There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for making a video go viral, but video technology company Unruly has made a compelling argument for posting videos on Wednesday to boost views and shares in its Science of Sharing white paper, which analyzes 12 commercials from Super Bowl XLVII.
On average, nearly half (48.3%) of the weekly video shares that were examined in the report occurred between Wednesday and Friday, peaking on Friday and hitting the lowest point over the weekend, the researchers said. Since one quarter of a video’s total shares occur, on average, in the first three days of launch, campaigns actually need to start a couple days before the best day to post.
The report also showed that timing isn’t everything. Videos should evoke an emotional response from viewers as well as giving them a reason to share it with others. For the 2013 Super Bowl, Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” (posted on the Thursday before the Super Bowl) and Ram Trucks’ “Farmer” (posted on Super Bowl Sunday) were the most successful videos because they weren’t trying to be funny, Unruly found. Rather than relying on humor, which doesn’t always work, these and other successful videos elicited warmth, happiness, awe, and pride, and offered sharing motivations like being attention-grabbing, eliciting a shared emotional response, or capturing the zeitgeist.
Overall, Super Bowl ad shares grew by 118 percent from 2012 to 2013, with Super Bowl teasers and ads generating 7,739,917 shares in 2013, compared to 3,546,560 shares in 2012.
“Predicting a social video hit is no longer about luck,” wrote Dr. Karen Nelson-Field, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science. “Videos that elicit high intensity, positive emotions are three times more likely to be shared than videos that elicit low intensity, negative emotions. It means CMOs can now confidently predict the effectiveness of their content marketing investment.”