As the popularity of YouTube continues to rise, content creators are always searching for ways to increase their viewership. One strategy that is widely practiced on YouTube is the use of clickbait thumbnails. Clickbait thumbnails are eye-catching images that grab the viewer’s attention and entice them to click on the video. A good thumbnail can attract viewers, increase click-through rates, and boost your channel’s success. In this article, we’ll explore what a clickbait thumbnail is and how to make one.

What is a Clickbait Thumbnail?

With over 2.6 billion people worldwide using YouTube every month, you’ve no doubt seen a clickbait thumbnail before. They use attention-grabbing elements like provocative images and headlines that draw you into the rabbit hole. Clickbait thumbnails can be highly effective for driving traffic to a video, but they are also considered controversial.

Can YouTube Thumbnails Be Copyrighted?

In general, YouTube thumbnails are not protected by copyright. But if a creator uses a copyrighted image in their thumbnail, they could be at risk of copyright infringement. It is always best to use images that are either royalty-free or that you have the legal right to use.

How to Make Clickbait Thumbnails for YouTube

If you’re looking to make clickbait thumbnails for your YouTube videos, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Most of all, your thumbnails should be eye-catching and visually appealing. You want to use images that are bright, colorful, and attention-grabbing.

Clickbait Images

Clickbait Thumbnail - Matt's Off Road Recovery

Source: Matt’s Off Road Recovery

When it comes to selecting images for your clickbait thumbnails, you want to choose images that are both relevant to your video and visually appealing. If you’re creating a tutorial video, for example, you should use an image of the end result, rather than a generic stock photo.

YouTube recommends using a thumbnail image that has a resolution of 1280 pixels by 720 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The file size of the thumbnail should not exceed 2MB. As for the image quality, always use high-resolution images.

Clickbait Headlines

Your headline is as important as your thumbnail when it comes to driving traffic to your video. You want to use compelling headlines that are attention-grabbing, intriguing, and relevant to your video. Avoid using misleading headlines, as this can lead to backlash from viewers.

Clickbait Titles

Clickbait Thumbnail - Matt's Off Road Recovery

Source: Matt’s Off Road Recovery

Your title is another key component of your clickbait thumbnail strategy. You want to use titles that are short, sweet, and to the point. Try not to use clickbait titles that are long or complicated, as this be unappealing.

Clickbait Thumbnail Tips & Tricks

Now that we have a basic understanding of what clickbait thumbnails are, let’s dive into some tips and tricks for creating effective clickbait thumbnails.

Express Emotions

Clickbait Thumbnail - JOLLY

Source: JOLLY

Emotions are a powerful tool for attracting viewers to your video. Using expressive facial expressions can evoke curiosity and excitement, like the one above. Additionally, consider adding text to your thumbnail to convey a strong emotion “the speech that broke the internet.”

Make a Promise

Similar to call-to-actions (CTAs) in ads, clickbait thumbnails often make a promise that the video will deliver something interesting, informative, or entertaining. Consider highlighting the main point of your video in the thumbnail, such as “Learn how to cook the perfect steak” or “Discover the best travel hacks.” This promise should be in both the thumbnail and the title of your video.

Play to Context

Consider the context in which your video will appear when designing your clickbait thumbnail. Take a look at the other videos in your niche or industry to see what types of thumbnails are working well.

Ensure Readability

One important aspect of a clickbait headline is ensuring that it’s readable. The text on the thumbnail should be clear and easy to read, even at a small size. We recommend using bold and contrasting colors for text to make it stand out. Additionally, it’s important to use a font that is legible and easy to read.

Use a Consistent Style

Clickbait Thumbnail - BBC

Source: BBC World Service

Another important element of clickbait thumbnails is using a consistent style. Add branded elements to each thumbnail to ensure it’s cohesive to your brand design. This will help your viewers to easily recognize your content and differentiate it from other channels.

Adjust Brightness and Colour

Clickbait Thumbnail - Linus Tech Tips

Source: Linus Tech Tips

Adjusting the brightness and color of your clickbait thumbnail can make a big difference in how it’s perceived by viewers. Bright, vibrant colors are more likely to grab the attention of viewers. Additionally, adjusting the brightness and contrast of your thumbnail can make it stand out more against other thumbnails.

Use Emojis

Emojis can be a great way to add an extra layer of emotion and context to your clickbait thumbnail. But it is important to use them sparingly and only when they add value to the image. Don’t overuse emojis or use them inappropriately. Otherwise, this can come across as spammy.

Optimize for Mobile

More and more viewers are accessing YouTube on their mobile devices, so it’s essential that you optimize for mobile screens. This means using a large, clear image in your thumbnail with bold text that can be easily read on a small screen.

A/B Test Thumbnails

A/B testing is the process of creating two different versions of a clickbait thumbnail and testing them to see which one performs better. By creating two different thumbnails and tracking the metrics, you can gain valuable insights into what types your audience responds to best.

Clickbait Thumbnails for YouTube

Clickbait thumbnails can be a powerful tool for attracting viewers to your YouTube channel, but it’s important to use them responsibly. With great responsibility comes great power. By following these tips and tricks, you can create effective clickbait thumbnails that capture your audience’s attention and entice them to click on your videos.

Remember to always stay true to your brand and provide valuable content to your viewers. If you want to get your business to the next level, contact us today for professional digital marketing.

Originally published . Last updated .


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