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What Is a Hook Rate?

April 26, 2022
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When it comes to digital content marketing, there’s one axiom that always holds true: never underestimate the power of a good hook.

The hook is the element of your video advertisement that snatches the consumer’s attention from the heady distractions of the Internet and directs it at your brand or business. It announces as quickly as possible that your product or service is just the thing the consumer has been looking for all along—even if they didn’t know it.

That description may make a good hook sound like magic, but the truth is, there are practical ways to determine just how effective your ad is to lure in consumers and hold  their focus. The methodology for measuring those qualities is what’s known as the hook rate.

But what is hook rate success more specifically and how do you measure hook rates on video ads? And what are the benefits of knowing it? We’ll go over all of that and more below, including simple steps  on how you can gain a faster  hook rate and elevate your video ad campaign. 

Hook Rate Explained 

A hook rate measures how quickly your video ad manages to lure  consumers. To determine a video’s hook rate, you divide a certain number of video seconds by the number of impressions, or viewers of the video, gained during that time.1

The amount of time you use in your calculation depends on the platform where your ad appears. 

As an example, here’s how you would measure the hook rates of video ads appearing on two popular social media platforms: 

Facebook – To measure the hook rates of Facebook ads, divide three seconds of video by the number of impressions gained. 

TikTok – For TikTok ads, the hook rate is measured by dividing the number of impressions by two seconds of video. 

The hook rate is also known as a thumb stop rate because so many consumers scroll through the Internet on mobile devices using their thumbs. The goal of any successful video ad is to stop thumbs mid-scroll.

Hook rates or thumb stop rates are handy ways of figuring out which video ads are successfully attracting consumers and which are getting lost in the scroll. They can also be useful in estimating an ad’s long-term success.1

social media agency

Why Are Hook Rates Important? 

Aside from helping you figure out how well your ad is performing, hook rates can be valuable tools for optimizing your video advertisement strategy. This is because the success of online video advertisements sinks or swims on the strength of their ability to immediately grab the attention of consumers.

Video ads are an increasingly popular form of digital marketing, (just ask Forbes2). More and more, brands and businesses are recognizing the importance of reaching consumers on the platforms they use most in the mediums that most appeal to them. In fact, according to recent reports, 92% of marketers who incorporate video into their digital strategies consider it vitally important.3 

But the popularity of video ads means that the demand for consumer attention is higher than ever. Seizing that attention long enough to sell a consumer on your product means crafting video ads that dazzle right away. And because hook rates essentially measure how well a video ad does that, determining yours can help you:

  • Craft more enticing and effective ads
  • Determine how your ads fare across different platforms 
  • Determine your social media engagement 

5 Tips for Creating Video Content That Hooks Consumers

When you go fishing, there are a few tools you need if you plan on catching anything, like a fishing rod, a hook, and bait. But even with the best fishing rod and the tastiest bait, you won’t catch a fish if your hook isn’t up to snuff. 

When it comes to video content marketing, the rules aren’t too different. 

A video with a faster hook rate that makes a sharp impression on viewers within a few seconds, will make a splash and keep your marketing campaigns swimming along beautifully. 

How do you create a video ad that manages to snare consumers right away? Here are five tips for building ads that hook consumers, stop thumbs, and convert impressions into sales.

#1 Make Every Second Count

As we mentioned, the first few seconds of your video are among the most crucial for retaining the attention of your audience. When you spark the imagination right away, consumers will be spellbound, eager to hear what you have to say next. That means you need to milk those first few seconds for everything their worth.

That’s where your hook comes into play. If you want thumbs to do a double-take (so to speak) when your content appears, you can bolster the first few seconds of your video by: 

  • Presenting a solution to a relatable problem – Advertising is all about anticipating why consumers would need a given product and tapping into the ways it can improve their life. The best ad hooks present a relatable problem to consumers and position the product or service as the most effective solution. 
  • Introducing a narrative – Use the beginning of your ad to begin building the story around which your ad is structured. Introduce the stakes right away so that consumers become interested in sticking around for the resolution.
  • Being creative – Creativity is key to any successful ad, video or otherwise. For your ad to stand out, it needs to be new and original. Offering consumers a new perspective or inciting them with an unexpected take on a familiar situation should be among your top goals. 

#2 Get Personal 

In an age where virtually everything we encounter on the Internet has been parsed and picked by the algorithm to appeal to us individually, consumers expect advertisements to feel like everything else about being online: that it’s about them first. 

When it comes to video ads that work, don’t be afraid to get personal.

Many brands and businesses are already using personalized video ads in their digital marketing strategies.4 Some of the ways they’re doing this are  by addressing the consumer by name or tailoring ad information to reflect the consumer’s:

  • Profession
  • Demographic details like age and gender identity 
  • Geographic location
  • Lifestyle

#3 Keep It Short 

Brevity is the name of the game when it comes to online video ads that work. That’s part of why packing the beginning of your ad with the material that will attract consumers most and increase your hook rate is so important. 

These days, audiences lack both the time and the interest for long, meandering video ads. According to a survey by Invesp, nearly half of consumers interviewed said that online video ads should be 15 seconds or shorter, echoing the suggestions of major sellers of video ad space like Facebook. Therefore, when you are learning about how to create successful Facebook video ads and video ads on other platforms, they must be quick and to the point5 

When you focus on telling the fullest story in as succinct a manner as possible, you’ll have an easier time figuring out which elements of your ad will create the most effective hook. 

#4 Craft a Quality Thumbnail

In many cases, users are likely to encounter a thumbnail of your video ad before the ad itself. The thumbnail is like a preview for your ad that can be a static image, gif, or video snippet. It encourages consumers to view your ad. 

But video thumbnails can also affect your hook rate. This is because the quality of the video thumbnail has been linked to the level of attention consumers pay to your full ad, according to a study conducted by the Columbia Business School.6 Selecting the right ad frame for your video thumbnail can help increase the attention consumers pay to your ad by:

  • Up to 14% overall 
  • Up to 16% at the most important part of your ad, known as the attention-peak

When you combine a fantastic thumbnail with a compelling hook, you increase your ad’s chances of succeeding. 

#5 Advertise Your Strengths

No matter if you run a huge, multinational conglomerate or a locally owned small business, you know that when it comes to promoting your brand, you are your own best advocate. And when it comes to videos that jump off screens and into consumer consciousness, you should also be the biggest. This is why it is important to find a branding agency that is wanting to fully support your creative ideas.

Your video ad is your chance to shine, so don’t shy away from letting consumers know why you rank above the competition. Audiences will be more likely to sit through the first few seconds of your ad if you can: 

  • Get them interested in your brand’s story
  • Make them curious about your brand’s unique qualities and benefits
  • Relate your product or service to their lives 

Maximize Your Hook Rate with Power Digital Marketing 

Hook rates or thumb stop rates are just one metric for tracking and evaluating the performance of individual online video ads. But measuring the success of an entire digital marketing campaign isn’t as simple as making a few calculations. 

Working with a digital marketing agency is a surefire way to build, launch, and track the performance of online ad campaigns. And when you entrust your digital marketing to Power Digital, you gain access to our internet marketing service which uses the most innovative marketing tools to build custom campaigns that work for you. Then, we’re constantly monitoring your campaign with our social media management so that it’s always optimized to achieve the best results. 

Power Digital Marketing has the tools to elevate your brand and grow your business. Get your proposal today. 


  1. Thesis. Benchmarking Facebook Video Ads Hook Rates. https://www.thesistesting.com/insights/benchmarking-tiktok-video-hook-rates 
  2. Forbes. How Video Will Impact the Online Marketplace in the New Year. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/02/14/how-video-will-impact-the-online-marketplace-in-the-new-year/?sh=370f96c6690d
  3. Wyzowl. Video Marketing Statistics | New Data for 2022. https://www.wyzowl.com/video-marketing-statistics/ 
  4. Brid. Personalized Video—How and Why Brands Should Use It. https://www.brid.tv/personalized-video-ads/#0-what-is-personalized-video 
  5. Invesp. Online Video Advertising—Statistics and Trends. https://www.invespcro.com/blog/online-video-advertising/ 
  6. Real Eyes. Radically Boost Video Attention by Using a Happy-Peak Frame Thumbnail. https://blog.realeyesit.com/boost-video-attention-by-using-a-happy-frame-thumbnail
  7. Thesis. Benchmarking TikTok Video Hook Rates. https://www.thesistesting.com/insights/benchmarking-tiktok-video-hook-rates 
  8. Facebook. How Video Ads Work on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/video-ad-format?content_id=YtrGusNiDrnTETV&ref=sem_smb&utm_source=GOOGLE&utm_medium=fbsmbsem&utm_campaign=PFX_SEM_G_BusinessAds_US_EN_Brand_BMM_Desktop_Top&utm_content=Ads-Video_Evaluating&kenid=_k_CjwKCAjwo8-SBhAlEiwAopc9W3xCR6W_YtxuaYIX00vsFAV0HVgGDyxK0HdlXgt7DuEfvH2VVl8myRoCraYQAvD_BwE_k_&utm_term=%2Bfacebook%20%2Bvideo%20%2Badvertising&utm_ct=EVG&gclid=CjwKCAjwo8-SBhAlEiwAopc9W3xCR6W_YtxuaYIX00vsFAV0HVgGDyxK0HdlXgt7DuEfvH2VVl8myRoCraYQAvD_BwE



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