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These days putting a video online is a lot like dropping a needle into a haystack. A whopping 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube alone and, with numbers like that, viewers need to be impressed. They’ve got a lot of content to choose from and if your video doesn’t strike their fancy, another video is just a click away, literally.

Thanks to the massive selection of online videos, not to mention the plethora of other online distractions, attention spans are shorter than ever. If you want viewers to sit through your entire video you’ve got to grab their attention, and you’ve got to do it fast. We’ve put together a list of 5 simple ways to start your video with a bang so you can beat the odds and make a video that your customers will actually want to watch.


A quick “Don’t” before the “Dos”

Before we get to our list, let’s just get one big “don’t” out of the way. Do not waste the first seconds of your video on branding. As beautiful as your motion graphic-enhanced logo looks, you are wasting precious time by opening your video with it. You’ve got to hook your viewer within the first 15 seconds if you have any hope of keeping them interested.

Not sure how to make a movie that’ll hook ’em? Try some of the tips below.


1. The Preview

Viewers want to know what they’re getting into when they start watching an online video and one of the best ways to let them know is to tell them, plain and simple.

“Hi there, I’m Joe from Gizmos.com, and I’m going to show you how to get your gizmo set up in one minute flat!” In this example there’s no question about what the video is going to be about. Joe is going to teach the viewer how to set up his or her gizmo…in one minute flat! If a viewer knows what the content of the video is going to be straight from the get-go, they’re more likely to stick around for the rest.


2. The Question

When you create a movie that begins with a good question the viewer is immediately sucked in because they are bringing their own experience to the table and want to see how their answers relate to what you are going to tell them.

Let’s say you want to make a movie to let viewers know about a financial tool that will help them save money. Start out with a question like, “What would you do if you could save an extra $10,000 every year?” Not only will they be thinking about their answer, but they’ll also be intrigued and want to find out more about how this could be possible.


3. The Problem

Another way to start your video with a bang and hook your viewers is by presenting them with a problem that they’ll be able to relate with and letting them know you can solve that problem.

Viewers want to feel invested — like they’re going to get something out of sticking around to watch. As the video maker, when you present viewers with a common problem and offer them the possibility of a solution, you give them reason to stick around.


A note on production quality

Snagging your viewer with a catchy intro isn’t only about your script – it’s also about production quality. If you want your viewers to take you seriously your video has to look and sound professional.

Luckily these days it isn’t hard to pull off a professional look for cheap. Most of us have HD cameras on our mobile phones and online video maker services allow us to create great videos and even professional animations with little to no experience. If you haven’t already checked out GoAnimate, definitely have a look.

Pairing nice visuals and audio with a great hook like a question, a problem or a quick tease telling viewers what they can expect can help your video stand out from the hundreds of millions of videos on the web.

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