Hooks for TikTok: Create winning Ads in 5 Steps (Examples & Tips)

Manana Papiashvili
Manana Papiashvili
Head of Growth at Insense

If you take a quick look at TikTok’s For You Page, there’s a good chance that you will be there for hours. 

There is tons of content that keeps users engaged for a long while.

As such, brands need to put in some extra effort to ensure their content is engaging enough to capture people’s attention

But, how do we do that?”

To begin with, you can use user-generated content (UGC) so people can connect to the authenticity of the content and the creator. 

Plus, you can add hooks to the UGC to get even more people hooked without realizing it. 

That’s what we look at in this article.

More specifically, we’ll discuss: 

  • What a hook on TikTok is
  • Different hooks you can use
  • Tips for top TikTok ad creatives

Let’s get to it!

[fs-toc-omit]Table of Contents

What Is a Hook on TikTok & Why Is It Important?

5 TikTok Hooks to Try for Stop-scrolling Ad Creatives

5 Tips for Top TikTok Ad Creatives

What Is a Hook on TikTok & Why Is It Important?

A hook on TikTok is something that catches your audience’s attention at the beginning of your post.

That something can be what you say, on-screen text, or a clip you show when the video starts.

Whatever it is, you want your hook to be interesting and memorable so people are anticipating what comes next. 

It’s like when you go shopping in a mall and you hear a vendor selling one of your favorite items saying get two for the price of one.

That gets your attention immediately even if you weren’t planning on buying it before. 

You change your mind almost immediately and approach them for more details. Some people go as far as calling their peers before the offer ends. 

That’s how powerful a hook can be. 

So, on a social media platform like TikTok where users can’t run out of viral videos to watch, you need something to make your content unique and scroll-stopping… 

… and enter hooks!

Now, here’s the thing about it:

If you get it right, people will stop scrolling to check out your post or your brand; otherwise, they move on. 

But, you need to ensure your content is worth their time so as to leave a good impression.

For more context, we’ve included a couple of examples below. 

Corecircle’s hook in this post was a text overlay which you can see in the screenshot.

TikTok ad using hook
Image Source: TikTok

They used what’s known as the curiosity hook so their audience (gym enthusiasts) would want to see what comes next. 

What’s this app they need?

Well, the video got over 160k views and 14.7k likes. 

Another good example is Darinandjosh’s post on Amazon products.

Image Source: TikTok

This micro influencer used a text overlay here to make the audience curious about what the post was about.

It went on to have 60k+ views and over 3k likes.  

Using this hook hack in your TikTok video grabs people’s attention and makes the content perform better


Now, how about we look at hooks you can use for your TikTok creatives?


5 TikTok Hooks to Try for Stop-scrolling Ad Creatives

TikTok was the most downloaded social media app in the first quarter of 2022.

We can only assume that this happens because users are having a good time on the platform.

Just like we mentioned above, there is a plethora of videos on TikTok that users can’t run out of.

In 2020, reports showed that the average TikTok user in the UK spent 42 minutes per day on the app. 

Simply put, the competition is high!

But, you can level the playing field for your brand and get people interested in your creative using any or all of the TikTok viral hooks we discuss below. 

Let’s begin!

1. Start with an issue

You can get people to stop scrolling when your ad creative starts with a problem.

Everyone has a problem they’re trying to solve at some point so if you can be bold enough to talk about their pain point, you have successfully piqued their interest.

They would keep watching to see what you’ve got to say. 

Do you know why?

Because you began with something they can relate to. They can see themselves in the picture you’re trying to paint.

It will be like you’re telling them their story and people love that.

The thing about this type of hook is that it’s so simple and brands keep thinking they have to do something extra to create memorable content. 

Going the extra mile is good but so is simplicity. 

Plus, starting with the issue your audience is facing helps ensure you keep the TikTok content brief and direct, thereby boosting the completion rate

2. Ask a question about an issue

Aside from starting with the issue your target audience is facing, your hook can be asking them about it.

For example, wanna get rid of acne?

Using this hook sparks curiosity and humans are generally curious beings.

What happens next is that they proceed to watch your video to find out if you truly have the answer to the problem.

But you need to be careful when you use this hook. Ensure you have the answer or solution to the problem. 

You want people to be willing to check subsequent content so you want to leave a good impression and avoid using your video as clickbait.

Questions do more than pique people’s interests; they connect with them on an emotional level.
How do they do that?

Well, because on a normal day most people will wanna ask why they have that issue like the acne example. 

Only a few will ask the more important question which for them is whether they want to get rid of it (acne). 

It will mean a lot to your cause and to them if you decide to be among the few who ask questions to provide a solution. 

3. Make a list

The next hook you can use for TikTok ad creative is to make a list

A list? For TikTok videos?


Lists with numbered ideas, solutions, tools, or products are popular when it comes to blog posts, but they can be used for video content too. 

You give your audience ideas or solutions your product strives to solve. 

From the start of the video, people know what the main focus is so they know what to expect. 

The example from Darinandjosh that had a Top 5 sellers from Amazon text overlay in the previous section explains this type of hook best.

Users will decide to keep watching because they want to see hot Amazon products they can also sell.  

4. Feature the product 

Talking about your product is a good way to grab the user’s attention. 

With this type of hook, you will be kinda using the fear of missing out (FOMO) technique to pique your audience’s interest

Remember what we said about humans and curiosity?

We want to know and do what other people know.

So, your hook can be something like … no one is talking about this instant natural acne removal or this natural acne removal is trending on TikTok.

Hooks like this declassify your ad from being a typical TikTok marketing ad in the eye of your audience. 

It looks more like recommendations from peers and 83% of people have said they trust recommendations from their friends or family.

Once you make them see that regular people are using this product, you will be able to get them interested in your offer


5. Give a solution to the issue

Last but not least, a TikTok hook you can use for effective ad creatives is to offer a solution to your audience’s issue

You could combine this hook with the others mentioned above if you’re running different social media marketing campaigns. 

Offering a solution to an already existing issue will get you the results you want. 


People are constantly looking for answers and they will listen if you can give them one or some. 

An example would be: how to get clear skin in 48 hours.

Imagine someone dealing with eczema or acne comes across a post like that. 

Do you think they will scroll past or wait to see what they’ve got to say?

They’ll wait, right?

Now, you’re probably wondering if all you need to make your ads go viral is to add a good hook.

Well, there are other things you need to take into account. 

That’s why in the next section, we will give you top TikTok tips to make your ad creative stand out. 

5 Tips for Top TikTok Ad Creatives

The hook is meant to lure people in but that’s just the beginning. 

Your ad creative which is the main content needs to match the quality of the hook

In other words, if you’ve been able to capture the attention of your target audience with the hook, then the creative needs to be as engaging

We’ve included some social media tips for your content marketing campaign below. 

1. Make sure your TikTok videos have the right format

This video-sharing platform is more fun, relaxing, and engaging when users have an optimal experience.  

How can you achieve that?

By ensuring that your videos are fully optimized for TikTok.

This way, your viewers can watch videos the way you want them to be seen. 

So, what should you be looking out for?

First, the aspect ratio of your video needs to be 9:16 for a full-screen vertical video experience.

Now, there are different types of TikTok ads and all of them use that ratio.

1:1 is possible but it won’t take up the entire screen and you want your video to do that.  

2. Always create sound-on experiences

TikTok is a platform that thrives on motion pictures and sound

What your audience hears is just as important as what they see. 

Have you ever seen a TikTok video without a sound? It basically takes the fun away from the video. 

That’s why TikTok has got a huge library of songs that creators can use with their videos. 

You just have to think about what sound is a good fit for your video. 

Well, if you collaborate with TikTok creators from Insense, they can do the thinking for you.

You can decide to use a sound that’s trending on the platform (TikTok has been known to favor videos with such sound) or original audio that you feel is perfect for the message you want to pass across

3. Keep important visuals in the center of your ad creatives

Your ad creative needs a center of attention. In other words, what or who would your audience focus on?

That would depend on several factors such as who your target audience is or what type of ad you want to create. 

This post by a TikTok creator below is a good example of keeping important visuals in the center.

Users can see the creators face, as well as a hook that prepares them for an in-depth review of a beauty product. 

Image Source: TikTok

4. Create TikTok native experiences

When creating videos for TikTok, avoid repurposing content from other social platforms

That might work for other platforms but not for TikTok.

You want your audience to have a fresh experience when they view your video on the app. 

TikTok videos have got a unique style, transition, and even use of filters.

So you want people to have that feeling that they’re on TikTok when they watch your videos.

How do you do that?

You can visit a creator marketplace to find creators to get that done for you.  

5. Keep it short and sweet

Another tip to keep in mind is to make your videos short, interesting, and engaging

Even though TikTok videos are typically between 5 to 60 seconds long, short videos that are within a 9-15 seconds time frame are ideal. 

That way, people can look forward to your posts.

Plus, it’s also optimal for the average person’s attention span which is just below 9 seconds according to a study from Microsoft Corp. 

Are videos longer than 15 seconds bad for business?

Far from it. 

Actually, it’s alright if your video’s watch time lasts longer, perhaps up to a minute. 

But, you need to ensure that the video is as interesting as it is long. 

Now, let’s bring this to a close! 

Now Over to You

Yaay, you made it to the end!

We kinda felt you went back to the beginning to take it all in again and that’s fine.

Anyways, it’s time to start creating campaign briefs for creators with Insense. 

Feeling overwhelmed?

Don’t hesitate to book a demo with Insense.

We’re here to ensure you get all the help you need on your campaign journey. 

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

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Manana Papiashvili

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