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Grab Your Viewers’ Attention in 10 Seconds

Statistically, by the time the clock on your video strikes 00:10, twenty percent of viewers will have already stopped watching the video and clicked away to some other website or moved on to some other video with cats playing the trumpet around a campfire.

Okay, maybe not exactly that but the internet is full of distractions and our attention spans continue to get shorter. So, what does this all mean for you and your explainer video? Well, you need some fast acting ways to engage your audience.

And trust us, as an explainer video company who has made hundreds of videos, we know that 10 seconds sneaks up on you! Appealing to short attention spans is a skill to be mastered. With all of that in mind, here are seven ideas (told in 10 seconds or less) to hook your viewers before the clock strikes eleven.

1. Tease Important Info

If you hint that some good pieces of info are going to be revealed in due time, people are more apt to stick around. This doesn’t mean you need to wait a full 2 minutes to reveal that valuable nugget, but a little foreshadowing can go a long way to keep people watching.

We often bill an explainer video as a "marketing hook" and the beginning of your video is how you try and snag someone—so don't be afraid to try and pull them in quickly.

2. Use Familiar Language Early

People will tune out if they don’t understand your product quickly. So keep your scripting short, simple, and to the point – and avoid jargon at all costs. Once people realize that you’re just having a simple conversation with them and that you’re not talking at them – they’ll relax and take their finger off the mouse.

3. Let a Character Lead

Whether it’s live action or animation, if you create a fun and friendly character that leads viewers along as the video progresses your audience can become invested in where they’re headed. By letting your character guide them, you’re also gaining a level of trust and connecting more emotionally.

4. Pitch With Text

Take a cue from one of our most successful videos, our Crazy Egg animation. By using kinetic text in the first five seconds, we were able to tell people exactly what the platform does in half the time it takes for that twenty percent of viewers to tune out.

5. Spice Up The Edit

People can get tired of the same old scene and background. Even if you have a character with a plain background – adding additional graphic overlays or using quick cuts in your edit can really help retain viewers.

6. Make The Problem Relatable

We know that when you inspect your video analytics, it can be frustrating to see viewers drop off so quickly, right? So, try presenting a relatable problem from the get go and maybe they’ll be interested in how you approach it. This is the device we used for a lot of our video blogs.

7. Show Some Emotions

If none of the above tactics work – please please please, we’re begging you, consider the oldest trick in the book and try to appeal to people’s emotions!


Keep in mind that whatever technique you use, it should fit the tone and style your video is looking to achieve. It may be possible to incorporate a few of these ideas into your intro, but avoid going overboard and confusing viewers.

Also, you don’t have to go as over-the-top as we did in the above video, but just make sure to consider whether you’re doing your best to keep those eyes peeled.

What videos quickly grabbed your attention in the first 10 seconds? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Colin Hogan
Colin is the Managing Director at Demo Duck, a Chicago-based video production company, who has a deep obsession with making videos as often as possible. Follow Demo Duck on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.