Believe it or not but there is a psychology behind making cool YouTube thumbnails. One might think that using a cool image with some simple words is enough to entice someone to grab their attention and watch your video. If that was the case then everyone would have amazing thumbnails. Here are some tips & tricks to help you stand out from the rest.

DON’T look ► HERE
Too late, you failed! A thumbnail or preview image is the first thing that captures their attention. The science behind an effective design can be a whole website on It’s own but for now, you can click HERE if you would like a more in depth understanding.
For YouTube thumbnails, there is a formula that should always be implemented in order to grab a viewers attention.
  1. BIG words that cover 50% of the image and give insight of what to expect.
  2. Words that insinuate emotion or action. “AMAZING“, “OMG“, “CLICK HERE“, “DON’T” “HELLO“, “YOU“, “BELIEVE” are some examples.
  3. NUMBERS: Believe it or not, but using a count down or using phrases like “TOP 10“, “#1“, “TOP 3” ect. give viewers a choice. They ask themselves “do I have the patience to watch all ten? Just the top 3? Or the best one?” Pair this with your title and description and you have a real chance at gaining a long time subscriber.

Tazz Reacts

Tazz Reacts receives thousands of views from their thumbnails alone. Their channel is entertaining and growing rapidly! Check them out! 
  1. RED is the color the eye is attracted to first. This is part of the reason YouTube is so recognizable. So are stop signs and tail lights. Using color in all the right places guides the viewer through the page.
  2. Thumbnails that use emotion also grab immediate attention. Most common emotion used is SURPRISE!
PRO TIP: Go to your competitors channel or use Tube Viper X to examine the most watched videos in your respected category. Look at their thumbnails. You will notice that each channel has their own STYLE. Meaning their thumbnails all look similar. Instagram uses this technique to keep people liking images by creating trust and comfortability using this visual format.
NOTE: This is a formula for smaller channels. Once you get into the hundreds of thousands of subscribers, it really doesn’t matter about your thumbnails as your audience will take whatever you throw at them. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t us the formula once you are Oprah rich.

  1. IpIccy: Online image editor Free
  2. Fotor: Free online editor
  3. GIMP: Another awesome image editor. Probably one of the best
  1. Photoshop CC 2019: The absolute BEST image editor PERIOD!
  2. Affinity: Incredibly powerful image editing software and affordable solution.

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These are the tried and true techniques that should be applied when releasing a video. This falls into the ‘quality’ category. If you have an amazing thumbnail, but don’t have the right tags and descriptions, then you are really decreasing your chances of catching views. More views = more watch time.

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