You don’t have to be proficient at making YouTube videos to know that a good thumbnail can make or break your content.
Over time, people took this for granted and started making images that had nothing to do with their content. This is how clickbait (or linkbait) was invented.
The main purpose of such an image is to make YouTube visitors click on a post.
Although it is one of those things that will generate more video views and visits to a channel, people became irritated due to false advertising. Clickbait works well even today. However, serious YouTubers stop using this strategy as it can hurt their channel in the long run.
Points to Consider Before You Make a Clickbait Thumbnail on Youtube:
Clickbait is not prohibited by YouTube
According to YouTube’s site, there is no reason why you can’t create clickbait for your videos. While the platform does not support them, it will not penalize your account if you add such thumbnails to your videos. Still, most users find them annoying.
YouTube and Google are connected
Since Google has bought out YouTube, we can see many more YouTube videos in top positions in a Google search. So by creating a clickbait thumbnail users will see it on both YouTube and Google (if you manage to rank high enough that is).
Clickbait is not a long-term solution
Whether you’re using a misleading title or image, clickbait are an easy way to get people to watch your content. Unfortunately, even if they watch the whole video, they are less likely to subscribe to your channel. In fact, after a long period of time, clickbait may become annoying for loyal subscribers even if they tolerated them at first. It all depends how far you take it.
People who come through clickbait are less social
Again, this has to do with the fact that these images are annoying. People simply don’t wish to share, comment or link to stories and news that are based on clickbait. Furthermore, such content is much more likely to get a negative response and dislikes on YouTube – something that can send a bad signal to search engines.
They are bad for building a brand
Clickbait is often based on a lie. As such, it shouldn’t be used for creating first contact with potential clients. Even though you may persuade some people to subscribe to your channel and even drive traffic back to your blog, one day it will come back to haunt you.
Clickbait is best for short-term revenue
Regardless of all their drawbacks, clickbait does one thing right – it brings views. Given that total number of views affects your ad revenue, there will always be people who are willing to build their channel in such a manner.
How do I create clickbait?
Switching from using a regular thumbnail to clickbait is a pretty drastic change.
If you’re still interested, let’s check out some tips that will help you create them.
Keep in mind that some of these tricks work both for clickbait and regular thumbnails.
High-definition images are a necessity
Even though clickbait is meant to manipulate human emotions and make an audience curious, you still shouldn’t forget the basics.
Your YouTube thumbnails should be at least 1280 pixels x 720 pixels. Needless to say, higher resolution will be better and will lead to a better conversion rate.
High-definition images are also important for clickbait as they make your message more visible. In other words, if you don’t manage to provide a good enough resolution, visitors will not take the bait as they won’t be able to see certain elements of the thumbnail.
Here is an example of a clickbait in high-res:
Notice that in this case both the thumbnail and quality of video are really high. Furthermore, the whole video is pretty high-quality in terms of content. As you can see from the example, even though a person uses clickbait in their thumbnail, the video is very useful: ensuring that visitors are not disappointed.
Good balance of Color and Brightness
The next thing on our list is achieving a balance between different elements.
The art style is very important for thumbnails. It is the rarely mentioned factor that has a subconscious impact on viewers. Even though this isn’t necessarily seen as part of a clickbait image, it is a good way of promoting a video regardless of thumbnail type:
A video creator can benefit from keeping color psychology in mind when choosing photos. Using the right colors will induce certain emotions in your audience, allowing you to create a positive impression of your video even before it’s clicked on.
The text is the most important part of clickbait:
A lot of YouTubers use it to successfully build and maintain a brand.
Text on your thumbnail should create drama and instigate curiosity. But at the same time it is very important to try and uphold your promise; if you’re creating titles that are really misleading, it will backfire sooner rather than later.
Your title needs to be provocative enough so that people click on it but at the same time it shouldn’t present you in a bad light.
Besides interesting text, emotions are another big reason why people click on a video.
By using emotional thumbnails you are creating a response and need for a person to watch your content. Viewers are simply not interested in things that don’t peak their curiosity or cause some sort of an uproar:
Whether we’re talking about positives or negatives, there has to be some underlying topic that will persuade a YouTube user to give your video a chance.
The Future of YouTube Clickbait
Unfortunately, clickbait is becoming more and more common. Whether we’re talking about a scientific website or an entertaining YouTube channel, this seems to be a method that most content creators are using nowadays.
As you can see, clickbait doesn’t necessarily have to have negative implications if you use it correctly. Still, it can seem a bit unprofessional for developing a brand.
In the end, it all depends on whether or not you’re using them responsibly.