February 2, 2024

What is a UGC Hook?

Why hooks are a crucial element in UGC creatives and how to improve them

Why hooks are a crucial element in UGC creatives and how to improve them

Boost conversion rates by adding powerful hooks to your UGC creatives

In online advertising, you often hear about effective hooks being one of the biggest factors behind a winning ad. A good hook is what makes your content stand out and captures the viewers attention immediately, which is key as attention spans get shorter for every year that goes by. In this post, we are taking you through the basics of successful hooks and why you should spend time testing and iterating on that part of your creative assets.

Creative Hooks Defined

A creative hook is defined as the first three seconds of the video. The hook can be further split up into sub-categories, like the visual hook, the copy hook and the audio hook, but all of them are designed to drive the same result; stopping the users from scrolling past your video. Good hooks are usually both creative and unexpected, and gives the viewer a reason to stick around and hopefully watch the entire video.

The hook is also one of the most tested variables of ad creatives. The success of your hook is best measured by the "Hook rate" (or "Thumbstop rate"), which is calculated by measuring the amount of 3-second views out of all of your impressions. A benchmark for a good hook rate is typically around 30%, which is when you know you are doing a good job of capturing your users attention. Many advertisers also look at performance for the individual elements of the hook (visual, copy and audio). For a complete breakdown of creative variables to track, read our article on the topic here.

Examples of successful UGC Hooks

Experimenting with a wide variety of UGC hooks provides data and insights, which in turn helps you optimize your DTC strategy. Here are some examples:

  • "The Secret Behind Our [Product] Revealed!"
  • "Why [Product/Brand] is a Must-Have for Every [Target Audience]!"
  • "Unlock Exclusive Deals Just for You!"
  • "Your Path to [Solve a Problem] Begins Here!"
  • "Join the Revolution of [Product Benefit/Feature]!"These examples showcase variety in approach and tone, each aiming to connect with the consumer via different emotional or value-driven paths.

Remember, the best performing UGC hooks change regularly.

Read more: Top 10 UGC Hooks for DTC
October 2023 Update

UGC Hooks and Sales: Timing It Right for DTC

Optimal utilization of UGC hooks, particularly during key sales events like Black Friday or Singles Day, entails prior experimentation and data analysis. Engage in pre-event testing with varied content types and hooks, refining your strategy to be data-informed and customer-approved during these vital shopping events.

What comes after the Hook

A successful hook alone doesn't necessarily guarantee a sale. It is quite common to see ad creatives with a good hook rate but poor conversion rates, which typically means that the hook is not connected to the product or service that you sell, or the body of the ad creative isn't matching the hook. To test this, consider adding "Hold rate" to your performance dashboards, which is calculated as the percentage of 15-second views out of all 3-second views. The best business outcomes are achieved when an ad creative not only captures the viewers attention, but also drive home the unique selling points of your product or service. In other words, a high hook rate combined with a high hold rate is where you want to be.


What Constitutes an Effective UGC Hook for DTC?

An effective UGC hook effectively captures your viewers attention enough to stop their scroll to learn about your product or service. It should be creative, unexpected and thought-provoking.

How Crucial are UGC Hooks to DTC Marketing?

An effective hook can make or break the performance of your UGC assets, so spending a significant time testing and iterating this part of the creative asset is highly recommended.

What Impact Can UGC Hooks Have on DTC Sales?

Good hooks captures your potential customers' attention and makes them want to learn more, but should also be followed up by a good creative body, CTA and post-click experience.

What is Focal?

Focal is a creative asset management platform perfect for asset-heavy teams. With Focal, you can ship effective ads 10x faster.

Our key features are an AI-powered search for creative assets, advanced media mockups, and collaborative docs designed for marketers. All features in Focal are seamlessly connected with Slack and Figma, so you don't need to waste time on manual copy+paste.

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