How to create the perfect video ad hook?

Apr 13, 2023
 min read

Do you sometimes catch yourself clicking the ad immediately after seeing the first 3 seconds? Let me tell you a little secret. Those first 3 seconds are called “The Hook”, which hooks potential customers to make further actions. And our, as a marketing and creative agency biggest task is to test what works for the target audience of the brand the best and push push push, until they are hooked.

But HOW to create an ad that HOOKS?

As most creative things do - It begins with research, brainstorming, and noting down relevant marketing angles that trigger your target audience’s “buy now” button. You need to find your target audience, their archetypes, and other details so you could talk to them in their language. The main point is to make sure that the viewers feel like the ad talks about them and their problems.

After doing all the pre-creative homework, it is time to launch the first tests. Usually, there are a few main creative types, such as UGC, Images, Testimonials, Product showcases, and more. Our mission is to find which of them is the best fit for a particular audience. 

Once you find the best angle, you need a clear structure of the video scenario.

For example, a winning ‘BuzzFeed’ style video ad consists of a hook, introducing the product, mentioning a few product benefits, adding a testimonial to create social proof, product demonstration (this includes how to use it, along with some more testimonials), more product benefits, text reviews, a before & after photo and finally, a call to action.

After you have a video scenario, with each video you must TEST at least 3 different hooks. Why?

If one fails, another might work like crazy. Just imagine that you have 1 hook that grabs the user’s attention by 20% better than the others. You’re getting 20% more people after the first 3 seconds, which then elevates your CTR from 5 to 10%. Also, there is a reverse action for that. If your hook is not relevant, you’ll be losing that 20% after the first 4 seconds.

After seeing the first results, try to understand what determines certain results and TEST TEST TEST. At first, with lower budgets, stick to the winning hooks at first, and later when revenue increases, try new hooks, new angles, and scale. Creatives tend to dry-out quickly, so having more content to test is always a great idea.

Those are the metrics to follow to see if the hook and video have a potential for future scaling:

Click-through rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of viewers who clicked on the call-to-action (CTA) after watching the video. A higher CTR indicates that the hook was effective in generating interest and engagement from viewers.

Play rate: The play rate measures the percentage of viewers who started watching the video after it was presented to them. A higher play rate indicates that the video hook was successful in capturing viewers' attention and encouraging them to start watching.

View-through rate (VTR): VTR measures the percentage of viewers who watched the entire video after it started playing. A higher VTR indicates that the video hook was engaging enough to hold viewers' attention and keep them watching until the end.

Conversion rate: The conversion rate measures the percentage of viewers who completed a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, after clicking on the CTA in the video. A higher conversion rate indicates that the video hook was effective in generating interest and ultimately driving conversions.

3-second video views is another metric that can be considered when testing a video hook in video advertising. It measures the number of times the video ad was played for at least 3 seconds.

Always remember, brands’ main task is to find and understand how the product you're selling answers customers' needs (both physically and emotionally).

Through the power of advertising, we can answer both of those… if we put in the effort! We can turn a brand into a brand that people fall in love with. Creative that makes people want to get in on the action and talk about it of their own free will, without being paid to do so.

Create content that connects on an emotional level. Create ideas that involve the consumer. You can even create a community or a movement and safe space where like-minded customers can come to share in the fun and joy of your product. Community is 'in' right now, and so it should be! But don't jump on any bandwagon though, there's nothing more off-putting than a brand that has no place at the table. Find what matters to you (truthfully), and you'll be golden. Can your product benefit someone on a more personal level? Maybe an audience needs your product more than the one you're currently selling it to?

Don't give too much away either... Let people discover the product for themselves. The mystery is a strong selling point. Leave people wanting to discover more... And then after a little foreplay, give them what they want! It's like that old nightclub trick of not letting in people too quickly. Making them queue (psychologically) makes them want to come in even more. But just like everything... don't wait too long because they'll soon find another club just around the corner! Timing is everything - make sure you deliver content at the right time and place. Have a rollout plan.

The simple truth is that real insights, emotional connections, and real stories are key to making engaging content that invites the consumer to the table. To feel a part of something sometimes has far greater reach and value than the product itself. Coca-Cola, for example, is all about sharing and coming together... even though it's just a drink that can give you diabetes! They created added emotional value. It's the power of more than being just a product... it’s something that lives outside of the box. It's about creating magic that people get pumped up about and buy into. Of course, we want them to buy the product too! Trust me, you can make a ruler exciting and sell it well if you understand and know who your audience is!

And voila - that’s how an ad that generated over $20-30MM in revenue was (and are) made! 


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