Everyone building a brand seems to think that they need a viral video to spread the word about their company. According to a recent blog post at onlinevideo.net, viral video successes may not be as genuine as we believe them to be.

It seems that many of the viral videos that have propelled a brand success may not be quite as “viral” as we thought. The multitudes of views reported for the videos may not be a result of user sharing as much as paid views.

Many brands apparently pay for views in order to get the ball rolling. It makes sense, as a video needs to be seen to be shared. When they do catch on, a video may generate a lot of earned media traffic as the video grows in popularity.

The real question, however, is whether this popularity translates into a valid brand messaging strategy. As the post points out, many times a video goes viral for reasons that extend beyond the brand. While an engaging video may be exciting or funny, the brand message may actually be lost, while a less entertaining video may be more effective in engaging the viewer through core brand messaging.

The lesson seems to be that, while videos can help build a brand and provide a unique method of communicating a brand message, searching for the elusive “viral” component may not be the only video strategy to consider.