In today’s content sharing world video is king. Having a viral video, well that can set you on the path to world domination. There are no guarantees that the video a nonprofit creates will achieve “viral” status. However, there are some tactics we can analyze from one of the most successful viral campaigns that have been produced in the last few years.

We’ve all seen it, shared it, and maybe even cried over it – Save the Children’s Most Shocking Second a Day Video.

This video currently has close to 50,000,000 views on youtube. It has been shared all over social media raising awareness on the devastating effects war has on a child’s life. The objective of this video is to make viewers who are usually emotionally and physically distant from modern warfare, in this case England, and see it as if it was happening in their own backyard through the eyes of a child.

So what can other nonprofits gather from the success of this video?

Use Emotion.

Think about it, how many video have you shared because they’ve made you tear up or laugh hysterically versus how many you’ve shared that didn’t? Don’t Panic, the creative agency that produced the video, states this about the importance of emotion in a video:

Bake extreme emotional triggers into your treatment. Make it inherently funny, sad or WTF.


Use Simple Calls to Action

Challenge people to not just watch but to act. As the video begins to play a tiny box appears with a number for both the UK and US to text to donate $5 to Save the Children’s humanitarian efforts in Syria. At the end of the video you are invited to share the video and use the “#SaveSyriasChildren” to help raise awareness, and you are also able to click a pop up box to take you to to learn more about their efforts in Syria. These are simple and easy ways for people to help and be part of something bigger from the comfort of their own electronic devices.

Incorporating both emotion and simple calls to action in your video can both help get your video and message shared and also raise funds and awareness. Its an exciting time for nonprofits to utilize emerging media such as video to reach a potential audience of limitless numbers!