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Anatomy of a Viral Video: The First Days Are the Most Important

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When a brand posts a video, 42 percent of the sharing activity that video will every get happens in the first three days. According to research conducted by marketing technology company Unruly, those first days have become more important to a video's success over the past year. In April, 2013, only a quarter of a branded video's lifetime sharing activity happened in the first three days.

Most sharing happens the day after a video launches, says Unruly. A year ago, videos averaged 10 percent of their overall sharing on that day. Now, the number has risen to 18 percent. Video sharing in the first week has grown from 37 percent to 65 percent.

Unruly gets these numbers from its cloud-based Unruly Analytics platform which charts video activity over time.

Looking to help marketers maximize that early spike, Unruly has launched Unruly Activate, a skippable pre-roll ad format available programmatically. The company suggests that the ad format can help provide mass reach during a campaign's critical beginning phase.

"With so many shares now happening in the first three days, in-stream skippables can drive massive awareness and help kick-start a viral cascade in a short space of time," says Scott Button, founder and group CEO of Unruly.

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