How to Hook a Video Viewer in the First 5 Seconds

In today’s digital world, there is an endless stream of content that people are consuming. Whether it’s on social media, on Youtube, on streaming services, or on any other platform, consumers are constantly watching videos.

Because of this endless amount of content to choose from, it’s more important than ever to capture a viewer’s attention. Platforms today make it so easy to scroll to the next video or search for something else, so if you don’t hook the viewer within the first 5 seconds, then they’re likely going to continue on to the next one. So if you’re wondering how to come up with a hook or how to grab an audience’s attention, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find the top tips for how to make an attention grabber that actually keeps the viewer’s attention.

The Element of Surprise

If you’re trying to determine how to get people’s attention on Youtube, then one of the top things you can do is shock your audience. When creating ads for Youtube, you have to always keep in mind that the user can oftentimes click “Skip” after the first 5 seconds. So your job within the first 5 seconds is to present something so surprising that they can’t help but keep watching. 

So how do you surprise your audience enough that they forgo pressing the “Skip” button? Well, that’s really going to depend on the content of your video, but here are a few things to keep in mind. You can surprise visually, whether that’s through imagery that users aren’t used to seeing or fast-paced shots of beautiful scenery. You can also add an element of surprise through storytelling. You can do this by showing a subject telling their story or with a combination of text and voiceover. And believe us when we say this is only skimming the surface of ways you can shock and subsequently hook your audience. Try something that’s never been done before! The more surprising, the more it will capture the user’s attention

Use Text

If you’re wondering how to get someone’s attention on social media, then it’s important that you use text overlays. About 40% of people watching stories on Instagram are watching them with the sound off, so if your video doesn’t include any text, it’s very possible that almost half of your viewers are not hearing your message.

Text is not only essential in terms of conveying your message, but it’s also a useful tool to hook the consumer’s attention. Use text that’s legible on all device sizes (aka the placement of your text matters). You can also borrow from the tip above and surprise your viewers with text. Say something that’s going to catch their eye and stop them from scrolling or swiping to the next video.

Preview the Story

If you’ve got a story to tell, then a really great way to hook your audience is by giving a preview of the story you’re about to tell. Jump to the end and share the juicy conclusion, which will keep your audience wondering how you’ll get to that conclusion. This approach needs to be done properly, though, so be sure to only use this when you’ve got the right story. If the content of your video isn’t particularly exciting, previewing the story may not be all that interesting for users. 

Use a Cliffhanger

One of the top methods for how to grab an audience’s attention is by using a cliffhanger. Grab their attention and then hold it by keeping them on the edge of their seat. This method is a great way to not only hook the audience but also a way to keep them watching for the entirety of the video.

Whether you’re telling a story or sharing sale prices that the viewers won’t believe, there are some great ways to communicate a cliffhanger that’s actually going to keep the audience engaged. First of all, you need to leave the audience wanting more. To do this you need to share just enough information to pull them in, but save the really exciting stuff for once you’ve got them hooked. You can also add a dramatic effect in post-production. The way that you fade out of a scene or the music you use is going to add to that suspense and keep users wanting to see more.

Evoke Emotion

The last method you can use to come up with a hook is to get emotional. People often think that means you need to create a sob story, but really there are tons of other emotions you can evoke that are just as effective. An often overlooked but wildly successful emotion to evoke is nostalgia. If you can get a viewer to feel like they’re a kid again, then that’s often a really powerful tool. Not only will they connect with your video and continue watching, but they’re also more likely to take action (aka buy your product).

Another emotion that is a little riskier, but when done well can be very effective is using fear. If viewers see your video and the fearful situation you’re presenting resonates with them, they are much more likely to stop scrolling and watch your video. And don’t forget about evoking happiness and joy; those can be very effective as well.


Now that you know how to make an attention grabber, it’s time to get started on your video. Not sure where to start? That’s where we come in! Our team of experts can help take your video from an idea to a fully-edited finished product. Reach out to us today via message or call 831-824-9660, and we can get started on making your video idea a reality.

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