What are Reels/TikToks?
For those of you not so immersed in the digital and social media space, reels and the so-called TikToks, are forms of short form content.
Reels are videos on Instagram are anywhere from 15 to 90 seconds long (but this changes regularly, as Instagram continues to experiment with the optimal reel length for its users).
And TikToks are a similar phenomenon - videos anywhere from 15 seconds up to 10 minutes, but posted directly onto TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.
What are TikTok and Reels thumbnails?
No, these have nothing to do with nails or thumbs. Thumbnails are video covers, and you have probably seen them when you were choosing what to watch on YouTube, Netflix, Instagram or TikTok. These are static images that appear before you even click on the video to watch it.
Why do videos need thumbnails?
The answer is a simple three step process.
The issue with YouTube's way of showing videos is that the text description of the video is not very prominent, and rarely it is the element that catches the viewer's attention, unlike the thumbnail! The thumbnail, if made correctly, can act as a marketing banner for your content. This simple formula works like a charm.
So, by now hopefully you are convinced that all of your videos (and content in general!) need covers to stand out in the sea of other content.
How can you create these covers?
Here are 4 methods:
Canva is a beautiful tool with thousands of free templates, allowing you to create covers in a few clicks. You simply need to select the correct section on their website (in this case, “Instagram Reels” or “TikTok Videos”) and a huge gallery of options pops up.
Just check out some of these templates!
This might be a pricier option, but there are hundreds of creators on freelance platforms such as Freelancer or Fiverr that are ready to take on design of any complexity for your content. The price range depends on the creator, but here is just one example of how that might look for you.
Please note that this option is the best fit for companies who have a big enough pipeline for one or more designers, but this is most definitely a viable option. This will mean either going through a traditional hiring process involving HR and job postings.
Unlike hiring in house designers, this option is suitable for businesses with any pipeline size - you can hire someone to work for 2h per day, or you can hire three (or more!) designers to work for you full time - the solution is flexible.