How to Create Amazing Video Intros with Catchy Opening Shots

Multiple researchers have completed studies that prove companies have only a few seconds to grab their viewers’ attention when using content of any kind. This means your video intros and opening shots are one of the most important parts of video marketing.

As more brands begin integrating video into their overall marketing strategies, it will be more crucial than ever that you capture a potential customer’s attention quickly. This is the only way you’ll be able to get people within your target audience to finish watching your videos and follow your call-to-action, thus creating more leads and increasing your conversion rate.

11 Ways to Make a Great Video Intro

1. Attach a Captivating Thumbnail

You can potentially grab a viewer’s attention before your video intro even begins by using an engaging cover image. These small thumbnails are designed to represent your video until someone decides to click on it. Your main goal is to make the image intriguing enough that a viewer will want to hit the Play button.

Screen of Thumbnails on Top Notch Cinema's YouTube Channel

To make your video thumbnail catch someone’s attention, ensure that it:

  • Features either a high-resolution still and optional text.
  • Remains consistent with your other video thumbnails within that series.
  • Represents your brand in color and content.
  • Has a font that is readable even when on a small screen like a smartphone.
  • Provides some shock value.

2. Focus on the Viewer

This concept can be looked at from multiple angles. You should focus on your target audience in the planning stages as you come up with content and topic ideas for your videos. But you can also literally put your focus on the viewers during your video intros.

Talk to them. Let them know you are talking to them by pointing out the needs or wants they might have. Then, tell them how your product or video is able to fulfill those desires and requirements.

The most effective viral business videos have considered their audience long before they published their content on Facebook, Instagram, or other online platforms.

3. Inspire Emotion

Sharing a boring video with a bland opening shot is the fastest way to get people to click the back button in search of something better. While you should share captivating content, it still needs to be as pure and simple as possible. This makes it vital that your video stays on theme from the very start.

There are numerous ways you can inspire emotion in a person who is watching your video.

  • Create a relatable character or scenario: Get personal, share your company values that your audience can relate to.
  • Catch them off guard: Use shock value to grab their attention with your unique video intro.
  • Use narratives: Create the video from a first-person perspective to make the viewer feel like it’s speaking from their own point-of-view.
  • Focus on camera angles: Capture the most important details and moments with a unique stylistic flair that will stick with the viewer.
  • Have a strong script: The words used in your video must be catchy, informative, and helpful from the very first second.
  • Add sound: Whether you use a voiceover, music, sound effects, or other audio, make sure it fits the theme and purpose of the video.
  • Learn the colors of emotion: Use visuals of color that capture specific emotions. For example, yellow can mean happiness, red can mean anger, blue can represent sadness, and pink can represent love.

4. Create a Video Intro Animation

While real-life can feel limiting at times, the power of animated videos knows no boundaries. You can use animation to create a video intro with various levels of intent behind it.

Working on post production of a video

This could simply be a brief 3 to 5-second animation of your logo, a unique introduction graphic, or something similar to capture the viewer’s attention before they even know what the video is about. Feature anything from your company mascot to yourself as an animated character ready to share what they need to know about your business.

And as virtual production becomes more common, you may even be able to use this dynamic tech to boost the engagement of the opening shots of your videos as well.

5. Make People Want More

You don’t have to give everything away in the first few seconds of your video intro. Instead, you could present a cliff hanger to start everything off.

Tell your viewers that there will be something special at the end of your video. Or make a promise that will be fulfilled at some point within the content. The more you can build anticipation, the higher chance you have of getting people to stick around from your opening shot until the very end.

6. Get to the Point

Some people want to get right down to business. If you feel like members of your target audience are more prepared to move down your marketing funnel quickly, then add a quick call-to-action when your video starts. So while you could follow the previous suggestion and create initial suspense, you could also simply get right to the point with your video introduction.

This becomes especially relevant if you’re using Youtube ads. Videos on YouTube allow users to skip ads after the first 5 seconds, making it paramount that you get your point across within this short period of time.

7. Share the Problem and the Solution

The main reasons to make a video for your business are to educate or inform people about your company, product, or service. This content can be used to quickly share the problem your business chose to fix and the solution you have created for it.

If you can get these concepts through in the first few opening shots of your video, there’s a great chance the viewer will want to keep watching for more information. People have plenty of problems in their lives. And if someone has created a remedy, why wouldn’t the potential customer want to hear them out?

8. Use Sound Wisely

The use of music, voiceovers, sound effects, and other audio literally gives your brand a voice. It allows you to do everything from capture attention and share important information to create funny noises and engage people of all ages.

Check out this clip of The Mummy trailer without music or sound effects to see how big of an impact it can have on the experience.

Without high-quality sound, your video will struggle to hold anyone’s attention for more than a few seconds. This makes it crucial that you use efficient sound equipment, quality effects, and a clear voice as your speaker.

9. Use Text to Ensure Viewers are Listening

On the other hand, many platforms like Facebook and Instagram don’t automatically play the audio for videos as people are scrolling through their newsfeeds. So depending on your distribution strategy and platform, you may want to include text within your video intro. Most of the time this means providing captions that allow people to read what is being said without having to activate the audio on their device.

But this concept also goes beyond simply adding captions. Some people may prefer to read about your product or service, making it a good idea to have strong written content linked somewhere in your video summary or description. And when you add a video to your blogs or other website content, it can even increase the level of exposure for SEO purposes.

10. Add Interesting Statistics

The classic thing to do when giving a speech or writing a paper in elementary school was to include a dictionary definition of the word or topic you were speaking about. Now, high levels of research have been completed on just about every topic you could possibly imagine, opening up new ways to start a piece of content: with statistics.

Did you know 92% of marketers say that video is a key part of their overall business strategy? Facts and statistics like this one are great content to feature in opening shots of your video. They give viewers a quick idea of what you’re about to discuss and provide a solid foundation for you to make your point stronger.

11. Make It Fun

For your own sake, and for the sake of people who see your videos, put in the effort to make the intros and opening shots fun and exciting. Show people how gratifying your business can be and create a feeling of comfort while doing so.

Top Notch Cinema crew and actors filming a commercial

The more fun you can promote within any type of content you make, the increase you’ll see in conversion rates and your bottom line.

Creative Video Intro Ideas

To give you some examples of video intros, we’ve compiled a few pieces of work from Top Notch Cinema’s own marketing content. Some of these use the same content in various ways to help you see how the opening shots can be adjusted to fit your target audience and the platform where you are sharing the video.

Top Notch Cinema Video Intro Examples

 

This first marketing video was created and shared on YouTube. With millions of hours of video being added to YouTube every day, we decided this would be a great place to share our video so it could easily be used in marketing strategies, embedding on websites, and other accessible locations. This clip now has nearly 300,000 views.

 

 

On the other hand, this alternate cut of the same video was created to be posted on Facebook and Instagram, where business owners can be more easily targeted with paid ads. Millions of posts are being shared every minute across these two social media platforms, making it imperative that you grab the attention of someone scrolling through the list. This video does exactly that by starting with a guy getting kicked through a wall within the very first second of the clip.

This allowed Top Notch Cinema to follow it up with an eye-catching font and a bold (& true) statement that “Your Business Needs Video”. This allowed the video to get past the 5-second mark of most peoples’ attention spans. Used as a social media ad, this particular video has gotten more than one million views. It also has a note at the bottom for viewers to make sure they turn their sound on.

 

 

Another creative way Top Notch Cinema has used video intros is with fast-moving montages like in our VFX Sizzle Reel video above. This technique quickly grabs the attention of anyone who sees it and makes them curious as to what the video is about.

What Opening Shots Will You Use for Your Video Intros?

There’s no question that video is the most powerful marketing tool available to businesses today. But it will mean nothing if you can’t create engaging content and captivating video intros that will keep people on the page.

Opening shots must be focused, inspire emotion, leave viewers wanting, and prove value within the first few seconds.

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