According to a 2017 video consumer insights report from Google, 67% of YouTube subscribers said they would follow advice from their favorite video influencer on products to buy over advice from their favorite traditional Hollywood celebrity.
Clearly, using video in your marketing can be a powerful and effective tactic.
For anything or anyone in the media spotlight — scandals, PR mishaps and social media slip ups are nearly impossible to keep off the connected consumer’s radar. As a result, brands no longer have an option other than representing themselves honestly and transparently.
Here are 3 ways to infuse authenticity into your video marketing and branding efforts:
1. Honesty is (still) the best policy.
Traits like “honest,” “trustworthy” and even “vulnerable” aren’t mutually exclusive, but brands must exhibit all three or consumers won’t care about their offer. This means listening to feedback or criticism and responding accordingly. A brand that is “above” humility will ultimately be resented. Audiences naturally shudder in response to falsity.
In today’s social media-driven world, news spreads fast. It’s all too easy to let the message get out of control without being able to effectively shut it down on your terms. So, invite your audience to be a part of the ride, changes and turmoil to humanize your brand. Don’t be afraid to tell customers that you’re working on improving a defective product or launching a new product that may not be fully baked. When customers feel like they were clued in, they will be more forgiving of any hiccups or inconveniences they experience along the way.
2. Show ‘em what you know -and that you care.
While personalization may be an overused term in the industry, its impact in video marketing is huge. However, use caution when defining personalization for your business and customers — or risk trading authenticity for an ultra-creepy persona. If you have to think too hard about what you want to say then maybe you shouldn’t say it. Just say and do what comes naturally.
3. Build a holistic video strategy: Don’t get hung up on the terminology
The bottom line is that brands need video content strategies, but not ones that are segmented into video ads and branded video content. Brands that get the most out of online videos are thinking beyond single spots, embracing holistic strategies that are rooted in consumer behavior.
Google developed a framework built around three content types: Help, Hub, and Hero.
• Help content shows audiences how to engage with their product, brand, or category. Product demos, tutorials, and how-to videos are great examples of the Help content that every brand needs.
• Hub content speaks to consumers’ passions to broaden a brand’s appeal. The content can draw from a variety of other marketing programs such as sponsorships and partnerships with other influencers—as long as they bring interests such as music, science, cooking, and beauty.
• Hero content builds around the major events in a brand’s marketing calendar, such as big product launches and tentpole moments.
The brands that use Help content successfully serve consumers searching for products and categories in useful and meaningful ways. Meanwhile, they’re also pushing out episodic or otherwise recurring Hub content related to their target consumers’ passions. Finally, with Hero content, brands execute those “go-big” moments throughout the year to raise awareness for new consumers.
Those that have embraced authenticity and transparency (Dove, Airbnb) find consumers will do the marketing for them. Those that have fought it (Uber, Pepsi) continue to struggle to regain footing with an audience who will watch their every move, waiting to pounce when the first signs of negativity arise.
Authenticity is crucial to continued loyalty.