Loyal customers and brand love can’t be bought with expensive campaigns. It’s earned through transparency and authenticity. And for this, there’s no better tool than video.
Consumers today are bombarded with marketing messages. Most people have learned to filter out overt as well as covert advertising, which is making marketing increasingly challenging. Authentic and genuine video content is one of the most efficient ways to break through the noise and appeal to your target audience.
Authenticity Makes Your Message Stand Out
As human beings, we’re hardwired to be curious about real stories and real people. In one of his novels, Graham Swift defined humans as “the storytelling animal,” and that’s pretty spot on. We understand and make sense of the world through stories.
Tell someone, “Hey, I want to sell you this thing,” and they will run the other way.
Now, tell that same person, “Hey, have you heard the amazing story about [insert almost anything],” and you will immediately have their attention.
This is why authentic stories are the holy grail of modern marketing and video production.
Related reading: Video Production for Social Media
So, What’s the Secret Sauce of Authentic Video Production?
While many may associate the term authenticity with shaky handheld cameras, or unpolished social media clips, that’s not all there is to it.
The most critical factor is credibility. People will ask whether your story is true or if it’s just another fabricated marketing message.
If viewers perceive your story as genuine and authentic, it will pique their curiosity. And if not? Then they’ll simply scroll on by.
10 Steps To Producing Authentic Video Content
#1 Know Your “Why,” “Who,” and “Where”
As always, start with the “why.” Why are you making this video? What is the purpose, where will you distribute it, and who will be watching it? What action would you like to inspire your audience to take? Only when you’ve answered these questions are you ready to start planning your actual video.
#2 Specify What Pain Point You’re Addressing
Before you start planning your video content, you need to know your message inside and out. What problem are you solving for your target group? And how will this video showcase that solution? Being crystal clear on your value proposition at an early stage will help you convey that message in the most efficient and engaging way.
#3 Go Unscripted and Embrace Spontaneity
For an authentic feel, people must get to use their own words. You want to capture the pauses, the wrinkled foreheads, and the smiles that only occur when people are talking from the heart rather than reading from a script. Admittedly, going unscripted takes a little longer and requires more editing, but you will be rewarded with a more genuine feel.
#4 Leverage First Hand Experience and Interviews
The most authentic way a story can be told is by the person it concerns. The old adage “show, don’t tell” holds very true in the context of video production. If you can use first-hand experiences in your video rather than recounts, it will add credibility to your story and make it more engaging.
#5 Know Your Values and Stay Transparent
Communicating in a way that’s consistent with your company’s core values is crucial. Especially millennials and the generations coming after them are super sensitive to all kinds of green-washing, pink-washing, and social washing. Communicating in a voice that is not aligned with your company’s behavior will quickly backfire.
#6 Capture Real Moments
Content that feels overly produced often comes across as less authentic. The quality of the footage is not the issue, but rather how controlled the events and people in the setting appear. A great way to get raw and authentic footage is to “always be filming.” By collecting plenty of raw footage, you’ll be able to use real-world, actual life to illustrate the message you want to convey.
#7 Gather Good B-Roll Footage
An often overlooked area in video production is B-roll footage. B-roll can be described as alternative footage to your main footage, the A-roll, and it’s a great asset once it’s time to start editing. Let’s say, for example, that someone is being interviewed in a factory setting. While the interview footage may be considered the A-roll, the B-Roll are the visuals we capture of the factory, the workers, or the interviewee doing their work. In many ways, to stay with the “show, don’t tell” mantra the B-roll is even more important to tell an authentic and compelling story than the A-Roll.
#8 Trust the People on Screen
Nobody likes to be micromanaged, and doing so on a video shoot is a sure-fire way of killing the good vibe. Trust people to tell their stories in their own words. Of course, they may need and appreciate your guidance; just don’t go overboard. Trusting the people you’re filming will also help them relax and give the best and most authentic result.
#9 Use Humor and Be Quirky
A great way to create an authentic vibe is through quirky humor. This video by Rosetta Stone, for example, is an excellent example of how to achieve that. By telling stories we can all relate to, brands can build the type of credibility that comes when the viewer recognizes themselves in the content.
#10 Remember It’s About the People–Not the Brand
Remember that the best brands always position their customers as the heroes, not themselves. Nobody is interested in brands telling the world how great they are. People want to hear how your brand helped people transform their lives. That’s the story you want to tell, centering around the person, not the product. Nike is a perfect example of this. Nike’s video content is never about shoes but about the people wearing them.
To sum things up: get real or go home. Today’s consumer is tired of neatly packaged and polished messages, and the general attitude is that brands are not to be trusted.
The way to break through the skepticism and content fatigue is by telling real stories in genuine and authentic ways. No medium is better suited for this than video.
Get in touch to explore how we can make your brand come alive with authentic video content!