Custom Thumbnails Guide

Custom video thumbnails have a direct impact on the click-through rate and conversions. Here's our guideline.

We created this thumbnails guideline to proactively help you get the most out of your video content and set you up for success, based on the experience we're having with top-notch Shopify brands that generate great results. Here are the aspects to have in mind: 👇

Accurately portray the video content in the thumbnail

  • Capture a screenshot of a certain point in the video (if high-quality video);
  • Use a separate picture that’s related to the content;
  • Avoid using blurry screenshots.

Include a human / a face (when relevant)

  • Including a person conveying emotion and eye contact helps shoppers who are scrolling feel a connection. It humanizes the content and provides a preview of what the shopper can expect to feel after watching the video.

Use bright background colors (when possible)

  • Make the thumbnail stand out using bright color backgrounds (when the brand guidelines allow).

Tips & Tricks: The human eye is most sensitive to the color yellow-green because it takes two cones to perceive, stimulating our vision more than other colors. Consider incorporating the yellow-green color whenever possible, either as a background, as a bright outline for the subject(s) in the thumbnail, or for the main text/quote.

Add text to video thumbnails

  • Avoid overlapping text on top of the face in the thumbnail.
  • Make sure the font size is big and bold enough to easily read on mobile.
  • Shorten the title and leave out excessive words. For example, instead of "5 Ways to boost your sales with video engagement on social media", shorten the text in the thumbnail to "Boost Sales with Video".
  • Use the main brand typography.

Tips & Tricks: When designing the layout of the thumbnails, use the rule of thirds. Divide your canvas into thirds horizontally and vertically. At the points of intersections is where the viewer’s eyes will naturally be drawn to.

VideoWise Thumbnail rule of thirds (1)