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Ultimate Guide: Increasing Video Watch Time for Maximum Engagement.

increase video watch time blog post. rawmarrow skeleton and clock and video camera

Increase video watch time.

Why is watch time so important with your video content?

Watch time is a key indicator of audience engagement. When viewers spend more time watching your videos, it shows that they are genuinely interested in your content. This not only boosts your brand’s visibility but also helps to build a loyal and dedicated following.

Moreover, platforms like YouTube and Facebook prioritise videos with higher watch times in their algorithms. This means that if your videos have a longer watch time, they are more likely to be recommended to other users, increasing your reach and potential audience.

In addition, watch time is closely tied to video retention. If your videos can hold viewers’ attention for longer periods, it indicates that your content is compelling and valuable.

We’ve all been there you eagerly click on a video, only to find yourself clicking off it and on to the next one seconds later.

In today’s attention-frenzied world, keeping viewers glued to your screen is a superpower. But fear not, small business owners! By incorporating these 3 powerful strategies, you can transform your videos from fleeting distractions to captivating journeys that leave viewers wanting more.

1. The Triple Threat-Visual, Audio and Text Hooks.

First impressions matter. The opening moments of your video are your golden ticket to grabbing attention and setting the tone. But in a sea of thumbnails, how do you make yours stand out? Enter the Triple Hook Threat a potent combination of visual, audio, and text elements that instantly captivates viewers and begs them to hit play. Depending on your goal use all of these hooks in every video.

Visual Hooks.

  • Bold colours and dynamic composition: Ditch the static! Use vibrant hues and eye-catching layouts to make your thumbnail pop. Think of contrasting colours, unexpected angles, and intriguing close-ups.
  • Intriguing visuals: Spark curiosity with a compelling image that hints at the video’s content without giving everything away. A well-placed question mark or a shocking juxtaposition can do wonders.
  • Emoji’s: Similarly A well placed emoji or animated emoji can also be a visual hook in a video. These small, expressive icons have become part of online communication, adding depth and nuance to our digital conversations. By strategically incorporating emojis into videos, content creators can capture the attention of their audience and convey emotions or messages in a visually appealing and engaging way.


  • Upbeat music or a catchy intro: Set the mood and pique interest with a dynamic soundtrack. Choose music that aligns with your video’s tone and energy, and consider injecting a memorable hook within the first few seconds.
  • Compelling voiceover: Don’t underestimate the power of your voice! Start with a captivating question, a bold statement, or a personal anecdote that draws viewers in and makes them eager to hear what you have to say.
  • Sound effects: Don’t forget many social media platforms also have sound effects and these can be used in various places in your video. Sound effects are an essential component of audio-visual media that enhance the overall viewer experience. When skillfully incorporated, sound effects have the power to transport the audience into the world being depicted in the video recordings. 
text written in different ways

Text Hooks.

  • Clear and concise headlines: Don’t bury the lead! Use your video title and description to tell viewers exactly what they’ll get if they watch. Be specific, and intriguing, and avoid clickbait-ish language.
  • Text to reinforce: Use short text or words to reinforce and make video content more memorable. The careful selection of words allows for the creation of a connection between visuals and text cues.
  • Strategic CTAs: Want viewers to subscribe, like, or comment? Don’t be shy! Include clear calls to action within the first few seconds of your video, both visually and verbally.

Remember, the Triple Hook Threat is about creating a synergy of elements that sparks immediate interest and compels viewers to invest their time.

2. The Scroll Stopper- Interrupting the Pattern

So, you’ve hooked your viewers. Now what? Keep them engaged! One way to do this is strategically interrupting the flow of your video with “scroll stoppers.” These are unexpected elements that break the monotony and force viewers to pay attention. So, let’s explore how these scroll stoppers can be used to create a more engaging and captivating video experience.

Here are some scroll-stopping ideas:

  • Live-action footage amidst animation: If your video is primarily animated, sprinkle in live-action segments to surprise viewers and add a touch of realism.
  • Humorous bloopers or outtakes: Don’t be afraid to show your human side! Injecting a few funny bloopers or behind-the-scenes moments can be endearing and keep viewers engaged.
  • Interactive elements: Encourage viewer participation with polls, quizzes, or choose-your-own-adventure segments. This makes them feel invested and wanting more.
  • Data visualisations or surprising statistics: Back up your points with compelling visuals or mind-blowing facts. This adds credibility and keeps viewers glued to their screens.

Remember, scroll stoppers should be used sparingly and strategically. Too many interruptions can be jarring, so use them to break up long sections of talking or monotonous visuals. It’s importantant to think about the timing and placement of these scroll stoppers within your video. 

3. Delivering Value.

Ultimately, the most important factor in keeping viewers engaged is providing value. Your video should offer something to your audience, whether it’s entertainment, education, inspiration, or a solution to a problem.

Here’s how to ensure your video delivers:

  • Know your audience: Who are you creating this video for? What are their interests and needs? Tailor your content to resonate with them and address their pain points.
  • Focus on a clear message: Don’t try to cram too much into one video. Choose a specific topic or message and explore it thoroughly. Leave viewers with a single takeaway that sticks with them.
  • Tell a compelling story: People love stories! Weave a narrative into your video, even if it’s a factual topic. This makes your content more engaging and memorable.
  • Be authentic and passionate: Let your personality shine through! Viewers can connect with genuine enthusiasm and passion. Speak from the heart and share your unique perspective.

A YouTube example of someone using all of these in their videos is 

Marques Brownlee’s Tech Reviews

  • Triple Hook Threat: Marques Brownlee, the tech guru of YouTube, grabs attention with stunning visuals of the latest gadgets. His video titles are specific and intriguing, like “The iPhone 14 Pro is AMAZING (but not for everyone),” while his opening questions like “Should you upgrade?” pique curiosity.
  • Scroll Stopper: Marques expertly blends humor and technical expertise. He uses unexpected cuts, slow-motion close-ups, and funny anecdotes to break up the potentially dense tech talk, keeping viewers engaged and wanting more.
  • Value: Marques’ videos are goldmines of information for tech enthusiasts. He provides in-depth comparisons, honest opinions, and practical insights, helping viewers make informed decisions about their next tech purchase. His breakdowns are clear and concise, making even complex topics understandable.

Heartfelt Storytelling: Humans of New York’s Mini-Docs

  • Triple Hook Threat: Humans of New York’s Instagram posts feature powerful portraits paired with captivating captions. The photos draw you in, while the first few lines of the caption hint at a deeper story, urging you to read more.
  • Scroll Stopper: Humans of New York masterfully uses personal anecdotes and unexpected turns of phrase to keep readers engaged. The stories are often heartwarming, thought-provoking, or humorous, making you want to scroll down to see what the next person has to say.
  • Value: Humans of New York offers a glimpse into the diverse tapestry of human experience. It fosters empathy, understanding, and connection, reminding us of our shared humanity in a way that transcends cultural and social barriers.

Look at small business accounts on tik tok for example. This small business (Etuaembrodiery) sells handmade embroidery kits. Their videos consistently do all three things well



  • Triple Hook Threat: They often use vibrant embroidery close-ups as thumbnails, paired with catchy music and the title of the kits or text hooks. this instantly grabs attention and gives viewers a glimpse of the final product.
  • Scroll Stopper: Their videos showcase the embroidery process in different ways. They might use fast-forwarded stitching to show the progress, include unexpected close-ups of intricate details, or even add in funny voiceovers or reactions. This keeps viewers curious and watching to see the final stitched design.
  • Value: The main value they offer is the satisfaction of creating something beautiful with their hands. They often show the completed kit proudly displayed, emphasizing the sense of accomplishment. They also provide helpful tips and tricks throughout the process, empowering viewers to learn and succeed with embroidery.
    Start analysing which videos you watch all the way until the end. Write down what you liked, this can also give you a clue when you create your own. Remember, the key is to find a way to showcase your unique small business voice and product/service through these strategies. Not everything will work for every business. Experiment, have fun, and engage with your audience. 

Contact us if you need an external perspective and audit or help with your content creation.