The beginning of any piece that is meant to be consumed by a wider audience is always thought of as a hook or catch. You certainly want to hook your audience at the beginning, but what does this process entail? There’s one incredibly important step in this process:
Knowing Your Audience
When wracking the brain for a snazzy opener we often get stuck in our own head. “What sounds good?” we ask ourselves, and we constantly revise ideas that stick. We refine and revise until we put down something that satisfies us and should therein satisfy our audience. In doing this, we lose ourselves to the ego of thought, and more often than not: lose grasp of our audience. To guide this process here are a few questions:
- What pain point does my content solve?
- Is there a need to solve this pain point? (content saturation)
- Does this topic require elaboration or is brevity key?
- What is my spin?
- Does my spin appeal to the target audience?
Sometimes we don’t always have all the answers – and that’s okay! The key here is to use your best guess and keep that as a working hypothesis as you continue to refine.
Video Content Structure
Structure is the key here. On top of keeping all the aforementioned audience cues in mind, we must also think of how the beginning of the video will interact with the rest of the content. Luckily, you’ve already answered these questions.
That’s because the structure of the video is going to be aligned with your style. If you clearly defined your style, this should be easy. Remember to keep it consistent and if you are going to change things up do your homework. That is to say: audience research. This can’t be stressed enough. Every successful YouTuber has a consistent style. It may turn some people off, but if it constantly brings more people in (and keeps people coming back) – that’s the type of behavior we want. Continuing to switch up your style may alienate people who wanted to stick with your content for the long run.
Here is an example of a MediaMobz social video. We went straight to the content with the “hook” being a promise to elaborate on a desirable skill.
Think carefully about what your audience responds to positively. It may take several revisions and content cycles but that’s okay. The data and feedback you receive are an incredibly valuable guiding force. With audience research and data in tow, and the content process running at full steam, you’ll have an audience that will cherish your content in no time.