Modern Marketing Blog

9 Experts Answer "What Makes an Online Video Worth Sharing?"

August 16, 2011 By: Michelle McGinnis

In viral video marketing, the question that starts off any effort is “What makes a video worth sharing?” Marketers and creative types are constantly on the hunt for video marketing tips.

With that in mind, we asked nine experts across a wide range of disciplines – from journalism and advertising to video marketing and content marketing – to answer that simple question. The result is solid advice you can use when thinking about getting maximum reach for your online video.  Read and just click to share your favorites.

seth-simonds-videoSeth Simonds, Social Strategist at Mullen
I like to share snippets of whimsy I suspect my social network hasn't encountered yet, like these funny videos from Simon Panrucker I recently shared. Few digital sensations are more uncomfortable than that of sharing something with your network and being reminded of just how late to the meme game you are.

What makes a video worth sharing? “Whimsy.” @sethsimonds < Tweet this!

steve-garfield-videoSteve Garfield, Author of “Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business.”
I’d say it has a lot to do with whether or not it’s been shared in your trusted network of peers. I recently shared the music video parody “Perform This Way” by Weird Al Yankovich. I first saw it posted on Twitter by my friend Scott Beal aka @laughingsquid. He linked it over to an embedded video on his blog, which I followed because he’s a trusted source of mine for good content. The video had me crying tears of joy while I watched it. That’s a good indication that others will like it too. So I shared it via VHX.tv, which sent it to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

What makes a video worth sharing? “A trusted network.” @stevegarfield <Tweet this!

dan-patterson-videoDan Patterson, Digital Platform Manager for ABC News Radio
Humans are inherently social and inherently curious beings. Humans are also incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning and understand the world us.  We care about each other and the more we learn, the more we empower ourselves to lead more fulfilling lives. Video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.

What makes a video worth sharing? “When it provides context.” @DanPatterson < Tweet this!

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Involver
The technological advances in video capture and editing in the past few years have finally made it accessible as storytelling medium for a huge percentage of modern marketers. I believe that video can showcase the humanity of the story you are telling and do so in a much more physical capacity. I like using video to help bring personality to the company I'm working for. There are so many amazing stories that can be told about the origin of the company, the innovative process we put into place, and just good old-fashioned teamwork, like this one we did about Involver’s internal “Crack-A-Thon” event.

What makes a video worth sharing? “Personality.” - @kaykas < Tweet this!

frank-eliason-videoFrank Eliason, Senior Vice President of Social at Citibank
Videos are much more personal and allow the human connections often missing in other forms of communication. So I like to share videos that do a good job of making that connection, of letting me feel the human side of the message the creator is trying to tell.

What makes a video worth sharing? “A human connection.” @FrankEliason < Tweet this!

nate-riggs-videoNate Riggs, Content Marketing Strategist
First, timing is everything. If a video is released that has something to do with a current event, trend or topic in the news, people will share it.  We tend to get an emotional rise out of being on the first wave to break something new. It's a statement that we are in the know or tuned to what's interesting and important. I'd also argue that the entertainment factor plays a huge role here. Most of the videos that spread have some type of comedic or dramatic value.  For instance, on May 4th, we saw "Drunk Yoda" get over half million hits in a day. May 4th was officially “Star Wars” day.

What makes a video worth sharing? “Timeliness and entertainment.” @nateriggs < Tweet this!

beth-kanter-videoBeth Kanter, co-Founder and Partner at Zoetica
For me:  It is relevance to what I'm thinking about, writing about.  I generally share a lot of "how-to" videos on social media because my work is training.   I also share funny videos that relate to a topic I'm writing about, like this post I wrote about privacy and social networks.

What makes a video worth sharing? “Relatability.” @Kanter <Tweet this!

matt-heinz-videoMatt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
Based on the analysis I’ve done of some of the Web’s most successful videos, as well as targeted ones that drive behvior, I’ve seen six elements that consistently make videos worth sharing. A good sense of humor that helps bring the viewers guard down and keep them engaged; a story with a beginning, an end and an identifiable purpose; a feeling of brevity so video gets to the point quickly; a relevant message that connects to a particular audience instead of trying to be everything to everyone; sexiness that doesn’t need to be explicit, but tempered with humor; and the element of surprise so the audience sees something unexpected.

What makes a video worth sharing? “Humor, story, brevity, relevance, sexiness and surprise.” @heinzmarketing < Tweet this!

jon-buscall-videoJon Buscall, Founder of Jontus Media
I'm most likely to share something on Twitter if I suspect it will appeal to my network of followers. Sure, it might be funny. But nine times out of 10 it's specifically related to the field we work in and not just fluff.  And I save the fluff stuff for sharing with close friends on Facebook. For instance, I shared this Lady Gaga spoof on behalf of a client on Facebook because I knew it engage the community and generate traffic. Mercenary, I know.

What makes a video worth sharing? “Professional on Twitter, fluff for Facebook.” @jonbuscall < Tweet this!

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