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3 things you must do to hook your viewers and get them to share your video

share your videoIn my last blog, I talked about using surprise endings to encourage sharing. But before a viewer can share your video, they need to watch it! So how to get you get them to watch your video and not just choose the funny talking animal video instead?

Here are three guidelines to keep in mind when creating your video content that will help hook your viewers from the beginning.

  1. Make the first 15 seconds all content – with a tease. Just like a good book, video needs to begin with a first scene that will pull the viewer in. One of the best ways of doing that is by offering just a little bit of valuable information, then tease about what will come in the rest of the video. TV news organisations have this down to a science. They will say a few sentences about a breaking story, ask a question about the story, then end with something like “tune in at 10 to find out”. These little clips will air in the hours before a full broadcast of the news show to get viewers to watch the full broadcast. Use the same concept to pull viewers into your video.
  2. Keep branding to a minimum. For many marketers or video content creators the impulse is to immediately start with branding. And often it can be a big production of graphics and music lasting way too long. Keep the branding, or the “who you are” information to a minimum – less than 5 seconds. Online viewers are impatient and won’t sit through it all. And if they do, they may end up feeling a bit irritated and not like or share your video even if they watch until the end.
  3. Use a surprise ending. Research has shown it’s at the end of videos when people decide whether or not to share them. Ending on an emotionally engaging note or adding a surprise twist can be just the trigger to get them to click the share button.  Take a look at my last blog to see more about surprising viewers.

Why should you follow these guidelines? Because research done on billions of video hours prove they work (for now). These are guidelines offered by YouTube based on their research of the videos on their service. And while YouTube isn’t the best place for some video (it all depends on the objectives and purpose of your video), they do have the largest database of video and viewers in the world.

Unless you’ve got something totally unique that can buck the trend, sticking to these guidelines can help make your videos more engaging and shareable and persuade viewers to share your video.

Oliver Burt

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