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Increase engagement with a video thumbnail

Your guide to creating effective video thumbnails that increase click through rates and engage your audience.

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Boost views with video email

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Video thumbnails are an essential part of creating video content. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about thumbnails. We’ll guide you through what a video thumbnail is, how to change video thumbnail, what sizes they should be, and when to use them. We’ll also go over some of these topics in more detail:

  • What is a video thumbnail?
  • What to include in a video thumbnail
  • How to make video thumbnails
  • Using Covideo to create thumbnail from video
  • What is the standard video thumbnail size?
  • Video thumbnails for Youtube


What is a video thumbnail?

Thumbnails are essentially just still images that act as a ‘cover photo’ for a video. The pictures used for a thumbnail are usually a video still and can be used to identify or index that video. Video thumbnails are oftentimes a preview of the video and can give the audience some insight into what to expect when watching that video. Many people compare video thumbnails to book covers. Both of these ‘covers’ can help give an idea of what the content is about and can even intrigue a viewer or a reader to that content. When you add cover photo to video assets, you are creating a thumbnail!

But why do thumbnails actually matter? What purpose do they serve? An effective video thumbnail should be able to improve clickthrough rates and increase the number of people who click on your video to watch it. A good thumbnail should actually make you want to watch that video. There are a couple of different elements that can go into making a good thumbnail. An effective thumbnail should be clean, professional, and engaging. You can even take advantage of movement and turn a video thumbnail into an animated GIF to really capture the attention of a viewer. Typically, when creating a video thumbnail, you have the option to choose a video still from your video, but the best video thumbnails are customizable. But how do you actually add thumbnail to video content? Keep reading to find out!


What to include in a video thumbnail

Most of the time, you need to use a video thumbnail when you want your content to stand out amongst other content. This is important when using platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, where there are a lot of choices and content to choose from to watch. An engaging Facebook video thumbnail or an interesting Instagram video thumbnail can make a big difference in viewership. Video thumbnail Youtube choices can also have a large effect on your YouTube channel. Your video thumbnail is like a first impression of your video, so you want to use it to sell yourself. Some common elements to include in your thumbnail are:

  • Short headlines to highlight the main subject of the video
  • An engaging image of the main individual speaking in the video – this person can either be smiling, waving, or showcasing an engaging facial expression
  • Your company’s logo to add more context to the video


We’ve also listed a few more tips and tricks that can help your videos stand out amongst other videos. These tips include:

  • Using color – Pick colors that are on brand or part of your brand’s color scheme, this can tie your video content and other brand content together to create a more professional look
  • Include people’s faces – Picking an intriguing image of the main subject can be a lot more engaging for a viewer
  • Text optimization – keep your text short, clear, concise, and bold to capture your viewer’s attention
  • Find your style – If you’re producing videos regularly, keep your video thumbnails consistent and follow a set theme so that they can all work together and eventually help you create some brand recognition


How to make video thumbnails

There are a few different ways to go about creating video thumbnails. The amount of time and detail that goes into creating your thumbnail will vary depending on how you’re going to use your video. For example, if you’re creating video content for social media, you may want to create a custom video thumbnail, for which you’ll need a quality thumbnail maker. On the other hand, if you’re recording short personalized videos for sales, or business, then you can use an automatic video thumbnail generator with a platform like Covideo. We’ve listed a couple of additional options for creating thumbnails:

  • Use a video thumbnail maker – Sites likes YouTube, PicMonkey, and Crello can be used to create thumbnails for your videos.
  • Create your own – This is the best option for any type of video usage. Creating your own video thumbnail online using a design platform like Photoshop or Canva can make a big difference in thumbnail quality. This way, you can tailor your video to be exactly how you want it.
  • Video platform – Video platforms like Covideo that can help you record, send, and track video emails can also help you create animated video thumbnails to capture the attention of your viewers.


Create thumbnail from video with Covideo

Covideo is the #1 video messaging platform that helps you record, send, and track video messages through many different platforms. Covideo can be used across different platforms and industries and can help you send interactive and engaging video emails, it can help you create custom video content for your brand, and can also add animated thumbnails to your videos! With Covideo, you can embed video with thumbnail into the body of an email. This catches an audience’s attention and helps to engage them. This is why a captivating video thumbnail is so important.

With Covideo, once you record your video, it will automatically generate a video thumbnail for your video using the first frame. This way, you don’t even need to learn how to add a thumbnail to your video. Sometimes though, the first frame isn’t going to be the most flattering image to use, so we recommend that you change video thumbnails for your content to an animated gif. This will then use the first 5 seconds of your video as the thumbnail. For best results, we recommend smiling and waving at the start of your video. This will create movement that will engage your viewers and encourage them to click and watch.


What is the standard video thumbnail size?

Before you learn how to put a thumbnail on a video, you want to make sure you have the correct size thumbnail for your content. The size of your thumbnail is important because if the aspect ratio is off, then some of your thumbnail may get cut off. If this happens, this can make your content look unprofessional and will drastically affect clickthrough rates. We encourage individuals to check and make sure your video and thumbnail are optimized for all devices so that they look the same whether your video is viewed on phones, tablets, laptops, or computers. We’ve listed some standard thumbnail sizes for the following platforms:

  • Youtube thumbnail size – The standard YouTube video thumbnail size is 1280 x 720.
  • Facebook thumbnail size – For Facebook, video thumbnails should also be 1280 x 720.


Increase views with video thumbnails

YouTube is typically the most commonly used platform for video content. On a given page, there are hundreds of videos to choose from, so creating a video thumbnail for YouTube is very important. You can use a YouTube thumbnail maker or a YouTube thumbnail template to make sure your image is up to par. There are so many options that can help you create a video thumbnail – YouTube allows you to upload video thumbnails and therefore gives you the opportunity to use these generators to your advantage.

If you’re creating more one-off personal videos to send via email or text, then using a video email platform that auto generates a thumbnail is definitely the avenue to go. It makes it quick, efficient, and even embeds a captivating video thumbnail into your messages. Try using a platform like Covideo to do exactly that! With Covideo, you can use video recording software free of charge with all of our standard features to see what it’s all about. Start a free trial to kickstart using animated video thumbnails; no credit card required! Learn more about our demo now!


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