Skip to content

Stream a Stream, Polish Your Thumbnails, and Don’t Talk ‘Us’ [The Weekly Wrap]

This week, content marketers are talking live streams (not livestreams), research on the best practices of YouTube thumbnails, and a challenge to one of the most standard website pages.

Here are the three things we noticed this week, ending Oct. 9, 2020.

Stream a little stream (and more) with Yeti

WHO: Yeti, a premium outdoor brand known for its coolers, drinkware, and outdoor equipment

WHAT: Accessible from Yeti’s homepage navigation bar, This Is Yeti content takes visitors on storytelling adventures through:

Yeti Presents: New Films. As Yeti explains: “Maybe we aren’t all anglers, or cowboys or pro snowboarders. Most of us will never paddle the open Pacific Ocean, or grapple with the responsibilities of being a parent and a Sherpa. But we can all understand strife, loss, drive, family, accomplishment in the face of doubt, and pursuing what makes us feel alive. These short films are those stories, our stories. This is YETI Presents.”

Drifting with JT VanZandt: A legendary Texan and fly-fishing guide tells stories in this podcast. Recently, he’s drifted with guests like musicians and restaurant owners fighting for survival in industries dramatically affected by COVID. But he also gets colorful tales from a world-famous guitarist and talks about conservation and life with the head of law enforcement for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Streaming streams: Yeti+ was launched during the pandemic as a limited “streaming” service. It features videos of North American streams peacefully flowing. (Yep, that’s it. Streams flowing and gurgling – no people, no narrative. Yeti is streaming nature to your desktop.)

.@YETICoolers introduced #Yeti+, a pandemic-launched “streaming” service. Yep, videos of North American streams, says @LisaBeets via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Share on X

Yeti Film Tour: Drive-In Edition: This fall, Yeti turned to drive-in movie theaters to show seven films of “human grit and resilience.” The tour’s proceeds go toward preserving the wild.


WHY IT MATTERS: Yeti focuses on what its audience members want in formats that appeal to them – short films, podcasts, image- and text-based profiles, in-person (but socially distanced) experiences, and more. It also goes beyond the standard “outdoor” stories, delving into people whose stories involve food, music, sports, health, and more. It’s an inspirational way to build brand affinity without promoting or focusing on the brand.

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED: Lisa Murton Beets, CMI’s research director, dove into the company’s This Is Yeti content after seeing it mentioned in a MediaPost article about brands responding with optimism as millennials face challenges.

Better polish your thumbnails for YouTube

WHO: Best SEO Companies, a comparison website of SEO companies

WHAT: Analyzing YouTube Thumbnails: What Makes the Perfect Thumbnail [Study] is an analysis of thumbnail images for 740 of the most popular YouTube videos this year.

Image source

The findings from analyzing thumbnails for popular YouTube videos include these insights:

  • Video stills and photos did better than illustrations (1.7 million average views vs. 1.4 million average views).
  • Colorful thumbnails drew more attention than those with a milder color scheme.
  • 70% of high-click-rate thumbnails included a title or explanatory text describing what viewers could expect.
  • Almost three-fourths featured a human (averaging 921,000 more views than those without one).
Almost 75% of the top @YouTube #videos feature a human in their thumbnails, @bestseo_top50 #research via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Share on X


WHY IT MATTERS: First impressions are important – especially when you’re competing for attention from the over 2 billion YouTube users who watch 1 billion hours of video every day. Creating your thumbnails based on data about what works will help you catch their eyes. 

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED: Sean Kelly who is on the creative team at Best SEO Companies shared their study with us.

Abandon us in favor of you

WHO: Urbina Consulting 

WHAT: Instead of publishing a traditional About Us page, Urbina Consulting smartly changed things up – creating an “About you” page that focuses on its potential clients. “It serves as an amazing example of content that is worthy of study, dissection, and replication,” Scott Abel writes in a recent LinkedIn post.

.@NozUrbina’s consulting page has an About You page, not an About Us page via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Share on X


WHY IT MATTERS: Content marketers are supposed to be champions of the audience – prospects and customers. And yet, how many of us have websites with the standard About Us page? Even if you can’t get rid of it, you can rethink its content. Ask yourself how customers and prospects could better see themselves fitting in or connecting with your brand. Better yet, ask your customers and prospects directly. One more takeaway – challenge the status quo, even when it’s a formulaic website framework. 

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED: Noz Urbina shared Scott’s article with us. (And that’s the final tip – don’t be afraid to share your story.)

Notice something interesting in content marketing? Share it with fellow Content Marketing Institute readers. When you’re intrigued, puzzled, or surprised by an example, news, or something else in content marketing, share it with us by completing this form. Your submission may be featured in an upcoming Weekly Wrap.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute