Proof That A Quick Hook Is Critical

Proof That A Quick Hook Is Critical

by Tracy Johnson

In Content Superhero Chapter 1 :What Causes Tune Out, we demonstrated how personalities that bury the hook deep into the break at best fail to gain attention. At worst, they drive listeners away, losing as much as 50% of their audience to tune out.

In Chapter 2, we show you how that quick hook not only attracts attention but sets up a break to gain momentum and grow 1/4 hour share.

There’s no doubt that getting into meaningful content quickly and efficiently is valuable. Listener attention is at a peak when they’re engaged, and they’re usually engaged toward the end of a song they’re singing along with. That’s the best time to keep their attention.

But you have to work on creating great hooks. They must be:

  • Clear, focused and specific. Get them in immediately. It’s not THEIR job to figure out what you’re talking about. It’s your job to get them interested.
  • Dramatic. Don’t be afraid to be big, over-the-top. This is show-biz. Make sure it’s believable, but deliver intriguing and compelling hooks. The alternative is to be boring.

Here are examples taken from actual listener research tracking moment by moment response to breaks.

First an example of a bad hook:


Content superhero EKG bad hook


Notice how the interest line just never gets traction? It’s flat. There’s nothing going on here. They don’t hook the audience. It’s not a boring topic, but it’s a boring break, mostly because they didn’t hook the audience.

Now look at this EKG:


Content Superhero EKG Great hook



This hook grabs the audience immediately. It’s engaging and gives this break momentum because the hook is instant. It has a chance to succeed, and look at how the appeal rises to the top, and stays there.

Now, here’s the scary part: You have very little time to win that attention. How little? 7 seconds. We call it the 7-second challenge.

Knowing this, doesn’t it make sense to put more emphasis on creating hooks during show prep?