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What Motivates Us To Share Videos? Raw Emotion

There are two driving forces behind everything that we do: emotion and logic. On the internet, although there are quite a number of studies that show human emotions to be the chief factor behind some of the most successful content, the complex interplay between emotion and logic can be seen in our video shares and updates.

In other words, the virality of a video depends not just on the kind of video you are making or sharing, but also how that video satisfies emotion and logic.

If your intent is to make more shareable videos, take a look at the top reasons why people share what they share on social media and the internet.

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To Project a Sense of Identity

One motivation why we share videos may be traced back to our desire to tell the world who we are. In a study by The New York Times Customer Insight Group on why people share, 68% say they share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.

We treat our online profile as an extension of our self and we post live videos, for example, to better express our personality and authentic self.

Also, it seems that our imagined future selves influence the kind of content we share on social media. Often, we share content from the perspective of the person we’d like to become. We share information that fits the characteristics of our ideal self or the person we aspire to someday become.

So, when people share videos of dogs saving people‘s lives, it may be because they love dogs or they identify with the emotions of helping others or both. Perhaps they dream about saving people’s lives too. When they share that content it shows what kind of person they want people to think they are, whether that’s their real self or their idealized self.

Coupled with emotions, videos that tell people where we stand on certain controversial issues — i.e. videos that tell the world who we are in a powerful way — will have a higher chance of getting shared and getting highly engaged viewers.

Engagement on a video also matters a lot. It give your videos the buzz they need to go viral. In SEO speak, engagement such as likes, comments, and views make your videos rank higher in search engines. Did you know that you can boost your viewers’ engagement and response by buying YouTube Views?

Bought views will encourage real views from real people. Not just because your videos are ranking higher, but also because people will want to see what’s going on and be a part of all that action.

Most people are eager to share their opinion and they want to belong to a group that shares their beliefs and interests. It’s often because they get the approval they seek and the validation that their beliefs are correct. This relates to the next reason why we share video content online.

To Satisfy the Need to Belong

If we’re going to ask psychologist Abraham Maslow, our need to belong stems from our self-actualization needs, or the need for personal growth and self-fulfillment.

We derive our worth from our self and from others. When we identify with a group, that group’s characteristics become part of our definition of our own self. So, a teacher, for example, will generally identify with the label of education as the “most noble profession in the world.” Whether teachers individually live up to that expectation or not, they add that label to their own sense of self.

In short, we share videos and other forms of content online to satisfy our need to be a part of a group that brands us as the kind of people we imagine or want ourselves to be.

To Promote Great Content

good contentImage credit: engadget

People do also share videos just because of how good they are. It’s not always because they want people to notice what kind of person they are. Sometimes, people share videos because they like your content so much they want to other people to see it, to share in the emotions they felt.

Indeed, in the same study by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, 49% of their respondents say they share because they want to bring valuable and entertaining content to others. Why? A Professor at UCLA may have the answer.

In his book, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, Matthew Lieberman, PhD., provides evidence that we are hardwired to look for things that are useful and interesting not just to ourselves but also to other people.

Needless to say, it seems we are always on the lookout for great content that we can share, and it’s likely because we are social human beings who want to feel connected. We see useful and interesting content as a way to connect with other people. This brings us to the next reason why we share content on social media.

To Maintain Social Relationships

In one study, 67% of respondents say they use social media mainly to touch base with their friends and family. In another study, data shows that 78% share information online to stay connected with friends they may not otherwise stay in touch with.

So, people share content online to nurture relationships. Oftentimes when we look for useful and entertaining content, whether it’s an educational video to share with a friend who is perpetually curious about things, or an interesting video of a Rubik’s Cube aficionado to a cube enthusiast you kinda know, we share because we want to stay connected with them.

If you want more people to find your video posts or your YouTube channel, try buying YouTube Views to augment your marketing efforts.  A high view count is a powerful reason why people watch the videos they do online.

People tend to pick popular videos over less popular ones. So, even though your bought views aren’t real, they can draw in real viewers who want to see what’s so popular. These views are also what will make your videos more visible on the platform and in Google search results.

Let Your Feelings Guide You!

Although you can say that we use reason when deciding whether videos are interesting and whether we should share a particular one with friends, the “why” itself is moored in our emotions. So are the reasons why we express our needs through the content we share.

We aren’t always aware of those reasons on a conscious level, which can make it difficult to understand why we like a particular thing. But studying this aspect of humanity and incorporating it into your marketing strategies will get easier in time and will pay off.

So, when you’re making videos, focus on the emotion but don’t forget about content that may appeal to logic, as well. A combined approach is usually best. Start making highly shareable videos today that you’d love to share yourself, and let your own emotions guide you towards success.

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