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Wochit assessed the videos, all #WochitWins, across 25 parameters, finding that factors contributing to virality include:
- Personal Stories: 36% of the #WochitWins covered themes related to a specific person or persons. Examples include Mom forces kids to hug in “I love you” shirt (CBS News, 11M views) and Alla, the 89-year-old surgeon who performs four operations a day (ABC en Español, 6.4M views).
- Evergreen Topics: 58% of the viral videos told stories that were not tied to a specific event, holiday or other time-sensitive theme. Examples include Cat helps pregnant goat through contractions (Humankind, 26M views) and Black Owned Hotels you Must Visit (Essence, 4.3M views).
- Positive Sentiment: The majority of #WochitWins (81%) elicit an emotional response in the viewer, and, overwhelmingly, these emotions are positive (love, happiness). Examples include Swedes Give Flowers to Policemen (L’Express, 3.6M views) and 20 Good News Stories you didn’t know about (Interesting S-Word, 20M views).
- Listicle-style composition: 28% of the viral videos featured list-style storytelling, such as 10 Habits of Super Happy Couples (Women’s Health, 7.3M views), while 27%, such as Cats Never Truly Love You (Slate.fr, 2.3M views), repackage existing viral content with additional, original materials like text overlays.
- Square Format: While only 25% of videos made using Wochit in Q1 were square, the newly-popular aspect ratio now represents 53 percent of the #WochitWins viral videos.
- 30- to 60-second duration: Almost half (45%) of the viral videos were between 30 and 60 seconds long. 24% were 90 seconds or longer, which is the length required for use of mid-roll on Facebook.
“Social video is now an imperative for a publishing industry still struggling to find a viable digital business model. It’s no longer enough to just have video, it has to be the right video on the right channel at the right time. The faster a publisher finds a winning strategy, the greater opportunity to reap the benefits,” said co-founder and CEO Dror Ginzberg. “We conduct and share research like this to shorten the learning curve, and ultimately enable our customers to get the most from their social video strategies as quickly as possible.”
A survey earlier this year showed that 75% of publishers are optimistic about their ability to monetize social video, with over half (56%) focusing on Facebook toward that end. Additionally, most (76%) plan on increasing their video production this year in an effort to drive revenue.
The insights in our new report can help publishers make progress on those goals. While virality can’t be predicted, following the best practices we’ve found positions your videos for maximum success.