Crafting Effective Hooks for Video Ads: 3 Ideas

It’s well established that video is now king in social advertising. Tik Tok remains the hottest new social platform in years and other platforms are increasingly emphasizing videos in user feeds—sometimes in rapidfire, portrait-cropped formats (like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels) that are meant to replicate the TikTok experience.

The overwhelming trend is towards shorter video content and shorter attention spans. We’ve already discussed some of the fundamentals of editing Facebook videos to hold user attention. In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can grab that user’s attention from the start across all your social advertising videos by laying out some tips for video hooks. 

Tips for Creating Video Ad Hooks

When thinking about how to start your video content, your goal is to grab attention and then get your message out in a way that will spur brand recognition. We consider the video hook to be the first 3 seconds of content in the video—a pretty brief snippet in time. 

While your brand name itself can be incorporated into your hook, it doesn’t always need to be—and that’s okay. Still, you want to mention your brand in the first 5-8 seconds of your video ad, or immediately after the hook. 

Below are three types of hooks that we like to test for clients across our portfolio.

The Jaw-Dropping Stat Hook 

In order to draw in your audience, this needs to be a stat that makes you stop and think “Wow”. This can’t be something commonly known or minorly impactful. It should emphasize the pain point that your product could solve or include data about the efficacy of the product. 

Examples of jaw-dropping “pain point” statistics might include: 

  • “Only 8% of people manage to keep their New Year’s resolutions”
    • This pain point stat opens up the door for a brand to share how their product/service helps people keep their goals/resolutions 
  • “The average American generates nearly 4.5 pounds of trash each day.”
    • This opens the conversation to a product/service that has a sustainable, less/low waste impact 
  • “As many as 95 percent of millennials are not saving adequately for retirement.”
    • This a surprising statistic to lead with for a financial services brand that wants users to  

Statistics can come from your own product/service as well. 

  • “85% of shoppers chose this product against all competitors. Here’s why…”
  • “[condition patients] reported improvement in symptoms within just 48 hours of first use.”
  • “85% of millennials prefer to get their monthly prescriptions in the mail vs. in store, and now it’s easier than ever.” 

The List Hook

Lists are surprisingly captivating and give you a quick, easy-to-digest framing for what the rest of the video will be about. Lists create the expectation that the user will receive exactly the amount of information promised—3 reasons, 5 facts, etc.—and also create anticipation and curiosity, causing people to stick around to find out what #1 is. 

Your lists, like your jaw-dropping statistics, can relate either to a pain point or to a solution. Often, they will be very relatable for viewers. Here are some prompts to get you started: 

  • 3 Reasons Why 
  • 5 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner/Before 
  • 3 Product Type I Can’t Live Without 
  • 3 Brand That TikTok Taught Me
  • 4 Life Hacks I Wish I Knew Sooner 

The Humor Hook

If you know your target audience well enough to know what makes them laugh, then you could be well on your way to a good video ad. By making your viewers laugh in the first 3 seconds of watching your video, your likelihood of getting them to keep watching goes up massively. Here are three things to remember:

  • Be in on the joke. What trends or terms can you play off of within your product’s specific niche? In-jokes don’t just make users laugh, they also create credibility within your target niche.
  • Be tasteful. There’s always a line, and you don’t want to make any jokes that are mean-spirited, off-color or alienating to potential customers.
  • Be authentic. If you have a way to laugh at yourself—a blooper, perhaps—it isn’t a bad option for a video hook! This makes you both relatable and entertaining to viewers. 

There are countless approaches to creating video hooks. The important thing is having a willingness to create something original, put it to the test, and to shift gears to your next idea if the first one (or few) don’t stick. 

Want to learn more about developing expert creative that can fuel your social marketing growth? Check out our other blogs on this topic, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the ADM team with any questions you may have about building a better social media strategy.