[Uncommon tips] How to make the first 8 seconds count in your sales videos

Audiences are increasingly short on patience and long for instant gratification. Learn uncommon video techniques to create attention-grabbing sales videos.

Have you ever found yourself falling down the rabbit hole of cat videos, only to emerge hours later wondering where the time went? Well, you’re not alone! With audiences increasingly short on patience and longing for instant gratification, sales reps who seek similar viewership for their sales videos struggle to do so.

The truth is, there are sneaky techniques that can make your sales video stand out from the pack in the first 8 seconds. Read on as we explore hidden techniques and scientific theories behind handing viewers a visually entertaining experience so powerful they cannot turn away.

Understanding the Importance of Quick Engagement in Sales Videos

Sales reps adopt videos for two reasons: first, to persuade, and second, to convert potential customers. To achieve this is no easy feat. For one, they have to instantly grab attention, keep them hooked throughout the video, allow them to gauge the essence of the video, and ultimately get inspired to take action—all within the span of the video’s duration. In truth, audiences are now so inundated with countless videos that they have become highly selective, choosing only the ones that pique their interest.

According to experts, our brains are wired to prioritize new and novel information. This means that we are more likely to notice and engage with content that is visually appealing, emotionally charged, or otherwise unique. This is why sales videos that feature eye-catching graphics, compelling narratives, or surprising twists are often more effective than those that are more straightforward or predictable.

Your 8-second window matters in sales videos

Given the reduced attention spans and fierce competition for users’ attention, you need to capture and maintain interest in your sales video early on. The first 8 seconds are said to be the most crucial, as this brief window presents the opportunity to persuade the viewer to invest their time in your content. By creating a strong, engaging opening, you are more likely to keep your audience interested enough to stay and watch until the end, improving the chances of conversion and ultimately boosting your ROI.

So, what makes for a strong opening in a sales video? There are different strategies you can use, depending on your audience, the message, and the brand. Some common techniques include:

1. Use an eye-catching video thumbnail and visual

How many videos have you scrolled past solely based on the video thumbnail, only to pause at those with eye-catching thumbnails? While the adage goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” in reality, most people do. In fact, according to YouTube, 90% of top-performing videos use custom thumbnails. This isn’t just a coincidence; it’s a carefully crafted strategy designed to capture your attention and keep you engaged.

Now the million dollar question is – how do you achieve this?

a. Use video background with LinkedIn profile to get prospect’s attention

Taking cues from YouTube’s top-performing videos, we now know that video thumbnails play a crucial role in determining your video click rates. And what better way than utilizing your prospects’ LinkedIn profile or website page to entice them to learn more about what you have to offer? Customizing your video background ensures that your prospects understand that this is a unique and personalized video just for them. This simple step will demonstrate your commitment to their needs, making your business stand out from the generic competition.

And the best part? When your prospects watch your video, they’ll enjoy a brief 2-3 second insight into the content. And what could be more enticing than seeing their LinkedIn profile right there on the screen? 

In fact, the Hippo Video team has mastered this technique and has seen great results. So why does this work? Firstly, the video preview showcases the prospect’s LinkedIn profile, elevating the personalization factor. Secondly, the video duration is clearly conveyed, thus assuring your prospects that it’s a short and sweet watch. 

b. Persuade them with a compelling question in your video thumbnail

Example of asking prospects a persuading question in sales video thumbnail

Do you wish to create video thumbnails that are more tempting than others? Well, the secret is to ask a hard-hitting question that compels the viewer to click and watch. It creates a sense of urgency and a feeling of FOMO that makes them think twice before skipping your video. But beware! While a click-bait thumbnail can get you more views, it can also harm your reputation if the content doesn’t match expectations. That’s why you need to ensure that your video fulfils the promise made by the thumbnail.

c. Infographics

Dynamic visual aids like infographics aren’t just for blog posts and web pages; they can elevate your video thumbnails to the next level. By incorporating relevant and eye-catching visuals, you can convey important information quickly, capitalizing on those precious first few seconds to persuade viewers to keep watching. Plus, using infographics showcases your expertise and adds a professional touch to your content.

Check out the video thumbnail below. Doesn’t it urge you to watch it?

2. The Power of a Captivating First Line

Now that you have enticed them into clicking your video with an attractive thumbnail, the next step is to create an engaging opening line. Depending on your target market and the nature of your product or service, this initial statement can be bold, provocative, or thought-provoking, as long as it intrigues your viewer and piques their curiosity.

The key here is to spark enough interest to make your audience want to hear more. By crafting a compelling first line, you can accomplish this by setting the stage for the rest of your sales video and motivating your viewer to stick around.

To achieve this, we suggest two different tones you can pick from:

a. Ask them a provocative question

For those of you who want to make an impact on your audience, you need to ask yourself one question: how can you make them think? Asking a provocative question that they can’t ignore will encourage them to sit through your entire video. But be mindful: does your question reflect what they need or want? Conduct thorough research and mold your question around their gap.

For example, let’s consider that I have researched and come to the conclusion that prospect ABC is struggling with closing sales deals. Now I can ask them a question like this one:

An example of a provacative question to ask as a first line in sales videos

When you ask a thought-provoking question, you’re creating a natural curiosity in your viewers that prompts them to stick around until the end of your video. You’re also showing them that you understand their pain points and that you have a solution that will help them solve their problems.

So, if you want to hook your viewers from the start and keep them engaged, be bold and ask a provocative question that they can’t ignore. With the right approach, you can turn a simple question into a powerful tool that will help you build a strong connection with your audience and drive them to take action. Hesitation isn’t an option – it’s time to grab your viewer’s attention and unleash your creative prowess!

b. Take the humorous route

If you have a funny bone in you, using a little bit of wit or a well-placed joke can go a long way towards capturing your audience’s attention and keeping them engaged. But it’s not just about being funny for the sake of it. By connecting with their pain points and making light of the situation in a hilarious way, you’ll put them at ease and make them feel like you’re not just another sales rep trying to push a product. Plus, once they get a taste of your comedic genius, they’ll be excited to keep watching and see what else you’ve got up your sleeve. Also, it will show the world that sales pitches don’t have to be boring and generic; they can be personalized, engaging, and downright hilarious!

An example of a humorous question to ask in a sales video

3. Use shock and awe with personalization factor (bank on their interest)

Nothing stops someone in their tracks faster than showing them something that’s out-of-the-box. We’re talking about personalization, shock, and awe. Why not use the power of personalization to tap into your audience’s interests? To make your video stand out from the rest, think way outside the box! You could surprise your viewers with bizarre or curiosity-inducing content that’ll leave them with a “wait, what?” reaction. For instance, you could wear a customized outfit that represents their interest or hobby or design a peculiar cutout of their face in your video. The possibilities are endless! Your aim? To hold their attention within the first 8 seconds. Trust us, it will be the best decision you make for your branding. So, why not bank on your audience’s interests and seize their attention with shock and awe?

An example of how to use personalization to shock and awe prospects in a sales video

4. Utilizing storytelling techniques

One of the most effective ways to keep viewers engaged beyond the first 8 seconds of your sales video is through storytelling.

a. Tell your story

For this, you can choose an emotional theme that aligns with your product or service, and weave it into your storytelling. This can include emotions such as happiness, excitement, anticipation, or even fear, depending on what best suits your message and offering. 

b. Creating authenticity through video testimonials

People tend to connect with stories featuring characters and scenarios that they can relate to, so it’s important to incorporate these elements in your sales video. By presenting relatable problems, challenges, or experiences, you can demonstrate how your product or service can provide a solution, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Use real-life examples of testimonials to give your video a sense of authenticity, showing your audience that your offering has made a difference in the lives of others like them.

Tips for Effective Sales Video Production

With these storytelling techniques and compelling openings in mind, it’s also vital to ensure the overall production of your sales video is polished and professional. By keeping your video short and sweet, balancing information with entertainment, and ensuring high-quality visuals and sound, you can create a sales video that captures and retains viewers’ attention within the first 8 seconds.

Keeping Your Video Short and Sweet

As attention spans are limited, it’s important to get your message across in a concise, compelling manner. Aim to keep your sales video between 30 seconds and 2 minutes; this should give you enough time to tell your story without losing your audience’s interest due to information overload.

Focus on the key selling points of your product or service and trim any unnecessary fluff, ensuring your sales video is clear, concise, and impactful.

Balancing Information and Entertainment

While it’s important to provide valuable information in your sales video, you also want to hold your viewer’s attention by maintaining an entertaining, engaging tone. Strive for a balance between these two aspects, ensuring that your video is both informative and enjoyable to watch.Humour, storytelling, and creative visuals are all excellent tools for keeping your audience entertained while still conveying important information about your product or service.

Ensuring High-Quality Visuals and Sound

Lastly, it’s crucial to ensure that your sales videos boasts high-quality visuals and sound. Poor production values can detract from your message and turn viewers away, so invest in professional equipment and make use of editing tools such as AI Editor to create a polished final product.

Are you ready to nail the 8-second attention span rule in your sales videos?

Capturing your audience’s attention within the first 3 seconds of your sales video is essential, and by implementing the techniques outlined in this guide, you can create engaging, persuasive content that maximizes your chances of conversion. Focus on crafting compelling opening lines, thoughtfully creating video thumbnails, utilizing storytelling techniques, and ensuring a high-quality production to captivate your viewers and drive success.

 So next time you create a video, remember the power of those first 8 seconds and make them count.

Take the Hippo Video platform for a spin and create sales videos quickly and easily, from start to finish.