Only 1 Percent of Social Video Goes Viral

NEW YORK—Just 1.2 percent of social video on Facebook goes viral (more than one million views), according to the latest Wochit research.

The Social Video Index analyzed more than 4,000 videos from over 100 publishers around the world during a three-month period.

From this data, “popular” social videos—defined as between 100,000 to one million views—amounted to 16 percent of these 4,000 videos, and for 40 percent of all views and 33 percent of all shares in this three-month period.

The remaining 84 percent of these videos amounted to only 18 percent of all views and only 7 percent of all shares during this period.

Wochit said that the critical impact virality can have for publishers is also clear, as the research found that of those videos which did go viral accounted for 60 percent of all shares for a publisher over this three-month period.

Considering that video now accounts for over two thirds of all internet traffic, these findings, according to Wochit, provide food for thought for publishers who are not only seeking virality but also to monetize their video content. Wochit suggests 10 ways for publishers to increase chances of getting content to go going viral:

Embrace trending topics: As the name suggests, social media is all about the ongoing conversations among people. Put those trending topics to work by creating timely video content that taps into them.

Know your channel: A “one size fits all” approach to social video does not work. Video content for Facebook does not instantly translate to Twitter, or vice versa. Understanding the social media channel you’re using and the mindset of its different audiences is essential.

Remember call-to-actions: Simply racking up followers on social media is not a social video strategy. Closing a video with a call-to-action (CTA) helps prompt viewers to take the next step you want from them, whether that’s checking out your website or sharing the video.

Do you have style? There are many different ways to place your brand’s stamp on your video content, but it doesn’t have to only be in the form of a logo or opening/closing splashes. Are your videos meant to be light-hearted and funny? Make sure your style resonates with your audience.

Use Listicles: A video listicle is a great “snackable” piece of content and the format is so ubiquitous and popular that viewers know what they are getting instantly from such content. Keep experimenting to find new formats that work for your audiences too.

Make your video eye catching: Start with your best active shot and set to auto-play if that’s an option. Videos with a stationary beginning are less likely to be clicked.

It’s cool to be a square: Gone are the days when online video was only watched in a horizontal aspect ratio, as highlighted by Wochit’s research. Square videos play well on displays of any size and they tend to occupy more physical space in cluttered social feeds.

Keep people watching by keeping pace: Using music, dynamic editing and spacing out text so that your content is neither too overwhelming nor too boring, to keep people engaged throughout your video.

Let’s get emotional: Research has found that some of the best performing videos on Facebook pulled at viewers’ heartstrings. Driving an emotional response in an audience means they are much likelier to engage with that content, through shares, likes and comments.

Be positive, if you can: Positive content actually helps to drive higher engagement. Videos that make viewers feel a little better—about the world or themselves—are actually much likelier to be shared, commented upon and otherwise engaged with.

Dror Ginzberg, co-founder and CEO, Wochit, said: “Video virality is what every publisher is now aspiring to, but as our research shows, it is quite difficult to achieve. However, it can be done.

“Understanding what video content resonates with your audience is a critical first step, but so is tracking the metrics relating to your social video output.

“These metrics can offer a great insight into what is and isn’t working and enables publishers to change their strategies to suit their audience’s ever evolving tastes.”

This article originally appeared on TVT's sister publication TVB Europe