Video is not going anywhere, anytime soon. If anything, it’s only going to get bigger and better by the day. In the sea of written content, brands are turning to videos to communicate with their audience and stand out.
What’s more, with 89% of marketers saying that video gives them a good return on their investment, it is safe to say that video is an impactful storytelling format – when done well.
Now, creating a video is not as straightforward as writing a blog post. Video creation needs proper planning, a compelling story, interesting visuals, the right music, and most of all, a powerful script.
The script is the heart of your video – if that fails, your video fails.
So, before you start stressing about the video editor and production, let’s first focus on crafting a well-written script that attracts and engages viewers.
How to Write a Video Marketing Script
We’ve all come across videos that had us invested and evoked emotions. If there’s one thing that’s common in all those videos, it’s the writing.
Writing a video script is a very different process from writing an article, case study or eBook. While there is no success formula, here are nine essential tips that will help you write that perfect script for your marketing or brand video.
1. Decide the Purpose of the Video
It’s a well-known fact that when you do something with a clear purpose or goal in mind, you’re likely to do a better job at it – the same holds true for creating videos.
The first step is to decide the purpose of the video. From creating awareness and educating readers to build trust and generating sales – video marketing can help you achieve a wide range of goals.
The question is – what’s yours? Consider asking yourself the following questions to identify the goal of your video-
- Who is your audience?
- What stage of the sales funnel is the video being used for?
- What emotions do you want to evoke?
- What do you want the viewers to take away from it?
- Is there any action you want people to take after watching the video?
- Why should people watch this video?
- Do you want to drive engagement or meet business goals such as generating leads or sales?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you define a specific goal/purpose which forms the foundation of an effective video marketing strategy.
2. Determine the Type of Video
Decided on the goal? Now, you can determine the type of video you want to create. Each type demands a different approach in terms of scripting, editing, production, and treatment.
Let’s take a look at the five main types of marketing videos.
a. Brand Videos
Brand videos are about telling viewers what your company is about while giving them an insight into your mission, values and company culture. The idea behind such videos is to create awareness and reach as many people.
b. Explainer Videos
Explainer videos are 30 to 90-second videos meant to explain a concept, product, solution or phenomenon in a quick and digestible manner. These videos are typically created to build trust and authority.
c. Product Demo Videos
Product demo videos are used to specifically demonstrate how a product works. These are tutorial and instructional in nature, meant to educate viewers on how to use a product and showcase its features and benefits.
d. Customer Testimonials
One of the most effective ways to showcase social proof and influencer purchase decisions is to have your satisfied customers speak about their positive experience with your brand in the form of video testimonials. This is a powerful way to build credibility.
e. Live Videos
Live videos are all about giving your audience a peek into what goes behind the scenes. They are meant to not be perfect and help build an authentic relationship with viewers. Apart from being highly engaging, live videos are also very cost-effective.
3. Create an Outline and Storyboard
Similar to writing any other piece of content, writing a video script should also begin with creating a detailed outline.
Having an outline gives the script direction, ensures a logical flow of events and helps you stay on track. This exercise also helps you organize your thoughts and ideas.
Start by making a list of points you want to cover in the video. Once you have that laid out, arrange it to establish a logical and natural flow of events.
When you’re creating a video, outlining is not enough. It’s also very important to put together a storyboard before you go on to write the script.
A storyboard consists of text and visuals which help you envision the video which is a crucial part of the planning process.
You can choose to use storyboarding tools or sketch it out on paper. What’s important is annotating every scene and including details such as directional notes, cuts, and dialogues/points.
4. Start with an Enticing Hook
Given the depleting attention spans, if you manage to grab the viewer’s attention and hook them within the first few seconds of your video, you can consider half the battle won.
According to the YouTube Creator Playbook, the first 15 seconds of your video is critical. They need to be compelling or entertaining enough to get your viewers to want to watch the rest of the video.
From starting with a shocking fact and asking a rhetorical question to sharing an anecdote or making a joke – there are various hooks you can use to engage the viewer.
So, brainstorm and think of hooks that are in line with the message you’re trying to convey.
5. Keep it Conversational
The last thing people want to watch is a complicated video filled with jargon. You don’t want to confuse the viewer and have them stop watching midway through it.
The best videos are those that are conversational and are written the way people speak. That’s what makes them easy to understand, watch and digest.
So, stick to a conversational tone by using short sentences and simple words. Try to infuse humor wherever relevant, ask questions and make it more of a two-way conversation. This approach will make your video more relatable, letting you engage viewers and strike a connection with them.
6. End with a Powerful Call-to-Action
The way your video ends is as important as the way it starts because it determines the impact your video has on the viewers. Moreover, whether you like it or not – people are most probably going to remember your video by the way it ended.
So, make sure it ends on a powerful note.
From driving traffic to a specific page and getting people to attend an event to collecting emails and purchasing a product – every video needs to end with a call-to-action (CTA) that should be in line with the purpose of creating that video.
Inserting a CTA is useful because exactly tells the viewers what’s expected of them which is an effective way to meet your business goals.
It’s important to use relevant, action-oriented verbs such as click, sign up, join, download, buy and register, among others. If it’s a time-bound offer, do remember to mention that and create a sense of urgency.
While you can place the CTA at the beginning, middle or towards the end of the video, placing it at the end attracts clicks by people who were truly invested in the video.
7. Make it Short and Crisp
There has always been confusion surrounding the ideal length of videos.
Firstly, the length of the video depends on a number of factors such as the medium/channel it’s being posted on, the objective behind the video and the type of video being created.
For instance, an explainer video is generally 30 to 90 seconds long but a demo video can go up till 5 minutes. Similarly, an Instagram video is expected to be around 30 seconds long but a video being sent as an email can be 45 to 60 seconds long.
Generally when it comes to videos, the shorter, the better. As per a study done by Wistia, videos up to 2 minutes get tons of engagement.
Hence, it’s always advisable to keep your marketing videos short, crisp and come straight to the point to avoid losing viewers. If there are elements you can show, it’s better to demonstrate them through visuals rather than spelling it out in the script.
However, always remember that quality precedes everything else. There’s nothing more important than telling a compelling and engaging story through the video.
8. Be Mindful of the Pace
Imagine watching a video that’s just rushing by. So much that by the end of it, you realize you’ve understood nothing.
Such videos are a product of poor writing and editing.
While crafting the script, pay special attention to the pace – is too fast? Is it too slow? Is it in line with the corresponding visuals on the frame?
It’s important to perfect the pace, pause at the right places and allow the audience to absorb the message you’re trying to convey.
So, when you’re sitting down to edit with a free video editing software or online video editor, be mindful of the pace.
9. Read the Script Out Loud
There are instances when the way you write something and the way it sounds is extremely different. You realize the lines don’t manage to encapsulate the essence you were aiming for when you wrote them.
Due to this, it’s vital to read the script out loud once you’re done writing. Read it out at a moderate pace and ensure it flows smoothly and appears cohesive. This is your final quality check – so read the script out loud a couple of times, edit it and remove the redundant and repetitive parts.
It’s also a good idea to have a third person read the video script and get their feedback/perspective in case you overlooked any aspects.
Completing the video script is like half the work done. Once you have a script ready, you are ready to move on to the next stage which is the actual creation of the video using an online video editor such as InVideo.
So go ahead, bring your script to life and make a long-lasting impact with a compelling video.