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How To Create Authentic Brand Videos–And Why It Matters

You know the saying “an image is worth a thousand words”? Well, then a video is worth all the words in the dictionary. 

No other media has the power to trigger feelings, tell stories, and build brand affinity the same way that video has. But to reap those benefits, it has to be done right. 

Millennials and Gen Z audiences are savvy consumers exposed to a myriad of marketing messages every day – written ones, visual ones, and yes, in video format. 

Just making videos will no longer set your brand apart, not in itself. You need to do it well, to stand out and make an impact. 

So what does that mean? 

The key to successful brand videos is authenticity. Only when your video content feels (and is!) authentic will it capture people’s attention and build the trust in your brand that you’re looking for. 

Related reading: Brand Video vs. Corporate Video–Which One Is For You? 


Put Transparency and Honesty At The Center of Your Strategy

Authenticity requires transparency and honesty in all marketing communications. 

Whether brands like it or not, information today flows freely. There’s no more hiding dysfunctional culture or unsustainable practices behind glossy advertising material; that will be exposed quicker than you can say Twitter. 

With the ever-growing use of social media and instant access to information and communication, transparency is no longer a choice. If perhaps not the only, it’s definitely the safest road brands can take. 

And remember, you don’t need to be perfect. People don’t expect brands to be perfect. But they do expect them not to be deceitful. So whenever something is not quite right, the best thing to do is owning up to it, putting it in the spotlight, and vowing to make things better. 

If you need to tell complex stories with different perspectives and messaging that is not black and white, video is your best bet. 


Millennials and Gen Z Are Super-Sensitive To Hypocrisy

Nobody likes brands that lie. But when companies don’t practice what youpreach, the younger generations simply will not have it. Consumer trust in brands plummets with age, so to win the younger crowd’s hearts and minds, you must come across as trustworthy and genuine. 

Those generations tend to view consumption as an expression of individual identity and a matter of ethical concern. This means that if their values are not aligned with that of a brand, they will not buy from it. 

Video is an excellent vehicle for telling stories in a way that not only is true but feels true. Video showing real people enables an emotional connection that is very difficult to recreate in other formats. 


Don’t Invent An Image–Use What’s Already There

The key to authenticity is being just that: authentic. To create an authentic brand video, you should not invent something new but rather distill and build on what already exists. 

What are the things you’re proud of as a company? What are your core values, and how is that reflected in your work? What do your customers love about your product or offer? Those are the stories you want to find a way to share in a compelling format.  

Because one of the things that characterize consumers of today is that they’re looking for the truth. McKinsey analyst Bo Finneman put it this way when discussing the topic in a recent podcast: 

“They’re looking beyond tangible products and actually trying to understand what it is that makes the company tick. What’s its mission? What’s its purpose? And what is it actually trying to build for us as a society?” – Bo Finneman, McKinsey

And this is spot on. Consumers want to understand what your company is about to be able to make an informed choice. So the easier you can make that process for them, the quicker you will gain their trust. 

Related reading: 10 Steps To Creating Authentic Video Content 


Dare To Be Bold

People today not only appreciate when brands take a stand in societal and ethical questions, they expect it. And while it can be scary to think you may lose business if you’re too opinionated as a brand, chances are you’ll win a lot more than you lose. 

Remember, having clients leave your business is not always a bad thing. Not if they’re not your ideal customers. If you try to appeal to everybody, you will only end up appealing to nobody. Daring to say what you stand for will gain your business not only the right customers but a following of loyal fans and brand ambassadors. 

Because while some will admittedly leave your brand if they disagree with your worldview and stance, others will be a lot more attracted to you. If you know your target audience and your values align, you can gain a lot from being bold. 


Focus On People and Mission – Not Company and Product 

Nothing is more interesting to human beings than other human beings. The stories we gravitate towards, read, watch, and share almost always revolve around humans. 

And yet, many marketers forget this fundamental truth and create videos revolving around things and products instead of people. This is almost always a mistake.

When creating your brand video, it’s better to focus on the people behind the brand than the product you offer. Or on the people whose lives you work touches, rather than the product you offer. 

By centering your stories around real people, you will make them relevant to other people. Because at the end of the day, that’s what your buyers are – they’re real people. And as much as we all like to think we’re these rational beings, we’re more than anything emotional beings looking to connect with and learn from people we can relate to. 

Get in touch to explore how we can make your brand come alive with authentic video content.

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