This has recently become Ryan Trahan's most viewed video.
32 million views. Impressive.
And while the video is amazing, the thumbnail without a doubt played an important role.
Let me explain...
Firstly, it's a great video idea that took advantage of a very popular topic/trend.
Remember, thumbnails are just visual representations of your idea and in this case, the idea definitely helped the clickability of the thumbnail.
The Metaverse has become widely known and this video was right after the main wave of attention it received.
This made it universally remarkable and gave it a massive potential audience.
Better ideas = Better thumbnails
Ryan intentionally chose to focus on capturing the Metaverse rather than getting more specific in the thumbnail (the game itself, inside the Metaverse etc).
This kept the idea appealing to the largest audience and was also the best and clearest way to visually represent the Metaverse.
Metaverse → Headset.
The headset is so unique, in a split second you know it’s something about VR/metaverse, exactly what Ryan was trying to tap into.
Work out what your audience is going to recognise and find interesting.
Ryan is a master of thumbnail simplicity.
Remember, thumbnails are small and people don’t look at them for very long.
It’s crucial to keep them as simple as possible, getting across what you need to get the click extremely effectively.
This thumbnail is a great example of how Ryan does that.
He simplifies his video into its most appealing and basic form (the Metaverse) and then works out the best way to visually represent that, without sacrificing context.
Keep your thumbnails simple.
One way Ryan makes such clickable thumbnails while keeping them so simple is conflict.
Every thumbnail has some form of conflict that creates tension.
In this thumbnail, the conflict is between real life and the Metaverse, creating this uncertainty of what’s real or not (also a common concern about the Metaverse/VR in general).
Having the text posed as a question and his hand pixelating not only gives context to the idea but also makes you question what's going on and want to click to find out more.
Conflict = Tension = Click
While on the surface this thumbnail seems to lack colour, it’s actually taking advantage of something much more powerful.
Contrast is making the important elements (headset, text and hand) really pop in this thumbnail, drawing your attention straight to them.
This is exactly what effective thumbnails do - they draw your attention to what's important.
Contast > Colour
The Bundle is everything you need to make effective thumbnails and includes:
1. Digital Book
82 pages explaining exactly how to make effective thumbnails.
2. Thumbnail Worksheet
Outlines how to turn your ideas into clickable concepts.
3. Thumbnail Checklist
Check every title and thumbnail do what they need to do.
Interested? Check it out.