🔎 RR#8 - Study this hook edit
The biggest takeaways from studying YOUR retention graphs.
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1 - (Mi)stakes
Title: dumb ways to die but it actually happened
Creator: finn brown
Average % viewed: 34.5%
The title says it all!
What to repeat:
I really like the deliberately awkward narration. It fits with the topic (and comforts me as a fellow Brit).
Animation style goes well with the narration.
The way the video looks and feels overall is perfect for this style.
What to improve:
I don’t think the 6 seconds before you speak are needed.
I get it’s a reference to the Darwin awards, but these haven’t been referenced yet.
With the title “dumb ways to die but it actually happened”, I want to know right away that I’m gonna hear stories about silly deaths, but the cold open doesn’t reassure me of that.
I trialled starting the video at 0:06 and I felt much more engaged.
That way, you’re straight into setting up the context.
I’m not officially advising this (it’s not my channel!), but I think you could cut those 6s in the YouTube editor and the video would be better for it.
It might seem silly to say a video about death feels like there are no stakes but…I did feel a lack of tension.
These stories don’t feel like they carry any weight because I don’t know anything about who these people are.
To me, these could well be made-up (I’m not saying they are, but they carry the same emotional weight as if they were).
If we got a couple of lines of context before each story, I’d feel more invested.
See this example from Sam O'Nella Academy:
Understanding why Tarrare can’t stop eating makes his compulsive eating make more sense, and we feel some emotional attachment.
So, even though the people featured in Finn’s video may have seemingly done what they did for no good reason, I want to know just a little bit about who they are so their death carries some weight.
The audience won’t care about a character/concept without context for why they should.
2 - Show me the money!
Title: How to Start $3000/Week Cabinetry Woodworking Business
Creator: Extra Medium
Average % viewed: 25.2%
Wouldn’t that be nice?
What to repeat:
Nice use of additional footage to show us the creator’s business in context.
What to improve:
This video’s hook is way too slow:
Too much context (e.g. a full history of the business)
Too much information about the presenter (e.g. used to be a high school teacher).
No clear sense of when the information we came for is going to be given.
If you’re using YouTube to promote your business, you don’t need to explain why we should trust you - you can show us.
The B-Roll is a good step towards this but it’s overshadowed by minutes and minutes of unrelated information.
If you get right into showing us your woodworking skill and explaining the business model in a concise manner, I’m going to presume credibility.
When I click this video, I want to know “how do I make $3000 per week doing cabinetry?” The video needs to reassure me that that’s what I’ll learn immediately.
Compare to this example from JT Franco…
Different industry, but the principles are the same - we wanna know how to make the money.
Within 21 seconds, we’re reassured that we’re going to find out.
Within 1 minute, we have an overview of the process, and JT assures us that he’s gonna divulge some insider tips to make as much money as possible from the process.
It isn’t necessary to explain your credentials to make people watch your video. Show them your credibility, and the right people will be back for more.
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…alrighty, back to it.
3 - Make it about ME
Title: The Truth About Iman Gadzhi’s Digital Renaissance
Average % viewed: 20.8%
With fake gurus all over YouTube, is Iman Gadzhi any different?
What to repeat:
Constantly switching rooms, switching angles, etc makes this video highly visually compelling.
Study this hook from an editing perspective!
Notice all the extra effort that went into shooting the B-Roll.
Plus how he uses text to punctuate his points, especially at 0:17 when the pace slows down for a second, the video goes black, and all we see is the text. See how this makes you really stop and listen.
What to improve:
Stylistically, I love this different approach of doing a lot of shots in dark rooms.
But it’s a little too much like “The Long Night” for me to see what was going on.
Make it about ME
Despite the great editing, the hook still sees a significant dropoff.
The first sentence is “This is how watching Iman Gadzhi changed my life”.
For me, this is too vague and doesn’t directly relate to the audience. We need to care about what’s going to happen in the video, but the first moment presents us with a non-specific transformation about someone who isn’t us.
The audience needs to feel personally addressed from the start, when possible. (This creator actually did this in his latest video anyway!)
Even if your video is about something specific to you, open with a direct question to the audience, or present the subject in a way that relates to something the viewer will care about.
The video jumped around a little too much.
It started as a “Step-by-step” guide, but then step 2 was presented as a question (“Step 2: Is it a scam?”)
This might just be a case of choosing the wrong word, but it makes it less clear what the overall aim of the video is.
It’s partly about Iman Gadzhi’s marketing, partly about what he teaches, and partly a commentary on the state of fake YouTube gurus.
Overall, the purpose of the video isn’t presented in the clearest possible way.
That being said, I’m so excited to see the videos Zsomtor is making in 3-6 months.
His style reminds me of this guy…
If you haven’t watched a James Jani video yet, his storytelling is world-class. Definitely worth a watch to learn more about presenting information super clearly, and in logical order.
Make the audience feel personally addressed from the start.
That’s all for this week! Thanks as always for sending your graphs.
I have enough stored up to take us halfway through February, so if you didn’t see yours this week, I promise it’s coming sometime before then 😊
Remember…I’m launching The Retention Hub NEXT WEEK (I hope!!) so don’t miss out on your 50% discount code in next week’s issue.
Always making the best in-depth articles! Thanks George