In recent years, social media has given rise to a new breed of celebrities: social media influencers. These internet personalities have amassed millions of followers by posting engaging content on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. But how do they do it? What’s the secret to gaining such a large following?
The answer, simply put, is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It takes hard work, dedication, and above all else, great content. But if you’re looking to give yourself the best shot at going viral, there are certain scientific principles you can follow. Below, we’ll dive into some of the research to see what makes a video likely to go viral.
Videos with High Emotional Impact are More Likely to Go Viral
A study conducted by the Wharton School of Business found that videos with high emotional impact are more likely to be shared than those with low emotional impact. The researchers defined emotional impact as “the extent to which an individual perceives a piece of content as causing feelings of happiness, amusement, sadness or anger.”
Interestingly, the study found that it didn’t matter whether the emotions evoked were positive or negative; videos that elicited any type of emotion were more likely to be shared than those that didn’t elicit any emotion at all. So if you’re looking to make a viral video, try to evoke an emotional response in your viewers. tug at their heartstrings or make them laugh until they cry—just don’t leave them feeling apathetic.
Videos That elicit Awe Are More Likely to Go Viral
A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that videos that elicit awe—defined as “the feeling of being overwhelmed by something vast that transcends one’s current understanding of the world”—are more likely to be shared than those that don’t elicit awe.
So if you want your video to have a chance at going viral, try to film something that will leave your viewers in awe. This could be anything from a stunning natural landscape to a performance by a talented musician. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will leave your viewers speechless. Here are a few tips that really breakdown the science of going viral
1. Know Your Audience
Before you even start brainstorming ideas for your video, it’s important to have a good understanding of who your target audience is. What are their interests? What values do they hold? What kind of humor do they like? Once you have a good grasp on who you’re making the video for, you’ll be in a much better position to come up with an idea that resonates with them.
2. Find Your Hook
Your video needs to have a hook—something that will grab your viewers’ attention and make them want to keep watching. This could be anything from an interesting concept or premise to a celebrity cameo or humorous take on current events. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that will make your audience want to see more.
3. Keep It Short and Sweet
The vast majority of internet users have short attention spans, so it’s important to keep your videos relatively short. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around two minutes or less. That may not seem like much time, but trust us, it’s plenty when you’re trying to hold someone’s attention.
4. Be Entertaining (or Informative) Your video also needs to be entertaining (or informative). This is arguably the most important component of making a viral video—if people aren’t entertained by what they’re watching, they’re not going to stick around for long. So whether you’re trying to make people laugh or learn something new, make sure your content is engaging and worth their time.
5. Promote, Promote, Promote! Last but not least, don’t forget to promote your videos once they’re published. The more people who see your videos, the greater the chance that one of them will go viral. So share them on social media, email them to your friends and family members, and do whatever else you can think of to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. With any luck, you’ll soon have a viral hit on your hands!
Making a viral video is no easy feat. But if you follow the scientific principles laid out above—creating content with high emotional impact and eliciting feelings of awe in your viewers—you’ll be well on your way to creating something truly special.