Engage Consumers When It Matters Most

Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels are driving increased investment from marketers in short-form videos to engage with their target audience, with nearly 70% of marketers recognizing short-form video as the most engaging form of content. 

Why wouldn’t the most engaging content come from search, where consumers are actively seeking your info? 

Well a significant reason for this comes from another trend in the market. That trend is no-click search. Consumers nowadays would rather consume content, view recommendations, and learn about products without having to search a browser and click through links. Instead they will just turn to their favorite social media platform or direct their attention to Google’s brief summaries about their desired topic. To help capture more of these re-routed impressions, you have to be able to engage these consumers once they reach your video. In order to do so, you must stop their scroll. What does it mean to stop the scroll?


Did I direct your attention to this sentence? Did you even read the intro?

Stopping the scroll is all about grabbing attention (as I just did), and connecting with the viewer as quickly as possible. On social media, there are a million other videos that users can scroll on and watch, so how will you make sure they give your video the time of day? 

Our brains pay extra attention to things that are really different, things that are personally relevant to us and things that make us feel something. But let’s dive deeper. What are some specific things that make people stop their scroll?

Scroll Stopping Strategies

This is one of those things that will subconsciously engage a viewer from the jump, and before they know it, they have watched your whole ad. All you have to do is follow these steps and you should be well on your way. Including people in the first few frames has been proven to significantly increase view rates and drive 2x higher retention. If you are unable to include a face due to the nature of your ad, a human voice can help connect viewers as well.

Start off your ad with a bold headline or eye-catching caption – make it original and extra points if it relates back to the consumer watching. Catch their attention with the headline and keep them with the message. Remember that people on social media are usually looking for a dopamine fix, meaning they are focused on themselves. Using “you” phrases are great for making them feel engaged. You should ideally know who you are talking to – try and mold your captions to best engage those people. For example, if you know your consumer is a working age individual and you are promoting a tropical vacation destination – use language like “get out of the office and into the sun “ or “cash in those vacation days now” in your captions.

If your video ad feels like a disruption on the platform, it’s likely to annoy people and they will once again quickly scroll onto the next thing. Your objective should be to seamlessly blend into what users find enjoyable, rather than interrupting their experience. Leveraging content creators can often close the gap between your video feeling like a forced advertisement vs. an enticing new video. Additionally, this can help drive conversions as 14% of 18 to 24-year-olds purchased products in the last six months due to a blogger or influencer recommending it.

Don’t take the gamble that people will stick with your ad, land the point you want to make as early as you can, keep the content as short as it can be to deliver the full message to as many viewers as possible. Start with a quick teaser addressing the problem and offer a unique, easy, and fast solution. For example, if it’s about fixing bad customer service for your business, I’ll jump right in and provide a swift resolution for your customers. The key here is balancing information with curiosity.

Trends are popular for a reason – because people enjoy watching them! Brands can capitalize on these trends to grab attention, but must infuse their content with originality to avoid being deemed as repetitive. It’s important to seize the moment with popular trends and tap into the user’s previous engagement, leading to engagement and connection. Even if it isn’t an existing trend, 79% of TikTok users say they like it when brands come up with challenges, trends, and memes they can join in with.

As mentioned above, people will subconsciously pay more attention to your video if it is something new or different, because their brain sees value in the new experience. When you craft together a quality hook, on top of a unique setting or message, the result will be enhanced viewability. Short form video is no place to be boring or standardized.

While you should ideally feature your brand logo or product at the beginning of your video to drive brand association from the start, you must still do so carefully. What is important in your ad (ie. your message and your branding) should be incorporated into whatever is most interesting or attention-grabbing in your ad. Don’t make the main spectacle of the ad something irrelevant that has no ties back to your brand, because nobody will recall your ad for the reason you want it to be recalled.

Now Go Captivate!

Mastering the art of stopping the scroll on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels is crucial for marketers aiming to engage their target audience effectively, especially as consumers continue to favor short form video content. By implementing strategies such as showcasing faces, using bold headlines, embracing native content, delivering quick solutions, leveraging trends, crafting unique stories, and strategic branding, brands can captivate viewers and drive meaningful connections. Remember, in the fast-paced world of short-form video, originality and relevance are key to standing out amidst the sea of content.

Turning Strategies Into “Always On” Tactics.

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