We’re a company that is geared towards creating products that answer to your business’ needs. One of the constant frustrations our customers have had with YouTube is that they can’t customize the thumbnail images of their videos. YouTube only provides you with three thumbnail options, and the three they provide you with are the only options you get.
Of course, if you have 2,000 plus subscribers on your YouTube channel, YouTube will finally allow you to customize your thumbnail image. But that doesn’t help out the small to medium sized business’ out there, or even the large ones that don’t push their users to subscribe to their YouTube channel. Customizing your YouTube thumbnail image can greatly increase the total number of video views. Not only that, but if your thumbnail image clearly explains what your video is about, those that do watch it are more likely to engage with and enjoy your content. Imagine all the users that would have enjoyed watching your video, but skipped it since they weren’t sure what the video was about!
Your custom thumbnail image will only show up within the VuePlus player. If you use the default YouTube player, YouTube will display one of the three thumbnail images you picked when you uploaded the video to YouTube. But if you use the VuePlus player to embed your video throughout the web, your custom thumbnail image will be displayed for all to see. It’s important that I mention this because YouTube won’t allow us to modify the actual thumbnail image that YouTube uses. YouTube won’t allow you to modify your thumbnail image because they’re affraid you’ll abuse the system to get more clicks showing thumbnails un-related to what your video is about. While that’s a valid concern, deciding to to block you from using custom thumbnail images instead of providing a filtering/banning system for those that abuse the system isn’t the right way of doing this. Luckily, VuePlus has your back!
Lets take a quick look at how simple and effective this process is. You can add a custom thumbnail when you create a new video, and you can also add a custom thumbnail to an existing video you have already added. In this example, I’m going to modify a video I already added to the My Videos page in VuePlus.
Once on the My Videos page, find the video you’d like to add a custom thumbnail to and click on the “Edit Video” button.
Once the wizard appears allowing you to edit your video, you’ll notice there’s a “Custom Thumbnail” step showing in the wizard progress indicator.
Continue through the wizard until your reach the step that allows you to customize your thumbnail image. At this point you will be presented with a mock-up of the video player along with the current thumbnail YouTube provides.
Doesn’t look that great so far. The user would have no idea what this video is about since the thumbnail YouTube provides doesn’t explain anything about our video. You have a couple of options here for picking a default thumbnail. One option is to play through your video and select a frame within that video that you think would make a good thumbnail image. Pause the video there and then use your favorite screen capture tool on your computer to grab a screenshot of your screen. Cut everything out of that screenshot until only your video frame is showing and save that as an image (jpg or png is best). You can then upload that to VuePlus as your custom YouTube thumbnail image.
Even better, is to use a tool like Photoshop to create a custom thumbnail image with text that explains a bit more about your video. Be sure to limit the text to only a few words as thumbnails usually show at a very small size and lots of text would be hard to read. For this example, I created the following thumbnail image:
Now it’s time to upload that image to VuePlus so that we can use that as our custom thumbnail. On the Custom Thumbnail step of the Edit Video wizard, I’m going to click on the “Choose File” button to select the thumbnail image I just created. After doing that, the image is automatically uploaded and the mock-up video player will refresh to show my new thumbnail.
All that’s left is completing the the wizard by clicking the “Next” button until you reach the end of the wizard, and then clicking the “Finish” button to save your changes. Now you have a custom thumbnail image that better explains what your video is about. Check out the improvement a custom thumbnail provided us in this example:
This feature is free to use for anyone. If you’re not already registered to use VuePlus, you can register for free here. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!