I’ve seen enough chick flicks and so have you and so have all of us: If the guy doesn’t call you the next day, you know, he’s just not that in to you.
Profound selectivity works in the online ad business, too.
According to new research from Unruly, a quarter of the average branded video’s shares happen within three days of the launch.
It’s not to say that it’s all downhill from there. But well, you get the message, which is that from that point forward, your message-sending business will slow up quite a lot, at least if you’re trying to get it across by sharing it around the Web.
Unruly’s Social Diffusion Curve charts the average number of shares a video attracts across the social web throughout its lifetime. When is this relationship the sweetest? The viral peak of a brand’s video campaign occurs on just its second day. (Wow. This is like a chick flick) when the average online ad will attract one in 10 of its total shares across the social web.
Unruly’s Curve is the result of analysis of the 200 most shared branded videos of 2012. Unruly has tracked over 500 billion shares, and measures 1,300 brands across all verticals, so it knows of which it speaks.
Man, life gets tough in a hurry. One out of 10 shares occurs on the second day, and 25% within the first three days, 50% in the first three weeks and two-thirds within the first three months. After that, it’s kinda what-have-you-done-for-me-lately.
Did I mention the company markets Unruly ShareRank, an algorithmic tool that allows advertisers to predict the ‘shareability’ of their video content before it is even launched? Well, it does.
“This data can really help brands determine the likely ‘shareability’ of their videos by watching shares in the first week of launch,” says Ian Forrester, Global Insight Lead at Unruly, in a press release, about the new curve data.
In a way, to go back to the movie business again, advertisers can see how much their message is going to be shared in that brief time that is an online advertising equivalent to the weekend grosses from the cinema.
“We found that the first days following the launch are key to both the video’s short and long-term success,” Forrester says. And like the movies, online videos that open really big in those first few days, sharing-wise, have a good chance of going viral.
If there seems to be an overriding point here, it’s that when advertisers are planning their online video launch it’s imperative the ads get scheduled in ways to maximize the chance many people will see it in the first place. The more initial views, the more shares, and that just increases the payoff—a “viral cascade,” says Sarah Wood, the COO and co-founder of Unruly.
If you want to spread the virus, in other words, touch a lot of people—quickly.