5 ways to create authentic branded content for your business

We’ve all heard of the importance and growing demand for authentic branded content over the years, but what does it actually mean and how can you set to achieve this within your business?

Put simply, authentic branded content is content that is genuinely of service to its readers and industry without trying to manipulate its audience. This form of content builds trust with your audience and forms a strong and loyal connection.

Creating authentic branded content for your business is something that, if achieved correctly, will be compelling and key in gaining visibility, increasing brand awareness and indirectly driving sales.

Let’s look at the top five ways you can create authentic branded content for your business successfully with video at the forefront:

Honesty and Vulnerability

Everyone responds to honesty and vulnerability, including your target audience. Look for great stories that may have appeared recently that align with your business’s values and beliefs. Then link them to your core values.

It’s important not to sell products here as customers see through this obvious line of selling. Instead sell ideas and values that they are much more likely to respond and relate to, you’ll notice an increased level of interest and engagement by doing this.

Know your audience and use your customers

Encourage your audience to tell their stories. It’s about them not you. Social media is a great place to start with this, try starting a hashtag customers can use to tag you in their stories. If you are making a customer story, tell their story not yours.

It’s also important to focus on what the audience wants not what you want. For example, you may be proud of your expensive 15 second motion graphic video intro but most people don’t really care and may lose interest and move on.

This may be glaringly obvious but know your audience. Ever found yourself in a group of people at an event and thought ‘I’m in the wrong conversation here’? That’s what it feels like if a video is not talking to you, make sure its relevant.

Don’t be flash

Did your parents ever say ‘stop showing off’ to you as a child? Everyone knows when they are doing it. With branded content don’t ‘show off’ with your production values and story. Don’t be too flash and don’t make the brand the star, make your customers, viewers or someone else the star.

Be honest with yourself - if you think you may be ‘showing off’ or you are coming across as smug, even if it’s a little, then change it. Nobody likes a show-off.

Story Story Story 

Remember, it’s all about the story and you don’t want anything to distract from that, like distracting editing, music or visual effects. We all love epic beautiful shots but make sure they are not a distraction from your message. Everything should be adding to your story and if it isn’t, get rid of it. This can be harder that you think, editing is all making cutthroat decisions.

You will often have to sacrifice your favourite parts for the sake of your story. Grab people’s attention from the start. Keep looking for a shorter or more succinct way to tell your story. Always ask yourself what you want people to think, feel or do after watching your video, what would they be left with?

Try putting this into practice by thinking of a film you really like and explain the plot in a few sentences. If you can’t do that with your video idea, then you have not got a strong story or message or perhaps even no story at all. How would someone describe your video after they watched it?

Smartphones are your friends

This relates back to being honest and vulnerable. When it comes to authentic branded video content, don’t worry about having expensive kit, just use a smartphone.  If you want the ultimate authenticity, the smartphone is your friend. You can record on the go and always be ready to capture something interesting.

People get really hung up on having the right equipment, but remember, people care about story not picture quality. Keep an eye on sound quality and background noise, if you can’t hear an interview it’s a problem.

Smartphone = authentic.

And remember, first impressions are everything. This goes back to thinking about your audience and not what you want. Grab people’s attention at the start.

By following the above steps you’ll be well on your way to creating successful and authentic branded content for your business.