What’s the secret to video success for marketers? New Twitter research provides the answer

By ‎@kdub‎
Monday, 21 November 2016

How does a video become that video everyone’s watching, sharing and talking about? We recently collaborated with Ogilvy and TNS to study what makes an online video successful(1).

We defined success as high reach along with high involvement – that is, a wide audience that doesn’t just Retweet videos, but adds their own comments too. Our analysis had shown that adding a comment to a Retweet drives greater reach and more widespread diffusion.

Our study looked at 4.2 million Twitter conversations and included 2,000 US and UK interviews via an online survey.

We discovered something that will give marketers food for thought: the secret to video success is second-wave sharing. Influencers may create an initial buzz around a video, but it takes another round of sharing for that video to make it big. Only one in five videos we tested were able to motivate a second wave of influencers to comment and Retweet, but over 90% of videos that reached that second wave were successful.

We also found new evidence of a fact that’s near and dear to us: Twitter is uniquely positioned to encourage video sharing. The numbers showed that Twitter’s users lead the pack in enjoying, sharing and talking about videos:

  • They’re 28% more likely to talk with others about videos they’ve watched, compared to the average online video viewer
  • 72% of them often make a comment about video online – that’s higher than on the other main digital platforms
  • One in four comment on videos to initiate new discussion or debate, an uplift of 56% vs. the average video viewer

The study also confirmed that, as a mobile-first platform with autoplay, Twitter is built for video discovery and sharing. We found that social newsfeeds are the top driver of video discovery in a mobile context, and viewers are 42% more likely to comment on a video when they watch it on a mobile device. 82% of our active users are mobile users, and 92% of video views on Twitter happen on mobile devices(2).

One in four video viewers feel autoplay makes video more convenient to watch. And, when viewing on mobile, viewers are 54% more likely to agree that autoplay improves their chances of being first to see something.

3 takeaway tips to help give your video enough momentum to reach second-wave sharing:

  1. Capture a moment. We found that nine in ten “of the moment” videos were top performers in terms of our success metrics. These were videos set in a specific timeframe, whether that was something as exclusive as an awards ceremony or as universal as a snowstorm.
  2. Inspire your audience. While humour can spark a first wave of sharing, videos that uplift, stirring deeper feelings such as hope or pride, were twice as likely to make it big.
  3. Tell a story. Nothing engages emotions, or sparks conversation, like good storytelling. Viewers will stay with you through a strong narrative arc, even if it takes a couple of minutes.

    What’s the secret to video success for marketers? New Twitter research provides the answer

Download the PDF here.

Ready to share your video with premium audiences, and inspire widespread conversation? Learn more about video on Twitter.

For more information on the research study, contact Lisa Cowie - Head of Agency Research EMEA - @LisCowie, email:  lcowie@twitter.com.