Tips and Tricks on Creating Engaging Introductions and Hooks
Did you know, 55% of online visitors spend 15 seconds or less on a site? So if your intro doesn’t grab their attention in those 15 seconds, you’ve lost a potential lead.
With millions of blogs posted daily, companies are fighting for the attention of their web visitors, users and readers. Unfortunately, there’s only so much information that can be shared before it becomes repetitive and boring.
So how can you keep your audience engaged through writing captivating introductions and brilliant hooks? In this blog, we’ll share the proven Copy House formula for hooks that will grab your audience’s attention!
Creating Engaging Introductions
The purpose of an introduction is to immediately capture the attention of your reader. Often readers want information fast and straight to the point. That’s why your introduction must show them that this is the right place to obtain whatever they’re after.
An example of a good introduction is:
What makes this a good introduction is:
- The length of the introduction is short and concise, which is excellent for skim reading.
- It starts with an enticing hook to draw in the target audience.
- Sets the scene by telling the target audience what they’re about to read.
- The use of the word “you” makes an introduction more personal.
- The writer has avoided adding any additional fluff and made the text short and snappy.
- The writer understands what the target audience wants to achieve. So they’ve jumped straight to the point.
- The introduction ends with a very clear sentence that outlines what the article will explore. This removes any ambiguity and keeps the intended target audience wanting to know more.
Now let’s run through how you can create a great introduction of your own.
Length of the Intro:
Although there is no definitive answer as to how long your introduction should be, it’s good to remember that viewers have a short attention span; therefore, it’s better to get straight to the point rather than waffle.
For a 1000 word article, our best advice is to stick to 3 to 4 small paragraphs at the most. So this would roughly be 5 to 6 sentences or 125-200 words.
Get Straight to Your Point
By covering your key points with fluff and additional information, you begin to complicate the text and lose your reader’s interest.
You need to make sure the message is simple and clear. Tell the audience what’s in it for them as quickly and as succinctly as possible.
If the point clicks in 3 seconds, they’ll likely continue reading. However, if your point is complex and confusing, the reader will run for the hills.
Personalise Your Intro
Another way to keep your audience engaged is by personalising your introduction to suit them. You can do this in several ways:
1. Make it Relatable
To make an intro relatable, you need to understand the ‘who’, who are you writing this introduction for?
For readers to stay hooked, they need to feel as if they relate to the content you are writing, see themselves within it, and learn from it.
Check out our blog on creating customer avatars to help you discover your audience and how to best engage with them.
2. Speak Directly to the Reader
When writing educational material for other people, you want to use the word “you” as much, and as naturally, as possible.
By emphasising the word “you” in your intro and throughout your article, you show the reader that you are directly addressing them and their situation. You’re not just writing a generic article for everyone.
The bottom line is that direct communication feels more empathetic.
3. Make it Human
Use your intro to appeal to the emotions of other humans. You can do this by helping the reader see the possibilities and opportunities your content will provide for them. You need to make them confident that what they’re about to read will be useful for them.
Always make it relatable, and beyond your intro, always make sure the answers to the burning questions are easy to find within the content and not just clickbait statements.
How to Make Your Content Pop
Take a Stand
If you want someone to be interested in what you have to say, don’t be wishy-washy or sit on the fence. Your reader will naturally want to learn more if your introduction goes strongly against a commonly-held opinion or is assertively speaking on a trending or niche topic.
Therefore, sitting on the fence about the topic and not being direct can make your readers lose interest.
Create a Good Hook
In the copywriting and marketing world, a hook is a concept or an idea that gets people interested in what you have to say and offer.
The intention behind your hook is to entice your target audience and want them craving more of your content.
Although you should make your hook bold, do NOT write information that you can’t deliver. Every promise made in the introduction must be answered in the main body, as your article is not a clickbait piece.
There are three types of hooks:
1. Question Hook
A good question at the beginning of your article can spark an interest or challenge a thought in your reader’s mind. Similarly to how we started this article, a question can be in the form of a statistic or just a general thought-provoking question.
“Did you know…”
2. Statistic Hook
Again, similarly to how we did it in this article, a statistical hook is an excellent way to kick off your content, shock your reader and leave them wanting to know more.
“The Economics Times found that only 8% of the worlds currency is physical.”
3. Anecdotal Hook
This can be a direct quote from an interviewee or an insightful quote that gets to the crux or heart of the matter.
“Client X went above and beyond to ensure we achieved our goals in the short space of 6 months.”
Although you should try to avoid using a cheesy or cliche quote, it can push your content further if it is something your audience is searching for.
Power of a Story
Sparking the imagination is an instant way to draw the reader into the experience of the article. There are three ways to use a powerful story to get your audience hooked to your content.
- Introduce a Relatable Protagonist
As mentioned previously, relatable content is hard to sell. The protagonist, in this case, is your target audience, and more than often, they are acting on behalf of themselves.
For this reason, the content needs to be relatable, something they care about and something they wish to see succeed. If the content succeeds, they succeed.
- Set the Scene by Doing Some World Building
The introduction to your article needs to resonate with your audience and be something they can immerse themselves in. It needs to be from their world, and the outcomes they wish to see become a reality.
For example, suppose your article is preaching about how you can produce an article that hooks your audience through great introductions and conclusions, then the end goal for the reader is to make this a reality and something they want to achieve by the end of it.
- A Call to Adventure
The best introductions identify challenges, pain points, problem areas and goals of the protagonist (your target audience). Your protagonist needs an objective to strive for, an objective that keeps your readers wanting more.
Research Enhances Credibility
If you have a really interesting fact or statistic that will draw in your reader, challenge their thoughts or show the importance of your content, use it!
Having facts and figures that can be backed by reliable sources is a great way to enhance the credibility of your content, add drama and show your audience why reading your article is important.
So don’t hide that information behind jargon or fluff. Instead, make it obvious and once again straight to the point. Your reader needs to know why your content is vital and why they should spend their time submerged in it.
Creating Content the Copy House Way
Creating the perfect introduction takes time and practice. At Copy House, our copywriters have been writing for years so producing the perfect intro comes naturally to them. We work with brands like Klarna, Modulr and Travelex to create content on complex matters that keeps their audience engaged. We can do the same for you too! Just complete our contact form below.
For more content tips and tricks, check out our other insights into content marketing and improve your content marketing skills today.