The way you hear marketers talk, you’d think “viral” was an action item on a product launch checklist. Did we film the viral video? What’s our viral plan?

Let’s make the next Dollar Shave Club. We need our own Charlie Bit My Finger.

This is a case of marketers and brands buzz-wording themselves into a frenzy, and as a result, bastardizing industry lexicon. It’s not only incorrect, it’s silly.

Viral is the byproduct of being interesting, and of outstanding creative.

Viral is what happens when you are exceptionally smart, moving, or original. Things spread when they are truly shocking, or amazingly funny. Or even just phenomenally dumb.

But nobody makes “viral videos.” People make videos, and every once in a while, those video go viral. Trying to make a viral video is like trying to hit a home run. Great baseball players know the secret is to start by making good contact with the ball. Home runs happen when everything goes just right.

You can’t plan for viral, but what you can plan for is great. Great is what causes something to spread. Great is infectious.

Aim for great. That’s the right place to start. If the stars align, viral will happen too.