In this four part series, I’m looking at how you create content that people care about.  In other words, how do you create content that people want to watch and share?

The previous two posts outlined the components of a content strategy that will make your audience care and then asked you to take a close look at your audience and where the fall in the Audience Retention Matrix.  

Building a bridge to your audience

Today I’m going to talk about building a bridge to your audience; or finding that special link that will grab your audience’s attention and invite them to watch more.

A good HOOK will capture your audience’s attention in the first few seconds of your video and get them interested in viewing your story.  

The most important aspect no matter what approach you take is evoke mystery and inspire curiosity.

Why should someone continue to watch?

You want to spark people’s interest by leaving them wanting to learn more.

Here are three ideas for creating a hook for your story:

Shock / Excite 

  • Think of extreme sports where the opening includes images of crazy stunts or stunts about to happen, 
  • or think of lifestyle products (fashion, food) where you see stunning images of people using or tasting the product

Be Provocative 

  • Open with a surprising statistic
  • Or a provocative statement that runs contrary to common belief
  • Or an uncommon stance that goes against the grain
  • Or an illustration of conflict that you plan to address within the video

Share a Core Belief

  • Get real with your audience.  Share a belief of story that lets people see your excitement or depth of feeling about your product, service or process
  • Show your passion
  • Here you can share a common experience that your audience will relate to, a common challenge, dream, desire or experience.

These are just a few ideas of ways you can start your video and hook your audience.

The two biggest mistakes I see in online video

Videos that front load the facts

Facts are not interesting.  What these facts represent to your audience, that is what’s interesting.

I see time and time again people new to video having a fear that no one will watch their video so they feel obligated to put all of their important points up front.  That is sure formula to an audience clicking away.  

Videos that tell a story from the actual beginning 

And a beginning is only interesting if it is a beginning people relate to and it evokes an emotional reaction.

Think of fairy tales.  The tale starts at a point of conflict.  

Here is a plot excerpt from Wikipedia describing Cinderella:

Once upon a time, there was a widower who married a proud and haughty woman as his second wife. She had two daughters, who were equally vain and selfish. By his first wife, he'd had a beautiful young daughter, a girl of unparalleled goodness and sweet temper. 

Take this Hook challenge

Take your story, the story you’ve been wanting to tell or your existing video, and think of one or two different hooks.  

How would that impact your audience differently?  

Would you then change the way you are telling your story?

I hope these ideas helped sparked your creativity and gave you some new tools to take out when you get stuck starting your story.

For a downloadable copy of the HOOK archetypes, click here.

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