Add a thumbnail to your YouTube videos

Make it beautiful
 
Add a thumbnail to your YouTube videos

Google+ is a visual environment

Have you noticed how well photographers do on Google+? People love to share pretty images, but what about when it comes to videos, especially Google Hangouts?

Think of YouTube videos like posts

Possibly the most important tip on engagement, ever:
Make it beautiful, especially for...

Google Hangouts

Instead of just sharing the standard Google Hangout, add an image on the front thanks makes people go 'WOW'!
You cannot do this when you first broadcast, but can can do after the event in 'info and settings' if you have this feature enabled (see below).

Compare the difference

Which one of these posts would you rather share just based on the way it looks alone?

Option A - without adding a thumbnail to YouTube

Hangout without the image added

Or...

Option B - with YouTube thumbnail added

YouTube added image

Which one did you choose?

Option B, right? I know you may enjoy an interview or two from the first fellow, but let's face it, the second image it far more beautiful!

How you can do this?

Firstly, you need to create a suitable image - you could do this yourself using e.g. gimp.org or www.picmonkey.com etc.
But it may well be worth paying a designer to make you something really special. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

Step 1 How to add a thumbnail to a YouTube Video

Then you need to add a thumbnail to the video, and preferably one that is eye catching and expresses you and your personal or company brand. To do this, you will need to monetize your videos to enable this feature but you don't need to have it 'on' for more that just one.

You can do that here: http://www.youtube.com/account_monetization
It may be 'pending' in the account until it is confirmed but once the light turns green, you are free to upload.

Step 2 Adding the right size

Once you have successfully monetized your acccount you will see the option to upload a thumbnail in the 'info and settings' section of each video. You can simply upload as you choose, instead of being stuck with a choice of three.

In terms of size: 1920x1080 pixels works well.

Conclusion

If you make it beautiful people are far more likely to engage. It is a simple tip but which could make your content stand out in a crowded stream.