Trust. Can you think of a more valuable commodity when it comes to marketing? We buy from those we trust, which is why I consistently encourage our clients to help us create authentic marketing videos for their companies.
I have never met with a business leader who was setting out to lie to their customers, and thankfully, I’ve never met with any who would like to “spin” how they do things. Having said that, we all know they exist.
Gini Dietrich wrote the book on why Spin Sucks, literally. That book and her daily blog by the same name detail better ways to do PR and marketing. It’s all something that translates well to videos since they’re a terrific tactic for a communication strategy.
Having said that, even executives who have no intention to “spin” their message can fall into some traps that in some cases can complicate a video production and in others… even doom them to failure.
Don’t do anything special
One of the most common things executives want to do when the decision has been made to produce a video is… do it up. You know what I mean, nothing crazy deceptive here. On the day of the production they want every desk filled, every machine operating, the office sparkling clean, et cetera. Most executives just want things to look great, but they really don’t have to do anything special.
My college football coach John Robinson had an expression… just do your stuff. Anytime someone would pose a mundane question like, “Coach, should we wear coats and ties when we travel to a game?” J.R. would always respond the same way, “Just do your stuff.”
What he meant was this isn’t a big issue. You know what’s right for you. Just do it. If you think you should wear a coat and tie. Wear them. If you think you look nice and presentable in something else, wear that instead. The idea is that unless you put on something whacky, nobody is going to notice or care.
Same thing goes for staging your video shoot. Don’t worry about having all hands on deck, making sure everyone’s desk is clean, or every machine is up-and-running. While you’re scrutinizing every detail, your viewers are simply paying attention to the story. Unless something is distracting or looks wrong, viewers won’t notice.
Now, you don’t want the place looking like a wreck and you don’t want the place devoid of activity, but you don’t have to play up anything. What’s your busiest day of the week? Is there a day this month when things will really be cookin’? That’s the day you shoot.
It’s good to look busy, but we don’t want to fake it. Viewers can tell when you’re faking it and that’s not good.
Let your team go about their business the way they always do. The visuals are important, but your story is far more critical. If your video producer does a good job at helping you tell that story well, then your video will accomplish its goals regardless of how busy you look.
Let people speak for themselves
The other thing many business leaders want in their videos are finely-tuned corporate messages. They are attempting to communicate something after all. It only stands to reason they want that message sounding perfect.
This is something else you want to avoid. You know what a finely-tuned corporate message sounds like to viewers? It sounds like a finely-tuned corporate message. In other words, it doesn’t sound authentic at all… because it isn’t.
I’m not even a big fan of talking points. You’re far better off letting people speak from their hearts during interviews. A skilled interviewer is going to get them talking about their job and how it’s going to impact customers. The people being interviewed will talk about subjects they’re experts in and the things they do everyday. Let them say it all in their own words and what you’ll get is an authentic message.
Remember, you’ll have a professional storyteller piecing together the sound bites to tell the story. So while you won’t have control over what they’re saying, you’re still going to control the overall message that’s going out.
Will it sound perfect? Maybe not or maybe your people will surprise you. Either way, it’s okay. What you give up in control you get back in authenticity.
Audiences are far more receptive to a message that doesn’t sound scripted. When it sounds genuine, they pay attention and take it in. Viewers respond to the people on-camera because they’re real.
Authentic marketing done right
These are just a couple of things, but they go a long way to delivering an authentic video to your audience. When you focus on authenticity, you create videos that stick with people and help earn their trust.