What speaks to people is authenticity, and humans prefer authentic videos because we feel that authenticity more after so many years of getting inauthentic content. Companies creating authentic videos have the greatest potential to reach more customers by simply giving them what they truly want. Yet what is authenticity? How can a video be made authentic?
What Is Authentic Video?
If I told you to smile, would your forced grin feel authentic? Probably not. But if I showed you a video of the world’s cutest puppies tumbling over each other while chasing a ball, there’s a good chance you would be showing a real, authentic smile while watching them.
Authentic video is appealing and genuine, like a friend speaking to us rather than a company. Marketing doesn’t always need to be serious and dry. We can have fun, or make fun of ourselves! So long as a video is authentic and true to life, it can be unserious and silly.
Authentic video is compelling and shareable, like something you never expected to see and still can’t believe happened before your eyes. Everyone who watches something so authentic and real should want to watch the whole thing, and share what they saw with friends and family.
Authentic video is engaging and valuable, like the moment you realize the answer to a question you heard days ago. This content should make people think, and keep thinking, by giving them newsworthy information they may not have heard already.
An Authentic Focus
Ask your customers directly, whenever possible, what they care about. If you have difficulty obtaining this feedback, try offering discounts, rewards, or valuable resources. The videos you create from their responses will feel authentic because you are speaking to one person in a way that reaches many people.
What is the goal of the video? How, where, and when should the video be seen? Who will watch the video? Answering these questions will help you decide the video’s strategy, which should remain your top focus throughout production. Authentic video may seem like a lucky accident to everyone else, but every member of the crew should know that wasn’t true.
Authentic videos are not focused on the company or the vision or the brand. No one cares how amazing you think you are. The center of an authentic video should be a human, their solutions to problems, their simple everyday joys, their pride in what they do, and so on. By focusing on the transformation of an individual’s life rather than the company, you can tap into powerful emotions and stories.
People don’t want to hear that new slogan from the marketing department. They like hearing from real people who bought your product and enjoyed it. Your product will get mentioned, the benefits will be shown, you can throw in a quick brand logo, but save the witty slogans for audio-only productions.
Film your testimonials first so you can see who is most engaging to watch, or who has the best story to tell. Past clients are probably not actors and may not be comfortable on camera, yet coaching them to be more natural would only make them come across as less authentic. Focus on who gives the best testimonial, or take the best pieces from each interview, then craft the video around them.
Client testimonials and first-hand experiences are automatically more authentic than anything you could create, so always look for ways to add this element into your production. Edit these human stories lightly or not at all, and use them to show how future customers will gain the same benefits from your products and services.
Great actors improvise all the time, generally to add some authentic detail or say something in a more authentic way. Even a small change in their facial features could give your video the feeling of being real. Scriptwriters may know what the company wants to get across in the video, but they can’t always predict every aspect of the set, filming process, or production.
Film everything that happens on the shoot, especially the mistakes. Customers have seen too many “perfect” videos that feel completely overproduced. They want realism and small accidents they can relate to, so let them experience one or two of the many funny flubs which happen in every production. Use real moments as they happen, not just the stuff that was controlled.
Customers expect consistently high-quality productions, and they won’t keep watching something that fails in this regard. Some videos are thought to be more authentic at first by appearing low-quality, but this trick only works in limited ways and can’t be used over and over. When you try to build a relationship with your customers by giving them valuable content, they will keep coming back so long as your quality was and remains high.
Audiences now care if a marketing video was “real” or crafted. Of course, all videos are created for some effect and customers know what your company values, but authentic video must feel more real. Consider the backlashes against reality television and TV wrestling when people realized how scripted they could be. Before that point, those forms of entertainment were extremely popular because they felt more real than everything else.
Do You Need Authentic Video?
Modern audiences don’t trust super-polished brand marketing, but that doesn’t mean your video should be unpolished either. Viewers want real people and real stories instead of actors reading scripts. They want high quality but not overproduction.
Professional video production companies like AJI Media in Philadelphia produce video in various formats and styles, and can provide every level of support on Authentic Video strategy, production and distribution. As they work with you to create these videos, your team will see first-hand how authenticity adds to your brand. Contact AJI Media soon to learn more!