Hook ‘Em In 5: 5 Things You MUST Do In the First 5 Seconds of a Video

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The average viewer will watch a video for 5-10 seconds before moving on, if they’re not engaged. Five to ten seconds. That’s it. This means you need to work FAST to hook your viewer before they keep scrolling, whether you’re uploading to Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or even Snapchat. Here’s 5 ways to do it.

1. What’s It About?

You’d be surprised how many creators waffle on (for what seems like forever) at the start of edited videos. The VERY first thing you need to say (besides, “Hi”) is what the video is about. If a viewer is on YouTube, they’ve clicked on your video mostly because of the thumbnail. If a user is scrolling through Instagram, ditto.

2. Tell ‘em what you’re going to do in the first 5 seconds

  • “Hello! Today is all about a flawlessly fresh face, from skincare to makeup, in just 5 minutes.
  • “Hey everyone, today I’m showing you my top 5 summer wardrobe staples & how to style them.”
  • “Today, we’re diving face-first into the new Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Palette, to see if it’s mermaid-worthy.”
  • “Let’s go follow me around Coachella!”

3. Problem + Solution

Many commercials start out by showing a common problem (dishes that are still dirty after a cycle in the dishwasher) + a quick & easy solution (the company’s newest dish detergent). Tell your viewers what problem you’re addressing in the video, and how you’re going to show them how to solve it:

  • “Are you petite like me, and clothes are always too long on you? Today’s video is my top 10 hacks for making too-long clothes fit AND flatter a short figure!”
  • “Bad at blending eyeshadow? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Today, let’s go into an in-depth tutorial on blending your shadows like a pro makeup artist.”

4. Entice the Promise of a Juicy Story

There’s a reason why drama channels are so popular: Everyone loves a hot piece of gossip. Hook your viewers with clickbait-y opening lines like, “You are not going to BELIEVE who I ran into at Sephora, today!”

5. Make Your Description/Caption Pop

Video thumbnails are important, since a picture is worth a thousand words – but video titles & descriptions should get just as much attention. Not only do the right keywords help your videos rank higher in YouTube’s search algorithms, but they attract viewers’ attention!

Cover image adapted from ethos3.com

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