Why The First 15 Seconds Will Make or Break Your YouTube Video

YouTube’s greatest vice and perk is that it started in the age of Millenials. While more and more people are more technologically inclined, attention spans are shrinking beyond repair. When it comes to creating video content, this can have detrimental effects on the success – or failure – of your next video.

A YouTube video had come a long way from its origins back in 2005. Now, it needs excellent image quality, audio, and a compelling topic to keep people hooked and watching. The biggest trick, however, is squeezing all of these in just 15 seconds. To be more specific – the very first 15 seconds of your entire video. 

The reasons are varied, but they all amount to one conclusion, ultimately: people expect to get what they bargained for when they clicked on your video. If you don’t “deliver the goods” on those first 15 seconds, they’re likely to become irritable and click off.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why are these first 15 seconds of your video so valuable more elaborately and offer tips for making the most out of them.

The First 15 Seconds Of Your YouTube Video
Researches showed that on average, people would “drop off” your video within those 15 seconds if they find that they didn’t get what they were looking for in your content.

Why Are The First 15 Seconds Of Your Video So Important? 

News Flash: Viewers Drop After 15 Seconds. 

This statement is quite shocking, we know. Unfortunately, it’s much too real. Researches showed that on average, people would “drop off” your video within those 15 seconds if they find that they didn’t get what they were looking for in your content. This phenomenon has a lot to do with our ever-decreasing attention spans.

It’s The Viewers’ Perfect Decision-Making Timeframe

Contrary to what some people believe, humans aren’t as dumb as they look (usually). If a viewer clicked on your video because the title compelled him or her to and found out the title has absolutely nothing to do with the content itself – you could bet your hard-earned money on them clicking right out of your video. Being misleading isn’t the only thing prompting viewers to click out, however. Being dull is also a massive factor in that decision-making process. Great titles and superb thumbnails can only take you so far – the rest is entirely in your hands.

Why The First 15 Seconds Are So Important
If people are dropping off in the very first 15 seconds of your video, the algorithm notices and makes a note to itself that your content is best left alone

YouTube’s Algorithm Is Watching And Taking Notes.

When YouTube’s algorithm is watching – it has a direct effect on your content. If people are dropping off in the very first 15 seconds of your video, the algorithm notices and makes a note to itself that your content is best left alone. YouTube’s primary goal, after all, is to keep people on the platform as long as they can. Longer sessions equal more ads watched, resulting in more money for YouTube’s people. If you manage to keep people around for those first 15 seconds, YouTube’s algorithm will promote your content over other people’s. All you have to do is keep them around. 

How To Use The First 15 Seconds Like A Pro

Introduce Your Audience To The Content

Titles and thumbnails can be misleading or obscure, and people like knowing what they’re going to see. Make sure you mention your video’s topic and explain (shortly!) what you will be showing your audience. This introduction is crucial when it comes to keeping people around (or helping them decide to leave if they find out your video isn’t what they expected it to be). 

You can give the viewers a sneak peek of what’s to come. You need to spark the viewer’s curiosity and interest. Welcome them to your video, ask them a question, and tease the most exciting part of the video – just a few seconds will suffice. You can skip it all and start with a teaser for your video; show a quick clip of what’s to come.

Don’t Waffle

Be very clear and concise when introducing your video’s topic (whether it’s a review, a vlog, or any other “format”) and make sure you get straight to the point.

Stop Talking About Yourself.

Unless you are the topic of the video (i.e., “A Day In My Life” type of vlog), stop talking about yourself during those first 15 seconds. No one cares about your neighbor’s beef with the FedEx man. Not a lot of people care what you had for dinner last night. The more you talk about yourself when it’s irrelevant to the video, the more people will find you annoying and self-centered and ultimately leave. 

Content First, Brand Later. 

Having a flashy, funky intro is awesome – there’s no denying it. It helps build brand recognition, and some are whimsical and aesthetically pleasing. However, when it comes to the first 15 seconds – don’t use them. Use them on the 16th second, or if you insist on using them anyway, do it after the first 5 seconds are up. Another tip is to try to keep them short and sweet; 3 seconds is more than enough for an intro clip. 

Use Pattern Interrupts And Special Effects

The goal is simple – make your audience hang on the edge of their seats. All of the examples we just gave can go under “pattern interrupt.” What you’re doing is breaking routine or “patterns” in your behavior and presentation and keeping the audience interested and amused. Be unexpected. Be entertaining.

  1. Background Matters:
    Here’s an example: if your video has a blank background right off the bat – people might get bored. Make sure your environment is attractive and aesthetically pleasing. Stunning visuals always win. If you click on the link, you’ll be redirected to Patricia Bright’s video, which features a lovely studio space background that is very aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Humor:
    You can also use humor with special sound effects and visual effects to keep your viewers interested and engaged. Clicking on this link will send you over to Michaela Long’s video, where she used special sound effects to create a humoristic vibe to her video.
  3. Different Camera Angles:
    Different camera angles can work wonders, as well. Clicking on the link will send you to another one of Michaela Long’s videos, where she uses different camera angles in the first 15 seconds of her video to create interest.

Say Your Main Keyword Out Loud!

YouTube’s algorithm can “read” and understand your video’s content through closed captioning (both automated and manually added) and therefore understand your video’s content, and eventually, it will make the algorithm rank your video for your targeted keywords. Also, using your main keyword will let the viewer know that he’s at the right place and he should keep watching the rest of your video.

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