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Creator and Artist Stories

Four tips to hook your viewers on YouTube

By Devin McNulty and Jeremy Kaye

Creative Strategy

People can choose to watch anything, anytime on YouTube—so what can you do to keep them watching your videos? The first few seconds of any video are critical to getting your viewers' attention and convincing them that they want to watch your content. Here’s how some of YouTube’s top creators do it, and how you can do it too:

1. Start with a question
CGP Grey starts his video with a question—“how many countries are there?”—to get the viewer thinking. The human brain will always want an answer to a question posed. By asking an intriguing question at the top of his video, he makes sure the viewer will stick around to find out what the answer is.

2. Brand with a bang
Epic Rap Battles start every episode with high powered music, a shouting narrator, and their name bursting out of the screen. Their branding is strong and engaging, and the intro feels integrated into the content itself. New viewers immediately know what the show is about, and are primed to watch some high-energy fun.

3. Tell them what they’re going to see
Within the first five seconds the viewer knows exactly what this video will be—a detailed run-down on liquid liner. By providing immediate context, Michelle shows people what they’ll get by watching the whole video and why they should stick around.

4. Hit them with a cold opening
Colin jumps right into action, drawing his viewers into his walkthroughs immediately. Rather than starting his walkthrough in a more straightforward manner, Colin’s raw intensity and enthusiasm are a more captivating introduction.

For more tips on developing your creative strategy (and much more), visit the Creator Academy.