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Does it Matter What Your Thumbnail is for an Instagram Video? How to Pick a Good One

A photo for a blog about why it’s important to choose the right thumbnail for instagram posts, taught by Jay Ashcroft of four32 Media, a professional videographer, photographer and marketing specialist who works with businesses in barrie, orillia, muskoka and toronto and the rest of North America

 So you’ve finished up an Instagram video and you’re about to post it. The app auto generates a thumbnail of your face stuck in-between two words with your hands in a blur, and you roll with it.


Don’t do that!


Does it matter what your thumbnail is for an Instagram video?


Yes – yes, indeed it does.


You see, aside from having a nice looking feed on your own profile when users come and check you out, your thumbnail is also going to show up in the search section of the app.


So – watch through your reel a few times and get a good feel for the subject matter. What’s it really about? Is there a frame that can sum up everything that you say?


Be deliberate about it and choose something appropriate – and don’t use a photo that has nothing to do with the subject matter of the video.


This is called clickbait – and it’s only a matter of time before users get fed up clicking on an unfulfilling thumbnail.


If you have captions on your reel, choose a thumbnail that has an appropriate word on it, combined with the right imagery in mind.


If there are humans in the video, remember that people love seeing people. It’s what we look for when we’re online. We want to see ourselves in others, and compare our lives to theirs.


It may be a bit unhealthy, psychologically speaking, but we do it – big time.


So once you’ve decided what your thumbnail is going to be, keep the play head at that point in the video and then hit the volume button and lock button at the same time.


Open the thumbnail that’s been produced and crop out the black bars on the top and bottom of the image.


When you’re posting the reel, select this image instead of having the app choose at random, and make sure you check it out in the grid view preview as well.


Choosing the right thumbnail for your Instagram reel is just another way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing material and pushing that digital content as far as possible.


As a general rule on these apps, if it’s an option – you should generally do it!


That about sums it up my friend. If you’re a business owner or personal brand and you need a hand with this, please reach out for a chat! We love talking about this stuff.


To Your Success,

Jay Ashcroft

four32 MEDIA    


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