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Corrado Coia profile image Corrado Coia

Should I change my thumbnail and title? If so… when?

There will always be stories of videos that drastically underperformed when uploaded and then suddenly skyrocketed to success x months later. It raises the question of, if the thumbnail or title had been changed, would the video have been successful faster — or not at all?

Should I change my thumbnail and title? If so… when?

This is such an important question.

Knowing the right moment to make a big change like this feels like an art.

But let's make it a science. 🔬🧪🧑‍🔬

😖 The conundrum and the answer

There will always be stories of videos that drastically underperformed when uploaded and then suddenly skyrocketed to success x months later.

It raises the question of, if the thumbnail or title had been changed, would the video have been successful faster — or not at all?

Using science and probabilities, we can say that...

  1. There are so many factors involved in this situation that the thumbnail and title are very unlikely the elements that brought about the video's sudden success after so much time
  2. It's more likely that an external factor drove this success (such as the video's topic gaining popularity)
  3. Having a video skyrocket like that is so rare that it's not worth waiting for that situation to possibly happen

With that, we can conclude that we should find the right time to change a thumbnail and/or title

❌ The first thing to ignore

Ignore all non-evergreen content.

If a video only works "in the now," don't revisit its thumbnail or title. This includes videos about product updates, events, news, daily vlogs, etc.

Those videos are only useful in a small window of time.

🎯 Purely focus on these videos and these 4 metrics

If the video is evergreen, you have 4 metrics to look at to know when to change.

  1. Time
  2. Views
  3. Click-through rate (CTR)
  4. The Intro's retention (Read more about that here)

⏱️ Give it 2 - 4 weeks, then look at the stats

Check the views, it is lower than expected? Has it stopped gaining views?

If so, look at these 2 stats:

  1. The click-through rate.
    This shows how well the title and thumbnail set up user expectations and then convert them into clicks.
  2. The intro retention.
    If there's a drop within the first 30 seconds, the expectations that the title and thumbnail have created are not being met, and the viewers are abandoning the video.

✏️ Before changing the thumbnail or title

Check to see if the intro can be trimmed.

If not, this is the time to try a new thumbnail and/or title. Pick one, make a change, give it another 2-4 weeks. See how it did. Repeat.

TL;DR for skimmers

  1. If views are bad, check CTR and retention.
  2. If retention is bad, fix it?
  3. Try a new thumbnail and/or title.

 

Corrado Coia profile image Corrado Coia