New Scientist sees its engagement soar

Science and technology publisher New Scientist had a video smash recently. Their social video covering new research suggesting dogs can understand what people say has entered the stratosphere. Created by journalist Sam Wong, the piece has 5.5 million views, 19,000 reactions, almost 6,000 comments and a staggering 65,000 shares! And these numbers continue to grow every day. This level of success on social – especially those key engagement actions of commenting and sharing – is what every creator is aiming for.

Let’s take a look, and see what we can take away from this great video:

No time is wasted in offering up the fascinating subject. Within the first two seconds, text overlay plainly announces “Brain scans show dogs understand what we say.” What viewer isn’t be hooked by that topic?

In fact, no time is wasted at all in this clip. It moves along rapidly for it’s brief 56 seconds. Consistent, brief text overlay spells out the story, and smartly highlights key words in a bright color. And while the text is what reveals the story to us, it’s well-positioned to allow the visual assets room to breathe.

Speaking of assets – talk about great ones! This video footage is all from the research that was conducted. While stock assets can go a long way for many videos, it’s always a boon to have specific video content to accompany news coverage. It adds to the audience’s understanding of the story. And who doesn’t love seeing some happy dogs!

This brings us to perhaps the biggest factor contributing to this video’s wild success: it’s subject.

People love animals. And they love video content. It probably comes as no surprise that, in turn, social users really love animal videos. They’re naturally heartwarming and entertaining.

Entertainment is a big part of what drives social video views, but another part of the equation is information. Viewers like to learn and be informed! To be entertained or informed are the core value elements of video content on social. Here, the two are paired almost perfectly. Viewers learn something fascinating about dogs, which could very well be a part of their lives. They also get some great footage of the animals being researched being happy and playful.

All around, this video was destined for greatness. Those enormous engagement numbers are likely to keep growing, at least until the next video hit sweeps our feeds.

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