Did you know the average human attention span is just eight seconds? That means videographers have only eight seconds to hook viewers before they move to the next thing.

You could say that this makes life hard for video professionals, but we’re glass-half-full people here at SproutVideo! A truly memorable intro is a great opportunity to make a killer first impression, and set yourself apart from the rest.

In this post, we’re going to share actionable tips on what to do during those crucial first few seconds to make your viewers sit up and pay attention.

1. Move quickly.

This is so important it’s worth repeating – video drives engagement. A creative, interesting video will not only grab viewers’ attention, it will hold it. But, how do you get there?

Within the first segment of the video, focus on the hook. The intro to your video should immediately make viewers want to watch more.

Emotions are the key to a making viewers want to keep watching. Trigger an emotional response early in the video to pique their interest.

2. Choose a snappy title.

Some people find it easy to choose a snappy title, others take a little longer. If you fall into the second category, don’t panic! Research keywords to come up with some great ideas and optimize your video for Google searches.

Avoid vague titles in favor of titles that are descriptive – viewers want to know what they’re going to watch. To learn more about why video titles are important, read our post What is Video Metadata and How Do I Use It?

3. Make your thumbnail stand out.

Along with the video’s title, an outstanding poster frame will tempt viewers to stop and watch. The thumbnail should be brand-specific, so the audience knows they’re about to learn something about your organization. The image should also be HD – poor quality image could reflect badly on the quality of your video. Carry out A/B testing to ensure you’ve chosen the most effective image possible.

high quality

4. Pay attention to picture and sound quality.

Are the sound and video quality optimal? It’s unlikely viewers will stop to watch a poor quality marketing video. It also risks creating a negative first impression of your brand. Learn more about video quality (and the actions you can take) in Does Video Quality Matter?

5. Get to the point.

Your audience is much more interested in hearing what your brand can do for them, rather than how great you are. Let them tell others about your organization or product by producing an engaging, shareable video. If you want, you can use the description of the video, or other content on the landing page, to introduce your brand and provide more detail there.

6. Connect with viewers by being relatable.

Understanding your customer demographic will help you create videos they can relate to. We’ve put everything you need to know about relating to your viewers in our post How to Charm Your Audience.

relateable video marketing

7. Can you work with an influencer?

Most people don’t want a company to tell them what to buy. But, they will stop what they’re doing, watch, and trust a video featuring an influencer.

In fact, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. VIP influencer marketing generally requires deep pockets and friends in high places, so most brands work with influencers who have made their name on social media. Our blog Five Ways to Supercharge Your Campaigns with Influencer Video Marketing explains how to work with an influencer in your next video.

8. Keep the 8 second rule in mind.

When time is of the essence, you need to turn to video. It’s the ideal medium to strike up a conversation with your target market. Every single second matters, so spend time editing to ensure that the introduction really counts. The important information should be included in the first eight seconds: a killer hook, your company or branding, and value proposition.

9. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

People are forgetful. Almost 40% of Americans have forgotten one basic piece of information or lost one everyday item in the past week! For video marketers, this means that saying something once – especially if it’s a key piece of information – isn’t enough. The names of the product and brand should be repeated throughout the video, in as natural as way as possible. Including a call to action at the start and the end of the video is a good strategy.

10. It’s all about YOU.

A 2017 study showed that using the word ‘you’ in the first five seconds of a video will have a massive impact on views. In fact, videos that contained the word ‘you’ twice in the first five seconds had view counts that were 97% higher than videos that did not use this word. This research was carried out on YouTube videos, but it can’t hurt to use the findings in videos hosted on other platforms!

11. Mix it up.

If someone watches the first few seconds of your video, they should get the most important message, but what about the rest? All the content in your video is vital, can you really afford for your audience to miss out?

Recycle what you can. If you have lots of b-roll, see if you can use this to repackage the video. Head over to our blog 25 Cool Places and Spaces to Shoot B-Roll for interesting ideas. If you’ve included slides in your video, be sure to use these in other videos in this campaign.


Holding your viewers’ concentration is difficult, but not impossible. By ensuring that every aspect of your videos is engaging, relatable, and tailored to the interests of your customer base, it is possible to hook your audience. And now congratulate yourself for concentrating right to the end of this post!

If you have any tips on using video to grab customers’ attention, share them below or on Twitter!