by Christine Wetzler

This article originally appeared in Forbes

11 Ways For Brands To Produce Authentic And Engaging Videos

Brands often have only a few seconds to capture the attention of their audiences, which means the most engaging content needs to be presented first and make a splash. With the popularity of video content still on the rise among consumers, a genuinely compelling story told in your authentic brand voice via video can be a winning combination for gaining attention and effectively reaching your target audience.

Here, 11 members of Forbes Agency Council provide tips for creating authentic and engaging videos potential customers will relate to, which will help forge real connections with your audience.

1. Share Personal Stories

This is a hard pill to swallow, but companies need to loosen the reins on attempting to control their content. This doesn’t mean totally letting go of brand voice, but it does mean that they must allow those within the company to create content in their voice and from their perspective. Personal and direct stories can convey the authenticity and engagement that brands long for. – A. Lee Judge, Content Monsta

2. Hire A Host Or An Actor

Hire a host or an actor who fits the demographic you’re trying to engage. You don’t need to have the same person coming up with strategies, writing your video scripts, filming themselves and editing the video. With TikTok and Reels, there’s been a shift to the vlog style, and brands that can afford to should shell out and do it properly by hiring someone who’s actually comfortable on camera. – Kelly Samuel, Snack Toronto

3. Review Social Panels For Relevant Ideas

Start with data about your target audience. Social panels can help you understand what is on the minds of your target audience right now. Quickly creating brand-relevant video content related to the current issues, concerns and aspirations of your target audience will make it timely and authentic. – Robert FinlaysonBold Marketing and Communications

4. Encourage Engagement And Answer Questions

In the world of Instagram ads, videos often show someone using the product and talking about how it works for them. The secret behind highly effective videos is that they encourage engagement with the speaker and answer questions about what the product or service does for the user watching the video. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

Forbes Agency Council members share ways for brands to create authentic and engaging videos. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

5. Conduct Unscripted Interviews

Prepare, but never memorize a script! Outline key points, and then speak from the heart. Interviews often produce authentic content if the interviewer asks questions in different ways and throws in a few curveballs. The interview questions can be edited out, leaving responses that sound thorough and relaxed. Experience helps with confidence, too, so get your spokesperson filming often. – Wendy Covey, TREW Marketing

6. Utilize Streaming Features

Do not be afraid to stream regularly, wherever you may be. As long as you are authentically talking about a problem your audience needs help with, you don’t need to worry about the details. Highly produced, high-quality videos have a place, but they are not the only way to get video engagement. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group

7. Stop Focusing On How Great Your Products Are

Instead, communicate the joy and ideas your brand puts into the world. The only way to make authentic videos is by not focusing on the product. Think about the human touch, and you will be engaging. – John Assalian, Viewstream

8. Demonstrate How To Use A Product

Take the time to offer useful, informative content. Create explainer videos to demonstrate how to best utilize a product and provide insights into different solutions that can help the consumer make an informed decision. The more quality video content you provide, the more customers will come to rely on you as their go-to resource for information. – Laura Cole, Vivial

9. Make Sure Your Video Matches The Platform

Create your videos with a strong distribution plan in mind to maximize success. If you plan to run your video beyond social, such as on connected TV, ensure that your video matches the platform and the device that it will be viewed on. In other words: If you’re running on CTV, don’t run a video built for social. Your video quality should ultimately match the screen’s perception. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures

10. Show Real People And Have An Adaptable Plan

Authenticity can only be achieved by lifting the corporate veil and showing real people, stories, products, workplaces and emotions. Ditch the stock footage, hired actors and scripts. Go into every video project with a plan that can be changed during the production. To create authentic video content, set your goal for each video, but enjoy how the journey changes. – Darrell Keezer, Candybox Marketing

11. Do The Best You Can

Stop being so self-conscious and do the best you can. This is one of those tactics that inspires anxiety, and people start to trip over their own feet trying to make everything “perfect.” The reality is that “imperfect” actually does a better job. It reminds people that you’re real and allows them to connect with the content more. – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR

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