Video Marketing Tactics- How to Grab Attention In The First 5 Seconds

Video marketing- Get attention with your video

Attention is the name of the game in online video marketing.

Grab it and you’ve got another shot to keep it.

Lose it and you wasted time and money creating a video that never get’s them to the call to action. That’s a sad ending to a story that never began.. (how lonely and terrible)

The good news is that you’ve peaked their interest and found your video. Awesome!

Maybe it was your amazing cat ninja thumbnail that made them click, or an enticing headline they couldn’t refuse? It could have been a friend share with a happy message attached like “Watch this video and it will change your life forever.” (Hopefully for the better)

Either way… you’ve got them right where you want them. Clicking the play button. Good work!

So, how can you keep those eyeballs that are so willing to blink away?

Is there a magic formula?

I wish there was…

But here are some things I’ve tried that have worked. If you have more ideas, please share them below in the comments.

Much appreciated my friends.

So here goes…

Fast Load Time

Ok.. this is critical. It’s got to load fast. In the hyper twitchy world of the internet every second counts!

Online video viewing studies show that if the video doesn’t load in the first two seconds people start leaving. After 10 seconds 40% will have left. That means every second (past the 2 second mark) your video doesn’t load, you could potentially lose 5.8% of your viewers. That’s ugly.

video time clock

Action steps

  1. Test your videos on other computers and see how they load. Check it on a smartphone, tablet, PC. Run them in different browsers and time your results.
  2. If you are self hosting your videos and your videos lag, check your plugins by turning off one plugin at a time until you find the culprit. If that doesn’t work contact your web host and see if there is an issue on their end.
  3. Most well known video sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv work well. If you have doubts, test them out as mentioned in step 1.

Tell Them

Let your audience know exactly what they should expect to see in the video. 

Summarize the gist of your video in a sentence or two.

Don’t bore your audience with a long logo fly by at the beginning, or a blistering hard rock music montage- especially if it’s the same blistering hard rock music montage placed before every other video you’ve produced. (bad idea)

For the people interested, they’ll gain the right expectation. To the folks who don’t care, you’ve just spared them a bad experience. They probably won’t mind. It happens. No big deal.

Take action now.

Time yourself.

Take out your watch or smartphone and see how long 5 seconds feels like.

Next… time your attention grabbing introduction to fit within this limit. Speak it out loud.

How did it feel?

Rushed?

Natural?

Edit down your intro until it fits. Make it fit! This may feel extreme, but it’s a good lesson in focus.

Ask A Question

It has been said that “He who asks the questions controls the conversation.” This is good advice. If you ask a provocative or thought provoking question right at the beginning you will do two things:

  1. Grab their attention.
  2. Set them up to want to hear the answer at the end.

ask questions in your video

Studies show that the longer the video the more likely the viewer will click away. That’s seems pretty obvious, but a good attention grabbing question feeds into our
human desire to find out. We are curious beings. The more power you put into that opening question will influence how long they’ll stick around.

**Important note**

You’ve got to deliver on your promise. Always answer the question thoroughly. You are more apt to get likes, shares, subscriptions, and comments this way. Feed them with brilliance!

Eye Contact

If you are doing an on camera monologue, establish direct eye contact immediately. Don’t be looking down and then looking up. Be right there in the zone with confident, bright, and happy eyes.

Eyes say so much in a very short amount of time. Shifty or twitchy eyes can cause suspicion. Looking off in the distance communicates disinterest. Direct eye contact commands confidence and attention. Show your goodness.

**Special note**

You may want to consider getting a close up of your face to start the video. Maybe that’s a little too “in your face?” it doesn’t have to be so close they see your nose hairs, but get in a little tighter to enhance the eyes and facial expressions.

Most online video is viewed in small windows inside larger computer monitors. It’s an ADHD environment.. Going big has it’s advantages to help you stand out amidst the clutter.

The Unexpected

If you’ve got an established fan base make sure to switch it up.

Keep them guessing. Just like hearing a favorite song over and over- eventually it gets old.

unexpected camels

This comes down to knowing your audience. What will make them stand up and take notice? Only you will know that answer, but make it big. Or.. if they are used to you always going big… make it small and quiet.

I had a teacher who never raised her voice, but when her tone switched lower, and she talked quietly, it got my attention. I knew I was in trouble!

Reward, Reward, Reward

Good story telling gets the viewer interested at the beginning. Then it guides them along by presenting questions and dropping clues. Those clues reward our curiosity, but we want more until we get the final answer.

Don’t give away the ending to your video too soon. Make it so the viewer is fed consistently with great information, but yield the final answer near the end. This works best for videos in the 1 – 2 minute range.

Think of the series Lost. Love it or hate it, the writers really knew how to keep us guessing and discovering. Each episode built upon the next and the details of the characters and plot kept getting larger and larger.

Make your first 5 seconds super intreiguing so they need to find out more.

Attention is Respect.

If you respect your viewers time, they’ll honor your kindness by giving you their time. Cut to the chase and get on with the presentation with focus, purpose, and clarity.

Hopefully you won’t disappoint.

Deliver a value packed, entertaining experience and you’ll have fans coming back for more.

photo credit: Curious Expeditions via photopin cc

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  • Nettie

    Awesome things Tim! Once again you get right to the chase and give us the info we need to hear! Thanks

  • Will

    Some eye-catching animation can also get viewers on-side early… Have you checked out Wideo’s video-making tool, Tim? http://wideo.co/

  • Fast load time is important. Nothing worse than trying to watch a video that has to wait and load.

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