Custom Thumbnails Are Much Better Looking
When all of your videos are mashed up on a page they quickly run together. You can see below that the videos with custom titled thumbnails are a lot more visible and compelling. When these show up in other media like Twitter or a search result on a mobile device, they will get more clicks and likes than those without. These thumbnails also give more meat to the look of your channel and to your brand overall. Do whatever you can to make your video pop out of any page it is on. It doesn’t take a long time once you have a good process going and the rewards will be well worth it.
What You Need:
A Newer Computer
|Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (2 GHz or faster)||Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support|
|Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1||Mac OS X v10.7, v10.8, v10.9, or v10.10|
|2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)||2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)|
|2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)||3.2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)|
|1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)**||1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)**|
|OpenGL 2.0–capable system||OpenGL 2.0–capable system|
Adobe Photoshop CC
This method can be done using other software like GIMP, but for the purposes of this demo I am using Photoshop CC 2014. It offers the industry standard in graphics processing and has the most help and support available. Deep knowledge of Photoshop is not required here, just the basics in layers and effects. With cloud pricing, Photoshop is not a king’s ransom anymore, either. I am also using Microsoft OneNote to for a screen clipping of a frame from the subject video on YouTube. I am then using Paint to make the base .PNG file.
You can automatically use a Google Account to set up your YouTube Account. This is helpful because, although lightly used, Google+ still connects a lot of people and services together. Once you have the Channel established make sure to customize the backgrounds and graphics to suit your tastes. Also be sure to add links to all of your important social media accounts like Twitch TV, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and your main site. Building a web of connections among these services and the content and people they hold is very important.
This is an essential tool in any social media marketing kit. The entire content consuming world is on Twitter waiting for new things to read, Tweet, and ReTweet. Make sure that your graphics and design are similar across all platforms. You are building a brand, don’t forget, even if it is just your real self. The overall strategy is to build long form content, chop it down to highlights and bookmarks, blog about it, upload it, and Tweet about it at every step.
Custom Fonts to Match Your Brand
The example below is from http://1001fonts.com . They have a wide array of fonts in many categories and they are very clear about their licensing. I also really like their preview feature.