Top Tips for Writing Video Scripts
Video content is a very popular format for both providing and obtaining information as well as entertainment. According to Wyzowl, the number of businesses using video as a marketing tool has increased to 87%. With virtually everyone doing it, crafting original and engaging video content is not easy. One of the important aspects of good videos are the video scripts which provide information and help drive conversions. As a top digital agency, we wanted to share our Top Tips for Writing Video Scripts to help in crafting strong video marketing campaigns.
At the end of the day, even the best video content is driven by the quality of the efforts placed in the scriptwriting phase of the project.
Top Tips for Writing Video Scripts
Scriptwriting for marketing campaigns is different than scriptwriting for purely entertainment purposes. While there are some obvious similarities, the primary difference is the purpose or goal of the finished product. At the end of the day, the marketing script needs to spur action from the viewer whether that be to sign up for additional information, buy a product, etc. That is an important thing to remember when writing video scripts.
- Clearly define the target – In marketing, the one-size-fits-all concept is a recipe for creating an overly broad content piece. The marketplace is simply too vast to not create focused content that will resonate with a specific audience. Yes, every once and awhile there will be video content that has that unique ability for appealing to a huge audience, but those are few and far between. Rather than swinging for the fences, the smarter approach is to identify the target viewer and focus on them. Racking up hit after hit can score runs consistently without so many strikeouts. The target viewer should be a match for the buyer persona for that specific product or service. By clearly defining the demographics, interests, behaviors, goals, and pain points of the target, it is much easier to craft a focused script that speaks to their problems or needs and engages and interests them.
- Use a logical structure – It isn’t just what information you share, but also how you share it that matters. The best rule of thumb is to start broad and then narrow the focus, getting more specific or complex as the video progresses. That way a clear foundation that the majority of the target audience will understand is provided first. Once the basics are established it is easier to take a deeper dive with everyone being in a position to follow along.
- Keep paragraphs short – Paragraphs should always be short for a script. Use the Rule of 5 in that five sentences are the maximum amount for each paragraph. This is very important for the shooting process as the speakers either must memorize each section or use a teleprompter (or a similar device for lines). Using bite-sized paragraphs makes the process easier for everyone. It also is easier for re-shoots and editing.
- Write as you would speak – Writing something that will be read is a bit different than writing something which will be said. This is a similar concept for when comparing voice search versus people typing in a search string. It is important to remember this difference when writing video scripts to avoid writing something that sounds odd or unnatural when spoken aloud. The easiest way to accomplish this is by reading back every paragraph out loud a few times to ensure it sounds natural and is also easy to understand. Along with the previous tip about keeping paragraphs brief, avoid using long words or phrases and complex ideas.
- Incorporate visual aids into the script – When writing content, we often include images or graphics to add depth. They can provide additional information and help clarify subjects. These visual aids are useful for breaking up blocks of text along with providing visual learning. According to a study by the Social Science Research Network, a whopping 65 percent of us are visual learners. While video content is in itself inherently visual, a person standing there speaking is purely audio. That is why the script should be written with the intent of using visual aids such as graphics, whiteboard demonstrations, or animations. It is much easier to plan on using visual aids during the writing phase, rather than attempting to add them in during post-production to make a video more interesting and engaging.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that video content is a powerful vehicle for digital marketing success. However, that success is going to be directly related to the effectiveness of the video scripts used in that content. Our top tips for writing video scripts can help anyone craft a better script, which serves as the foundation for entertaining and informative video content.
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