Why Authenticity Matters in Video Marketing – And How to Be More Authentic

be authenticWhen you think about the marketing videos that you’ve seen (and by now, we’ve all seen a lot of marketing videos) what makes one stand out more than another? What about a video drives you to act, to learn more about the company, or share the video? Is it the great script, the cool effects, the meticulous editing that created a slick, professional-looking product?

Probably not, although all those things likely played a role, even if you don’t realize it. No, the factor that most likely got you to sit up and pay attention was the authenticity of the video. That is, you believed in what the company was trying to say, and you felt like you were seeing a true representation of the brand and what it stands for – and what you can expect from it. By definition, authenticity means that something is real, and when realness comes across in your marketing videos, it’s going to make an impression.

To ensure you achieve authenticity with your marketing videos, it’s important that you clearly explain your goals when working with any corporate video production businesses. By discussing the focus of the video (or videos), you can be sure that the company understands your brand and whether you want a video that embraces the latest viral trends, or has some humor but still feels professional at the same time. What may be “authentic” for one brand may not be authentic for you, so be sure to have this discussion before any filming takes place.

So how can you be sure that your videos have the authenticity that your audience is looking for? By following these three rules of authentic video production.

Rule #1: Know Your Message

One mistake that businesses often make in video production is trying to be all things to all people in their video. There’s no “one big idea” that they are trying to convey, and the result is often an overly long, boring video that leaves the audience wondering what they are supposed to do with the information they just received.

To create a more authentic video, determine your key message – that one big idea – that you want to convey before you even begin developing a plan. Brainstorm potential ideas for your video, and then choose the best, most compelling one to produce. Perhaps you want to highlight your team, or maybe your unique process or a primary selling point that differentiates you from the competitors. Whatever the idea, the entire video should focus on it, so it inspires your audience to act and doesn’t get lost.

Rule #2: Ditch the Script

ditch the scriptYou definitely need a plan for your video, and that will most likely include a script. But the people appearing in the video shouldn’t sound rehearsed – or even worse, be reciting or reading from a script. Nothing makes an audience question authenticity more than seeing a talking head who appears to be doing little more than regurgitating talking points. Staff appearing in a video should be familiar enough with the key message, and enthusiastic about it, so that they can deliver key messages with passion and without a script. Let them speak from the heart, and the message will be received.

On a more practical level, building a connection with your audience also requires being aware of body language and non-verbal communication. Maintaining eye contact and good posture, using “open” body language and limiting distracting movement are important for all videos, but especially so for creating authentic connections.

Rule #3: Start a Conversation

The whole idea behind a marketing video is to inspire your audience to take some type of action and engage with your business. Therefore, use your video to spur interaction and start a conversation. That means not only including a call to action and specifically asking viewers to do something, but also giving them something to talk about by letting them see what you’re really all about. This might include using your video to show what happens behind the scenes, to show your team interacting with each other, to allow customers to share their stories, or even to give a glimpse of what’s to come. Whatever it is, use the video to spark real conversations and connect with your customers, and not just talk at them and make it all about you.

Creating marketing videos that resonate with viewers isn’t as simple as turning on the camera and talking to people. However, don’t get so caught up in the details of lighting, sound, and other important elements that you lose the authenticity of the story, or you’ll lose your audience and your credibility.

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