What Makes a Video Go Viral?



Harvard Business Review logoHarvard Business Review has an article titled “Why Some Videos Go Viral”. It mentions an analysis done by a company called Unruly that included about 430 billion videos. Unruly is a marketing technology company. Some of the results of that analysis could be useful to video podcasters.

What day do you post your video podcasts? Unruly found that the day you choose to post a video actually makes a difference. The most sharing of videos happens on Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays are also good, but Wednesday is best. The article doesn’t specifically state why Wednesday is the best day of the week for sharing videos. One can speculate that maybe it is because Wednesday is halfway through the work week and people are bored at work.

Unruly also found that the more shares a video generates during the first two days after it was launched, the higher the viral peak and the greater the overall volume of shares. So, if your video gets a ton of shares the first day it is launched, it might go viral. After that first day, it gets less and less shares.

Unruly noticed a group that share videos excessively. It calls them “super sharers”. They make up nearly 18% of the internet and share videos at least once a week. About half of the “super sharers”, 9%, share videos daily. It is the “super sharers” who have the most impact on whether or not a video goes viral. Ideally, podcasters will want to attract a lot of “super sharers”.

There’s more information about the reasons why people choose to share a video in the first place. The biggest reason is “opinion seeking”. They have an opinion about something in your video, and care enough about the topic to find out what their friends and family think about it.

If all else fails, include a cute puppy. Unruly found that one reason why people share a video is because it caused them to have an emotional response to it. The Harvard Business Review article included Unruly’s data regarding a video called “Puppyhood” that was created by Purina Puppy Chow. Everybody loves looking at videos of cute baby animals, right?