3 Simple Psychological Tricks To Get More Clicks

Three Easy Things You Can Do to Get More Clicks on Your YouTube Thumbnails

One HUGE mistake a lot of people with YouTube channels make, is not using psychologically attractive thumbnails.

What the hell is a “psychologically attractive thumbnail” you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you…It’s a thumbnail that attracts people psychologically on a subconscious level.  Did I just blow your mind?   Just wait until you see how easy it is to do.

To start off with, check out some of the top channels on YouTube and take a look at the video thumbnails that they’re using.  If you want to see what the top channels on YouTube are, go to http://socialblade.com/youtube/  and you can see all the top channels in the world.    The top two channels in the world are Justin Bieber and WWE…which is in no way depressing.

Take a look at some of BuzzFeedVideo’s thumbnails below.  BuzzFeedVideo is #16 in the world on YouTube.


Take a second to look at each thumbnail in that image, and what is one thing that stands out to you as being similar between almost all of them?  If you’re perceptive, you’ll notice several things that are similar in all of them.  When you’re ready, for the first most important and most common psychological triggers, then scroll down.

how to get more youtube clicks Eyes!

Its not just this channel either that does this.  Go on several of the top YouTube channels and you’ll see that they almost always have faces on the thumbnails and almost always showing the eyes and making eye contact.   This is where the first of the psychological, subconscious triggers take place; our eyes are automatically drawn to eyes, particularly if the whites of the eyes are showing.

It doesn’t have to be an actual person either, it works with cartoons, CG and toys as you’ll see if you check out Little Baby Bum (#5 YT channel in the world) or Funtoyzcollector (#10).

Told you this was going to be easy!

Now, lets take a look at another commonality in the  thumbnails.

Can you guess what all of the things circled in yellow have in common?

get more clicks on your youtube videos

If you guessed “Emotion” then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re correct!

Take a look at the top channels and you’ll see they very often show strong emotion in their thumbnail images.  Pain, Excitement, Grief, attraction, anticipation, fear, anger, hate, and repulsion: these are all some of the common emotional triggers that attract people to certain images on a subconscious level.

So, our first two triggers are eye contact and can see the whites of the eyes, and strong emotion.

A third thing that many of the top channels do in order to make the first two triggers more effective, is offsetting the images with a contrasting or colorful background.

Our eyes are automatically attracted to bright, contrasting colors,

trick to get more youtube views

and on successful YouTube channels you’ll often see colorful backgrounds that help contrast or accentuate the main images and to help attract the eye towards the thumbnail.

When you use text, make sure it stands out very clearly from the background.

Two other things that people are consciously and subconsciously attracted to is beauty and sex.  But I’m not going to get myself into any hot water by going down those paths.

Basically if you’ve got access to camera, then just take a bunch of pictures of your face (or someone else’s face if you are too camera shy) showing different, strong emotions, and then use those images in your YouTube thumbnails.    If you’re not branding your channel for yourself, then there is no need to use your own face in the thumbnails.

Of course, it’s always better to use high quality images if possible, but if you’ve just got a phone with a camera, it should do.  I took the pic for the thumbnail in the video at the bottom of this post with an old, cheap android phone.

Having thumbnails that have psychological triggers is important, but unless your thumbnail is in front of the right people, you’re not going to get the results you need.   If you really want results from your YouTube videos, and ads, then be sure to check out our 4.5 hour course YouTube marketing and retargeting masterclass.  You can try it out risk free with the 30 Money back guarantee and its accessible on Android and iOS.

Discover a simple yet powerful pixel based retargeting method for YouTube to advertise to website visitors and turn them into paying customers.

We will show you how to create killer content, create retargeting audience lists in YouTube and then follow up using simple and effective ads on YouTube and the Google Display network.

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You can also check out this blog post to see more about the course

This video is a tiny sample of what you can expect in the training

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Brian Gray

I love digital marketing and everything that comes with it. Besides making money online, I'm also partner of a successful communications and digital marketing agency and my client list includes EU, UN, World Vision, Hennessy, Vespa, Corona Extra, Krispy Kreme, Canon, Total and Hyundai (just to name a few). I was in the education sector for over 13 years, and I loved it, but then transitioned into digital marketing and eCommerce (more freedom when you work online). I realized I didn't want to give up teaching, so I decided to teach online.

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