Posting an insightful, well-produced video can add a whole new dimension to the experience of people visiting your website. However, for producing this result, the video itself is only part of the equation – you must also make clear that the video is there and why people should watch it.
Even diligent efforts to shoot a video could prove largely wasteful if you simply cobble together its thumbnail rather than meticulously tailor it to maximise attention it draws from your site’s visitors.
Apply your usual branding to the thumbnail
In your video, your brand should be front and centre, albeit not to the point that it distracts from the video’s purpose of being genuinely helpful and informative. You should take a similar approach to the thumbnail, making sure that you are sticking to your brand’s usual fonts, colours and style.
This is especially worthwhile if the video will be posted to a popular platform like YouTube, where it will feature close to other videos, before being embedded into your site rather than posted directly to it.
Give people an exciting teaser of what to expect
As the thumbnail could make or break whether the video gets viewed, there’s a lot you need to fit into that little image… if it actually is an image. There’s nothing wrong with making the thumbnail itself a video, especially if will play automatically, as it can on Facebook and LinkedIn feeds.
For the best results, consider turning your video’s first few seconds into an animated thumbnail, allowing you to give that thumbnail much of the succinct appeal of an animated GIF.
Avoid making your video look “salesy”
Your thumbnail will be small and, if on a widely-used video portal like the previously mentioned YouTube, have to compete with many other thumbnails for attention. Hence, don’t make your thumbnails look like ads; many YouTube users skip those when they play before “proper” content!
You should also pay close attention to what video thumbnails your competitors are displaying to members of your target audience – you need to come up with something truly eye-catching.
Visually categorise your videos
Problems can arise when you start building up a large library of videos and, with it, a large row or grid of thumbnails. Your site could start looking like the wall of TV screens displayed in your local Currys, but you can ward off such randomness with how you apply distinct thumbnail styles.
Perhaps “how-to” videos could always show thumbnails of a particular colour, while a separate hue could be reserved for product reveals, letting people see at a glance how videos are categorised.
Regularly post new videos with thumbnails attached
With certain videos, like product announcements and other news pieces, posting them and their thumbnails in a timely fashion can be crucial. This is one of many reasons to consider our CMS web design package, which will let you use a Content Management System to post both videos and images without having to get back in touch with us each time.