EP 4: How To Measure and Test Video Ad Hooks with Anze Markovic

Today I'm chatting with Anze Markovic, a creative strategist, about video hooks, hook testing, and how to measure the effective of your paid social video ads.

Hey, this is Leah and you're listening
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the right people and attract
and engage your ideal audience.

In today's episode, I'm
interviewing Anze Markovic.

Anze is a creative strategist and content
creator that creates and split tests.

Video ads for are his clients.

I followed Anze for quite
some time on Twitter.

And he's one of my favorite people
to follow for creative inspiration.

And he shares a lot of the tests that he
runs to for his clients, which is really

cool to see the behind the scenes of that.

I really recommend giving
him a follow on Twitter.

You can find him
@anzedetn a N Z E D E T N.

In today's episode, we focus mostly
on hook testing, which is something

he talks a lot about on Twitter.

And you're gonna learn today what the
hook is, why it's so important, how to

measure the effectiveness of the hook
and what other parts of the video are.

Important for testing.

So without further ado here
is today's episode HIE.

Thanks for being here today.

In today's podcast, I
wanted to chat about hooks.

This is something that I've seen
you talk a lot about on Twitter.

I feel like this is something
that you are really known for.

I've seen, you have a lot of really great
examples of different hooks and things

on, on your Twitter and in your content.

So I'm really excited to dive
into this topic with you.

And before we get started, I
wanted to start with a bit, a

bit about your background and how
you got started in advertising.


So I'm in advertising for around
I think, seven or eight years.

So I played ice school hockey before
and around eight or nine years

ago, I joined my family business.

So I had to learn everything about
business, how to sell a product.

And in the first year we went online and
basically at that time, I helped them

scale over several European markets.

And then, then after a couple of years,
um, I mean, during that time I learned

Facebook ads from the media buying
perspective and also from the creative

perspective, because I had to do both.

And that still benefits
me right now because.

even though I'm focused more on
the creative side, I still look

at the creatives through the
performance, which brands want.

Uh, after a couple of years I
joined one agency from New York.

And so for three or four years,
I worked for two agencies

from in, in United States.

And then like six months ago,
I'm on my own doing my own stuff.

Um, clients send me products
and I do creatives for them.

I do creative strategy.

I have my own pool of content creators.

So basically the flow went that I had to
spend my own money first on advertising.

So I know how to optimize,
like for every single dollar



So now you were, you're
working for yourself.

You're a freelancer basically.

. Yeah, exactly.


And do you just do the creative side
or do you also do the media buying?

I do media buying for Facebook and TikTok.

My main focus is still on the creative
side, even though if I do media buy

my like 90% of the time I spend on, on
creatives, how to improve performance

there, cuz that's like the big, this
leverage on the media bank side.

And if you have good
creatives, it's so much easier.

To run ads, but, um, yeah, for most
of the clients, I basically deliver

content for them and doing creative
analysis, creative strategy iterations.

Um, basically, like I said,
clients send me the products.

My wife is a videographer, so we,
we combine my knowledge and her

knowledge and of course see so big
that I, over the last two years, I

built like a pool of content creators.

That I have, like for like a
specific persona for every brand, for

every niche that the client needs.

So basically I can almost do
everything that they need.



So you have like models essentially
that they kind of like, do you film

them or do they film themselves?

So if they are from us, they
need to feel on themselves.


But if we are making creatives, let's say
with a voiceover or just text animation,

then of course I can use models here.

Uh, but yeah, talking to the camera,
I want them to be native us speaking.

So it's more like natural and friendly.


Yeah, that makes sense.

So tell us about what, what
exactly a hook is in the creative.

So hook is the first few
seconds of the, a video.

Usually it's around two or three seconds.

It's in my opinion, the most important
part in ad creative, because.

If you don't grab attention, if nobody
sees your ad, then the rest of the video

is pointless because nobody sees it.

So I focus a lot on that, cuz sometimes
when I analyze the ad account and

I see hooks on you, you have a
like very specific metric, custom

metric, then you create net manager.

And based on that, you can see
if that creative actually got.

The the correct opportunity.

Like, let's say if every one
of 10 people see the ads, so

see more than three seconds.

It's basically pointless.

What happens after the three seconds.

So you can just change the first few
seconds and try to improve hook that

like 30% of the people are gonna
stop the scroll and watch it more.

Uh, then immediately the
video has more opportunities.



So you call that the, the hook
ratio that's kind of, yeah.



And how do you calculate
that in ads manager?

So you create a custom metrics when
you put three seconds view divided by

impressions, and then you get percentages.

So basically, like I said, you get like
how many people stop the scroll and

watch the video more than three seconds.

And my benchmark is usually around 35%.

So like every third person needs
to, uh, watch it more, but I try

to go above 40 just to have, if
you have a bigger benchmark, uh,

the results are usually better.

Mm-hmm okay.

Have you ever done any, do you
ever consider are looking at

like a, a using ten second to
calculate it or anything like that?

Or you really find that the three
seconds, if someone's watches three

seconds, that's kind of the sweet spot.

yeah, three sentence is like, this
is where you get the attention.

Of course, I look at the
different segments of the video.

And then I let's say you have three hooks.

All of them are pretty, um,
pretty similar to each other.

Then I start analyzing what
happens after the hook.

So after the hook, you can have.

I call it blocks so different
blocks of the video and those

blocks can be product introduction.

In terms of someone who's just talking
to the camera or product introduction

in terms of unboxing or just product
on the table with camera movement.

So then I analyze what's happened
because usually after the hook, the

product introduction comes into place.

So then I analyze that.

And then after that, you ha
you can have certain benefits.

You can have better alternatives when
you compare products between each other,

you have some education or social proof.

So basically then you actually
compare what's going on in the video.

And then all of a sudden you can see that.


We are seeing that if we have a
comparison individual, the performance.

In terms of RO and, uh, cost
per purchase is much better.

So we, we actually educate people
why you need to switch from your

existing product to our product, and
that's beneficial to us and to them.

So basically.

Let's say one block becomes more
important and it needs to be in the video.



So is that kind of the typical
formula that you would use as like

the hook to capture attention,
introduce the product and then, you

know, benefits, social proof, those
other blocks you were mentioning.

Yeah, but those blocks can be like
very, I have like a current list

of, I think at least 15 blocks.


So, and in the video, usually
after the product introduction,

you use three or four.


Because you don't want
to over overwhelm people.

Uh, cuz like the attention
span is actually very low.

Yeah, definitely.

So I rather play around that.

I'm gonna show those three blocks and
the next week I'm gonna show different

three blocks and then after a certain.

period of testing, we can actually
see, which are those motivators

for fee for people to buy.

So that also give us like
a very good learning.

Mm mm-hmm and do you usually finish
with any kind of call to action block?

Of course.


Every time a call to action, but
I try to be in the call to action.

Not just shop now.

I try to, uh, I don't know if you wanna.

get your confidence back click to
learn more or something like that.

I, I try to make beneficial
benefit driven call to action.

Yeah, definitely.

That makes sense.

So what are some examples?

Can you share some examples of some
hooks that have worked really well

for you or what's kind of like your,
your thought process for thinking,

you know, how to really capture that
attention and get people watching the ad?



I when I usually start from, like,
from scratch, I try to make hooks.

I usually my package is one video
with three hooks and then more videos

of course, but like one specific
concept is with three hooks and

those cool hooks in the beginning
are very different from each other.

So hook can be more benefit driven.

The other one can be more problem focused.

Uh, the third one can
be more product focused.

So that's how I split those three threats.

Of course, problem focus can be physical.

Problem can be emotional problem
can be better alternative when

we actually showcase the product.

That's usually, let's say you are fighting
like dark circles under the eyes and.

Some, some people will put ice cubes or
bags or something like it's a kind of

home remedy and it's a better alternative.

And we start with that.

So just to get it attention, because
it's also visually interesting.

And then we transition to the product,
which is actually an eye stick that

you can put under your eye and it helps
your life to hydrate your under eyes.


Then also one interesting element
of the hook is the main headline.

So I usually put the main headline on the
top of the screen because the readability

is better than the logo on the screen.

And I play around with those headlines
can be more, I know that TikTok right

now is very popular and it's getting
better and better mm-hmm so I try

to have more like a native textile
in terms of design, but also like.

A TikTok make me buy part 14 or maybe
some question, which is actually

designed that it's like a question
in the comments and the model is

gonna actually answer that question.

So it's kind of a correlation between
the, the visuals and the text.

So that's also very important.

And another thing is that.

the, by my experience, if you showcase
the product as soon as possible, that's

the best because you need to think
that hook is actually your targeting.

It's your filter.

Who's gonna stop withdrawal.

Cause if they are stopping the scroll,
you up their attention and they are

interested in that, of course you
can make, I call it clickbait hook.

When basically can someone just yelling
at the camera, like stop scrolling,

but we notice that those hooks can be
like 60% or very high, but there's no

relation to the product or the problem.

So usually you stop the
scroll, but that's it.

So those very high hook and not
relatable to the product on the offer

actually can give you very bad traffic.

So you need to be careful with that, cuz
like some of the best hooks in like we

had one ad that were spending, I think
overall the revenue for that concept

with iterations was close to 9 million.

I think it was like one
year ago or something.

And the hook was like around 28%.

So nothing special in terms of numbers.

But we showcase the product
immediately and the main benefit of

it, we need to show how big it is.

So people can immediately
imagine where they can use it.

So that hook was always the best
hook, even though we could get hooks

around 35, 40%, but nothing bits
that hook in terms of performance.

So you always need to be
in a balance between that.

mm-hmm mm-hmm so even though people
weren't quite as likely to stop and

watch the video, they were more likely
to convert because they were a better

qualified audience because they were
actually interested in the products.


Yeah, exactly.

I love that.


Cause like hook is your filter
who is gonna stop scroll and

who's actually your buyer.

And then the rest of the
video is another filter.

So if the video has,
is, is a high quality.

That video can, um, also improve
conversion rate on, on the website.

Of course, then you need, uh, to have
landing page testing and everything.

That's another layer that you
need to improve and all what's

test mm-hmm , but we saw like just
changing the, the, the videos.

It can be like a huge
conversion rate difference.

Even if we are driving
people just to the homepage.


So you're looking at the hook ratio, but
as, as one element of all of the metrics.

So what other metrics do you like to look
at to determine the performance of the ad?

So of course now we have those
IO 14 issues and post click

results or metrics are not really.

But you can still get some help from it.

So, uh, if I look at the, on, on
platform metrics, so before the click,

I also look at average watch time.

Of course, average watch time
is correlated to the hook ratio

and the length of the video.

I mean, if the hook
ratio is 30%, the length.

Let's say 20%.

The average watch time is gonna be
lower if you have the same hook,

but the video is one minute long.

That's always the case, but I
still look at the average watch

time, how I can approve it.

So this is where I watch.

What's the hook.

What happens?

How after the hook is
the video dynamic enough?

Do I switch visuals?

Frequently enough.

So with dynamics, so I
don't lose the attention.

Do I show something that's
valuable every single second, cause

otherwise you are losing them.

So that's one of the metrics
that's really important.

Another one is click to purchase ratio.

So it's basically how
many people are gonna buy.

That's like a conversion rate style.

And outbound CTR.

So how many people are clicked and
actually landed on your website?

Mm, okay.

Yeah, those are all great metrics.

How does copy play into what you're doing?

Do you consider, do you take the copy
into consideration when you're, when

you're planning your ads, videos,
zoom, copy in video, your or the actual

copy above the ad, the actual ad copy.



I mean, you always need to test it.

But there's not such a big difference.

I mean, there is a, a difference, but
not that big, if you are just testing

videos, mm-hmm cause like, like the
human brain processes, images or videos,

like 60,000 times faster than the text.

And like, we are getting bombarded
with ads and all the informations.

We are just, our brain just
don't want to read anymore.

Like 80% of people just read the headline.

That's it.

But it's easier to, to watch a video,
especially if it's entertainment,

entertainment, and fun and dynamic.

So 90% of information transmitted
to the brain is visual.

So we need to keep that in mind.

That's how it is.

But like, I, I focus more on the visuals
and, and on the creative and that top,

top headline in the beginning of the end.



So you don't do it as much testing on
the, on the copy then I do it a little

bit, but not, not a lot, honestly.


Not as much as with the video.


That makes we actually, I have one example
that like, give me a lot of thinking.

Like we made a mistake and we like
launched one V deal with the wrong copies.

So the copy was for a totally different
product and different headline.

Like it made no sense.

And the video was crushing.


And then we duplicated that
at put a correct text and,

and headline and everything.

And the results were actually the same.

So this got me thinking, like how many
people, like we're actually reading it.



So you still need to test it because
sometimes we see the difference and

it, like, it's also a very, uh, Uh,
it can be niche specific if you need

to educate people with maybe some
supplements or that, that can give

you, like, let's say you wanna explain
the ingredients a little bit more

in specifics or something like that.


You need to test, but it's not like
the first thing that I would test

mm-hmm yeah, that makes sense.

One of my favorite examples that
you've shared on your Twitter is I

think for like a, a dog blanket and.

Um, they're showing like the, or the
blanket, like draping it over the couch or

just showing them cuddling with their dog.

And I think, I think the one that
you said that worked was putting

the blanket on the couch, which is
like showing the product in use.

Yeah, that was great.

It showcases like first in the first
frame, it showcases called a big

its and then you throw it on the
couch and you actually immediately

say show for what use you need it.

And then the dog comes out, which
is always great for attention,

if you have docs in the video.

So that was definitely, um, a great hook.


Do you have any tips for
anyone who's wanting to, to

run hook tests on their ads?


The first thing is you need to focus on a
couple of things, focus on persona, know

your audience, what are their needs, what
are their desires, their pain points.

Because like, if you can point out a
certain pain point, you can immediately

hit that emotional trigger that will
grab them and they will hold them.

If, if you can find a hook that
people can answer to that hook.

Oh, that's me.

You have them.

Mm-hmm that's just, then you just need
to push those triggers and you have them.

So, what I really like to do is let's
say I, I had one client that they

were selling some creams for insomnia.

It's a magnesium based.

And like it's, uh, for
women who are pregnant.

So because they are suffering with
insomnia during their, at time.

And I always do a lot of like detailed
research, like any copywriter should do.

Because like scriptwriting and
video creative is basically a

copywriting just in different form.

Mm-hmm so the S are the same.

And I went on, I usually go and
Reddit when people discuss and like

I was discussing about insomnia and
everything, and like, people were

talking like, I felt like a me, uh,
I was like, uh, I felt like I had a

hangover every day and that was the hook.

that specific sentence was the hook,
because that gave me like an idea.

And of course the top
banner was about pregnancy.

So people immediately
saw the word pregnancy.

If they were pregnant, they stop it.

And then they felt like a zombie.

They felt like they have
an hang over all the.

They were like, oh, that's me.

That's something for me.

And then the rest of the
video was pretty easy.

So that was pretty successful.

Like how to trans translate from the
research to the, to the great hook.

So, so this is like, know
your audience example.

And then of course, focus on the product
because some products are like, if you

have like a very good demonstration of
the product, That that will sell itself.

So you can just show the
demonstration immediately and

like you have a pan for cooking.

And if you can showcase that
demonstration and delicious food,

then all of a sudden, and everyone
likes to watch cooking, uh, videos.

So they are like satisfying.

So that's immediately how
you can start with a hobby.

That's more like, uh, product focused.

Mm, mm-hmm I love that
you mentioned research.

I think that's so important.

And I think if you really, if you do
a thorough amount of research coming

up with these are so easy, because
you're just using your customer's words

and things that they're saying, and
Reddit is a perfect place for that.

You're seeing people talking about their.

You know, their problems, what they're
dealing with, their point of view, you

can really see what language they're using
and that can be super, super valuable for,

for writing copy or, and also like also
not just in the beginning, when you start

with a client, you, you can also like
when you are running ads, you need to,

you need to read the, the comments below
the ads, like, mm mm-hmm we had a server,

we have a client that we always have a.

comments that we want to see these
results on order demographic.

And that gave us like a direction
that the next round of creatives

needs to be with older people.

And we did that and like with
the quality rate of the account,

went up, the results were better.

So you just listen to the
audience and results go up.

So that's another thing that's, uh,
very important and mostly overlooked.

mm-hmm yeah, I agree.

The comments can be really great for that.

You mentioned, you know,
showing the product and how

that can be really powerful.

What do you recommend, do you ever work
with like SaaS businesses or, or maybe

service based businesses where you can't
really kind of show the product in use?

Do you have any recommendations
for how you would make good visual

for, for those types of businesses?

Yeah, for example, you can, you can
show, let's say you have an app.

Uh, you can show like INEP footage.

And also, like, let's say you
have an app that's for better

sleep or meditation or whatever.

You can still showcase
a person that's calm.

That's she's meditating.

And then of course you can show certain
details in app that are interesting,

or let's say you have a certain quiz
and you need to, you need to show.

Like very specific questions in that
quiz because those questions will grab

more attention and people will be curious
and they will try just because of that.

So, yeah, I usually combine in-app footage
with user testimonial, and then if I

can show some problems and benefits that
this app solves again, you can show it.

So the only difference is you
don't show the product, you

need to show in a footage.

Mm mm-hmm yeah, that makes sense.


This was super helpful.

Super insightful.

Thanks so much for, for sharing your
insights is where do you, where would

you like people to come find you
if they wanna learn more from you?

So my main gen right now is Twitter.

second send link and you can post it.

So yeah, on Twitter is I basically
share every day I tweet something

and it's usually just my re random
thoughts that I'm doing that day.

Or I show some, some creatives
that I'm working on or how

I'm about those creatives.

I try to talk about creatives and
creative strategy in more advanced way.

I don't wanna talk about just some random
things that almost everyone should know.

I go a little bit deeper because
I want to educate people more.

So, um, yeah, I would be
happy if you follow me.



I love your account.

You've got some really
great insights there.

Thanks sane.

Thanks for being here.


Thank you.

It was a, it was a pleasure.

Thanks for listening to today's episode.

And just a reminder to follow Onay
on Twitter at a N said E D E TN.

You can also follow my account
while you're at it, which is at ads

with Leah and Leah spell L E a H.

Thanks for listen.

EP 4: How To Measure and Test Video Ad Hooks with Anze Markovic
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