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How often do you hear – video is where it’s at? But how do you attract peoples attention in such a crowded arena?

In this article, you’ll discover a system for creating videos people will click on, watch, and share. I am grateful for the research by Matt Johnson of SME.

Get Viewers Attention in the First 3-5 Seconds of Your Video

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The first step to making a highly watchable and shareable video is the hook. In the first 3-5 seconds of your video, you need to grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling through the news feed – thumb stopper if you will . You can do this either by placing your best footage at the beginning or using a strong headline. You really don’t want to save your best for last. When you’re making videos for social media, you need to frontload your best stuff. The first few seconds are when all of the magic happens. Most of the time, you’re probably not going to have the compelling footage you need to grab people’s attention and that’s okay. You can use a specific headline that teases instead. Place it right on the screen so people will stop scrolling and watch.

Generate Empathy – an emotional connection

Empathy is a key element of any successful video. Empathy is the only reason anyone clicks a link, watches a video, or buys a product or service online. It’s also a crucial factor in getting people to share your video, which will help you get the most visibility for your content.

Right from the start, people need to start feeling an emotional connection to what they’re watching. Create an experience where people see themselves in your content. People want a mirror so give it to them.

Motivate Viewers to Take Action

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The emotional response that people have to watching your video is also important. You want people not only to consume the content but also be compelled to take action and share it.

Empathy does a lot of this work but you need to take it a step further. Your video needs to elicit an emotional response that drives people to want to share it, almost as if they’re performing some sort of public service. You can also ask them to share it with other people at the end of the video.

Over-Deliver on Value

There’s so much video content online that chances are the video you’re making is very similar to something that’s been made before. So to differentiate your content from the competition, you need to over-deliver.

That could mean taking an extra 5 minutes to add a little more information and context to show viewers you’ve gone the extra mile. Do whatever it takes to provide value and make your video feel different from what people have seen before.

Value could be as simple as showing viewers a different way to make their bed or as profound as a life-changing perspective shift. As long as you’re over-delivering, you’ve done justice to your viewers and that will compel them to share your video with their friends and followers on social media.


When you’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into putting a video out into the world, it can be disheartening when it falls flat. The good news is that this four-part system will help you create highly watchable videos that people will want to click on, watch, and share on their social media channels.

This approach works for any video online but particularly for videos in a social news feed—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can also adapt it to get more views on TikTok.

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All of the different steps of this approach work together. Over-delivering causes response. Empathy causes response. And the hook keeps people engaged throughout your video. When all of these elements work together, you’ll get tons of attention online so make sure you go through this checklist for every video you make.

Thoughtful storytelling that invokes powerful emotions is in the heart of every successful social media video. Stories are important because they awaken deep emotions in people, and that’s exactly what you want to do with your audience.

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