In an interesting post on Mashable last week, Dan Greenberg of Sharethrough shared his thoughts on the three key characteristics that videos need in order to “go viral.” Those three characteristics are:
Psychological Share Motivation (i.e., a reason to share the video) – By sharing a video with someone, Greenberg says that people are sharing their own emotion, identity, and reaction to the information presented. When developing a video, then, organizations need to make sure that their content stirs emotion, speak to one’s personality, and present new and interesting information.
Easy Shareability (i.e., a low-maintenance platform for share the video) – In today’s world of internet clutter, people don’t want to spend too much time sharing content. This applies to videos as well. Even the most compelling video content won’t be shared unless there is a convenient way to share it quickly. When developing and distributing videos, then, organizations should use video players with built-in capability for sharing the content. This capability exists on YouTube as well as other emerging channels such as Vimeo, Vodpod, and PopScreen.
Data-Driven Strategy (i.e., a plan for reaching the right audiences in the right way) – Organizations trying to get people to share their videos must think about who they are trying to reach, where those people find their content, and how they typically share content. Once you know this information, you can design your video content and distribution strategies accordingly.
Whereas Greenberg discusses viral video in the context of driving purchase intent, the same principles can be applied to the social marketing sphere. Many organizations have already witnessed the power of viral video in driving awareness and behavior change. We can all harness that same power by ensuring that our viral video approach provides people a strong reason for people to share the content, a user-friendly platform for sharing it, and a thoughtful plan for delivering the content to the right people in the right way.