The Art and Science of Hooks

The Art and Science of Hooks

Michael Baumgartner
February 14, 2023
tiktok logo
instagram logoyoutube logo

Hearing the word “hook” would probably remind you of a metal tool that cling onto things to keep them. In social media marketing, we also use this expression to mention a sentence, a quote ,or a  picture that attracts users and keeps them focused on a video to avoid them from scrolling to the next post. This blog post is packed with plenty of examples for you to learn from. So, stay tuned!


In social media marketing, hooks are used to prevent the user from ignoring a video or a post and stop scrolling.  Let's say you are watching a YouTube video with the following intro lines. Which one would you keep watching? 

- Hi everyone, welcome to my channel. Today I want to talk about my experience shopping for groceries in Vienna.

- 5 tips you want to know when shopping for groceries in Vienna! Hi everyone and welcome to my channel.

A sophisticated marketing hook can make your potential audience receptive to your message. It also helps the brand to distinguish itself from its competitors. 


If you have ever had a crush on someone really attractive, you must know how hard it is to grab their attention and be noticed by them!  Internet users are the new "it" crowd. Everyone wants a piece of their attention, much like the cool kids in school who always had a line of admirers. Since the development of technology and marketing tools, people are bombarded by marketing messages such as videos, TV commercials and banners everyday and obviously ignoring many of them. So, attracting them to a specific product got as hard as being noticed by your secret crush. Hooks are a lifesaver for marketers, providing them with the means to create the desired impact on potential audiences and convert them into customers. There is no evidence to where it all began ,but the concept of hooks got so popular on Tik Tok and it was contagious enough to spread into other social media platforms. So, people started using hooks in their content (mostly videos) to grab other's attention and stop them from scrolling the page. By the means of a hook, they could fix their place in the audience's top of mind which is one of the most important factors in generating revenue.

Take a look at Zebracat videos and compare their hook and the number of views each video got. The second video got viral because of the attractive hook it had and we could generate more than a thousand leads from this piece.

With a hook, they could place themselves in the audience's top of mind which is one of the most important factors in increasing income.


Every form of content (verbal, visual, and musical) can have a specific sort of hook but we are going to mention some of the most famous ones:

1. Problem and solution hook

These kinds of hooks grab your attention by mentioning the problem and then giving the solution. Take a look at the video here!

2. Three-punch hook

This is a technique that takes the user’s attention in 3 steps. 

1. Create a sense of trendiness 
2. Suggest actionable steps
3. Use strong verbs

Look at the tweet below as an example: 

strong verbs example
3. Successful brand hook

Using a famous brand name can catch viewers attention and provide credibility. People love to know what is happening to the brands they love  and they also get inspired. For example:

Successful brand hook example
4. One-liner hook

Simply point every benefit your content offers in just one sentence. This video is a great example. Watch here

5. Time-saving hook with numbers

Use Numbers to Get Noticed: Statistics or Tip Counts Can Help Capture Attention. Here is an example: Link

6. Buzzword breakdown

Using special, trendy words would help you with capturing people’s attention. Words like “ChatGPT” or “Hack” are so highlighted these days. Consider this video: Link

7. Personal stories and lesson learned

Telling stories is a captivating way to get people hooked. Many are intrigued by the question "What happened?" and you can provide answers through storytelling. For example:

Personal stories and lesson learned example


If you work in the marketing field, you are likely familiar with the concept of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The KPIs for a successful hook can vary. According to, a successful hook should:

1. Address audience pain points, needs, and desires:

Knowing your target audience is crucial in order to create a hook that resonates with them. Understanding their pain points, needs, and desires can help you create a hook that addresses their challenges and grabs their attention. Here is a video example: Link

2. Be witty or incorporate word play

As mentioned before, hooks are so important to be remembered. So, a pinch of wittiness and word play can make the hook hang onto the prospects more tightly.

3. Be unique:

Hooks are a way to differentiate yourself from others. To make an impact, it's important to create a hook that is unique and stands out from the rest. A great example of a unique hook is this short thread from Duolingo:

Duolingo tweet
4. Be shocking 

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”

When you begin reading Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis," you can't help but be shocked as you follow the words and learn that Gregor has transformed into a bug. This is a perfect example of a captivating and startling hook.

5. Be honest 

Maintaining your audience's attention requires honesty. Avoid presenting unrealistic concepts about your brand. Take the Telegram Messenger tweet for example, it strikes a balance between being funny, honest, and informative as it highlights one of Telegram's features. 

telegram Messenger tweet for example
6. Not always be affirmative! 

Don't always play it safe with your hooks. Spark interest and engage your audience by presenting a counterargument or a provocative viewpoint. For instance, instead of listing the "5 top secrets to success," consider framing your message as "What NOT to do." Check out the following video for an example of a controversial hook: Link


We've discussed various elements, but how can we create a consistent plan for our hook strategy, or in other words, our attention marketing strategy? Let's delve in!

1. Get prepared

To get prepared, you need to take the following 3 steps: 

1. Get to know your audience
2. Know your competitors
3. Use customers’ feedbacks

Who are your customers? What are their problems? How can you help them with your product? These questions will help you gather and classify your customers' data. Next, gather information about your competitors. Continuous monitoring of your competitors will help you understand their weaknesses and identify opportunities to differentiate your own product. Finally, act on your customers' feedback. It's not just about the flaws or benefits of your product, but it also provides valuable insight into their perspectives and how they view your product.

 2. Be crystal clear

Ensure that you communicate clearly and succinctly to your audience. To be clear, follow these guidelines:

- Keep it short and to the point

- Consider using an informal tone (if it aligns with your brand)

- Highlight the value that your message offers

- Make it unique

Just like this Tik Tok video demonstrates: Link

3. Be creative!

What a cliché! I know. But creativity is something that can make you the winner among your competitors. Be cautious that creativity goes along with taking risks. So, enough with the outdated methods; let’s become innovative! 

Duolingo is doing great on twitter: 

Duolongo tweet example
4. Use storytelling

People LOVE reading stories. Sometimes even mentioning a story would suffice to grab their attention. You can make stories out of any normal event that happens at work such as customer’s data, your marketing campaign or any other event. You have hundreds of them every week. Use them! 

This video is about hooks, but look at its own hook which is a story! Here it is!

5. Follow a trend

Trends are super helpful when you run out of ideas. They are exciting and keep everyone hooked. Take a look at these three examples from Ryanair:

Example #1

Example #2

Example #3


In this post we did our best to come up with new ideas and cover everything about hooks. I hope you enjoyed the blog and could get the most out of it. If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment so we can communicate and engage with each other.

Michael Baumgartner
February 14, 2023
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Meet The Author
CEO of Zebracat
A seasoned entrepreneur and AI enthusiast, Michael frequently shares insights on the intersection of technology and marketing. His writing focuses on leveraging artificial intelligence to enhance marketing strategies.

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