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Just 1% of social video goes viral, but help is at hand for publishers

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New research today reveals that only 1.2% of social video on Facebook goes viral (i.e. over 1 million views). Social video refers to short-form video content specifically created for driving engagement on social networks.

The research comes from Wochit, a social video creation platform, who analysed 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 1 million views) amounted to 16% of these 4,000 videos and accounted for 40% of all views and 33% of all shares in this three month period. The remaining 84% of these videos amounted to only 18% of all views and only 7% of all shares during this period, for these publishers.

The critical impact virality can have for publishers is also clear, as the research found that of those videos which did go viral (i.e. over 1 million views), they accounted for 60% of all shares for a publisher over this three month period of time.

The Social Video Index from Wochit also reveals the average performance of video content from publishers on Facebook. On average, globally, publishers’ video content is:

  • Viewed 100,000 times
  • Shared 1,000 times
  • Liked 1,400 times
  • Has 140 comments

Insights include:

  • Videos running 60 to 90 seconds get the most views
  • Videos running 30 to 60 seconds get the most shares
  • Square videos get six times more shares and three times more views than horizontal ones
  • News content is shared twice as often as entertainment content

Ten Ways Content Creators Can Become Part Of The One Percent

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Keep people watching by keeping pace: Using music, dynamic editing and spacing out text so that your content is neither too overwhelming or too boring, to keep people engaged throughout your video.
  9. Let’s get emotionalResearch has foundthat 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.
  10. 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.

Wochit empowers newsrooms, media companies and brands to expand audience engagement through the power of social video. Working with publishers like Time Inc., USA Today and The Week, Wochit  enables them to produce short-form videos around trending topics at the scale and speed required in the video-first, mobile era. With rights-cleared assets from AP, Reuters, Getty, Bloomberg and others, cloud-based editing tools and native uploads, horizontal and vertical videos are quickly created and distributed across all social and digital platforms.

Dror Ginzberg, Co-Founder & CEO of 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.”

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