Does Changing a YouTube Thumbnail Affect Views?Nov 22, 2020
Sometimes when a video is published, it doesn't perform well. When this happens, it's a good idea to make some adjustments to try and save the video. One of the adjustments that can be made is modifying the thumbnail of the video. But this leads to the question- does changing a YouTube thumbnail affect views?
Changing a YouTube thumbnail can have a huge impact on the number of views a video receives. When a low click-through rate thumbnail is replaced with a high click-through rate thumbnail, an increase in views follows. It makes sense- a video cannot gain any views if nobody clicks on it!
No matter the size of your channel, you must always do your best to use click-friendly video thumbnails. A thumbnail can make-or-break the performance of a video. For this reason, in some cases, it can be a wise move to change the thumbnail of a video. No video should be wasted- everything possible should be done to help it get as many views as possible.
How Does Changing a YouTube Thumbnail Affect Views
How exactly does changing the thumbnail of a video affect the number of views it gets? Well, it's quite simple when you think about it. The more clicks a video gets, the more views it will get. When a low click-through rate thumbnail is swapped with a high click-through rate thumbnail, views increase.
As a video gets more clicks and views, it begins to get promoted more often by the YouTube algorithm. So, in a way, changing a custom YouTube thumbnail doesn't only lead to more views due to an increased CTR. Changing a YouTube thumbnail also can lead to more promotion from the YouTube algorithm, which can lead to more views.
Something important to remember, however, is that changing a thumbnail can also cause views to decrease. When a thumbnail is swapped with a new thumbnail, and the new thumbnail gets fewer clicks, views decrease. So, when changing the thumbnail of a video, the new thumbnail must be designed in a way that encourages clicks.
You need to monitor data before and after changing the thumbnail of a YouTube video. This can help you recognize trends in regards to the number of views you should expect within the first hour of a new video being published, for example. Data like this can help you determine when a future video is going to perform well or poorly.
When Should You Change the Thumbnail of a YouTube Video
You might be wondering- when should you change the thumbnail of a YouTube video? How can you know when the right time is to make adjustments? Should you wait until a video has a certain number of views? Or, should you wait a certain amount of time before making any adjustments?
Many large channels change the thumbnail of a video that is performing poorly within the first 3 hours after it is published. Small channels, however, will not benefit as much from doing this. Thumbnails should only be changed after some initial data has been gathered, and small channels gather data slower than large channels.
Before changing the thumbnail of a video, you must evaluate its click-through rate and impressions. You don't want to make the mistake of changing a video thumbnail when it has a high click-through rate or before it has been received a decent number of impressions. Doing so could lead to fewer views.
Large channels should look to change the thumbnail of a poor performing video within the first few hours after it is published. Small channels, on the other hand, should wait for 24 to 48 hours. Most small channels receive most of their views organically over time through the search results, as opposed to through the suggested video traffic source.
When Shouldn't You Change the Thumbnail of a YouTube Video
Knowing when to change the thumbnail of a video is an important skill to possess as a YouTube content creator. However, knowing when not to change the thumbnail of a video is equally as important. As I touched on above, you don't want to make the mistake of changing a thumbnail when it has a high CTR.
A YouTube video thumbnail should never be changed when it has a high click-through rate. The reason for this is, changing a high click-through rate video thumbnail so can lead to a massive decrease in views, as a decline in CTR would lead to fewer people clicking on and watching the video.
When interpreting the CTR of a thumbnail, take into account the number of views the video has. For example, if a video has 10 impressions and 5 views, the CTR of the thumbnail would be 50%. You should ideally wait until a video has at least 100 views before deciding to change a thumbnail.
Thumbnails can be changed for reasons other than wanting to improve CTR. Branding is an important aspect of YouTube marketing, and thumbnails fall under the branding umbrella. So, if you have several old videos with less than 100 views, you can still change their thumbnails if you've adopted new brand elements.
Many things affect the number of views a video gets on YouTube. One of these things is video thumbnails. Video thumbnails directly impact the number of views a video gets, as thumbnails entice viewers to click on videos. Since this is the case, sometimes changing the thumbnail of a video can help it gain more (or fewer) views over time.