What You Need To Know About Video Scripting
Creating a video for your brand, solo enterprise or blog is a rewarding process, and not just in terms of sales and engagement. It can also provide you with some valuable introspection for your business, helping fleshout who you are, and where you’re going as a business.
But as exciting and rewarding as creating a video for your business can be, it’s important that you plan ahead to avoid going in half-cocked.Taking the time to craft a considered script helps guide you throughout the process. To help you with this, let’s run through exactly what you need to know when you’re scripting your video.
Be clear about your video’s purpose
Before you do anything else, you must first consider what the end goal of your video is. This will help inform everything you do when you’re writing your script, from the language you use to its overall narrative.
Some typical examples of video formats include:
- Explainers: these help educate your audience on your product or service, or even on a topic related to your niche.
- Corporate: corporate videos are typically used to outline your company culture or working practices, although they can also be used for internal training purposes as well.
- Transactional: for some businesses, many of your videos will be transactional, aimed at compelling the viewer to take an action such as making a purchase or signing up for an email newsletter.
While it might be tempting to reach for the stars and assert that your video will do anything and everything, this isn’t a good idea. Biting off more than you can chew will hinder your video’s efficacy rather than help.
Pick a single goal that suits your most urgent needs and stick to it — there is always time to create another video further down the line.
Consider your tone of voice
It’s easy to forget when you’re scripting a video that, ultimately, you’re not writing for yourself — you’re writing for your audience. Consequently, you need to bear them in mind with every word you write. A video script that might work perfectly for one audience might fall on stony ground for another.
To that end, consider what kind of language you use when you’re scripting. For example, video aimed at a millennial B2C audience should use colloquialisms and references that they will understand and use themselves.
You should also avoid using heavy jargon or esoteric industry buzzwords that only a minority would know. Of course, this depends on the type of video you’re making and your audience, but as a rule of thumb it pays to be plain spoken.
This issue is particularly present in niche industries such as electronics and gadgets. These are markets that often prove impregnable for the layman. But by using simple language that customers understand, you can provide value to your audience by helping them understand complex concepts.
Indeed, many electronics stores have value not because of their inventory, but because their videos explain complicated technical aspects in digestible terms that anyone can understand. By using comprehensible language, you can blow your target market wide open to a whole new consumer base.
But it’s easy to get ‘copy blindness’ when you’re writing a script. You’re sitting in front of a screen for hours on end reading the same words over and over — it’s easy to miss jargon or complex sentences.
A useful tool for remedying this is the HemingwayApp. By running your copy through the editor, you can quickly identify meandering or complicated syntax. It also provides the readability level of your text, particularly handy when you’re writing for a more general audience.
Develop a coherent narrative arc
Video works best when it follows a clear story arc: a beginning, a middle, and an end. By providing a coherent narrative in your video, your audience will be able to engage with your message and stay hooked till the very end.
Perhaps the most important aspect is the beginning, your hook that keeps your viewers watching. Our attention spans are notoriously short, so you need to ensure your first few opening seconds pack a punch. Ask a rhetorical question that makes your audience stop in their tracks, or deliver a shocking fact that makes them want to know more.
By the end of your video, you need to have delivered on that hook. Whether you’ve answered a question or you’ve delivered a solution, your viewer’s needs or desires should be sated by the end — but not completely so.
Always include a strong call-to-action that compels your viewer to take a desired action, an action that they’ve been primed to take by your video.
Write in language that flows naturally
When you’re writing a video script, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sticking to closely to a professional tone. Putting words to paper often leads us to write in a stuffy, formal tone.
But remember, your words will bespoken aloud, and audiences will generally respond better to a tone that is conversational in nature.
To that end, use contractions wherever possible to avoid a robotic, clinical tone. This will help your script flow as naturally a conversation between two friends does, increasing audience engagement with your message.
Similarly, use natural language that lends itself to conversation. As mentioned above, uncommon words or phrases and jargon will alienate audiences.
Pay attention to running time
It’s also worth considering the overall length of your video. You’re not creating a blockbuster epic, you’re creating a short, snappy video that will keep audiences hooked.
But with such a variety of video formats available, as well as a diverse array of video sharing platforms to match, it can be tricky finding the perfect sweet spot for yours. As a general rule, less is more. But for a more comprehensive breakdown of the perfect video length, it pays to do your research and see how others are performing.
As video increases in popularity, it will become a vital part of any marketing strategy, no matter how big your business. So when you’re writing your script, use the tips above to create one that shines.