How to make a video thumbnail for Reels & Youtube shorts

 "You never have a second chance to create a first impression," as the saying goes. A video thumbnail is the first impression a viewer has of your video.

A good video thumbnail might mean the difference between thousands and a few hundred views.  But how do you know what constitutes a decent thumbnail, and how do you go about making one?  Glad you asked!  Let's walk through it.

What you'll learn is as follows:

  • What are video thumbnails, and how do you use them?
  • What is the significance of video thumbnails?
  • The basic components of a good video thumbnail.
  • There are four different ways to make your thumbnails stand out.

 What is a video thumbnail, exactly?

A video thumbnail is a picture that serves as the video's preview image. It reminds me of a magazine cover.  And like any good magazine cover, it'll let you know what to expect when you take a look inside. 

Why should I create a thumbnail?

When it comes to your intended audience, deciding whether or not to watch your video, a well designed thumbnail gives them just enough information.  Always remember that a  compelling thumbnail entice will entice  your followers to stop.

Another reason to create your thumbnail is this:  No matter how many pauses you take, the platform always seems to choose that one photo with your face looking like you or your guest speaker, saw a ghost, lol.  Oh, just me?  Okay then? 🤣

What makes a great thumbnail?

A really good thumbnail, should tell your viewer exactly what they'll see when they decide to watch your video.

It will be titled in such a way that the viewer automatically knows that it is for them, either by calling them what they want to be, like a SuperMom or by solving a problem for them.  ex: 3 ways to take the perfect selfie.

It should also show your face in a relatable way.  Think:  surprise, thinking, shock or some type of emotion that will grab a visitors attention.

The font should be clear and readable.  I know you know this but just in case.

And last but not least, you need to brand the thumbnail.  This could mean that you use company colors in the background or in your text, add a logo or be dressed in company colors.

Creating  thumbnails doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little creativity and the right tools you can easily create engaging and visually appealing thumbnails that will encourage people to watch your Reels.

Do you find these tips for creating great Reels thumbnails helpful?  Follow me on Instagram @EventsAndIdeas and let's talk about it! 

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