The first part of this article is a translation of the article “Why Some Videos Go Viral?” published in September 2015 in the Harvard Business Review magazine and available here:


A viral video is the dream of every marketer. It’s the best way to escape the hubbub of Internet information. Studies show that people who watch videos that have been shared rather than the videos they found themselves, are more likely to buy a product and recommend it to others.

Why some videos become viral and others not?

The Unruly company, specializes in video marketing, suggests an answer. She has analyzed more than 430 billion views and data from more than 100,000 customers. This analysis shows the two most important factors of success: a psychological reaction (that makes you feel the content) and social motivation (why you want to share it).

More content appeals to feelings, more consumers are likely to share it – thus creating a mouth an ear, the form of the most effective advertising.

Here we see what makes a viral content using the analysis of the video “Puppyhood” (Purina) made by Unruly. A video that has accumulated 5 million views in only 6 weeks. We will also note that according to the conclusions of Unruly, only a minority of people are responsible for most of the shares and that these shares are mainly held at the beginning of the video.

Why we share a video?

Social motivation

Unruly has identified 10 motivations. The best videos combine a large number of these motivations. Below, what motivated the people who saw the video to share. Get to know the other person’s opinion has been one of the main motivations but a quarter of the people have given other reasons to share.


Emotional factor

Most people think that humor is conducive to sharing but humor is something very subjective and changes from one culture to the other. Therefore succeed to cause different positive feelings. And the reaction that you provoke is intense, better it is.


Touch those who share many

Nearly 18% of Internet users share a video at least once a week – and almost 9% on a daily basis. The goal is to reach those people who are responsible for more of 4/5 of the shares.


Timing is important

More video makes sharing during the first two days after its launch, its peak of virality and the volume of shares are likely to be students. Therefore, it is important to do more front-end marketing during this period to increase visibility.

The day of sharing is also important: most shares are on Wednesday (the best day), Thursday and Friday.


A few applications arising from this article for developers who want to make the buzz:

> Post videos that meet drivers of shares seen in this article: arouse emotion, find aspects that affect everyone. If situations are generic enough, users will be able to share the video in order to know what their friends or their recall of the situations in which they lived.

For example, if your film or your content contains people, the attitides or phrases that we have all ‘ used to see or hear, put them forward in the form of a short content.

> Combine several factors, for example, switch from surprise to humor.


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The OKAST Team


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