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Instagram Stories Video

The Hook: Why The First 10 Seconds of Your Instagram Stories Video Is So Crucial

Influenced by Snapchat’s disappearing messages, the Instagram Stories feature launched in 2016. This full-screen picture or video channel vanishes your content 24 hours later and rather than scrolling, viewers “press through” or “click forward” through Story content. 

These fifteen-second segments were designed for content produced “in real time” that’s raw and authentic, unlike a curated and scheduled post and caption. 

Even though Instagram Story videos are short, viewers still may not stick around for the whole show. You have to give them a reason. It’s crucial for engagement and brand loyalty that you’re able to capture attention in the first ten seconds or less. 

Why We Love Instagram

First, let’s review a few concepts that make Instagram an appealing content and marketing channel.

Let’s Break Down A Few Story Stats!

In a recent study about Instagram usage, it was revealed that of the one billion monthly active users, over 500 million accounts use Stories on a daily basis.[1]

According to a survey conducted by Instagram, 47% of users find that they can be more authentic in their communications with Instagram Stories, as opposed to the Feed. That same survey also revealed that 44% of platform users were drawn to Stories due to the vanishing content.

Businesses are leveraging stories too! Over 39% surveyed in Instagram’s study reported they were more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a Story.[2]

U.S. based users associate three primary attributes to Instagram:

  • Creativity

  • Visual Beauty

  • Freedom of Expression[3]

Instagram’s survey also revealed that the type of content valued by platform users varied across the globe. U.S. users preferred value-driven Story content on topics they love whereas UK 

users preferred inspiring personal stories.[4]

So what does it all mean? These statistics reveal your Instagram Story creation marching orders! If your market is U.S.-based, they love creative and value-driven Stories that are infused with authenticity. 

If you want viewers to stick around until the end, those are the kind of story corporate videos you need to create. Let’s review how you can do that!

Why Your Story Video Needs A Hook In 10 Seconds Or Less

It’s not a lot of time, but it’s actually a little more than you may need. Here’s why!

1. Average Attention Spans

Microsoft conducted a study compiled of data over thirteen years on the average attention span of an adult. They started with only 12 seconds but by the end, it was reduced by nearly 25% to only 8.5 seconds.[5]

It’s really no surprise as we quite literally live in a different world from the one we knew thirteen years ago. And business owners and marketers have to rise to the challenge!

We’ve split the difference for you between the study’s initial 12 and the ending 8.5 to bring it up to 10 seconds due to the nature of longer Instagram Stories and how the platform appeals to viewers. This makes us humans only slightly more attentive than a goldfish who clocks in at just 9 seconds. 

That means a fifteen-second segment is simultaneously not enough time for a compelling story and yet far too much. Yes, you can string together multiple story videos to create a longer segment, but if you don’t capture them in the first one, the swipe is inevitable. The longer your video sequence, the harder you need to work to engage them along the way and incentivize them to keep watching.

2. Instagram’s Largest Audience

In a 2022 study, it was revealed that 31% of Instagram users across the globe are between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. They also discovered that more than two-thirds of the total audience was younger than 34.[6] Are you creating content that’s designed for them?

The younger generations that make up the bulk of social media users have been raised in a world where everything they could want is in the palm of their hand, literally at their fingertips. They have grown accustomed to the fact that they can order, watch, learn, play, and even date from their phones. 

Gen Z and Millenials are not the most patients of current generations. Gen X and the Baby Boomers were familiar with the “please hold” routine for nearly every activity. Waiting for the operator to connect them with their destination and waiting weeks for packages and actual handwritten letters to arrive. 

Social media’s largest audience is ready for you to get to the point already or give them a compelling reason why they should wait for what’s to come.

Instagram Stories For Business

Stories are the opposite of stuffy, predictable, and scheduled. (Although, you can schedule them, let’s not get distracted.) They’re interactive, live, creative, authentic, and temporary. 

The temporal aspect alone is a strong psychological appeal to viewers to “hurry up and watch” content before it disappears, AKA FOMO or the fear of missing out. 

But more than that, it’s a powerful tool. And one you should be using for your business and your marketing.

Why You Need To Start Using Stories Yesterday

Did you know that 33% of the most viewed stories on Instagram are posted by business accounts? And that 20% of organic stories elicit a direct message? That’s what Instagram reports![7]

Stories aren’t relegated only to your pool of Instagram followers. They’re “discoverable” by anyone who may become a new follower if they like what they see. 

The circle around the Stories feature changes color to purple when a new update is added. This gives a visual queue to viewers that there’s more to see. 

While they do vanish after 24 hours, you can still save them either in your Story archive or in Story Highlights across the top of your profile. This is an excellent way to categorize information and easily direct viewers to it. 

Story Content Creation Best Practices

Stories are for telling stories. It’s not revolutionary, it’s how humans communicate. The Stories feature gives businesses and viewers a way to accomplish this more authentically.

1. Create What They Want

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that you have to create content your target market wants to see. Develop the top three to five content pillars that define your brand. These are the topics you share about with consistency. 

With Stories, you should take a more natural and casual approach to your videos. Not all of them need to be filmed in a studio or curated environment, you can shoot video by yourself at home. The number of insightful and value-driven video marketing content that have been filmed from the driver’s seat of a car on a cell phone are innumerable. And effective. 

Natural doesn’t mean scattered and unorganised. You should still be strategic with all or some of your Story videos and have a clear content plan. If you want to post every day, share value and authentic insights five days a week and only promote on two.

2. Use All The Story Tools and Features

There are a plethora of tools, creative elements, and editing features that can help you leverage stories more effectively for your business. 

Increase engagement with Story polls. Ask your viewers yes or no questions or create a multiple choice quiz. This is a simple way to interact with your audience and create a fun experience. Don’t forget to share the answers if possible!

Location tags are incredibly powerful for associating you, your brand, and your business with a geographic location. People love their places! Maybe your city is where they’re from, where they vacation, where their family lives, where they got caught in a crazy storm, or somewhere on their bucket list. You’ll find that many people are eager to share their experiences.

3. Leverage Highlights

Organize your Story content into relevant Highlight categories. This is an easy way to help new or existing followers navigate your content and catch a glimpse of what you’re all about. 

4. Get Creative

Don’t be afraid to let the creative juices flow! Create custom GIFs and stickers of your logo, the company mascot, the team, your catchphrase, or anything associated with your brand.  

Aesthetics are not as important in Stories as they are on the Feed but don’t ignore them completely. Stick to a family of colors, shades, and filters that match your branding without trying too hard.

Instagram Story Video Hook Ideas

The opening sequence of your Story has 10 seconds or less to captivate and entertain. Here’s where to start!

  • Do something surprising right off the bat 

  • Use movement and get out from behind your laptop

  • Be your authentic, natural self, and don’t overproduce

  • Promise a good story is coming

  • Share your stellar expertise

  • Use close caption and text overlays

  • Start with a joke

  • Immediately tell them what they need to do

  • Open Pandora’s box with “What if…”

  • Share a fascinating fact

Hook Viewers In Compelling Instagram Story Videos

It might sound unbelievable but ten seconds is enough to make an impact and increase engagement. Create with intention and authenticity. Ready, set, go!