Which is a better photo for your thumbnail?
Is it a photo of someone smiling or is it a photo of someone with their mouth open? Should you use a smile ’cause a lot of people have these profile shots of them smiling or maybe it’s a serious shot looking off into the distance?
What should you use or maybe you should use a frame from the video of someone with an emotion or smiling and talking. Mouth open or mouth closed? Which works better?
Well I can tell you that I don’t have an exact numbers on what works better, but I will also tell you that I’ve tested some things and after doing a lot of thumbnails, I really believe that you want to have a very high emotion, and what I call mid talk.
And I believe you want to have faces with greater emotion and enthusiasm or depending on the video and the tonality of your channel, you might have the right to do something more silly. I’m a little bit more flexible but your brand may not be.
You can see that there’s couple of shots, and I’m going to make some faces for you now where if I’m mid talk, like right in the middle of a word like that or these types of frames. These types of shots with a lot of emotion or you could feel that someone is about to say something.
I’m clearly making some faces but when you see those types of frames, don’t you feel like you may want to know what that person is about to say and don’t you feel like clicking on that because that person has an interesting emotion. Maybe they have a good emotion ideally it’s a smile but they’re looking at the camera and they are about to tell you something, right. What is that something? You have to click on that. You want to know. What is that thing?
So that’s why I try to look for thumbnails that have a really great expression that somebody says, “I really want to know “what that person is just about to say.” Right, it seems logical in our lizard brains that when we see someone talking and about to say something, we want to know what that is but if it’s just a smile that’s more of a catalog type of image, right?
Why would you want to click on something where it’s just a smile? They’re not saying anything, so why would we want to click on a video if no one’s going to say anything or we get the impression that somebody is not going to say anything.
So if you’re thinking about doing thumbnails and you’re trying decide between someone smiling and grabbing a screenshot from the video where someone is actually talking. I would encourage you to go into to find a good screenshot of someone mid talk and use that for the thumbnail in the video.
You’d be surprised how much time I spend scrolling through videos looking for that. Just that most emotive moment and their mouth partially open. You don’t want to make people look silly and if you’re doing this for your business, you may want to stay within certain limitations. You want to make it encouraging but not the most silly face ’cause everyone does make them if you look through enough frames. But find that face that shows emotions and is an encouraging face to look at that makes you want to look at that video, find out what’s being said without making your co-worker look silly.
But apart from that, I would encourage you to find those frames of high emotions.
Dane Golden is CEO of HEY.com, a video content marketing agency. His mission is to help brands get viewers to come back to their videos again and again through use of helpful how-to content, driving loyalty, conversion and ROI. Please connect with Dane on social media using the links below: