Shareability is the Hallmark of Viral Videos

One of the biggest questions we are asked in our industry is in regards to the creative nature of Viral Videos. What makes a video go viral? Our official answer is there are several factors that make a video go viral. Today I would like to focus on what I consider to be the hallmark of a successful Viral Video: shareability.

The definition of shareability is the extent to which a particular video is worth being shared. In other words, we need to assess the likelihood a friend would tell a friend. Word-of-mouth is the beginning of an organic growth of a viral video. The classic example is one person tells a few friends who all tell a few of their friends.

Viral Video Growth

We built sharing functionality into the ViralGains Player to accelerate the organic growth of Viral Videos. Creative teams need to take a long hard look at the shareability factor of their content to ensure their target consumers will spread the message.

Here are the three most common themes used by creative teams when producing a Viral Video.

  1. Use an awe inspiring appeal to emotions
  2. Use well-executed humor to reach your target audience
  3. Use sought-after information to answer questions on the mind of consumers

Let’s see if we can tie these themes to examples from this week’s Top 5 Branded Viral Videos.

1. Use an awe inspiring appeal to emotions

Over the year, Microsoft has struggled to answer Apple’s minimalistic yet sophisticated marketing. For the first time we see Microsoft throw a haymaker with the Viral Video for their Surface tablet announcement. The hardcore opening music makes the consumer feel like he is watching a trailer for an alien movie. The truth is, he is only being introduced to a tablet computer. Nothing hardcore about it.

The shareability factor is high because technology enthusiasts can sense the magnitude of this product launch due to the dramatic nature. According to the top comments on this video, Microsoft succeeded in drawing the battle lines and rallying their fan base.

Microsoft Surface Viral Video

2. Use well-executed humor to reach your target audience

Lean Pockets tapped David Hasselhoff just in time for the summer beach season. The 2-minute clip is a good example of well-executed humor to reach the target audience of female weight watchers. The description says it all: “You don’t want to end up with Harry Blutabluecco, do you?” Naturally, fans of David Hasslehoff and weight watchers who find the video amusing will have to share it with their friends.

3. Use sought-after information to answer questions on the mind of consumers

McDonald’s did a great job here because this is a shared question among just about every citizen of planet earth. I feel that people have been asking this question to each other since the beginning of time. Why does fast food look better in the pictures? Well, McDonald’s themselves has finally shed some light on the topic.

The shareability of the Viral Video is high because we have often discussed this topic with our friends and relatives. Now we have answers to send them.

This editorial is intended to help your team understand these common creative themes in Viral Videos. We continue to study the science of Viral Videos to deliver a winning formula for your brand. We remind you to always focus on the shareability factor.

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