How crazy does it sound to say that more than 1 billion videos get viewed each day on TikTok? It puts things in perspective. Your videos have to compete with so much content for viewers’ attention!
The average time spent on TikTok for regular users is around 45 minutes per day. (Many of us do way more than that, but not the point.) In those 45 minutes, users can have scrolled past 50, 70, maybe 100 videos before they get to yours.
So how can you break the scrolling pattern and make your videos stand out from the flow of content they're surrounded by? You have to attract attention with a powerful hook!
Have a look at five of our favorite ones for TikTok videos.
1. The snippet: Don’t start the video at the beginning of the story
Have you ever started watching a movie halfway in, and then given it your whole attention to try to understand the story? This intensity makes up for the fact that you’re missing the context given by the first part of the movie. You really want to understand, so you stick around.
This is a great hook for a TikTok video.
If you’re going to tell a story in your video, include a snippet at the beginning. This can be:
- a very interesting fact
- a shocking sentence
- an exclamation related to your emotions about the topic of the video
After this, you can then either choose to rewind the story and start from the top, or simply fill in the gaps with the rest of the video.
Try this tip: You can make this hook have a stronger effect by making the video a loop! Split the last clip of your video and place it at the beginning. It’s a very satisfying style and might keep users watching your video for longer.
2. The question: Address a pain point that viewers will relate to
Do you need to learn techniques to grab your viewers’ attention? Are you looking for powerful ways to start your TikTok videos?
See what we did there?
When you create a TikTok video, ask yourself “What will my audience get from this video? What do I want them to know or understand? What will they relate to?”
Whatever question comes out of this reflection, use it as a hook to start your video! Even if users don’t know they want the answer to your question yet, they will as soon as you ask it.
This hook is even more powerful if you make sure to include both a description of your target audience, and a hint to the problem you want to solve in the video.
- Are you a mom, and like me you’re struggling with cooking three meals a day?
- Girlies with bad acne breakouts, have you tried this product?
3. The on-screen text: Keep users reading until they’re too invested to scroll past
Using text on screen achieves two purposes: firstly, you will grab the user’s attention immediately. Text is very often the first thing the viewer’s eye gets drawn to.
Secondly, on-screen text gives you the opportunity to use action visuals: you don’t have to be talking to the camera, you can include any type of clip! Let’s say you want to introduce a new product. If you write “3 reason why X is great” on the screen, you can immediately start by showing off the product.
This hook is even stronger when coupled with voice-over, either by you or by using the AI voice feature.
Text on the screen, action visuals, and unconnected voice over: with so many interesting things going on, you’re much more likely to grab a user’s attention than if you simply started off by talking to the camera.
Try this tip: Favour short-to-middle length text in your first frame. A long text might have your audience run away!
4. The “you-feature”: Start the video with something that screams “hello, it’s me!”
Don’t literally scream “hello, it’s me!” unless that’s what you want to use as your signature move… but that’s the spirit.
The “you-feature” can be a special greeting, introduction, transition, or anything that will make you recognizable to the users scrolling down their feed. Whatever you do, it should clearly come across as your signature move. This means you have to use it in several (if not all) of your videos.
Some examples of “you-feature” could be:
- Standing in front of a recognizable background, like a specific painting.
- A personalized greeting. For our sister brand Kitschy, we could use “We’ve got Kitschylicious news!”
- A statement accessory, or accessory theme. Big bows in your hair or funky sunglasses, for example.
5. The quick cuts: Keep your audience interested with fast-paced jumps from clip to clip
Keep your viewers awake and alert by jumping from clip to clip. When editing your videos, get rid of the awkward silences you made before hitting the pause button. This ensures that your video stays dynamic and interesting!
Here’s a great example of how to use this hook:
Try this tip: Use hook #2 from this post with the quick cuts. Ask a targeted question then immediately jump to introducing the answer.