We’re going to start this blog post off a little bit differently than the other blog posts.
This time, we’re starting off with a bit of shocking information: the average human attention span lasts 8 seconds.
Yes, you read that correctly.
We’re talking about your everyday, normal fellows, here. People with neuro-typical brains, who have no Attention Deficit Disorders whatsoever. Just your average Joes, so to speak.
Why is this important? Why did we choose to start this blog post off with that startling fact?
This blog post is all about creating great hooks and attention-grabbing openers for your videos. Strictly speaking, you only have an average of 8 seconds to grab your viewers’ attention and have them keep watching your video. To do this, you have to really know what hooks are, why they are so important, and how you can create great hooks that will keep your viewers watching.
What Are “Hooks”?
Your “hook” is the part of your video that makes people want more. More information, more entertainment, more content. In other words, your hook is what grabs your viewers’ attention and encourages them to keep tuning in to your content.
Your hooks usually take place in the first 15-30 seconds of your video. Their ultimate goal is to keep people watching, and they should be short and sweet. Otherwise, they’ll become an overdrawn introduction.
Why Are Good Hooks So Important?
The answer to this question can be summed up in four magic words: Audience Retention and Watch time.
Allow us to elaborate.
YouTube – and YouTube success, to be more specific – has everything to do with audience retention and watch time.
If you want to rank highly in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), your content will need to have good audience retention and watch time rates. Additionally, if you want your videos to be recommended to users on YouTube by YouTube, you’ll need to have good audience retention and watch time rates. If you want to be featured on people’s Home pages on YouTube? Yep, you guessed it: you’ll need to have good audience retention and watch time rates!
YouTube videos are essentially video presentations. No matter what niche you’re in – your video is a presentation you’re making and you have a huge audience that’s sitting around and waiting for you to make your move. To keep your audience engaged with what you have to say, you need to grab their attention first.
This is where your hooks come in handy.
People are more likely to finish watching a video that they’re already invested in. When we say “invested”, we mean they’re either emotionally invested in it (meaning, the video has an emotional connection to them – maybe it’s their friend who uploaded or it really resonated with them emotionally) or if they invested time watching it.
Most YouTube viewers know if they want to keep watching a video after 10 seconds. If they’ve stuck around for longer than that, they’ve already invested valuable time into your content.
In other words, if you managed to get your viewer past the 30 seconds mark, they are more likely to watch your video through to the end. To get them to that magical 30 seconds mark, you’ll need an awesome hook.
What Constitutes A Good Hook?
A good hook has several elements to effectively engage the viewer. Each element is part of creating a “curiosity gap” and a “value proposition”.
The Curiosity Gap starts with your thumbnail and title. It’s what makes the viewer interested in clicking on the video in the first place. The Value Proposition is the actual “video” part of your hook. It makes sure your viewer will be “rewarded” by watching your video.
Both of these concepts work by letting the viewer know that you know something that they don’t, and by letting your viewer know that it’s something that’s worth knowing.
5 Tips For Great Hooks And Attention Grabbing Openers That Will Keep Your Viewers Engaged And Watching
1 – Make Sure Your Thumbnails And Titles Work Together
Your thumbnail and video title are your very first chance to grab potential viewers’ attention and make a great impression. Make sure your thumbnails and titles are complementary to one another. Remember: a good thumbnail and title combination creates the curiosity gap in your viewers’ minds. This, in turn, will make them want to watch your video to fulfill their need to find out what it’s all about.
2 – Keep Your Hooks Short And Sweet
Optimally, your hook should take less than 30 seconds of your entire video. In reality, you’ll probably only need 10-15 seconds for a tight, solid hook. Make sure you’re not overdoing it – a long hook can make your audience lose focus and click off your video.
3 – Use Visuals
Add multiple images or short clips that are related to your video in the first few seconds while playing a voice-over. This technique can work magic on your viewers – it sparks intrigue and curiosity and works like a charm. You can check out Charisma On Command’s channel for some great examples.
4 – Tease The “Value Proposition”
Make sure your viewers know what they’re “getting” by watching the rest of your video. You can do this by asking a question that will spark thoughtfulness and curiosity in your hook. How To ADHD’s channel is a great example of doing so and their hooks are amazing. They know that people are turning to them for answers and information, and they tease what they’re video is going to be about at the beginning of each video in creative ways as well as with asking thought-provoking questions.
5 – Make A Human Connection
Again, How To ADHD perfected this technique. What they’re essentially doing is giving the viewers something to relate to on a personal level. It’s as simple as combining a quick statement or question that resonates with the viewers and the value proposition.