Singapore has a population of *5.6 million people, and *4.6 million are internet users. Yes, 82% internet penetration rate is considered high. In #ViralVideoHack 1, we did a review four days after the video was posted. We mentioned the virality of the video (3.6 million views), as something that is not normal, given the viewership a close match to our internet population.
What we are about to share with you is something more in-depth to how million viewership is possible, as we dive into various Facebook videos to find the ingredients that make their video viral. You'd be surprised who's at the top of the list. Essentially, this article is about what makes a video viral.
SINGAPORE'S TOP FACEBOOK VIDEO
We did a quick search on Singapore's Top Facebook page under the 'media' sub-category, for the most viral video, with the *highest video viewership and engagement. Indeed, these videos have been flooding your newsfeed for the last three months.
SINGAPORE'S TOP FACEBOOK PAGE
First, we need to sense which media house has the most Facebook fans. And, it's not surprising to have the big boys leading the race. In fact, there are five pages on the list which are run by the state-owned media; Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp, respectively. One is an agency (gov) led initiative, but the majority belongs to companies and independent group or alternative media, as some would say.
*Singapore's Top 15 Facebook (Media) Fans
(See footer for the methodology and conditions used for this study)
SINGAPORE'S MOST VIRAL FACEBOOK VIDEOS
Next, let's see who amongst them made it to the Top 5 Viral Facebook videos.
Mediacorp Channel 5 takes the lead with more than 28 million views! That's like six times our internet users. How is that even possible?
Moving on, the runner-up is TheMerlionPress (TMP) acquiring more than 20 million views. Wow! What's ironic is that their number of fans are incomparable, but they outperformed the rest. When we dig deeper into their Facebook, they actually had few videos posted recently that's in the millions. How do they garner so many views? Does this suggest that content is still the king? Yes, to answer that, and let's tag this as the case study for this article.
- Mediacorp Channel 5 (28m views)
- TheMerlionPress (20m views)
- FabricationsAboutThePAP (5.5m views)
- SGAG (1.5m views)
- Mothership.sg (1.2m views)
*Singapore's Top 5 Viral Facebook Videos
SINGAPORE'S MOST ENGAGING FACEBOOK VIDEOS
Now, let's see how well they performed when it comes to engagement. This is the response from users activity to the video including the number of likes, comments and shares.
- Mediacorp Channel 5 (5.4%)
- ChannelNewsAsia (5.4%)
- TheMerlionPress (3.4%)
- Mothership.sg (3.1%)
- SGAG (2.4%)
*Singapore's Most Engaging Facebook Videos
MILLION VIEWS IS NOT NORMAL
The media page achievement is not normal, it's insanely viral. If you're running a fan page (media owner), or an agency, you would probably agree with us that it's not normal to have a million views. According to comScore's June 2015 data, Singapore's total video audience was *3.4 million people, which is 65% of the population. Let's suppose today it grew by 35% to 4.6 million, this means every internet users watch online video. It does make sense since Facebook announced they're putting video first. But look, we have three media page that hit more than our internet users. Let's congratulate them for their hard work! Big deal? Yes, it is, we are not living in countries like China, India or US whereby million viewership is considered normal.
WHAT IS VIDEO VIEWS?
The term video views are the number of times the video is being watched or played. The number of views does not equal to the unique number of people watching it. If it's a viral video, it's highly possible that each unique user watches the video more than once.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED VIRAL?
Viral simply means the content, be it an article, statement, quote, photo or video, being spread rapidly and widely. Another way of saying it is, your content get the exposure with little effort (marketing) on your part. There's no specific numbers of shares or likes or retweets or any units of measurement can determine or claim that the content has reach its viral status. On the other hand; if you're a season content producer, you can somehow (internally) claim that your content is viral, when it goes beyond the norms. In example, your average video post has 350k views, and when your next video post hit 20 million views, you can safely say, that video is viral.
WHY SOME VIDEO GETS VIRAL?
The digital world (internet) has no boundary, hence, there is equal chance that your video may reach others out of Singapore. So it really voice down to the power of your content, which we gonna talk about it later. Now imagine if your video gets viral locally, and it appeal to the masses, that's when your video starts to travel out of your radar. And when you hit more than a million view, we said it's insanely viral.
To be honest, most of the viral videos are by chance, like a one-hit-wonder kind of thing. But there are people who really master the art of producing viral videos (or content) after they hit the numbers right several times. So when it does, these producers are paid top-dollar to help businesses gain that kind of exposure. Otherwise it may take hundreds or thousands viral attempts to hit it big time.
NO BOOSTING, JUST ORGANIC TRAFFIC
A viral video does not require any boosting (facebook ads). Although we knew some media owners did boost in the initial phase to get some traction. There is nothing wrong with boosting, just that conceptually a viral video needs no boost because the content of the video is the one that does the magic. Therefore a viral video should grow organically by the power button; 'share'.
I WANT TO CREATE A VIRAL VIDEO
Every media owner, brand, businesses, marketers, content producer and everyone else wants their video to be viral. But the first question you should really be asking, what is the objective of this video. Do you want it to boost your sales, brand positioning, product launch? If you answer yes to any of that, then we shouldn't be doing a viral video, because it is off your target audience. But if you really want your video to be popular, spread widely and be seen by everyone, then we have a hell lot to work on right now.
What we are about to share is NOT a secret formula, but it is a highly valuable information that we put together for your adventure. Remember, these pointers have similarities in concept and characteristic which we discover when we study these viral videos. Otherwise, in our opinion, it makes a lot of sense.
WHAT'S IN A VIRAL VIDEO?
A viral video if you examine, it is simple as it seems, but what lies behind the simplicity are variables; the timing, the content, the opportunity (trend) and the determination. We will touch on a few of these variables below.
When is the right time? A viral video conceptually has no 'right time' (or period), just make sure you don't release it at the wrong time. But, we have shared before on the best times to post on social media (based on 20 studies). Personally, we have tried posting on Facebook at 6:30am, it works well. We tried posting at 10am, it works even better, so we decided to stick to that. When we have more than one post in a day, we do it at 1pm or 5pm, and it works well for us. The thing is, there is no perfect solution, keep trying those tips and see which works well for you. We won't elaborate on determination, that is self-made :)
Sometimes it's good to be an opportunist, you'll always see something good that can be done out of something. Use this skill set and pen it down on paper, because these are ideas which are good for future content production use. From time to time, the internet will be talking about the latest sensational topics, keep track of those and see if you can make something positive out of it. Remember most viral videos are positive by nature.
Not necessarily your video has to emulate the current topic. If we look at the second most viral video posted by TheMerlionPress, the video in fact, happened several years ago. However, most to be safely said, blends in with the current topic. Nonetheless, keep track of the trend and it will give birth to opportunity.
Whether the video makes you happy, sad, angry, surprised or anything else that you may feel, these are emotions. We are humans, we're attached to emotion. When your video triggers people's emotion, they will start to share it. And when they share, they want others to feel it too. Ok let's ask this question; when you share something online, you do it because it moved you some way or rather, emotionally; or you want others to share the same feeling as you do? So, hit the soft spot, alternatively, hit the right spot! Now, look back at the top 5 most viral video, it's either happy or a funny story. For a start, stick to that for your next viral-to-be video.
Our life is never perfect, but it can be ideal. How often we envy others over something that they have achieved. So, in your story board, you may want to showcase an ideal life they would like to see, hear and feel. It's like giving them a taste of the heaven on earth.
Another important element is the twist in your story. It's an irony factor that's contrary to what was expected. Just like in a movie, how many times you'll see the hero being the last man standing. So why not let the hero die first? A dramatic plot, indeed....Okay, the hero didn't die, somehow he was saved, and appears in the later part of the movie to continue his mission.
Like twist; It's similar but not the same. The surprise factor is simple, can be expected, but most importantly overwhelming. Imagine, a mom got her surprise birthday at the workplace when she saw an emotional video of her family played in the office lobby display screen, and after much surprises, she cried of happiness. Just as she thought it was over, the family appear to hug her.... that sort of thing.
If we look back at the top videos, 4 out of 5 has the public factor. Be it to have the film (video shoot) done in public, or to have the public engagement (anything that gets the public involved). Why is that so? It is the authenticity that people are watching out for.
LAUGH OR SAD
You need to bring them into the story. Let them feel it. Add this element in your video, if it's a funny clip, get your cast or the people surrounding to laugh. If not, add a laughing sound effect to amplify the scene. You'll definitely influence the viewers.
Besides the above pointers, do note that people prefer positive information (stories) more. People are likely to share, positive information that is practical, something that they're proud of when they share because they want to be able to look good, and they want you to share the same feeling (to be associated with).
HOW TO DO A VIRAL VIDEO?
Last but not least, how to do it? If you have the resources, you can do it in-house, get your team to the discussion, throw out the wildest idea on the table and vote the best idea with the above elements. If you don't have the resources, get the experts, a video production company help to produce it for you.
We hope that this article really got you moving into the importance of having a video for your brand and work really hard to make it viral. You may not succeed the first time, but remember, you have to keep trying, get more feedback and fine-tune. Should you need my help or if you have anything to clarify, shoot me an email at email@example.com, and I will be very happy to assist you :)
*This research study is conducted independently by Singapore's video production house THEVIDEOCOMPANY, to ascertain the most viral popular videos posted by Singapore's Facebook pages in the last 3 months. The result may represent the video consumption rate, viewership and engagement in Singapore. Research data are collected based on the following conditions; Singapore-based Facebook page under 'media' sub-category, having English as the main language, with more than 100,000 total fans, and videos with more than 300,000 views (viewership) in a single post, from 1 June 2017 to 20 Sep 2017. You may contact the author via email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to contribute, comment or feedback in regards to this article and research.
Author: M.Shah, Director at TheVideoCompany
*Data Sources as per followings;
1. Singapore population: Singstat.gov.sg
2. Singapore internet user: Internetlivestats.com
3. Singapore video audience 2015: comScore June 2015 via Marketing-interactive.com
4. Facebook pages
5. Social Baker