Viral Videos: Why People Share - Banner

Oppa Gangnam Style! You probably don’t know what it means. However, the amazing thing is that you know these words, without reason, without understanding what it means and without intent. That is the viral effect of videos today. With analysts predicting a greater claim to fame for video uploaders in the days to come, viral videos need to be understood, as a cultural as well as a business phenomenon. In fact, in 2016, more video content will be uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. television networks combined have created in 30 years.

Typically, viral marketing content
• originates from an identified sponsor,
• is used to motivate online viewing, discussion, and distribution without further payment and
• is intended to persuade.

Why do videos go viral?

A video should be a combination of many different elements in order to be accepted by the public and to go viral. What are those things? According to a study on the top 20 viral videos as determined by Time Magazine, the following commonalities were observed in their content.


Connections/ Network (with influencers)
No matter how well prepared your content is, it goes without saying that a little nudge from influential people goes a long way. “Supersharers”, a term used by Unruly for people who share content extensively, are responsible for much of the exposure viral videos enjoy. Their study revealed that 82.4% of shares come from these Supersharers. If you can discover them, you will find it easier to extend your video to a wider audience.


Motivation, ability and triggers
Dr. BJ Fogg, the founder of Persuasive Tech at Stanford University, developed a behavior model, which suggested that for a behavior to occur, three elements must converge at the same time – Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. So, for a video to become viral, it must trigger emotions that induce the impulse to spend time, money, physical effort, thought and/or norm.


Viral videos have the power to influence public opinions. As this report by Walker Sands Communications reveals, viral videos have influenced a purchase at least once for 53% of consumers. They have without a doubt become an inextricably influential part of social existence today, much to the advantage of marketers who have learned to harness its powers.

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