Education, Pro Tips

How Authentic Business Footage Helps Your Videos Stand Out


As our world and culture change over time, so do businesses and their customers. The way we depict those businesses in our storytelling also changes. Today’s savvy customers will spot stale, dated, and generic business footage a mile away. Therefore, you should always look for authentic footage to keep your videos fresh and help them stand out. Let’s look at what makes up “authentic” business footage and how to start filming and curating your own!


What is Authentic Business Footage?

When referring to “authentic” business footage, this is footage that matches the brand, tone, and theme of the business you are working with. Essentially, the video footage should reflect a similar experience that the business’s customers will encounter when they shop there. This creates “authenticity” by accurately representing the business and customer experience. Usually, this will mean filming footage on-site. Alternatively, the business can use stock footage provided it accurately represents the theme and feel of the company.

An example would be a stock footage clip of a hot cup of coffee in a modern, boutique coffee shop environment. This wouldn’t be a match for portraying a cup of coffee in a breakfast diner. You want your stock footage choices to accurately match the theme of the business for which you are creating a video.

Brewing Coffee With The Chemex Method by Sanlad.


Give Your Videos More Genuine Appeal

Using authentic-looking business footage in your projects will help keep you up-to-date with current trends, but it also ensures that your customers and clients feel like they’re dealing with a genuine brand. However, it isn’t quite as simple as just filming footage at the business on location. If the acting in the footage is poor, over-performed, or cheesy, it may not set the right tone. Again the key is capturing the “authenticity” of the customer experience. Often, “less is more” when it comes to acting in business videos. I also always recommend remembering the saying “show, don’t tell” when representing a business’s inner workings.

Close Up Footage Of Professional Mechanic Working On A Vehicle In A Car Service by AlpakaStock.


Match Your Brand

If you are searching for business video stock footage, you’ll want to avoid footage that’s too polished and may not match your brand. While plenty of business-themed stock footage shots show state-of-the-art offices and modern techy vibes, that doesn’t mean they will make your video feel authentic. If an entire company is working remotely, showing amazing footage of people in techy office space may not be the best match for your video. Be sure to match the look and feel of the company with the footage. Apply this concept to the footage you shoot yourself at the business or stock footage you use in the video.

Cellphone, Call Center And Telemarketing With A Man, Typing A Message, Ecommerce by Peopleimages.


Authentic Footage is Less Cliché

When most people think of business footage or corporate videos, they most likely think of the following:

  • Close-up of hands shaking in an ambiguous location.
  • Two people dressed in suits, making a deal.
  • A group of people in a meeting nodding their heads.
  • Discussing numbers on the dry-erase board on the wall.
  • Everyone with their hand raised in a teamwork celebration, etc.

We’re not knocking these types of shots! They still have a place and have worked well on many projects. But ask yourself, “Have I seen this before?” Are these types of shots authentic to our brand or customer experience? And even more importantly, ask yourself, “Are these the types of shots that you want representing your business identity?” If you’re shooting something that seems obvious, take a step back and try something different to connect with a business’s current-day customers.

Similarly, if you’re looking for stock footage to use, keep searching past the initial layer of business footage that’s most popular (and most likely more cliché). You can then find footage that reflects what an actual office or company looks like today. When searching for stock footage, I recommend being specific or filtering your search by “newest,” which will likely have a nice pool of clips reflecting current trends.

Woman Using Tablet Computer At Night. Female Graphic Designer Using Tablet… by magnunaStudio.


Filming Authentic Footage is Easier

If you’re the one shooting the business footage, it can be counter-intuitive to the genuine feel of the video if you’re hiring actors and renting offices or sets. A bigger-budget production may make it shinier and fancier, but that doesn’t make it any more authentic. In fact, this is a less accurate way of representing a business. (And it is easy for your customers to recognize this as soon as they visit!) Filming authentic business footage can simplify production, giving you more editing time to polish the project and focusing on things like music, sound design, color grading, branded graphics, etc. Things that keep the authenticity of the business but also give more value to the overall brand. Customers will recognize the crafted feel this gives the video.

Antalya, Turkey – September 13, 2022: People At The Local Traditional Market by DTatiana.

A simple setup in public places or a small crew will help you stay nimble and reflect the “real life” experience more effectively. Authentic doesn’t mean low quality. But filming the subjects, with a deliberate focus on a realistic business experience, can be easier if there aren’t lights, dolly carts, actors, and more production gear amplifying everything. Customers will often freeze up if there is an abundance of crew or camera gear around. Nowadays, you can film great quality video with cameras that look like a standard DSLR. This gives you a much lower profile, allowing for realistic business interactions unhindered by intimidating camera gear or a large crew.



Authentic business videos can often be more about the feel than the look. “Does this video feel like a realistic representation of the business?” This is always a good question to ask yourself when using videos to grow your business. Modern-day customers are savvy and can quickly recognize authentic videos vs. generic staged content. Once you learn to depict more authentic experiences through your work, you’ll add another tool to your filmmaking and storytelling repertoire.