Should You Use Clickbait on YouTube? 


Clickbait on YouTube is not all bad. When you know what you’re doing, it’s actually helpful for your channel. Just make sure you’re not tricking the viewers.

Being on the YouTube market teaches you so much stuff. Like how you get people to click on your video. Colorful and dynamic thumbnails are a great way to reel people in. That combined with a capturing title, more often than not, leads to a phenomenon we call clickbait on YouTube. And no, it’s not necessarily a terrible thing.  

Let’s explore the bad and good clickbait together. 

What Does Clickbait Mean on YouTube? 

Clickbait on YouTube is a form of marketing strategy. You do this with exaggerated adjectives in the title and distorted or edited images in the thumbnail.  

With the use of clickbait, the creator aims to arouse interest in a wider audience. For example, if the creator doesn’t use any clickbait at all, maybe 1000 people will click on the video. But when they use clickbait, this number gains the potential to double or even triple.  

Of course, in the long term, using too much and too misleading clickbaits will result in subscriber and view losses. If you don’t want that, you should be careful with how you handle your clickbait. There are some really well executed clickbait examples YouTube has. Here’s one for you: 

This video from Buzzfeed is actually a really good example of a tasteful clickbait.  

Thumbnail itself is intriguing because it suggests that you can look like your favorite influencers, too. So, naturally, viewers want to know how to do that. So, they will click. 

The title doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole truth. It’s not like influencers are actively trying to hide these tricks from you. But when you read the title, you know you will learn about some tips and tricks influencers use and are not common knowledge. Two birds with one stone. 

What About Clickbaits that are Bad? 

You know the answer to “What is clickbait in YouTube?” now. But do you know what a bad clickbait is? It’s actually pretty simple. You can think of bad clickbait as a scam. Its only aim is to trick you with the promise of non-existent news or information.  

  • A bad clickbait has these features: 
  • The title has nothing to do with the video. 
  • An image shown in the video for a few seconds is used as a thumbnail. 
  • The video doesn’t answer the question in the title. 
  • Use of overdone words or phrases in the title like “You won’t be able to guess what happened” or “You will be shocked when you see this.” These are misleading because it’s not guaranteed that everyone will react that way to the video. 

Check out these examples below from the channel Cameron Philip K.  

These are examples of bad clickbait because all these titles suggest that Cameron will shut down the channel. Guess what? He doesn’t. Ever. Because his leaving YouTube is such big news among his community, he’s taking advantage of this to get more views.  

You have to be a little creative with your thumbnails and titles. So much that people should be intrigued when they see it. They should want to know more. That’s why clickbait YouTube videos are important. 

It’s true that people get a bit icky when they hear the word “clickbait.” However, the secret is knowing how to do it properly. After all, masterfully implemented clickbait is actually what gets people to click on a video. 

How to Tell When Your Clickbait is Good 

You can very easily come up with a bad clickbait. But that’s not what you want. You want well-thought-through clickbaits that will affect your statistics positively. Do you know how to tell whether your clickbait is doing its magic? 

It’s not that hard. Your view count will go up. Thanks to all the capturing thumbnails and titles. The watch time of your channel is not affected badly. Because as you know, a bad clickbait on YouTube gets people to click on the video and then click away very quickly, causing the watch time to decrease. A good clickbait, however, does the opposite. Viewers will keep watching because they won’t feel tricked. And lastly, your comment section will be reflective because people just love to comment.  

Listen to Your Audience 

We can talk for hours about what is good and bad clickbait. But at the end of the day, it’s what your audience thinks that counts. 

It’s important to keep track of your comment section. If your audience thinks that your thumbnails or titles include too much clickbait, they will say that in the comments. So, make sure you’re listening to them. 


Can I use clickbait all the time? 

Making use of clickbait is not a bad thing as long as you do it properly. But doing it too much can be overwhelming for your viewers. And after a while, it may stop benefiting you as it did before. 

Will YouTube shut down my channel if I use too much clickbait? 

Not necessarily. Using clickbait is not against YouTube community guidelines. Although, it can happen if people start reporting a specific video or your channel.  

Written by
Beatriz Sirena

Beatriz Sirena, a true trailblazer in the world of social media and digital storytelling, seamlessly integrates her academic background with a wealth of creative expertise on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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