So, I recently wrote a blog about opening your video with your logo and I may or may not have ruffled some feathers. If you missed it, here it is. Spoiler Alert: I’m not a fan of leading with a logo.
Why? Because your audience’s time is valuable. Leading with a logo gives them a reason to stop watching. This naturally leads to the question, “Well then, how should I start my video?” The answer is simple — whatever you think will grab the viewer’s attention.
This requires some creativity. Viewers don’t want to be sold to. They want info and they want it NOW, not 10 seconds from now. Viewers want instant gratification. So, how should you start your video? Here are my five recommendations.
1. Get Right to the Point
What is this video about? Here is an example of a video from Grand Canyon University.
What I like about this is you immediately hear, “I’ve been to other colleges and GCU is the most student-friendly campus…” What the producer didn’t do was start with, “My name is Gordon Arunga and I’m a GCU student.”
In the past, video producers were trained to establish their subjects right away. But today, you only have a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention. This video does a great job of getting right to the “Why” of the story. (More on that later.) There was no long introduction, logo, etc. They got right to the good stuff.
Branding is important, but captivating the viewer and giving them a reason to care about your brand is even more important.
2. Be Bold
A few seconds, that’s all you have to grab your viewer’s attention. Don’t waste time on trivial information like logos or introductions.
Yeti is the master at boldly grabbing their viewer’s attention. If you have some time, I urge you to go to their YouTube channel, sit back, grab your favorite snacks and beverages, and binge away. You could spend your entire Saturday taking in their videos. If you don’t have that kind of time, here is a short example of how Yeti tells its brand story.
Don’t save your best shots for last — use them early (and more than once if needed).
3. Start with a Problem, End with a Solution
Most viewers are looking for solutions. Think about what you searched for the last time you were on YouTube.
For me, it was, “How do I fix a cracked iPhone 8 screen? The first video I clicked on started with 11 seconds of an animated screen cracking. For the next seven seconds, I sat through an animated logo. For five more seconds, I was given a boring title screen. The intro wasn’t over yet, for another 35 seconds, I watched a hand play with a broken iPhone.
Ultimately, it took 58 seconds to get to the info I needed (and that doesn’t count the 15-second ad prior to the video.) Watch it here.
I became impatient and looked at the next video. This one worked out great. Why? Two things.
- The whole video was only 1:30.
- It showed why I really shouldn’t mess with my phone, so I took it to a professional.
With that said, this video started with a problem and showed me a solution.
4. Start with “Why”
Way back when I went to college, I was always told videos must include the “Who, What, When, Where and Why.” This formula has certainly changed.
Rather than starting with who, start with why. Why, you ask? Because most people generally don’t care about the rest. The “why” is what makes you unique. The “why” is what grabs the viewer’s attention. A wiser man than I explains this concept expertly. Check out why Simon Simek says you should start with “why”.
5. Start with Your Subject on Camera (But Be Careful)
If you start your video with a person talking on camera, make it a dramatic shot. Nothing will bore an audience more than a talking head.
When you must start a video with somebody on camera talking, it has to be memorable and it has to be for a reason.
In the video below for Carrot Health, the producer only had 60 seconds to tell a complex story. They needed to establish the credibility of the company owner, so they chose to go straight to him speaking directly to the audience rather than the camera left/right.
The wider shot also establishes the location of the video. Notice the person on camera didn’t start with their name, company, and title. You can get all of that in the graphic.
The point is this: be creative. Go after the viewer and grab their attention. Spend some time really planning how you’re going to start your video. What can you do to engage that viewer? I’ll say this, your logo won’t do it.