way to get a reaction or recognition with your thumbnail is by having your face on that thumbnail.
Just go and check the huge Youtubers, check their thumbnails and you’ll see that what I’m saying is right. Now there’s a few other rules to thumbnail making but just keep in mind that most viewers are on mobile devices.
You have to optimize the thumbnail for mobile devices versus desktops, that’s just one little trick. The other trick is to make sure you always leave that lower right corner open for the timestamp. Nothing should be there.
Learn more about: Building and Branding Your Social Media Marketing
The Importance Of YouTube Thumbnails – Conclusion
Getting started building your YouTube channel takes time but if you provide valuable content and great thumbnails you’ll be well on your way. If you already have videos up take this advice, give it a couple of weeks and then you’ll start seeing the improvement.
I hope this post has shown you the importance of YouTube thumbnails and was helpful. Make sure to leave a comment and share with your friends. Check out some of my other articles that will help you shorten your learning curve.