Video Essentials

Viral Lessons: The 6 Key Attributes Viral Videos Often Share

Can brands engineer a viral video success? Any video producer will say no, but video creation platform Wochit says there are tricks to making it happen.

After a Q1 2017 analysis of over 100 videos from leading brands that all garnered over 1 million views, Wochit found there are key elements the megahits often share. While the road to viral success is never a sure bet, Wochit found some shortcuts on the path.

Here are the six elements branded viral videos often share:

  • Personal Stories: Viewers want to connect with real stories, and 36 percent of the viral hits delivered. Look to “Mom Forces Kids to Hug in ‘I Love You’ Shirt” for a perfect example.
  • Evergreen Topics: Experts say to tie videos to specific events, but the reverse is even more effective. Evergreen topics aren’t tied to a specific time or theme, and 58 percent of the surveyed videos were evergreen. See “Black-Owned Hotels You Must Visit” for an example.
  • Positive Sentiment: The biggest shared trait of them all, 81 percent of viral hits convey a positive emotion. Viewers want to leave feeling good. See “Swedes Give Flowers to Policemen.”
  • Listicles: It’s a little overused, but it still works. People love information organized in lists, even for videos. Wochit found 28 percent of viral successes featured list storytelling. See “10 Habits of Super Happy Couples.”
  • Square Format: Get this stat: Only 25 percent of all videos made in Q1 using the Wochit platform were square, but that resolution led to 53 percent of its viral videos. Looks like mobile viewers are hungry for videos that fit their screens.
  • 30- to 60-Seconds Long: Brands trying to go viral should keep it brief (but not too brief), because 45 percent of the viral hits studied were from 30- to 60-seconds long.

While nothing about these tips ensures that a brand’s video will go viral, they help create a winning formula and keep brands from getting in their own way.

“We conduct and share research like this to shorten the learning curve, and ultimately enable our customers to get the most from their social video strategies as quickly as possible,” says Wochit CEO and co-founder Dror Ginzberg. “The faster a publisher finds a winning strategy, the greater opportunity to reap the benefits.”


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