In a post from Emma Gannon, she outlines principles that one can use to garner more views. For example:
- Don't over-brand, your content is what should shine
- Make it human and timely
- Grab the attention from the start and keep it
It would seem that from Emma's pointers, the average social media user doesn't want to feel that he or she is being 'marketed' to or sold something, but rather discovering or sharing information or something amusing on their own terms. In a post from Social Media Today, they shared the results of a report from Invoke Solutions that identified (among other things) what made content share-worthy, according to social media users.
- A considerable range of traits defined share-worthy branded social media content for participants including content that was new or noteworthy (75%), entertaining (69%), valuable advice (68%) and exclusive information (67%). Financial benefit also rated highly at 65%, but its fifth place ranking suggests that social media consumers can be motivated by content without necessarily expecting a financial reward.
- Valuable advice was one of the traits sited for share-worthy content. Third behind new/noteworthy and entertaining.
When I put these pieces of advice to the test using the video below, I can see the proof. The video was created by a physician at a Toronto hospital. Since posting on December 2, 2011 it has earned 2,368,867. Not too shabby - especially when you consider he is not in the PR biz! It does run a little on the long side, but there are identifiable components that contribute to its success (i.e. content, valuable advice, attention-grabbing design that keeps you watching.)
While there are guidelines that can be followed to make a good video that hopefully resonates, I believe a bit of luck goes a long way to pushing it into viral territory.