First Impressions Matter In Online Video

When posting videos on your site, blog, or digital media campaigns we recommend using a good preview screen that is displayed when your video when page is loaded. Our research shows this increases video views/plays, goal conversion, and brand impression.

Here's an example from a recent client blog post (Kevin Clanton Painting) where we used videoRedirect to display a preferred image (left) where the client's eyes are open and head is not obscured by an unnecessary title bar.

Preview Screen w/ videoRedirect Image -vs- Preview Screen from YouTube Thumbnails Image
Thumbnail used with videoRedirect Best of 3 YouTube thumbnail choices

This is also very important for Online Retailers and ECommerce:
A split test we conducted with Cabela's showed that videos with optimized preview screens had nearly twice as many plays than the same videos with the default preview screens.

How you can setup Custom Preview Screen for YouTube Videos

videoRedirect (vR)

videoRedirect (vR) is our web service that let's you add interactive functionality to YouTube vidoes. vR makes it easy to use any image for your preview screen without having to enable external ads or monetization in YouTube. With a vR subscription, you simply setup a vR player for your video, upload the image, and embed the player in your site. Embedding the video is the same process as embedding a YouTube video, but with the vR embed code in place of the YouTube embed code. It's that easy! Your image will automatically show when the page loads and your page will also load much faster because the entire video isn't downloaded when the page loads. Checkout the Demo or learn more at

YouTube Thumbnails

Many people don't realize that YouTube allows you to choose an alternate preview screen from three images that are automatically extracted from your video. Sometimes you get a good opening shot from these three options, but many times another image would be preferable. To select an alternate thumbnail image in YouTube, simply Login to YouTube, Go To the Video Manager, and Edit the video you want to modify.

Custom YouTube Thumbnails

If you have monetization enabled for your YouTube account and your account has been verified, and is in good standing, then you may be able to upload custom thumbnail images for your videos. Monetization means that YouTube will put external ads in your videos which enable you to earn ad revenue from them. Depending on your objective, you may or may not want other companies ads on videos you place on your website, product pages, or blog. If the external ads aren't a problem, you can learn more about YouTube thumbnails and custom thumbnails in this video.