Writing a video script to get the message out about your brand can be a time-consuming and challenging task, especially if it’s something you don’t have much experience with. Your script will need to be engaging, dynamic, and relatable to your audience if you want to capture their attention and get your message across. At the same time, writing a script for a video can be much different than writing a blog post, social media post, or other online content. Fortunately, there are some simple yet practical tips you can follow to increase your chances for success.
Take Time for Audience Research
Don’t even think about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) on your video script until you’ve taken time to carefully define, research, and understand your intended audience. If you’ve already done marketing research for other content, this will come in handy here. Ideally, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of your audience’s general age range and interests so you can craft content that’s meaningful to them. As you prepare to draft your script, try to envision yourself in your audience’s shoes and take breaks throughout the process to read over what you’ve written in the content of your audience.
Define Your Purpose and End Goals
As with any marketing content, you’ll also need to have a clear understanding of your purpose and goals for creating this video. Consider, for example, what you’d like your viewers/audience to take out of your video. What kind of message are you trying to get across? Perhaps you simply want your audience to be aware of your company’s services or products, or maybe you want to make them aware of an upcoming event. As you write, always keep your purpose and ideal outcomes in mind, and try to make sure that the content you’re writing is actually providing value to your audience.
Tell a Compelling Story
A successful video script will tell a compelling story that your audience will want to follow through to the end. However, crafting a story or narrative with a video script can be easier said than done. Generally, the best way to get started is to create a rough outline that will help guide you through your writing. By outlining what you anticipate to be the beginning, middle, and end of your script, it becomes easier to “fill in the blanks” and get the ball rolling. Of course, everybody’s writing process is unique, so do what works for you!
Whatever you do, make sure that the very beginning of your script contains some kind of attention-grabbing statement that will draw viewers into watching the rest of your video. This could be anything from an engaging quote, an anecdote, or a shocking statistic.
Get to the Point
One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when writing video scripts is rambling on or including information that’s not entirely relevant. This can cause your viewers to become bored or even confused, making them less likely to watch your video all the way through. With this in mind, make sure that you get to the “meat” of your message within the first 30 seconds to one minute of your video (depending on its ultimate length). Furthermore, before you write your first draft of a script, make an effort to come up with a brief “elevator speech,” which is essentially a two- to three-sentence summary of what your video is about.
If it takes you more than a few sentences to explain, you’re probably trying to cover too much in your script and need to pare things down.
Encourage Action From Viewers
Any successful video script should end with a compelling call-to-action that encourages your viewers to go out and do something. This should tie in with the original purpose or outcome of your script that you outlined before you began. For example, if one of your goals of creating a video is to get people to buy your products or hire you for your services, your script should end by referring viewers to your website/online store or encouraging them to contact you. On the other hand, if you’re wanting to increase brand awareness with your video, you might also consider asking viewers to “share” the video to their social media pages so others can see it as well.
Don’t Overlook the Visuals
Ultimately, your video script is going to be recorded and placed over your actual video, so be sure to consider the types of images and visuals that you imagine being paired up with your script. As ideas come to you, be sure to note them in the margins of your script or elsewhere—and remember that your visuals and any accompanying music are just as important as the script itself.
Be Prepared to Cut Content
If you thought you’d write a script, record it, and be done…think again! Successful script writing (or any writing, for that matter) will involve a great deal of revising, parsing out, and cutting of content to ultimately achieve the best results. When you’re done with your first draft, then, take some time to read it out loud. This will help you catch any obvious grammatical errors and will give you a better idea of how natural the script sounds when read aloud. Remember, you’ll want your content to sound as conversational as possible; otherwise, your viewers will be able to sense that it’s being read from a script and will associate that with being disingenuous or inauthentic.
Be sure to time your reading of the script and make sure that you’re allowing plenty of time for necessary pauses. While you may be able to get through your script in two minutes by reading non-stop, you’ll need to make sure you’re not reading too quickly for your viewers to follow or that the video is too fast-paced. More than likely, this means you’re going to need to cut out some content here and there so that you’re left only with the most relevant information.
Ask for Feedback (And Follow It)
Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback and take it seriously! If you can gather a small focus group that consists of actual members of your target audience, their honest feedback is golden and will help you take your script to new levels.
Script writing for a brand isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but these tips will help you improve your writing. Of course, if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, consider getting help from an experienced and professional video production company!