ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Reasons YouTubers Use Clickbait to Sponsor Content

Updated on September 13, 2019
Chriswillman90 profile image

Krzysztof is a 10+ year YouTube researcher who spends hours researching, analyzing, and uncovering YouTube trends, challenges, and media.


What's Clickbait?

Oh look it's an attractive, half-naked female model in the thumbnail, that's nice.

But wait a second....

Isn't the title of the video "How to be an Accountant". What does that image have to do with the topic?

Well guess what...You've just been lured in by a suggestive image or thumbnail that is completely unrelated to the author's title.

Do you feel good about yourself now or are you feeling a bit foolish. It's okay don't fret, this is a common technique people use on the internet to grab people's interest.

But let's get to the bottom of the war on thumbnails and find out why else people use these "images".


1. Increase Viewership

The number one reason someone would show a women parading her cleavage on a thumbnail would be to get others to click on their video, blog, or other internet related endeavor.

Because duh everyone knows it's all about the imagery and not the content or title that gains viewers right? (eh sort of....meh not really)

Sadly for the clicker, once the link opens up they'll quickly find out that they've been tricked. While in their rage of getting deceived, the viewer will leave an insulting comment on the video or article completely trashing the author or creator.

I mean yes it's the creator's fault for deceiving you, but you shouldn't have clicked on it either.

You're really going to get mad clicking on a thumbnail when the title of the video says "How to be an Accountant". Perhaps you were expecting a surprise of some sort or you've forgotten how to read.

Regardless, the creator is technically at fault because they are the ones tricking their audience.

For other thumbnail violators, they're only tarnishing their credibility along with generating distrust among their viewers, readers, and followers. It's not worth the extra views if you're seen as an amateur.

There's nothing wrong with using an interesting thumbnail to gain views just as long as it means something or is included in the video.


2. Makes Content Look Interesting

A picture is worth a thousand words and that cliché needs to get retired, but I can't deny that it has a point.

And If that is true, then I can see why people choose images that will generate interest among their viewers.

  • Clever imagery will not only increase views but make your piece stand out.

However there's a right and wrong way to do this. The right way utilizes your piece by making the image compliment your work. When something compliments a piece, it makes it look or appear better to the viewer.

The wrong way is when you add something random, unrelated, or just plain odd because your content lacks quality. Instead of the thumbnail serving as a complimentary set, it tries to mask major flaws within the video, blog, or article.

But this doesn't mean you can't use an odd thumbnail in your article or video.

If you feel the piece is very strong with no spelling or grammatical errors, then it's okay to use an unusual thumbnail.


3. Lack of Creativity

I often find there's more bad than good when it comes to thumbnail usage, and this is one of the main reasons why.

  • Unfortunately when the content is lacking in substance, individuals try to substitute it with unrelated imagery throughout their piece.

They not only lack creativity when doing this but are seen as lazy, passive creators whom only know how to use cheap tricks to grab people's attention. For those people, the less effort they put in, the better they feel about it.

Well guess what....all those bloggers, writers, and YouTubers that think it's easy to gain viewership through cheap tricks are wrong. The reality is that it takes very hard and arduous work.

Anyone can upload a video on YouTube, but the most successful creators are the ones who work the hardest, carve out a niche, and are passionate about what they do.

People do not realize how difficult it is to gain a respected following and consistent viewership, and I guarantee it's not through false advertising.

By the way for all you viewers who only click on something because of the inappropriate imagery, you are on the internet!

If that's what you're into, then there's plenty of places you can go to get your fix.


4. Relates to Content

Just because someone uses suggestive imagery in the thumbnail doesn't mean they are a bad writer, blogger, vlogger, or YouTuber.

  • As long as the thumbnail has something to do with your video or written piece, then it's perfectly fine to use.

Creators shouldn't get discouraged from using a particular image as long as it relates to their content and meets proper guidelines.

If the thumbnail is a still image from a video or resembles the piece, then using it is acceptable as long as it's not over the top.

How your audience handles it is a completely different issue altogether.

Some may prefer inappropriate imagery in your photos or thumbnails and others may shun you for using "abrasive or explicit" imagery.

So remember to keep your demographic in mind. Who is your audience exactly, and what do they like to read and see?

For example if your audience skews younger, particularly male, then they won't mind certain images and will probably be more likely to click on those thumbnails. If your audience is older, religious, or female then the opposite holds true.

If you have a mixed audience, then you should mix up your pieces because chances are some will enjoy one thing and the rest will like something else.

A pleasant dose of variety never hurts.

5. Express Yourself Artistically

Rather than lacking creativity, these kinds of people may be loaded with tons of creativity, and they'll use a thumbnail as a form of self-expression.

The images could easily be something they've created or photographed because they may be artists like painters, sketch artists, and photographers.

  • Sometimes what you see is not what the artist's intent was, and our context turns a harmless piece into something controversial.

For example, European countries view nudity as a form or art whereas the United States sees them as expletive.

There are plenty of writers and creators who feel the same way even though they may not realize how other people see their work.

A music video produced by the artist Sia with the song titled "Elastic Heart" portrayed a young girl and a much older, burly looking man covered in facial and body hair.

In the video the two danced around each other in a cage set to the song with elements of performance art, however; critics and viewers of the video thought their behavior was risque and addressed their concerns to Sia.

Clearly this isn't the case when you really watch and listen to the song's lyrics, but people's pervasive nature got the better of them.

For the artist, there was nothing damaging about the video but her viewers couldn't understand, and this same applies to creators who use certain images and styles where context is taken the wrong way.

  • So the use of thumbnails isn't black and white, and this is why we can't jump to conclusions.

If you're a creator, then don't be afraid to use various thumbnails as long as they make sense.

If you're genuine and only strive for high quality, then your viewers will see that and they won't look at you differently because of what you used to grab their attention.

Have confidence in yourself and use your common sense, and everything will come together in the right way for you.

Your Thoughts!

Why do you use thumbnails or images?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)