6 Tips for Scroll-Stopping Video

May 13, 2019

Written by Scott Gerbereux, 2019 SMCLT Secretary. You can find him on twitter at @contentdaddy.

Did you know that on average, a person scrolls through at least 300 feet of content every day?

As content creators, it’s our job to create content that disrupts our audiences’ scrolling and causes them to pay attention. Follow these six suggestions to make your social media videos memorable, shareable, and replay-worthy.

  • Be platform-conscious
  • Hook the audience
  • Answer customer questions
  • Be mindful of time
  • Turn it off
  • Use analytics

96% of users consume vertical video on their phone.[i] Make your videos square (1:1) or tall (4:5). Square video takes up 78% more real estate in a person's mobile newsfeed than does landscape video[ii] – making square video more engaging, more effective, and easier to watch.

Forty-five percent of people who watch the first 3 seconds of a video will continue for at least 30 more.[iii] Open with the right hook to get people to stop scrolling. Build in an intriguing set-up or dynamic set of actions to captivate viewers in the first few seconds.

What is a hook? Some ideas:

  • Quick movement or action
  • Close-up shot
  • On-screen graphic that sparks curiosity
  • Ask a question

Feature people. Consumers are naturally drawn to human faces. Including people in the first few frames has been proven to significantly increase view rates and drive 2x higher engagement.[iv] Feature your brand logo or product at the beginning of the video to drive brand association from the start.

Make your content worth your viewers’ time. Focus on setting up a problem that gets resolved in the end. Make sure your sequence of events is easy for viewers to follow.

Be true to the brand but focused on the consumer. Put yourself in the shoes of the end user. Before you pick up a camera, ask:

  • Why are we making a video?
    • Reverse engineer the storyboard so you know where you want it to end – what’s the call to action?
  • Who are we trying to reach?

You have just 10 seconds to capture and engage your audience before they continue to scroll down or click away; and engagement drops off significantly beyond that.

attention span + funnel placement = optimization decision.

Use 6-10 second videos to build awareness. To target consumers in the consideration stage of the funnel, 15 - 30 second videos and carousel ads are effective. Use short-form videos on social to drive to long-form content on your website.

Design for sound off. Delight for sound on. Before sharing your video, do a quick check – is it engaging with and without audio?

With 93% of Twitter videos being viewed on mobile devices,[v] it’s important to have a sound off viewing strategy. Use captions and visual cues to pull the viewer through the video and make it easier to process.

Monitor how your content is being received. Determine which videos users are engaging with most, what platforms are seeing the highest number of viewers, and at what point in your video viewers are dropping off. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and use learnings to continue to tweak and elevate your video content performance.

Image from Think With Google

Now it’s your turn! Apply these tips to your social media marketing strategy.



[i] Socialchain.com

[ii] Buffer.com

[iii] Facebook.com

[iv] Strategico.com

[v] Twitter.com

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