Thumbnails for Global Expansion... This is how we do it!

Thumbnails for Global Expansion... This is how we do it!


Adam: Alright we are live television, from Bend, Oregon, which definitely not Los Angeles, California. But what can you do, sometimes your wife just wants to move to a different place. And I would like to introduce our very, very special guest, Yoel, who is our secret agent in charge of all the thumbnails. And he has all the knowledge and all the little ins of how this process works. So Yoel if you could just quickly introduce yourself and tell us what you do at unilingo.

Yoel: Hello everyone, my name is Yoel Echegaray. I am part of the unilingo team in the department of Latin America, and I am glad to be with you today.

Adam: Let me just tell you: I love your haircut!

Yoel: Oh.

Adam: And we would definitely love some comments and if you could rate Yoel’s haircut on a scale of 1 to 10 in the comment section that would definitely help us determine how his haircut should look moving forward.

Yoel: Oh, yes please, thank you. I hope the comments are good because it will be good for my self-esteem. So, please don’t hate it.

Adam: Definitely, it’s very important for you to be happy. We want everyone on our team to be happy so they can do their best work. If you don’t mind Yoel I will jump straight into the questions. So my first question would be, how do you adjust the thumbnail depending on your target market?

Yoel: At unilingo, when I started to work on this we had a clear idea of what we were trying to do here. For all the YouTubers from Canada, United States, and other countries that are not in Latin America, most of their content might not be too interesting for the people living here. There is a big difference between one society and another. We understand that. When we get a new channel, we check all of the content and we try to get a way for that channel to reach people. That’s what we usually do at unilingo.

Adam: Okay, so what’s you’re saying is that it really matters if thumbnails are almost regional, for example, for Latin America you would make a completely different thumbnail than for example for Russia. And this has to do with the concept of the social imaginary. Like we discussed, that there are these different social concepts, in different cultures and that they do influence the process, and if you could just talk a little bit more about it in more detail, what are you looking at, what elements can be different, is it the color schemes?

Yoel: In Argentina, where I live now, there are certain ways in which people assume and confront all the situations in life. How they see the food, how they enjoy it, how do they fall in love, and each aspect of society is different for each one of the societies. And we all in Latin America are a result of our history. And not just in Argentina, also in Peru, societies are different but we all have the same core. It’s not just the language, it’s bigger than that. In Latin America, the colors, the food, the communities, our ancestors, all the people that live in Latin America, the immigrants in Argentina, Peru, Chile, when you understand that, when you start a YouTube channel, you can use that as a tool to approach the people.

Adam: That’s really cool. I think a lot of people don’t know how much thinking really goes into this process because I feel like, for a lot of YouTubers, you just put up a thumbnail that’s screaming and you just want to grab the attention, but you don’t really think about the little details, like how to approach a certain community, so it’s really that you especially, put so much thought into it, and it’s such a creative process from what I understand. It’s almost as if every thumbnail is a little piece of art. And my next question would be, how do you create that little piece of art, what is the process of “Artist Yoel” who works on his little thumbnail, how does it work?

Yoel: Well, first we check all the material, we try to take the essence of the video and how do we show this to the people without giving all the information. There is a lot of information in the video, and we want the person that is watching that thumbnail to feel attached to it, to click on it. That’s the real challenge, not to give all the information, but the people at least enough to click it. For example, what color will we use, for me, as a Peruvian, I love fully shiny colors and if you go to Peru you will understand that it’s a fully colored country. Not only the colors tho, also which photograph or image will you use, or is it something that you need to build from scratch.

Adam: Obviously, there is a lot of creative work that goes into the thumbnail, so the other part of the equation would be, how much quantitative work, how much of the analytics, how much of the analytic knowledge goes into creating a thumbnail to merge into this beautiful creative baby?

Yoel: It depends a lot on the channel, how specifically the video was tailored to the main channel’s audience. How much of that we can use to make it more catchy for the Latin American audience. Here at the Latin American department, we are always thinking, “Hey, what is trending today, what are the top Latin American YouTubers doing”, especially because they start the trends, so you analyze that and their audience to use it for our own channels, that’s the real challenge.

Adam: Cool! You must have worked on a lot of thumbnails, but there is probably one in your mind, that really stands out and you are really, really proud of. Can you tell me what was it, why did it work so well, and why are you proud of it?

Yoel: There is this video that I am really proud of. It’s called the “Infinite pattern that never repeats”. The original thumbnail, I had a feeling that it might not work in Latin America. And I was just thinking “patterns, patterns, patterns, where do I find something like that?”. I watched the original video several times and I found it in a photogram. I merged the photogram with the rest of the things we do on a thumbnail and it was well-received within the growing community of Veritasium in Spanish. I was so happy about it.

Adam: The power of the human brain!

Yoel: That’s it! That’s what unilingo is all about, right?

Adam: That’s right! So finally, I want to ask you, could you describe a perfect thumbnail in three words? What would they be?

Yoel: Catchy. Simple. Original. For me, each video is like a person. The video has personality, and you have to show that personality on the thumbnail.

Adam: Thank you for your time, and hopefully, we can catch up soon, reveal few more secrets, and help people bring more great content, to the people, for the people.

Yoel: Nice to be with you Adam, and well, see you around!