Increase The Watch Time on Your Reels and TikToks: Learn how to use on-screen text and captions in your short videos to keep viewers hooked longer. Simple tips to grab attention, signal value, and boost engagement.
Social media is all about grabbing attention, and Reels and TikToks make it easier than ever to captivate viewers. One strategy to try is using on-screen text to direct people to read your captions. We call this a hook. This keeps them engaged with your content longer, signals to the platform your video is resonating, and can help increase your reach.
Why Add Text to Reels and TikToks
On platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the auto-play feature means videos start rolling instantly. This leaves you just seconds to grab focus before viewers start mindlessly scrolling.
Popping a few words on screen mid-video disrupts the scroll and piques curiosity. You can use this text to tee up something coming later in the clip or, more powerfully, point people to your caption.
Send Viewers to Your Captions
Caption space on Reels and TikToks is valuable real estate. This is where you can share critical context, tell a bigger story, link to products, and build connections.
But with so much competing for attention, will people actually read?
That’s where on-screen text comes in. A simple directive like “Learn how to increase views 👇” reminds viewers there’s more to see. Even better, the video keeps playing in the background as they read, keeping them on your post longer.
The more time people spend engaging with your content, the more signals the algorithm receives that your video is resonating. This can lead to increased reach and impressions.
Tips for Optimizing On-Screen Text
When adding text overlays to Reels or TikToks, keep these tips in mind:
- Place text toward the start of the video to capture attention at crucial moments.
- Keep wording super short and direct. You only have a few seconds to convey your message.
- Use an emoji that will visibly direct them to the caption like “👇”
- Use a contrasting color that pops against the video background. White or yellow often stands out.
- Experiment with different text locations, animations, and durations to see what best fits your style.
- Check that text is still clearly visible and engaging when videos are muted.
Remember the Goal Is Engagement
At the end of the day, high-quality content that resonates with your audience is what earns relevance with the algorithms. On-screen text that cleverly drives viewers to your captions can boost time-on-post and offer more value, ultimately fueling that engagement.
Give this technique a try in your next Reels or TikTok. The extra attention you earn from followers could help increase your visibility and grow your account.