What is ‘authentic video’?
That is a great question, and an easy one to answer. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Authentic video is simply video that comes across as real. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what resources you have. If you are knowledgable and passionate about your material and people can see that, than that is authentic video.
Authentic video comes from a healthy marriage between the content and the production. You don’t need a high-end studio or a big budget to capture this. All you need is a small camera, or even webcam, and a clean background to get your message across.
With so much video clutter on the internet today, it can be tough to break through all the noise. The million dollar question for all marketers and anybody in the communications business is: how do I break through this noise and really stand out?
Authentic video breaks through the noise.
When you create video that is authentic, people are more likely to believe you, and more likely to engage with you. Find your subject matter experts in the organization and ask them to share their wealth of knowledge. Whether it be customer success stories, company history, or marketing tactics, if they come across engaged with the material, your audience will follow suit.
All of this sounds great, but how does one actually create authentic video? Well, we put together a list of the 9 essential steps to follow when putting this content together. When you are finished, you will truly see first-hand the power of authentic video.
1. Map out what content makes sense for video
Video is a great medium (and one of the most popular today), but that doesn’t mean that every single piece of content should be in video form. Marketers need to understand whether their message would be best delivered through video, blog, PDF, etc. and then move forward from there.
2. Identify the subject matter experts in your company
So now that you know how to deliver the content, you must decide who is going to deliver it. Look across your organization to decide who is the most passionate about this subject and who can come across most authentic. Want to share product experiences? Speak to customer success. History of the company? Track down an executive. Your employees are your greatest asset, make sure to use them as such.
3. Prepare your subject matter expert
We completely understand that many people have a natural fear of being on video. However, if they are knowledgable, passionate, and well prepared for what they are speaking about, none of that fear will translate and they will come across truly authentic on camera. It may take a few takes to get that comfortability out, but once they realize they’re just simply having a conversation that authenticity will shine.
4. Begin preparation for capturing video
Now that you have identified the content and who’s going to deliver it, it is finally time to focus on the actual video. The magic of authentic video is this can be done by anyone, at any place, with whatever resources available. You don’t need a high-end studio to capture the message. A small camera or even a webcam can suffice. Begin identifying the resources you have available to capture this video.
Pro Tip: As important as video is, audio is even more critical. People can forgive bad video, but they can’t forgive bad audio. Quality microphones can be purchased for as little as $7.99 online.
5. Focus on the framing
Now for the actual production of the video. It may be a surprise, but the the most important factor of capturing video is focusing on the framing. You want to be in the center of the camera with typically a head and shoulder shot.
Pro Tip: You also want to make sure your laptop is not too low and that you’re not looking down at the screen. Grab a few books and stack your laptop up so you are staring directly into the camera.
6. Look around you at the surrounding background
Remove all distractions in the background that can potentially inhibit the viewers ability to truly be engaged. A simple, solid background works best. Avoid areas with doorknobs, thermostats, posters, etc. lurking in the background.
Pro tip: Did you know clothing can also be considered part of the background? Make sure to wear simple, solid articles of clothing with no tiny stripes or loud jewelry.
7. Pay attention to the lighting
Lighting, like background, is a small detail that can complete throw off the viewer experience. A glare or dimness can diminish the authenticity of the video. Stay away from windows, as you want the lighting to be in front of you rather than behind.
8. Hit that record button
Everyone is prepared, your audio and visual is set-up, the background is clean, it is finally time to record your material! Creating content like this is supposed to be fun, so make it an enjoyable experience. Simply have a conversation with one another and your video will come across authentic and your viewers will truly become engaged.
9. Share your authentic video masterpiece!
The beauty of authentic video is that once you feel comfortable with the look and messaging, your video is all set! No fancy edits are needed, just let the heart-felt message that your subject matter expert delivered do the talking. Share the video across all your channels, and watch the engaged audience begin to materialize.