Viral Video – Is There Science Behind it or Pure Luck?

You are either going to create a viral video accidentally, or you will need to work hard to plan and create viral content. You could end up creating viral video content unintentionally. This probably won’t happen, but it could. What could really change your marketing is if you know how to purposely generate viral video content. Is this possible? 

What is a Viral Video?

A viral video is basically a video that spreads very quickly across the internet. It is often a short clip on a video sharing site. A viral video may be viewed by millions of people within a short space of time. What is it that makes people want to share? This is what all marketers want to know. Are there certain levers you can pull to make a video go viral?   

The science behind viral videos

 Knowing the science behind viral videos will certainly increase your chances of creating one. Behavioral science indicates that viral videos have some factors in common.  

They use emotion: When people experience strong emotions, their minds try to make sense of them, and this makes them want to share the experience with others. A video expressing emotion is more likely to be shared. A report on emotions and virality states that content goes viral when it has an emotional response that reaches a certain level of arousal and dominance. 

Virality often has a strong connection with positive emotions like happiness or admiration. Negative content can be successful if it triggers high-arousal emotions like disgust or anger.   

They create connection: The viewer must connect with the content. If it’s intensely relevant, it can create feelings of deep appreciation, warmth and respect. 

They evoke excitement or a thrill: A viral video can create a physical response in someone, like an increase in heart rate or a release of adrenalin. It activates primitive parts of the brain that were related to survival. In advertising, marketers will often attempt to create something thrilling by using extreme sports. 

They use triggers: Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of Business and author of the book Contagious, talks about the benefit of using triggers to get ideas to catch on. He tells the story in his book of the marketing manager who managed to boost the sales of Kit Kat by triggering people to think of eating one when taking a coffee break.  

Do social media trends influence a video going viral?

Social media keeps changing the way people communicate and consume information. Successful content marketers must deliver content continuously through multiple social media channels. Social media success depends on the ability to capture interest in the first few seconds in easily-digestible snippets of content. They must keep the attention of viewers and leave them wanting more. It’s essential to deliver video content that’s relevant, and this is where social media trends can make a difference. 

Take advantage of trending topics: You can make the most of trending topics in your videos by taking advantage of news stories, consumer behavior and anything else people are currently interested in. Many brands use trending topics to become part of the social conversation. Some use popular hashtags on a weekly basis to appeal to a range of consumer demographics. As a brand, it can’t hurt to run campaigns that link to the latest trends and spark conversations. 

Use the right social media tactics: If you want your video to stand out from millions of other videos on YouTube, you can’t afford to ignore SEO (search engine optimization). You must have original, optimized titles, good thumbnails, and descriptions, including the right keywords for your videos. If you want to be successful on Instagram, you need to use its hottest current features – Reels, Stories and IGTV. If you want to create viral content on Facebook, uploading natively is the best option.  

How does a video going viral affect your overall brand?

A viral video can greatly increase the reach and reputation of your brand, but only if you know how to harness its potential. It doesn’t help for one of your videos to go viral if you don’t know what this will mean for your brand. Do you want to reach millions of views, increase subscribers to your newsletter or convert prospects? What the goals are for a small business may be different from those for a globally known brand.  

If viewers watch a whole video, it demonstrates their interest. It is important that you direct them to take a certain action. A call-to-action may be as simple as directing them to another video or getting them to download a free eBook in exchange for an email address. 

The bottom line

Viral videos don’t have a foolproof formula you can replicate. What you can do is learn from videos that have gone viral and extract some best practices from them that will increase your chances of success. You need a good plan for distributing and promoting every video you create. Don’t hold back from trying something new and a little different that has more potential to make an impact.   

Cincopa video marketing services

With Cincopa, you get absolute control over how you share your content and in-depth real-time viewer engagement analytics. Cincopa’s effective video marketing solution provides you with more leads, higher CTR and higher conversion rate, which means more customers and increased revenue. Try it to believe it.

Originally published on July 22nd, 2022
The Blog

Viral Video – Is There Science Behind it or Pure Luck?

by Emma Caputo time to read: 4 min