Employer Brand

Why are video thumbnails important?

A video thumbnail is like the cover of a book: it's the first thing people see. Its importance is therefore paramount.

A video thumbnail is like the cover of a book: it's the first thing people see that makes them want to buy or, in the case of a video, view the content. Its importance is therefore paramount.

Have you ever been disappointed when your videos don't get the exposure you'd hoped for? Have you ever wondered why some videos capture instant interest while others go unnoticed? The answer often lies in one very important detail: video thumbnails.

What is a video thumbnail?

Video thumbnails are small images representing the content of a video. They are usually displayed alongside video titles or descriptions. They serve as previews or visual cues to help web users quickly understand the video's context. Thumbnails can contain key elements, such as text, images or graphics, that convey the video's main subject, highlight important moments or tease upcoming content. The aim is to capture the essence of the video in a single image and encourage viewers to click and interact with the content.

Why are video thumbnails important?

On platforms like YouTube or social network feeds, Internet users are bombarded with content. In this saturated digital space, an attractive, eye-catching thumbnail helps you stand out, increasing your chances of grabbing attention.

Your thumbnail is your viewers' first contact with your video. On video platforms, they are displayed prominently on the main page, alongside titles and descriptions. This prime positioning offers the opportunity to make a good first impression and differentiate your video from the competition. And why? Because, as the saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression." A carefully designed thumbnail will entice users to suspend their scrolling to explore your content.

In addition to the subject and title, the thumbnail is a key element in motivating an Internet user to watch (or not) a video. As a result, a good thumbnail will increase your CTR (click-through rate), i.e. the ratio (percentage) between the number of clicks an element receives and the number of times it is displayed (if you register 5 clicks and 100 impressions, your CTR is 5%). The good news is that click-through rate is an essential SEO indicator, as it reflects your ability to attract and engage web users.

How to make a good miniature?

Particular attention should be paid to the following points:

Add simple, catchy text

Adding text to the thumbnail is an excellent way of quickly communicating the subject of your video to viewers. Text should be short, simple and readable. To facilitate reading and comprehension, it's important to make the text stand out by using strong words and descriptive language, as well as playing with font sizes and styles.


To promote a video about creating videos with a smartphone, you can include in your thumbnail text such as "6 rules for filming with your smartphone" or "Filming with your smartphone: avoiding common mistakes".

High-quality images

To attract attention, it's essential to choose high-quality images for your thumbnails. Clear, crisp visuals make your thumbnails attractive and indicate that your video is professionally produced. Choose images that are relevant to the subject of your video. You can use a screenshot of your content or create a custom image. Colors should contrast with the background and match your brand identity as well as the mood of your video.

Pique curiosity

Creating an element of mystery or intrigue in your thumbnail can pique curiosity and encourage viewers to click. You can achieve this by displaying only a small amount of information, or by asking questions about your thumbnails.

Humanize your miniatures

Faces naturally attract attention and help to create a link between the viewer and the content. When adding a face, make sure it conveys the right emotions for your video.

Add a watermark

Adding a subtle watermark to your vignette gives your brand or company visibility. A small logo or text strategically placed on the sticker enhances brand recognition and adds a professional touch.

Choose the right size

Each platform has specific requirements for thumbnail dimensions. Selecting an appropriate thumbnail size ensures that your images appear correctly on different platforms.

  • When creating videos for YouTube, it's best to opt for a landscape format with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a size of 1280 × 720 pixels.
  • Instagram videos require a square format with a ratio of 1:1, a vertical format with a ratio of 9:16 or a landscape format with a ratio of 16:9. The recommended size for Instagram videos is 1,280 x 720, 720 x 720 or 720 x 1,280 pixels.
  • As for videos on Facebook, you can choose between a rectangular shape with a 16:9 ratio or a square shape with a 1:1 ratio, both with a size of 1280 x 720, 720 x 720 or 720 x 1280 pixels.

Think about experimenting with different approaches and analyzing the performance of your vignettes to optimize their effectiveness.

Test your video thumbnail

Before uploading your thumbnail, test the final rendering and behavior of your thumbnail. Some tools (TubeBuddy, VidIQ...) allow you not only to create and compare different variants, but also toestimate which will have the best CTR and generate the best engagement rate. Other tools (Canva, Placeit) let you preview the appearance of your thumbnail on different devices and screen sizes.

Measure the success of your video vignettes

The aim of your thumbnail is to generate more views, clicks and conversions for your video and channel. To measure its success, track and analyze click-through rate (CTR), impressions, viewing time and conversions. Adjust accordingly. Factors influencing these different metrics include: niche, audience, video type, ranking, keywords, tags, title, duration, quality, content, retention call-to-action, value proposition, but also the trust factor.

tydeo helps you create your videos

With over ten years' experience, we create videos tailored to your needs, to showcase your expertise and commitments. To find out more, contact us.

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