How to Produce Authentic Experiences Through Content Creation
In the vast world of the internet, we are flooded with content – blogs on every topic imaginable, vlogs of public figures, branded and sponsored videos and photos. Some of these pieces of content are full of fluff, yet others deeply resonate within us. They feel authentic, truthful, valuable and trustworthy.
How do these content creators produce authentic experiences for their audiences? And how can other content creators improve and create similar work?
First we need to understand how to define “authenticity” before we can create what we call an ‘authentic experience.’
When we say ‘authentic’ what do we mean? There can be several different ways to define this word, however, the dictionary definition is ‘undisputed origin’, ‘genuine’ or ‘lack of falsehood’.
Although this is not the only approach to creating authentic content, those who are looking to create authentic experiences can consider the following ideas.
Think about how your personal background and values affects your content.
Part of the definition of “authentic” is ‘undisputed origin’. Your background, where you were born and your ancestry are all examples of your origin.
It can also be an experience that happened to you that originated an idea inside of you. We all learn from our mistakes, challenges and failures.
When content creators tap into their personal stories, backgrounds and values they can create from a place of authenticity that can be powerful and impactful.
For example, there is a saying “write what you know” because only you have the insight that you have on your experiences. An immigrant can write an authentic representation about assimilation to another country over someone who wants to write about the same topic but has lived in the same country their whole life. These are the types of stories that ring true to their origin.
Although it may take some time to dig deep into personal experiences, from it can sprout incredible insight. Plus, if your values represent who you are it’ll affect the way you create content.
Not only will it affect what and how you create, but also what you will become known for.
If your value is to ‘care’ then you will become known as the content creator who cares. It can go the opposite way as well, if you say you ‘care’ but don’t act upon it in perhaps the quality of your content, you will become known for that as well.
When your content creation comes from a place of values integrated with your personal background, the content will provide a more authentic experience for your audience.
Create content that you are passionate about and has personal meaning.
People love passionate people and they rally around things to believe in.
If you’re an avid hiker with a deep appreciation of national parks which becomes central to your content creation, it will resonate with others who are inspired by your passion.
Although everything in the world is subjective and seen through a personal lens based on past experiences, feelings and opinions, when you create content that comes from a place of personal meaning there is no room for ‘falsehood’.
That content is your authenticity shining through and chances are, other people will resonate with those things as well.
Our sense of experience and belonging is tied by the things that we are passionate about.
Put your unique twist on your content.
There is only one you in the whole wide world. Although we have shared experiences with others, only you can interpret the things in your life in your own way.
Think about a time you chatted with friends about an experience you all shared together, but somehow each one has a slightly different memory and dialogue about the details of what happened. It doesn’t mean that it’s false or untrue, but it’s the way our brains make sense of things.
This is why only you can share things in the certain special way that comes naturally to you.
Another aspect of being authentic can be showing your true personality and deciding if one aspect of your personality stands out.
What is a genuine personality trait that you can weave into your stories? Maybe you have the ability to make anyone feel understood through your words or have a distinct voice perfect for podcasts.
Take your content and funnel your personality and your unique lens into it!
Be clear on the target audience so the content resonates with them.
When all is said and done, your authentic content may be ignored if the audience who receives your content doesn’t relate.
Make sure to target your audience not only with your content creation, but also in the avenues that your audience receives it. For example, if you’re writing for websites make sure to research if people are even searching for whatever you want to write about.
Or if you’re trying to promote your content on LinkedIn pages or Facebook groups, be aware what the members are interested in. The video documenting food waste which comes from a place of authenticity - based on your personal values, background and passion - may not get as much engagement in a group focused on the local sports team.
Get inspiration from others, but don’t copy or compare.
It’s okay to be inspired by other people’s creations and to aspire to improve your creative forms. Usually that’s how creatives learn and perfect their craft.
However, there is a fine line between being inspired and copying what’s been done before. Creating something that evokes emotion and meaning from inside yourself is always better than re-creating the same thing you saw on the internet.
In the end, people can usually tell if your content creation isn’t authentic. If it doesn’t feel true to you because of outward influence, others will see through it as well.
With the increase and expectation of constant content creation, it’s very easy to get caught in the noise and whirlpool of things that all sound and look the same. Yet, once content creators can dive deeply into their own background, values and passions they can come out on the other side with authentic experiences for the rest of the world to enjoy.
Anything we missed? Leave us a comment about your tips on creating authentic content!