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  • Terra Werner & Daniela Schrittenlocher

How to Hook Your Audience with Short-form Video Content

THIS will blow up your social media video strategy! Yep, we’re talking Reels & TikToks and YouTube shorts... the never-ending scroll of short-form videos. 👀

Capturing the attention of your target audience has become increasingly challenging.

With the constant rise of short-form video content on almost ALL platforms and decreasing attention spans, marketers, business owners, entrepreneurs, basically everyone, is on the hunt to find innovative ways to engage, connect and grow their social media audience.

Shorter video clips are what we all want to see nowadays. These compact, engaging snippets have taken over, allowing brands to convey their message effectively and leave a lasting impression. 💫

But, before we create that lasting impression, make 'em hit that follow button or buy our product or service, we need to find a way to hook the audience and STOP the scroll.

Not always easy. In fact, one of the hardest things to come by.

So let’s learn how you can hook your audience to make them watch your videos:

1. Create a Strong Hook

A lot of people struggle with their Reels views, and it’s obvious why. A very common Reels mistake is that it’s boring. 🥱 As soon as your video gets boring, people keep scrolling. Cuz we all don't got time for this...

So how do we create non-boring and attention-grabbing videos and make them curious to see or learn more!?

ELAS Hook Example

You need to catch your viewers' attention within the first 0-2 seconds to keep them watching!

You can do that either visually, with text, and/or with spoken words.

But since most people watch Reels without audio turned on, the visual and text hooks work best 😉 See how it’s done here!

2. Text Matters!

Have you ever struggled to read the text on Reels or TikToks!?

Wrong text placement and the wrong font choice happens. all. the. time.

Use fonts, text colors and font sizes that are easy to read and make sure your text placement is “correct”, meaning you are able to read the text on screen.

Ensure the text won’t be covered with any in-app icons, such as the like count, comments or the caption and won't be cut off.

Besides that, you need the right wording...

Here are 5 Text Hooks you can Use Right Now:

  • 5 things you can do right now!

  • Stop using [that] and [do this]…

  • This video will blow your mind!

  • These 5 small hacks will change your life…

  • I bet you didn’t know…

Well, if you made it this far, we must have caught ya with our strong hook to this article 😉

3. Make Your Visuals Pop

Use bold visuals. Always think about the aesthetics, especially as a business in lifestyle niches, like home decor and organization, fashion, graphic design, marketing, travel…

Your visuals alone can hook your audience, so make 'em count.

✨ For optimal quality, set your phone’s video quality to 1080p @ 60 fps. And always make sure you have good lighting.

And don't forget to add attention-grabbing thumbnails to make your videos stand out on your feed. Check out our customizable Reels covers to do just that here.

4. Keep it Concise

The main goal is to deliver a message in a concise and impactful manner. Get straight to the point or you’ll be swiped over- NEXT!

Focus on a single message or idea that aligns with your current marketing or business goals.

🚨 The average human attention span is about 8.25 seconds.

Recommended video length per platform:

This one is really hard to tell, because the length of your video varies by niche, content type, topic and social media platform.

But here are some general recommendations based on best practices:

Instagram Reels: 7-15 seconds

TikTok: 21 - 34 seconds

YouTube Shorts: 15-60 seconds

Pinterest: 4-15 seconds for ads, up to 5 minutes for idea pins

Facebook: up to 90 seconds

Pro Tip:

Don't be afraid to try out different types of video and see what resonates best with your audience.

5. Tell a Story

We all love a juicy story. Humans are wired to respond to narratives.

Instead of just presenting your product or service, tell a story that evokes emotions and connects with your audience on a deeper level. Stories have the power to create an emotional bond and make your brand more relatable.

Again, start with a good hook to grab the audience's attention and keep your story short & relatable.

👉🏻 Finally, end the story with a good conclusion.

Here’s a few storytelling ideas for ya:

  • showcase a customer's journey

  • highlight a problem and its solution

  • present a behind-the-scenes glimpse

6. Add CTAs for Better Engagement

Short-form videos are not always about entertaining or informing. They are also valuable tools for driving action. Trust us- your audience needs to be told what to do next.

Incorporate clear and compelling call-to-actions (CTAs) to guide your viewers toward the next step. Prominently display your CTAs that align with your end goal - subscribe to your channel, visit your website, or make a purchase.

You can generate leads and conversions while leaving a lasting impact. Use these 9 free CTAs to get started.


You should NOT exceed 2 CTAs per caption. People won't know what to do anymore if you give them too many choices and rather do nothing then.

✨ By using these tips, you can absolutely increase your visibility & the viewer’s interest in your product without being "salesy." Yes, you know salesy should be an actual word and I know you know the vibe.

Anyway, short-form videos have revolutionized the way brands engage with their audience. But yet most businesses and brands are still struggling to come up with relatable content.

Most of it is either too promotional, doesn’t have the right quality, isn’t outside the box at all or made with boring stock imagery.

🚨That’s exactly why I’ve been digging deep into each most popular trend niches and working on a new UGC video content platform called @reelvyzn

REELVYZN - Your short-form video content library on demand - COMING SOON!

Matt and I have collaborated on this AMAZING new tool so you can say goodbye to boring stock videos, endless scrolling and searching for that perfect video and all the bad and blurry visuals.

THIS is what you need, if you are a:

- social media manager

- business owner of any size

- marketer

- influencer

- content creator

ReelVyzn has over 500+ curated videos ready for you to download, they are totally Instagram aesthetics AND new, fresh content is being uploaded every single month👌🏻

Best part, these videos are made by influencers and creators, so definitely no stock vibes 😉

🚨Mark your calendar! ReelVyzn is launching August 1st and believe me, you don’t want to miss it 🤩

Join the waitlist here!

And if you are a creator or influencer who'd like to get into our affiliate program, feel free to reach out. We have a pretty awesome offer for you ;)


written by Jordan Scherkenbach, Terra Werner and Daniela Schrittenlocher @ELAS Marketing Services LLC

Follow @elasmarketingservices for daily tips, facts and honest social media & marketing talk on Instagram.

Email us at with questions or topic requests.

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