Creating content no longer deals with only blocks of text. Surrounding multimedia has a great deal of impact on how readers engage with your blog posts or articles. A good content involves images, text and last but not least – video embeds.
Video embedding might seem a really simple, straightforward task, but most people don’t realize the detailed customization options it has. The true power of embedding spans further than simply clicking the “Embed” button on one of the many video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.
Let’s take a look at some easy and useful tips and tricks to embed videos in a custom, powerful way.
A basic intro: How to embed
Let’s start with a short introduction on how to embed.
It’s easy: scroll just below the video you’re watching, click on the “Share” tab and then click on the “Embed” tab there. There will be an auto-generated embed code for the video in question. Its size is automatically set at 560 x 315 but you can play around with that and define your own dimensions. Keep in mind the aspect ratio, though.
#1 Setting your custom video thumbnail
Thumbnails are very important. You can think of them as a small sample of content-related marketing done right. A thumbnail is this little preview-image that appears in search engines and captures (or fails to capture) people’s attention. If you want to achieve a lot of clicks and to draw visitors in with a thumbnail, you have to choose an appealing, interactive and overall beautiful one.
Normally, this might be an issue. YouTube chooses random captions throughout your video and then lets you pick one of them as your thumbnail. This process is a bit problematic because you have no actual control on what you wish to show visitors. YouTube can capture totally random and unfocused parts of a video and you will be forced to adhere to this rule.
The good thing is that you have a solution: you can easily upload your own custom thumbnail. Google gives you the option to either choose a frame from your video that you feel showcases your content to the best, or make your own one. Here are the full guidelines:
I prefer the latter as it’s a very cool way to send your visitors in awe with a beautifully-designed thumbnail. If you have some knowledge of a photo-editing program (Photoshop, GIMP) you’ll blaze through the image searches with your terrific looking thumbnail.
#2 Setting a specific start point for your embedded video
Many videos have redundant parts. Alternatively, you may want to put the focus on a certain part of your embedded video. A bit of code will help you skip through unneeded parts and start your video at a time frame of your choice.
To do so, just add this little chunk of code:
The code comes at the end of your embed URL. Keep in mind that you have to write down the number of seconds, as the code doesn’t really acknowledge minutes. So if you want to start your video from, say the 2 min. 21 second mark, you will type:
Where 141 is 120 seconds (2 minutes) + 21 more seconds.
#3 Disabling related content in your embedded videos
As you know, YouTube always shows related videos at the end of a video. This is not an issue for me, but if you by any chance want to ditch this – there’s a really easy way to do so.
It also involves writing a simple code at the end of your embedded video URL. The code is:
This way your video will end as it should without related content popping up.
#4 Embedding videos in HD instead of their lower default quality
Aside from a quality thumbnail, it’s better if you embed your video in a higher quality resolution. There’s nothing more irritating than a block of pixels in 360p amongst your beautiful quality content ready to be shared on social media.
By default YouTube embeds videos in 360p. Changing this is neither tricky, nor does it involve any specific technical tinkering around. You can easily change the default to higher quality like 480p, or more preferably – 720p or 1080p. I advice on using 720p as it is both good in quality and friendly to older computer systems. You never know if a good portion of your visitors don’t own a computer that is with an outdated video card and will not display 1080p properly.
Anyway, here is the trick:
Paste the embed code YouTube has given you. Then add the following codes after the URL of the video you wish to embed:
For high definition video playback: &hd=1
Video plays in 480p (as a default value set): ?rel=0&vq=hd480
Video plays in 720p (as a default value set): ?rel=0&vq=hd720
Video plays in 1080p (as a default value set): ?rel=0&vq=hd1080