The Hook, Line and Sinker That Keeps Your Video Viewers Engaged

by Dave Toole  2 September 2015

There’s no doubt that video can be highly effective in generating leads and driving traffic to your website, but only if you do it right. Constant bombardment with online ads has led your target audience to become less patient with lengthy content. They’re less likely to hang around for tedious, long-form videos that drag on before getting the point or call to action. Let’s have a look at what’s so great about shorter videos and see what you can do to make your long-form content more appealing. A viewer’s attention span is shorter than you think. The stats on user engagement via video content demonstrate how little time you have to do a whole lot. You’ve got 10 seconds to capture the attention of a viewer and you’ll lose 20% of them if you don’t keep them on the hook. It goes downhill from there, as one-third of your audience is gone in a half-minute and 45% click away by the one minute mark. Determine the ideal length. Those may be depressing figures, but they provide a challenge – not an obstacle. The majority of viewers will watch an entire video if it’s two minutes or less, so this gives you a framework for your video content. Meet the challenge and reel them in by putting proper focus on the three main video segments:
  • The Hook: This refers to the first few seconds of your video, where you make or break viewership. You need to get to the point immediately and prove your point rather than have the viewer take your word for it. Avoid presenting too much about your company; instead, set the context for the content.
  • The Line: The ‘body’ of your term paper, this section could mean the demise of your video’s engagement potential if you don’t do it right. It’s where you don’t want your viewer to say “You had me …. then you lost me.” Make it interesting and find ways to break up the monotony.
  • The Sinker: This is your wrap up and likely where you embed or detail your call to action. The good news is that if they’ve gotten this far, your viewers will know what you want them to do next.
Consider video “chunking” to keep viewers engaged. Of course, the two minute rule isn’t always practical when you’ve got a lot of ground to cover on a chosen topic. Chunking is an option that enables you to give proper treatment to the subject matter – with little risk of losing your audience. Divide your content into manageable pieces 1-2 minutes, then direct them to the next video in the series. Long form videos do present a challenge, usually because they involve competing goals: Trying to maintain the attention of your target audience versus presenting your content in its entirety. Chunking your material is an effective solution to the problem, as it incorporates what viewers like about shorter videos – but still enables you cover your subject matter. Consider these micro-videos as a way to accomplish both of these objectives.

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