Getting viral on social media isn’t unusual anymore and so is the increased interest in deconstructing the formula to it. Is it mere luck? Is there a trick to it that you can learn as well? 

Well, it is luck, but Brendan Kane from Hook Point will most likely disagree that it is mere luck. He believes there’s a science to getting viral on social media. Brendan and his team have successfully helped brands and celebrities generate 60BN Views on Youtube and 100M+ followers with their content.

Those are big numbers and who wouldn’t want to know the science behind them? Don’t you want to up your content game in 2023? I am sure you do!
He recently appeared in one of our webinars and revealed his secrets. Let’s dive deep into it to see what really works on social media. 

Storytelling The Key to Reach a Billion Views

People connect and remember stories more than they remember numbers. Numbers are important and virality is a good thing to build brand awareness and identity which is why it is important to dissect viral posts to understand what helps and what doesn’t. 

In 2018, 60 billion views was the total amount of content consumed online. That means 60 billion people watched video content in one year! But that's not all: 100M+ followers actually followed YouTube accounts in 2018 alone. So what does this mean? It means that storytelling through YouTube has become an incredibly effective way to reach a global audience and build a successful business.

According to a report discussing trends dominating the Youtube space in 2023; Podcasts and long-form content will get the most traffic on Youtube. 

But how does one become successful as a content creator on YouTube? It's all about finding the right way to tell stories that resonate with people. As Brendan Kane explains the process, he and his team use it to see what type of content gets the most traffic on Youtube.

The Viral Content Engineering

Brendan believes that the most important thing is “research” and that enables them to reach 60 billion views and 100M views. They analyze the highest performing videos, medium and underperforming videos to study the hypotheses of the highest performing videos and compare that to medium and underperforming videos to see if the same pattern is being followed in every video.

If it’s just happening for the highest performing videos then it’s the secret to virality. This is how they analyze and see what causes a video to get viral. 

Let me simplify it. If there’s something, let's say the highest performing video has better visuals than the medium and underperforming video then this variable is what makes it viral. 

The process involves the following questions:

What’s going viral? Why is it going viral?

The insights recorded from these questions and research help individual content creators and organizations to reach the maximum of views and followers. But then comes the whole debate around algorithms and how to get ahead of them.

How to get ahead of algorithms?

People often complain that they aren’t getting the same reach and engagement and the big chunk of the discussion revolves around algorithms. Algorithms are in place to keep user-retention. From millions and billions of content, if you’re looking to stand out then your content has to engage people long enough to play to business goals.

The algorithm isn’t your enemy because platforms need our content but the secret to getting viral and engagement is the quality of your content. 

One size fits all formula

Once you have figured out algorithms and how they work, the next question is: Does instagram work the same as Twitter? Will something work the same way on Facebook and Youtube?

Every social media platform is different and so is their audience. What works on LinkedIn might not work on Twitter and same goes for the rest. Your content should be in line with how one particular platform works. For instance, Youtube supports long form content such as vlogs and podcasts etc.

TikTok is popular for short form content and reels perform better on Instagram. These basics should be in place if you want to increase engagement on your content.

Does paid social guarantee success?

Most marketers don’t pay attention to the fact that paid advertisements still have to compete against organic content. All paid is doing is giving them the reach but it doesn’t guarantee that people are going to sit and watch. The key to success is not just getting reach but storytelling that can keep people hooked to the content. If the content is relatable, it will resonate with people.

Everything can go viral if you get the storytelling right. Accounting content, tax filing and other niche specific content also go viral because the creator has made it interesting for the viewer. If your content fails to resonate with the viewer then it won’t get engagement or reach. 

For instance, someone posting about how to file taxes goes viral. You might wonder how seemingly boring content is getting viral. Filing taxes is difficult for many and they will search for someone who can help them with it in a way which is easy and understandable. 

Another key factor is to make content that solves user problems. Your content should help people solve their problems. If it’s entertainment then it is helping them kill boredom, if it’s about filing your annual tax returns then it is helping them solve a problem and if it gives them a quick 5 minutes meal prep then it is helping them save time from their busy routines.

Make people stop and watch:

People engage with content that is helpful, provides emotional comfort and sense of belonging or is entertaining. If you’re looking to get the most views on organic content then you should invest in storytelling, how the platform works, the hook (message) and visuals. The next step will be distribution. It is very important to distribute and repurpose your content for different platforms to maximize the reach and engagement. 

It is the quality of content and what it does for the audience that matters in the end. Always remember that you’re making it for the people to watch and enjoy. 

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