How to Make Captivating Content
Regardless of the content type (video, blog, podcast, social post, etc.), you should always be mindful of these three things.
- The Hook
- The Grip
- The Payoff
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these three important functions in content marketing.
I call it the 3-second rule, which means the first 3 seconds has to be captivating, making the consumer stop whatever they’re doing and pay attention. Time is precious and if you don’t immediately give the consumer a reason to stop scrolling, they will move on.
This means the title, thumbnail, and even the opening sentence or paragraph must offer something of value. Consider asking some of the following questions:
- What is the promise I’m delivering?
- Why should someone invest their time to consume this content?
- What’s in it for them?
Always be thinking of the consumer, the value, their attention span, their time, etc.
Examples of some scroll-stopping headlines could include:
- Stop Making this Mistake with your Sales Outreach
- 3 Weird Traits All Billionaires Have in Common
- How We Doubled Our Sales in 6 Months With this One Hack
With video, the same rule applies. Spend a lot of time on the opening hook. If you look at the analytics and your video doesn’t receive high watch-through, try a new hook and repost it.
You need something to switch up or disrupt the rhythm. You can use a shocking statement, a jump cut, change in audio… This often tricks the brain into thinking something exciting is happening, and the viewer feels compelled to stick around to find out what it is.
After you hook the viewer, you need to maintain their interest throughout. This is where the art of storytelling comes in. You can build in mystery or intrigue whereby you create tension leading up to a final reveal.
You need to be concise and have a cohesive flow. If you are all over the place, going on tangents, unclear, rambling… their initial interest will wear off and you will lose them quickly.
Much like in storytelling, there should be a natural and logical progression to your content where one section leads to the next, driving toward a conclusion. Be mindful of pacing. People generally want content that is three things:
Aside from storytelling, you can also maintain interest with strong audio and visuals, as well as editing your video in an interesting way.
The Payoff refers to a satisfying conclusion, does it deliver on its promise, is there a lesson learned, a call to action perhaps, a next step, did they feel your content was worth the time investment, enough to like, comment, share, rewatch, subscribe…
Think about the last time you watched a good movie or read a book that was good throughout, but the ending fell flat. That’s likely all you remember and will then determine how you would rate or recommend that movie or book.
On the other hand, if you watch or read a mediocre movie or book, but the ending surprises you or exceeds your expectation, then you will likely walk away with much stronger feelings of that movie or book.
Content is the same way.
A powerful ending can be the reason you like, comment, share, rewatch, subscribe, etc. All of these are strong signals for many of the social algorithms.
When someone subscribes and turns on notifications to your channel, that is the ultimate signal that they find your content entertaining, educational, inspiring, trustworthy, etc. and they want more, and they don’t want to miss it.
TikTok's Algorithm Key Metrics
As it pertains to TikTok, here is how you should think about the algorithm. When creating videos for TikTok, think about all five of the key metrics:
- Shares/ Saves / Reposts / Stitch
Here are some ways to think about how you can get someone to rewatch your content.
- Have a collection of fast-moving images or video that people may miss the first time around.
- Include a large body of text on screen, or an image that doesn’t appear long enough to see it fully the first time.
- Speak quickly, delivering a lot of valuable information that people may have missed the first time around.
- Place multiple videos in one (imagine four videos in a grid). This forces users to rewatch multiple times so they catch everything
- Loop the last sentence and the first sentence together so people don’t know where the video starts and stops. For example, your last sentence is “…that’s why,” and your first sentence is, “you have to…” so your ending blends into your beginning to sound like, “that’s why you have to…”