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5 Ways to Engage Your Viewers with a 3 Second Hook

Updated: Feb 14

It’s become pretty common knowledge for social videos that you have to hook your audience in the first 3 seconds. Something attention-grabbing enough to stop them scrolling through their social feed. What isn’t so common knowledge is how you do it.

Girl's eyes looking at camera

Whatever your subject matter, one thing you can guarantee is that you care about it more than your average audience member. Therefore, assume your audience doesn’t care about your video even a little bit, then give them a reason they HAVE to stop and watch it.

Here are 5 things you can do to grab your audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds:

1. Crash zoom

Zoom very quickly in as soon as the video starts. Works well for someone speaking directly to camera. You can also vary this method in creative ways, for example having someone walk towards or lean in to the camera.

2. Centered caption (not the title)

A sentence to captivate people's interest and intrigue them into wanting to know more works really well. Don't put the title up front if you can avoid it because it most often isn't that enticing.

3. Engage directly with an active voice

Eg. "have you tried [new soft drink] yet?" or "check out how people reacted to this terrifying horror movie". Speaking directly to your viewers is a powerful tool to make them feel engaged.

4. Illicit empathy

Prime people for what's to come, by speaking to their emotions first. If your video is all about your equality based company culture, you could start with something like "have you ever faced unequal treatment at work?" If your video is about people laughing at a silly promotion you could start with "when was the last time you had a good chuckle?"

5. Familiarity

Starting the video with something people already have a personal connection to is a good way to immediately indicate this video is relevant to them. For example a drone shot of the Sydney opera house would appeal to people in Sydney. If your target audience loves cameras then open with a shot of a camera.

For an example of a video that used familiarity and a crash zoom (of sorts), see this video we made that got over 130,000 views across different social platforms and earned us multiple major clients through the exposure:

Hopefully this helps you create a must-see video for your viewers.

Let Black Iris Films Create a Video that Engages your Customers

An audience is more likely to watch a video that is tailored to hook them and engage their interest. That means they're more likely to watch to your call-to-action and reach out for your product or services. If you want to raise your engagement, use engaging video.

We've made videos for well-known companies such as Hitachi, DXC, Knight Frank, JLL, Qantas, Cartier and many more. We'll provide you with quality support during all stages of your video production.

Click here to talk to a commercial filmmaker and find out how much it will cost to produce your video.


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