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YouTube Tips I think I cracked the thumbnail code-Am I getting close?

Amanda Summers

Known Member
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9
I was in such denial that my thumbnails were the reason my channels aren't growing like I'd like-well one reason. But the truth is I'd always click on the first video if this was not true, right? So, here's the formula 'according to Ama:'
Cut one thing out of the video and put it on a plain background. Make this thing something that a person can recognize in a split second. Put a phrase that provokes curiosity. 'Don't do this,' '5 tips you didn't know.' That's it in a nutshell. What am I missing? I just came to this realization today, and up to that moment, I thought our thumbnails were pretty good. They are horrible. Check out my channel's thumbnails to see how not to do it.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
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Excellent approach; I think this is the perfect foundation for solid thumbnails. I will add that I have been told in the past to include 'something that doesn't belong.' It needs to have a reason for being there, but the contrast of having something that doesn't belong creates intrigue and compels the click.

An example; I didn't do this but if I went fishing on Valentine's Day I would have brought a rose before fishing and placed it in the mouth of anything I caught. That's my thumbnail. Maybe not the best example, but you get the idea.
 

Hiking with Shawn

Active Member
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I kind of wonder about this idea with thumbnails. It goes with your video tactics, too...

Use a teaser at the beginning, a "best part" of the video to show first and then the intro and then the video from the start to finish.

Take the first image of the teaser and make that the thumbnail, so it needs to be eye catching.

Then it is like they see the thumbnail, click and go right to the scene that the thumbnail was depicted as.

What do you all think of that idea?
 

Damon

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I think it's a great idea. You know why? Documentary filmmakers have been doing that for decades. Of course docs are a much longer format. Watch most any modern documentary and the first two minutes or so is the best part, the hook, the thing that gets you to watch the rest of the film. Then the film goes about it's normal three-act structure.

For instance this documentary about crashing planes on purpose.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlX8KsSXg4s

Watch: They lead right up to when they're about to crash the plane, then start the film. The first 2:20 does exactly what you're talking about. The only difference between the above documentary and your videos is the subject matter and the runtime of the film itself.
 
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Amanda Summers

Amanda Summers

Known Member
143
9
I kind of wonder about this idea with thumbnails. It goes with your video tactics, too...

Use a teaser at the beginning, a "best part" of the video to show first and then the intro and then the video from the start to finish.

Take the first image of the teaser and make that the thumbnail, so it needs to be eye catching.

Then it is like they see the thumbnail, click and go right to the scene that the thumbnail was depicted as.

What do you all think of that idea?
I've been hearing introductions are not good. Now, my intro is the name of the channel with our logo maybe 3 seconds and then it's, 'If you're coming to Nepal be sure you don't bring this (I hold up a roll of toilet paper). Instead save room in your bags for these things: Then a big #1 and the Broll for that tip.' Otherwise, it's 'Namaste, today we're talking about what things to bring when you come to Nepal-Starting with this first tip.' By picking up the pace and shortening the intro. our retention rate is up.
The more I study this stuff the more confused I get, so I could be totally wrong, or maybe it depends on the video style and niche.
 

Priyansh

New Member
9
4
I was in such denial that my thumbnails were the reason my channels aren't growing like I'd like-well one reason. But the truth is I'd always click on the first video if this was not true, right? So, here's the formula 'according to Ama:'
Cut one thing out of the video and put it on a plain background. Make this thing something that a person can recognize in a split second. Put a phrase that provokes curiosity. 'Don't do this,' '5 tips you didn't know.' That's it in a nutshell. What am I missing? I just came to this realization today, and up to that moment, I thought our thumbnails were pretty good. They are horrible. Check out my channel's thumbnails to see how not to do it.
GREAAAAAAAAAAAT IDEA TYSM
 

The Jungle Explorer

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Sounds like a sound strategy to me. Try it out for six months and then come back here and shows us the stats on how it affected your channel.

Personally, I don't think any of it works. I think, if you want to be really successful on YT, you have to follow the TREND. Outside of trend following or making gobbledygook TikTok style video crack content, it is just a slow steady grind to build a niche audience that appreciates you for you and the content you enjoy making.
 
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I think the advice you give about thumbnails is only valid in channels that answer questions or incite curiosity. I don't think it is valid for a piano covers channel or other non-spoken channels.
 

LeylaMango

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I always feel that thumbnails shouldn't be clickbait-y. This comes from someone who keeps looking for a video, finding it, and then it's thumbnail is what was meant to be clickbait, but ended up as click-repellent.