Viral, a word that not only stands for “the cause or relation to a virus or viruses,” but a word that now has a massive meaning in the digital world we live in. With content surrounding us at every click, what makes a certain piece viral and how does that piece stand out from the rest? This may be one of the biggest questions and debates all brands and consumers have.

Viral content grows rapidly and fast like a “demogorgon.” That’s a quick Stranger Things reference for the followers, for the non-followers it means that viral content expands like wild fire. In allowing the content to be shared on multiple social platforms through hash tags and direct messages, it accelerates the process to reach millions of eyes in the matter of minutes.

How can content be created to ensure that it will follow the viral path? We may not have the definitive answer but hopefully the following steps can help.

Create positive, engaging content:

Remember the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” that post was created by two guys named Pete Frates and Corey Griffen? They created the video to show support for the ALS association, and to help create a way to bring in donations to support research for the association. What progressed the video to excel through the social media world wasn’t only the iconic figures that participated in it, but also the positive energy the content portrayed. Everyone enjoys seeing videos or posts that talk about bringing something good into the world, with most content being filled with negative energy through news outlets and shared articles the positive content shines that much brighter.

Allow the content to be recreated in the audience’s own way:

Even though it’s difficult to create viral content, it’s still enjoyable to recreate the content and put your own twist on it. The Mannequin challenge was huge the year of 2016 with NBA players, NFL players, Adele, and even the Clintons participating in the challenge. The idea behind the video allowed the audience to develop their own versions and create a setting that allows them to express themselves.

Give your audience a laugh:

People love watching entertaining content, and being able to share it with their peers makes it that much easier for views to rise. Most public figures have found the fast path of going viral by creating comedic posts. One of the most famous for this was Jenna Marbles. Marbles started her viral trend on Youtube with the video “How to trick people into thinking you look good,” reaching 5.3 million views in the first week it was shared. After that she’s had a huge career creating comedic content on Youtube and having her posts go viral. Another public figure that has gone viral using Instagram as their outlet to sharing their content is, Dan Rue and Nick Joseph. Over the past year they have taken over Instagram with their humorous video’s that put them in the limelight. What got them there was their video with rap artist T-pain, where it shows the two of them dancing with T-pain. The video was a massive hit being shared on multiple meme accounts and reaching millions of views in the first week.

Reaching millions of views on your first attempt of creating viral content might be a long shot, or maybe you have the secret recipe yourself. The key after becoming viral and making your brand known is to keep it in the buzz and keep the eyes on you. Staying relevant and keeping your audience interested could be difficult, but if you’ve made it viral you shouldn’t have a problem staying current.