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The First 15 Seconds Of A Video

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The First 15 Seconds Of A Video

When producing a video for video marketing or making a corporate video, it is very important to pay attention to one or two things.

Because when people eventually find your video on the internet, it is also important that the video is watched!

The first aspect you need to understand is the attention span of the viewer, which I will further discuss inside this post.

Research reveals that the first 15 seconds of a video are the most important seconds of your video. The viewer has to understand immediately what your video is about and what he may expect. Animated intro’s that are too long are not ideal to start your video.

The more ideal way to go is to use a “direct start”, introduce the subject of the video. You can do this by talking direct to the camera or by making a short trailer of your video (create some suspense of what’s to come).

When you decide to start your video talking directly to the camera, you could ask a question and make it clear to the viewer that you are going to answer the question in the video.

After this insert your intro for brand recognition and that professional touch.

When the first 15 seconds are not “appealing” or “irresistible” enough or don’t arouse enough curiosity in your viewer’s mind, then you probably already lost the viewer before they can even hear your message.

You can start your video with an animated intro, when the intro is very very slick and is no longer than 10 seconds.

Some Viewer Engagement Examples

Take a good look at the start of following YouTube videos and see how they hook their viewers right from the first 15 seconds:

In the above examples, you can see that they each use a different method to get viewer engagement from the start, but they each work for their niche or market.

Focus Points

What you basically need to understand is that the viewer is only one click away from closing your video so it clearly should be your first attention point when producing a marketing video.

  • Find out en test what your viewer wants and use YouTube to see how well your videos are watched and where the viewers drop out. (Viewer retention is something you can easily measure with YouTube Analytics)
  • Find out what the right tactic is for YOU to grab your viewers’ attention. Each market and audience is different, so you will have to find a solid base that will work for you time after time.
  • Experiment first with different variations to hook your viewers so they won’t drop out at the start. Test to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Whatever approach you may decide to use, when you focus on the first 15 seconds of your video to tempt your viewer to watch the entire video, your success is inevitable.

Rebekka Deforce



Comment Section

4 thoughts on “The First 15 Seconds Of A Video

By Matthew on 21 July 2013

bbq pit is a superb video – I watched the whole thing 🙂 Great work!

By Josh on 26 July 2013

Hi Rebekka,

I couldn’t agree more!

It’s so important to grab the users attention from the start of the video!

I used to make quite a few videos for my Youtube channel back in the day. I actually always made sure the first 10 seconds were as compelling/mind blowing as possible!


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