If you’ll take a look at the viral videos on TikTok, you’ll notice one thing they share in common. They use the same framework for the first 3 to 4 seconds called a hook. That’s one of the reasons they get viral.

A hook is something that piques your audience’s attention. It’s a challenge to capture the audience’s interest on TikTok in less than a few seconds, so your hook should be effective enough to make viewers stick until the end of your video. Otherwise, they will scroll past your video even before you get to the meat of it.

For value-based content for brands and businesses, think of a hook that would make an excellent blog post title or headline. In articles, the title is the first thing that the audience sees, so it needs to be effective to catch their attention. It determines whether the audience will read your article or ignore it and click another post.

On TikTok, you need something that will help you stand out and interrupt the constant scrolling pattern of users on their feeds. Here are some examples of hooks all viral TikTok videos use to grab people’s attention:

  • You won’t believe this X reasons why __ X fun facts you probably didn’t know about __
  • The one important tip you should know about
  • 10 (insert tooltips) I wish I knew earlier
  • Top 5 tools that will make you productive
  • How to get __ in 24 hours
  • Nobody is talking about __ (insert niche)
  • This is why your __ isn’t working X tiny hacks that can help you __

Let’s categorize these hooks into the following:

Table of Contents

Curiosity Hook


This is a type of curiosity title. People are generally curious creatures and they want to know more about the subject. Using this hook prompts them to continue watching your video and find out if they would agree that what you’re talking about is unbelievable but true. It’s like an itch they want to scratch or a burning question they need to answer.

Be careful when you use the curiosity hook, though. Make sure that you provide the information they want to know. Otherwise, it would become clickbait, and that’s not going to be good for your reputation.

· You won’t believe this · Nobody is talking about __ (insert niche) · The one important tip you should know about

Here’s an example of a TikTok video that uses curiosity to hook the viewers. It’s from Laura Lee who has 3.1 million followers. The video has nearly 1 million likes and 61,800 plus shares.

The Reason Why Hook

The “reason why” hook caters to people who are looking for solutions or wanting to know why they’re experiencing their pain points. Viewers who want to get to the bottom of their issues are likely to watch your video to find the answer to their “why.”

“Why” content is also typically used to present an argument or to share an opinion.

· X reasons why __ · This is why your __ isn’t working

List Hook

List type of articles, which contains numbered or bulleted ideas and step-by-step processes, has been popular on the internet. When used on TikTok videos, this type of hook gives the audience an idea of what the focus of the content is.

· X fun facts you probably didn’t know about __ · 10 (insert tooltips) I wish I knew earlier

Here’s an example of a list type of content on TikTok from J.C. Dombrowski who has 2.8 million followers. The video has over 132,000 likes and has been used to drive donations to charities.

Direct Hook

This is an example of a direct headline, which plainly tells the viewers a solution to their pain point. It’s straightforward and easily gives the audience an idea of what’s in it for them. With this hook, your viewers know the benefit they’ll get from watching your video.

· Top 5 tools that will make you productive · X tiny hacks that can help you __

How-To Hook

“How-to” type of hook tells your viewers exactly what the video will teach them. When you use this kind of hook, the audience will expect a clear guide and instructions on how to do something to achieve the desired results. It can be a step-by-step process of solving a tricky problem or instructions to learn a new skill.

How-to videos tend to be longer, so your audience will expect it will take their time. Some busy people might not choose to watch your video and opt for others that are easier to digest.

· How to get __ in 24 hours

Here’s an example of a how-to video from Charlie Puth that has 1 million likes and nearly 9,000 shares. Charlie Puth has over 11.6 million followers.

Aside from these hooks, other types of headlines that you may find effective as hooks as they are effective content titles include: · Controversial headlines · Statistic headlines · “Best” headlines · Versus headlines · Command headlines · Testimonial headlines

Engage Your Audience From the Start

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How you open your TikTok video is crucial, so you must introduce a hook within the first 3 seconds to capture their attention. Avoid an unnecessary long intro that’s full of fluff. It can get tricky, and you might have to experiment on a few hooks before you get the most appropriate one for your content.

Hooks that challenge an assumption, making a bold claim, sharing something relatable, and having movement are also effective in keeping the audience interested.

Aside from the hook, it also helps to keep your videos relatively short. It will help boost your completion rate. Also, add an engaging caption, which will help attract the interest of your viewers and make them stop scrolling past your post.

If your hook is interesting enough, people will like it and engage with your post. Then TikTok will push your video to a larger audience. Before you know it, it’s gone viral. How does that sound?