Video is often hailed as the king of all content. Whether it’s a passion project, website, campaign or social media page you’re working on, video can enhance the quality of your online presence. Video is universally the easiest form of content to consume, which is why it’s important to not only include it where you can, but also to get it right to maximise effectiveness.

In recent times, short form video has taken over as the most popular and most engaging form of content (as seen by the success of TikTok and Reels.) We’ve discussed the overwhelming success of short form video in another blog, but in this one I’ll be looking into how to engage an audience through video, no matter the length or audience type. So let’s get started!

The opening hook

If you work in video production (especially short form video), then you know that the first few seconds are the most important part. Imagine you’re scrolling through Tiktok, and you come across a video with a boring or bland intro. Despite the algorithm targeting that video at you for your pleasure, the weak intro causes you to scroll on by without giving it another thought.

We do this more often than we realise! Our short attention spans cause us to ignore and skip more videos than we think. It’s widely agreed that you only have 8 seconds to engage your audience, which is why your opening hook is so important.

So how do you build a strong opening hook? Well, it depends on a few factors. If it’s a longer video, your title is your first hook. This rule is more prominent on Youtube, where your title and thumbnail are both very important and shouldn’t be neglected. Opening with a question or a teaser is also a strong way to introduce a longer video.

For short form content, there are a few different ways to hook an audience:

  1. Create a curiosity gap with your video intro, which refers to the space between what our audience knows and what we want our audience to know (which creates a desire to fill the gap.)
  2. Tell them a story.
  3. Show a preview of what’s to come in your video introduction. 
  4. Create a video introduction that makes your audience laugh.

Keep it short and snappy

More often than not, video is shared on social media, and unless you’re making a movie, documentary or TV Programme, you’ll want to keep it short and snappy. As mentioned previously, short form content has taken over in recent times, and every mainstream social media platform has its own section dedicated to it.

If you plan on uploading video content on social media, aim to make it short. As long as it needs to be and no longer. For example, if you have a video to go out on Instagram, why not make it a Reel? If you’ve just uploaded a video on Youtube, why not upload a short surrounding it? Reminder: make sure your dimensions are correct before attempting to upload short form content (typically it’s 9×16.)

Potential benefits of short form content are huge, especially if you consider how much effort goes into them compared to longer videos.

It’s also important to note that while TikTok and Reels have a length cap of up to a minute and a half, you’ll want to try and avoid going that high if you can. In most cases videos of that length are buried by shorter ones. Not only that, but the longer a video is, the more difficult it is to maintain audience retention.

Include a call to action

While a reason for engagement could be as simple as showing appreciation for a good piece of content, that method is fairly difficult and not one you should be aiming for. Utilising a call to action (CTA) is a common and effective way to encourage engagement!

For longer videos, these can be implemented in the video itself, whether it’s subtly or outright said. For short form videos however, it’s probably best to add these in the caption or description rather than attempting to implement it into the video, as this can easily disrupt the flow. 

Give them a reason to engage

This next point is fairly simple if you think about it: an audience won’t engage with your content unless given a reason to do so. But how do you do this?

This method comes straight from your target audience. It’s important for you to know who you’re targeting exactly so you can best cater towards their interests and needs. Doing this is a common and powerful marketing tactic, however it’s one that goes overlooked when it comes to video content. 

Oftentimes your audience won’t care about content they’re not interested in, which means you have to change your content itself or start targeting a different audience. Whatever the case, make sure you’re optimising your video content towards what your audience wants to see, and you’ll know their opinions through the amounts of likes, comments and views the video gets!


Let’s recap!

We’ve discussed how important the first 8 seconds of your video is, and how you should make that short period of time your most engaging. Along with this, we’ve discussed how we can go about achieving exactly that.

We’ve also discussed the general rule of Short>Long form content, and how beneficial short form content can be, especially given how it’s typically easier to make than longer videos. Lastly, it’s important to give your audience a reason to engage. Whether that’s by utilising CTA’s or just through the content itself, your audience won’t engage with your content unless they feel compelled to do so!

Digital content is always changing which means the rules of how to make engaging content changes with it. What methods have you found to be the most effective? Drop us a message and let us know as there are many unique ways to engage your audience that we may not be aware of!