Going Viral: The Implied Credibility of Shared Video

Sharing is part and parcel of online activity these days. With so many social media channels available, people have become content promoters, distributors and redistributors.

We’re sharing information about ourselves, what we think and what we’ve been up to, but we’re also powerful re-distributors of third-party content. With one click of a button an interesting article, hilarious meme or attention-grabbing video is shared to our entire network. When this process happens again and again the effect is cumulative and that content goes viral.

How and why does this happen? What are the benefits for brands and how can they give their video content a fighting chance?


When someone watches a brand’s video on any platform there’s always a share button next to it. So, what’s the key factor that gets them to hit that share button instead of just carrying on with their day?

It comes down to worth. The person who shares a brand’s video is endorsing it, putting their name against it and telling their online communities “this is great”. In return, they’re hoping their community will enjoy it, comment on it, Like it. The question on their mind when their mouse hovers over that share button is ‘is it worth it?’.

Good content gets shared, it’s worth someone putting their name against. ‘Good’ usually means engaging, funny or informative. There’s a lot of noise to cut through on the internet, there’s advertising everywhere, all competing for attention. The good stuff gets noticed, gets shared, then reaches a tipping point.


You know the feeling, suddenly you can’t get away from a video - Twitter, Facebook, you can’t avoid it! This is what happens when a piece of content goes viral, it reaches a critical mass and the decision-making process of ‘should I share it? Is it worth it?’ takes a lot less time. The content has already been endorsed by so many people that its credibility is implied.

Once this happens, the rate of sharing increases dramatically and that piece of content becomes the thing people talk about, the 21st Century watercooler topic. These are your Gangnam Styles or Harlem Shake.


Big brands pay big money for celebrity endorsements, but real endorsements are probably more valuable. The credibility of the brand exposure that results from social video content that’s shared organically is immense, but how to make it happen?

There’s no definite answer to that question. There are, however, two boxes that need to be ticked for brands to give themselves a chance of their campaign going viral.

First, they need to create content that has the ‘worth’ I’ve talked about. Funny, engaging, informative, whatever; if a video adds value to a viewer, they’ll probably be willing to share it with their network.

Second, the content needs a shove to get it in front of the right audience. In terms of online video, it needs to be distributed carefully, to the right audience and through the right channels.

If you want to take that first step and light the touchpaper, find out more about Coull Social Video.


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