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David Lee King

Youtube – The First 15 Seconds



old fashioned timerWhat’s important in your Youtube videos? The first 15 seconds. According to Youtube’s Creator Playbook, you have 10-15 seconds to hook your viewer into watching the rest of your video. It’s extremely easy to click away from a video – just click and you’re gone. Especially if you’re watching in Youtube, since they have that Related Videos sidebar with other interesting-looking videos … click!

So those first few seconds need to be the best part of your video to keep people watching!

What do many of us do with those first 15 seconds?

  • a slow fade-in
  • cheesy music
  • attempt a flashy branded intro, titles, etc
  • or if it’s a screencast, we start right in with our computer screen – exciting stuff, huh?

Instead, here’s what Youtube says we should do:

  • Get to the point immediately – put your most compelling content first!
  • Quick teaser or summary of what’s going to be in the video, done by the person in the video. You can also welcome/greet the audience or ask a question/spark the viewer’s curiosity. Think inverted pyramid writing style, but for video.
  • branding, packaging, intros, … not as important, especially up-front. Let the content come first.
  • Intros should be minimal and short – 5 seconds is an optimal length

The goal? Make sure your viewers know what they’re watching. If they don’t know in 10-15 seconds … click – they’re gone.

Pic of hourglass from Bigstock

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