Used on YouTube and social network platforms, a video thumbnail is a fully optimisable and customisable feature of your video upload, that many people take for granted. People that aren’t familiar with your brand or content will first view your thumbnail image, and making an attention grabbing and relevant video thumbnail can make all the difference to your click through rate and number of actual viewers. Here at Oh Video we know a lot about video production and marketing, as well as the importance of branding. This guide aims to walk you through the top tips to a successful and effective video thumbnail.

Colour counts

Making the most out of your tiny thumbnail, colours can be eye-catching and help to differentiate your brand from the others being advertised. Having said that, images with colour that is too bright can appear uncomfortable for viewing and detract viewers from clicking on your video. Find the right balance for the image you have and the level of brightness, hue and saturation. Using good graphical image editing software you should be able to create something that can stand out from the crowd without looking overdone or gaudy. Also, it is important to remember that colour sharpness can be influenced by screen size and resolution, so make sure you test out your colour combinations on a range of devices.


Using the image of a face on your thumbnail, especially a close up, can make your brand appear relatable and human. People can connect to other people more effectively than a vector graphic or illustration, and an interesting image can make use of this, something that Buzzfeed know all too well, as the majority of their video thumbnails use a human face.


Customising your thumbnail with your own brand is a great way to make your thumbnail recognisable and instantly relatable with your company or business. Adding your company name or logo to the thumbnail can work really well, as long as you keep the text readable across all devices, while making sure it doesn’t obscure the image you have selected. Using your company colour can keep your videos in theme with your website and real world colours and can make a big difference to your click through rate.

In summary

Choice of colour, use of faces, and making good use of branding can all make sure that your video thumbnail pulls in the viewers, potentially raising sales.