Viral videos are quite the rage these days, especially among brands and advertisers. However, making viral videos is both an art and a science. The science behind making a video "go viral" involves creating content that's likely to be shared, using new distribution techniques and social tactics to increase sharing, and optimizing content in response to sharing patterns.
Videos that get shared have three main psychological motivators: emotion, identity, and information.
Creating an emotional video that is touching, sad, funny, or scary will boost its chance of getting shared. Sharing feelings is a basic human need. If your video captures a human emotion, users will share it, because they are not just sharing your content, they are sharing the feeling your video has created.
Videos that tap into people's individual identity also get shared a lot. When you recommend a movie, band, or book to a friend, these recommendations partly define your tastes, thoughts, and personality.
When creating a viral video, it's important to ask: "When a user shares this video, what are they saying about themselves?" No one wants to share a video that would reflect badly on them, so viral videos tend to have messages that people want to align themselves with. If you want your video to go viral among a certain demographic, make sure the content maps to this group's taste, sense of humor, or collective beliefs.
Finally, Informational videos also get shared widely. People are hard-wired to teach, learn, and share information, and if they see an online video that contains interesting or useful information, they will be highly likely to share it.
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