PDFs, JPEGs, & Videos, oh my! Which type of preview is best for your TPT products? (Ep 33)

TPT preview

Do you need help choosing which TPT preview is best for your products? Why are previews so important, and how much time should you put into them? These are common questions among TPT sellers, for a good reason! 

As you’ve probably heard, your product preview is one of the most important parts of your listings. Data shows that customers are 60% more likely to purchase a product with a TPT preview than without, and that’s not even factoring in using the optimal type. 

I’m diving into the three types of TPT preview options, how to determine which option is the best fit for each product in your store, and examples of resources for all three types. 

After listening to today’s episode, you’ll know the importance of using TPT previews and how to choose the best option. Your action step for this week is to ensure your current resources have previews and are the best preview type for that item.

00:36 Why TPT previews are an essential element of your product listings

01:17 The three types of TPT previews

01:40  What video previews are, and when they should be used

03:31  When to use PDF previews and best practices when using them 

05:12  How to use single image previews effectively and when to avoid them

Hey TPT sellers ready to seek growth in your business. You’re in the right place. Welcome to the savvy teacher seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Hey, y’all, and welcome to this episode of the savvy teacher sellar, where today I am going to answer the question which type of preview is best for your TPT products.

Now, you’ve probably heard from me from other teacher sellers, and even from Team TPT itself that the product preview is one of the most important parts of your product listing.

In fact, TPT has shared in the past that buyers are somewhere around 60% more likely to purchase a product that has a preview over one that doesn’t have one at all. And that’s not even taking into consideration whether it’s a good preview or a bad one. That’s just the fact that a preview exists.

Now, I really can’t overstate the importance of having a preview on each of your TPT products. It is what gives your customers a chance to look deeper into your resource and to make sure it is going to be the right fit for their needs.

Now, there are three types of previews that can be used on TPT. You can upload a PDF, you can use a single image and they allow JPEGs, PNGs, or GIFs. I typically recommend just a JPEG. Or you can use a video preview. One question I’ve gotten a lot is when is it best to use each one. So let’s discuss.

We’ll start with video. I think video previews are really great for products that are bigger, or maybe they’re more complex, or for those products that have a lot of different parts that you’re trying to show off.

Now the reason for that is that a video allows customers to see the product in action. And to really get the full experience of using the resource. It can help to demonstrate how a resource works if there’s some technology involved, or what students will be doing in the activity itself.

So I think that videos are really good for anything where the buyer can’t really get a good sense of what is going on in the activity just from photos and words. Some examples of things I think work really well for video are crafts, because you can show how students will assemble the craft and what that final product will look like.

And digital resources. I like the idea of showing those resources in use on a device. So whether it’s Google Slides, boom cards or any other type of digital activity, sometimes those sorts of things. It is really nice as a buyer to be able to see how this works in a video of this activity being used on a device.

Now a word of caution about video previews. Many, many people watch videos on mute. And this is especially true if they’re on a mobile device. So you’ll want to make sure that you either just use some kind of soft background music or if you are going to narrate the video and say anything that’s going to be important, be sure that you add captions for those people who are watching on mute. And of course, this is also really important for accessibility reasons for people who may need those captions in order to understand what you’re saying.

Now PDF previews are what I think is ideal for most products on TPT. They’re an easy way to give potential customers a deeper look at what they’re buying. But you’ll want to keep your PDFs as short as they can possibly be while still giving a comprehensive look at the product.

In your PDF preview, you want to make sure that you are showing off the resource with some really great photos, maybe some screenshots of pages and mock up images. I personally like to use a good combination of all of those. You’ll also want to make sure that you are listing out all of the skills, the standards, the terms that are covered, those things that teachers need to know in order to know if this resource truly meets the needs of their class.

Your PDF preview is also a really great way to show off product features that teachers might love as well. And like I said, you want to keep it from getting too long because buyers are busy. So try to get your content into as few pages as possible. While like I said still giving all of the details that they need in order to decide if they want to purchase your product or not.

A word about videos if you are creating a video preview for a product if you decided that a video preview is a great way to show this off. I highly, highly recommend that you create a PDF preview as well. We all know that some buyers just don’t want to look at videos. So you’ll want to have a preview available that they can look at as well and most likely a PDF preview will be the best way to use that.

If you have a really great video preview already created, you may even be able to take some screenshots from that video and use it to create a really great PDF preview and get it done quickly.

Let’s talk about single image previews for a minute. Now, this used to be really, really common, we would create a single image with a collage of pages as the preview and that would be all we would upload. This was commonplace, I bet every TPT seller who was around five years ago had multiple previews created this way. But that’s really no longer best practice for most resources.

The problem with those collage previews is that when you try to fit 20, or 30, or 60 pages onto a single image, it becomes so small that buyers really can’t tell what’s on any of the pages, they just see that there’s a lot of stuff. And they can tell that from the number of pages that’s listed on your product listing.

However, there are a few types of products that I think a single image might still work really well for. Generally, this is going to be best for small products, or a case where the product itself is really just a visual of some sort. In that case, then a single image might be all that you need.

I am talking about something like a simple set of posters. If you’ve got a set of six or eight or 10 posters, it might be completely viable to just show those in a collage and people be able to see what they’re getting and make a decision that way. Clipart is a good example of this, I don’t think as a buyer that I need a multi page preview, in order to decide if clipart is what I want, I just need to see the clipart. So you may be able to do that just with a single image.

The same is true for fonts. If it’s just one single font that I’m purchasing, all I really need is an image that shows me all of the letters and the punctuation and things in that font. That’s all I really need to decide if I’m gonna buy it. Of course, bigger bundles of clipart or fonts might require a PDF preview to really show all of the things that you’re getting. So if all your buyer needs is to see what the product looks like, then a single image is probably pretty perfect for that.

When it comes to previews for your TPT products, it is important to choose the type that best suits the product itself. PDF previews are definitely the standard and I feel like those are best for most products. Single images work fine for really simple products, like clipart and fonts. And then video previews are a great way to show off more complex products, especially digital goods.

Now regardless of what type of freebie you have, the most important thing is that you have a preview on each and every product. So your action step for today is to take a look at your store and identify any products you have that are lacking a preview. Get those on your to do list and start working on adding previews to those products as soon as you can.

Thank you so much for listening today. If this episode has been helpful for you, take a screenshot and share it on your Instagram Stories. Don’t forget to tag me @Kristendoyle.co. Talk to you soon.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on Growing Your TPT business. Head to Kristendoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.


Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.