Follow these 3 tested techniques for applying “astonishment” to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that the use of astonishment is the second most effective technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.
3 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Astonishment
The fact that we are entertained with a “wow” factor should not be surprising. Magicians, athletes and beautiful models have always fascinated us as we ponder the limits of beauty, imagination and human potential. We delight in the spectacular as well as the painstaking skills required to dazzle us.
Among the types of astonishment that are used in high performing videos are the following:
- Extraordinary Beauty
- Masterful Craftsmanship
- Human Potential
For years, beauty has captivated audiences with breathtaking views of what we imagine as utopia. Fashion and cosmetic companies continue to astonish us with stunning looks as we marvel over the perfect eyes and body.
Similarly, painters and photographers attempt to stretch our imaginations with breathtaking views of nature, outer space and glorious light shows. At the heart of this concept is an innate desire to marvel over a perfect creation.
A similar concept works in astonishing us with a true masterpiece. Besides engaging in content that strikes our appreciation for beauty, we likely marvel over the skills and craftsmanship surrounding the perfect design, the enormity of “larger than life” creations or technology pushed to its limits.
Just consider how people travel thousands of miles to see Mount Rushmore or the Great Wall of China. Or consider how we marvel over the potential of the human brain when witnessing the latest in space technology and medical breakthroughs.
Our senses also seem to heighten at the sight of extreme precision and the painstaking process behind a perfectly timed formation. Honda, for example, scored extremely well on a commercial featuring a highly complex domino effect. Similarly, we often marvel over the skills required to produce the perfect ice sculpture, dessert presentation or architectural design.
Evidence from high video performance also suggests that we marvel over those who push the limits of human capacity. Some viral videos reached exceptionally high levels of views and engagement after showing records broken by the greatest of athletes.
Without question, highlight reels devote inordinate amounts of time replaying the perfect catch, the perfect shot and the perfect throw. In effect, we likely enjoy amazing ourselves with how far our bodies can take us. This fascination also accounts for such high ratings in talent shows like American Idol where we marvel over the skills of those not expected to achieve so high.
But the same reaction can be felt from those over achieving or pushing the limits of mental capacity. A number of videos, for example, scored high when showing women conquering their multi-tasking life styles, a man runner the marathon at 101 years old or paraplegics playing basketball.
Common to all of these techniques is our innate desire to stretch our imaginations and envision the ultimate experience.
A total of 3351 high performing videos (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted television commercials that were posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross-Cultural Research Conference.
From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 4% involved some type of astonishment. This form of viral video engagement ranked number twelve, one and one in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.
So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using astonishment as an entertaining content marketing theme?
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.