David Freudenberg
June 10, 2020

How The First 5-Seconds Of Your Facebook Video Can Grab Attention

Facebook video search

There are over eight billion video views on Facebook daily. How do you make yours stand out? How exactly can you create videos that boost your authority, viewership, engagement, and sales?

Unique content and an eye-grabbing title are vital for the overall success of your video. But you need to fight against the low human attention span and high competition from other video creators and marketers.  

The viewer will make the decision to stay or leave in the first five seconds. Capitalize on making them intriguing, and you are sure to experience an increase in views and conversion rates. 

Editor’s note: We apologize for there being no embedded videos. Unfortunately, unlike YouTube, Facebook videos are cumbersome, at best, to embed in a blog. We can assure you though, that the videos linked to are well worth clicking through to.

Why Do The First 5-Seconds Matter?

The high number of content available on the internet is one of the reasons behind the shrink in people’s attention span. There are numerous resources where the viewer can get what they need, and they will want to get the best. 

You only get five seconds to make the viewer identify with your content. The first five seconds set the tone of the video, and the viewer can make a judgment on what to expect.  

Fail to give them a strong reason to watch your content, and they will immediately move on to the next available video. Your high-quality content could end up not reaching your target audience.

You may also want to read: How To Craft YouTube Headlines That Stand Out

Here are five ways to grab attention in five seconds.

1) Problem And Solution

Most people who are on the internet are there to find a solution to a problem. If you cannot appeal to this need in the first 5 seconds, you lose the viewer.

Use this time to introduce a problem and promise to offer a solution. Present yourself as helpful, and you will have won your target audience over. Try to be as specific as possible. But do not give out all the details yet.   

For instance, this video from Hubspot promises to help the viewer to convince their boss to let them work from home. It speaks directly to employees who are not just trying to work from home, but have a problem asking for it.

2) Off The Cuff Surprise

Besides offering a platform to connect with friends and relatives, Facebook is a source of entertainment. If you can add an element of surprise to your video, you have captured the viewers’ hearts. 

A surprise will also make your content stand out from the crowd and lead to more shares. And your video could go viral. 

However, be careful not to overdo it. You should aim to surprise, not shock. You do not want your content to offend anyone. It could have a negative impact on your brand’s name. 

This video from POO~Pourri is a perfect example. From its title Girls Don’t Poop, to the first few seconds, you are intrigued to watch it till the end. Nothing is boring about the video, and it does not offend the viewers. It simply entertains and passes a message in a way that stands out.  

3) Story Telling

People love stories. It will humanize your brand and give them a reason to share and talk about your video. Personal stories will build a connection with the viewer, especially if they can relate to it.  

Again, capture the audience’s attention in the first five seconds. You need to be creative and promise to expose the viewer to a new idea or thought. Predictability kills excitement. If your story is common, the viewer will close the video and move to the next one. 

If you are not the creative type, you can watch other stories and seek inspiration. But do not copy. Internet users will call you out for it, and this could destroy your reputation. 

Play some music in the background to break the monotony of your voice. There is plenty of royalty-free music that you can use to emphasize your story. The music should match the tone of your message and should not overshadow your voice. It should also appeal to the demography of your target audience. 

4) Ask A Question

A question will engage the viewer and trigger their curiosity. It will also give the listener an idea of what the video is about. 

Ensure that you are asking questions that they can relate to. You need to get creative. The questions should not be too simple. They should give the listener a reason to watch the video in order to get the answers.

Finding the right questions requires research. Find out the questions your target audience has on platforms such as Reddit. 

Use text to ask the question. Statistics show that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Using text will reach the people who do not unmute videos, and the intrigue created will prompt them to want to listen to you. 

This video by Gary Vaynerchuk combines the art of storytelling and begins the video with an intriguing question. The question is also in text format, and he tells a personal story that many can relate to. 

5) Use Direct Eye Contact

Try not to start the video with your logo or a long animation. The viewer should be able to connect with a human immediately.

Use eye contact. Eye contact establishes rapport with your viewers. You create a connection with them and build trust, and they will be more open to listening to you.

Eye contact will mainly be effective when trying to cause an emotional reaction in your listener. It will cause the viewer to feel what you feel, or rather, what you want them to feel.

Aim to pass on super positive emotion. And the message of the video should match it. You can also raise super negative emotions, but only if you intend to provide a workable solution in the video that will cool them down. 

Your aim should be to raise positive feelings or negative emotions, and not produce a bland video.


Very few people will have the patience to keep watching a video that does not appeal to them for more than five seconds. They want quick answers to their problems. This is true no matter where you publish your video.

It is up to you to convince them that you will deliver a solution, and you only get five seconds to prove it.  Show them that you know what their exact problem is, and have a solution. Evoke their curiosity with a creative and relatable question or original story. Intrigue them with something out of the ordinary. 

Aim to bond with the audience at the start of the video through eye contact. Use it to bring out their emotions. 

You can combine two or more of these elements for maximum effectiveness, and you are sure to experience an increase in views, shares, and conversion. 

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David Freudenberg is in charge of building relationships at DJO Productions and Soundscrate. Which is a suite of free production websites providing free downloads of VFX, Media Elements, SFX, Music, 3D, and a forum to answer your questions.

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