Today is day twenty-three of the video blogging challenge, and I want to show you how to get more people to click on your YouTube videos.
There’s a video to watch and text if you prefer to read.
Watch the Video:
Day 23 – Video Blogging Challenge from Bonnie Gean
YouTube Video Thumbnail Covers
As I searched through my YouTube channel, I spotted another important detail I need to focus on, and you might need to do this too.
The very first videos I produced back in 2012 didn’t have a YouTube video cover. The cover is the first thing YouTube visitors see when they find one of your videos through the search function.
A great video cover explains to the viewer what she can expect to learn by playing your video, simply by reading the text on the cover. Additionally, a vibrant cover stands apart from other videos shown in the list.
Here’s an example of a great, eye-catching YouTube video cover:
Which you have to admit, the doggie cover with text explaining what the video is about is much more effective at relaying what the video will teach you versus a picture such as this one:
My smiling face is not a very good video thumbnail because it doesn’t share the topic of the video. Whereas, if I had a nice looking thumbnail with text on it – viewers can learn right off the bat if the video lesson applies to them.
Fortunately, you can use PowerPoint to create great-looking YouTube video covers for your channel. Let’s take a few moments to go through the instructions together.
How to Create an Appealing Video Cover with PowerPoint
Open PowerPoint and click “new” to choose “blank presentation” to start a new file.
Choose “Design” from the file menu and then select “Page Setup” to create your canvas size. Change the width to 13.34 inches and the height to 7.5 inches in Landscape mode, and click OK to close the setup box.
Right click on the slide in the left section of your screen and choose “Layout” and pick the Blank layout.
How to Add a Background to Your Canvas
Right-click on the canvas and choose “Format Background” to continue. Highlight “Fill” and choose “Picture or texture fill” to add a background of your choice. You can either choose a texture from PowerPoint or select one from your hard drive.
If you want to add a file from your hard drive, choose the “File” button and select an image from your computer. Highlight the image and click the “Insert” button to add the file as a background for your canvas.
If you want to use the same background for all your YouTube covers (for branding purposes) click the “Apply to all” button and then the “Close” button to continue.
How to Add Color on Top of the Background
Choose “Insert >> Shapes” from the file menu. Choose the rectangle shape and draw it onto your canvas. Make the shape the same size as your canvas; right-click on the rectangle and choose “Format Shape” to continue.
Go to “Line Color” and select “No Line” to remove the border. Highlight fill and change the color of the rectangle to whatever color you want. Change the transparency setting to 20 percent.
Highlight “Size” and change the height and width of your colored rectangle to match the size of the canvas. The height is 7.5, and the width is 13.34 inches.
Highlight “Position” and change the horizontal and vertical settings to zero. When you change the numbers, your colored rectangle should snap into place on the canvas.
How to Add a Picture to Your Canvas
Choose “Insert >> Picture” from the file menu. When the box opens, choose an image from your hard drive and click the “Insert” button to add an image to your canvas.
Position your image and then click “Format” from the file menu. Choose a picture frame for the imported picture. I choose the “Rotated, White” frame for mine.
If you don’t care for the white background, right click on the top of the picture and choose “Format Picture” to continue. Highlight “Fill” and choose the color you want to change for the background.
As you can see in the picture below, I changed the white background of the picture frame to blue to add contrast and to match the darker blue that is on my blouse.
How to Add Your Title Text
Choose “Insert >> Text Box” and draw a text box on the canvas by dragging your mouse. Choose the font style for your text (I chose Impact) and write out your title.
Choose “Format >>Text Outline” from the file menu and choose a border color and width to outline your title text. I chose black and made the width one point.
Slide the middle guide to the left side of your canvas and position it at 6.00 inches. Left-align your title text as close to the guideline as you can. Add the remainder of your text.
NOTE: I chose to make my title text in three paragraphs and resized each of the lines to be the same width (or as close to the same as you can).
Now you want to space each paragraph to be the same. Choose “Insert >> Shapes” from the file menu and choose the rectangle shape. Draw a rectangle onto the canvas that extends from the beginning to the end of the title.
Right-click on the top of the drawn rectangle and choose “Format Shape” and change the “Size” to 0.25 for the width, and choose the “Close” button to continue.
Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, slide the rectangle above the last paragraph of text. Once it is in the proper position, move the text paragraph above it down to the top of the rectangle.
NOTE: The idea here is to make the space between both paragraphs equal to the width of the rectangle. Repeat the spacing procedure for the rest of your title text.
Reduce the view of your canvas and take a look at your finished title. Do the spaces in between each line of text look as if they are the same width? If so, you can continue.
At this point, you could stop the design process if you like what you see. I added a rectangle above and below the title text to make it stand out, which is shown below in my final image.
I also changed the background of my photograph from the dark blue to a gradient color, which I like much better. Additionally, I changed the color of the thumbnail cover as well as the title so I could use it with today’s video! 🙂
Highlight the entire text title and choose “Format >> Group” from the file menu to group them together. This makes it easier to move the text around the canvas to center it properly.
How to Export Your Finished YouTube Cover
Choose “File” from the top menu and select “Save As” to save the thumbnail cover as a PNG type file to your hard drive. Be sure to save it inside a directory where you can find it later.
Here’s how my YouTube Thumbnail Cover turned out:
How to Add a Custom Thumbnail to a YouTube Video
When you’re ready to add your new thumbnail image to a YouTube video, follow the instructions I provide on my “How to Add a Custom Thumbnail to YouTube Videos” tutorial.
If you prefer to read, you can download my “How to Add a Custom Thumbnail to YouTube Videos PDF report.
Now you can return to YouTube and switch a funny-looking thumbnail image with one that looks more professional and is much more effective in getting people to view your videos.
Download the Working PowerPoint File:
Please share this post with your friends, (so they can get a free download too), and thanks!
Do you use custom thumbnails for your videos? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Thanks for reading,
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