Unruly has released a comprehensive white paper examining various elements of branded video sharing, including the best day for launching a campaign and the creative factors that are most likely to make a video go viral. According to “The Science of Sharing,” the data is important as the researchers believe that “the success of ‘water cooler’ content can both be predicted and repeated.”
Of course getting the timing right is just one part of the equation – the creative itself needs to have certain attributes in order to elicit sharing activity, according to the researchers.
The white paper outlines a variety of psychological responses to videos (such as happiness, contempt, surprise, and anger) as well as social motivations to share (such as shared passion, reaction seeking and self-expression), indicating that in order to achieve a high share rate (ratio of shares to views), the video needs to elicit a “strong viewer response against at least one psychological trigger and multiple social motivations.” It’s important to note that the emotional response needs to be quite intense in order for the video to be successful: many of the videos analyzed tried for humor, but few managed to be seen as hilarious, sinking their chances at going viral to a greater degree.
By contrast, the videos that fared worst engendered low levels of “hilarity” and “surprise” and were subject to viewer confusion.
Fascinating paper, and worthy of a download ‘n read.
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