What Makes a Video Go Viral?

| July 17, 2017

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The media site Upworthy is known for its viral videos. The company’s video content just “clicks” with so many people, and the result is shares, likes, tweets and re-tweets across social media sites. Even though Upworthy is revered for its ability to make videos explode in popularity, a recent study showed only 0.3% of their posts actually go viral.

If a company that works very hard at creating media that will spread like wildfire across the World Wide Web fails to do so 99.7% of the time, how can you possibly expect to create viral videos for your business?

The answer is simple.

Find out what makes some videos viral and others practically invisible, and copy the recipe. Taking some time to study videos both popular and unpopular reveals just what you have to do to make content that is contagious. The following characteristics are found in many popular videos that attract a lot of free attention and business, so make sure to include them in your next video.

Length Really Does Matter… But Not in the Way You Think

One survey published in the New York Times showed that 19% of people watching videos online leave after just 10 seconds. A full 44% of viewers had left by the one minute mark. Be creative, thought-provoking and make great content, but make sure it is short and to the point.

Be Positive

Sad stories certainly do go viral from time to time. All in all though, upbeat videos are shared more frequently than content that brings us down or makes us have sympathy. That fact comes to us from Jonah Berger, author of the book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”, a guy who knows more than a little bit about what makes videos go viral.

You Video Has To Matter Right Now

Videos go viral because they are timely. That’s why virality seldom lasts for more than a few days or weeks, and sometimes only for a few minutes or hours. Brushing up on your current events will help you create videos that tie into things people are talking about right now.

Create a Click-Magnet Headline

The quality of your content definitely matters. No one is going to share a video that doesn’t move them in some way, inform them or help them solve a big problem. However, no one will watch your video in the first place if you don’t get them to click on your headline. Headlines with numbers, “how to” headlines, Top 10 and list headlines are excellent for getting people to view your video.

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