We hear so much about the power of video, but if you are not making the most of video marketing, you are potentially selling your business and/or your services incredibly short.
Video has been proven time and again to be the most important marketing tool to gain an audience’s attention.
With 91% of businesses using video as a marketing tool, the minority should find some way to incorporate video into their marketing strategy.
But where do we begin?
A great piece of music, a great movie, and, indeed, a great online video comes from one simple thing: a script.
A great script will ensure you lay the foundations for an amazing video that promotes your business.
Let’s show you how to do this.
A video script serves as a roadmap for the production process, providing a detailed outline of the scenes, actions, and dialogue that will appear in the video.
A well-crafted script can help ensure your video effectively communicates your message and gets your audience’s attention.
By creating a clear and concise script, you can bring your video concept to life and produce a high-quality end product that meets your goals.
Everybody has the potential to create a great video, but many people underestimate the bigger picture, specifically the individual components of a video.
Whether you’re looking to create a short explainer video or something with higher production values, you will need to consider what a video consists of behind the scenes:
Depending on your video’s scope, you may require all or some of these elements, but it all begins with the script.
It is a template that ensures everyone is prepared, from the presenter that needs to know what questions to ask or say to the production elements that emphasize the product, or the post production elements like editing or sound effects, they all come from a script.
The video script writing process is not necessarily a cut-and-dry approach, but it benefits to have a template in mind.
A standard script for a movie or television show looks like this:
The script shows the location, the characters in the scene, what they are saying, and what they are doing, rather than a typical video script for marketing materials, which break down different elements, including what the audience sees and hears.
It can take the form of a number of different templates and these include:
A two-column template, which maps out the audio and visual elements of the script:
When writing video scripts, you can add as many boxes as necessary to cover every individual shot in the video.
There are also variations on the theme, such as this Google Docs five-column video script template, and a single-column script.
A single-column script is similar to a typical movie script, but is more likely to be dialogue heavy and incorporate visuals:
You may have a number of ideas to get started with your script but a free video script template can help provide an “anchor” for the script.
So you can flesh out the content, whether in terms of voiceover, commentary, visual elements like infographics or animation, and can also help you figure out what you’re missing before you start filming.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, said Benjamin Franklin, and although he’s not widely known for his YouTube videos, the lesson is essential nonetheless; you need a basic idea of what you want to create, and then you can start to flesh out the idea by understanding who you are writing for.
When you understand your target audience, you can:
There are different video types you could use, which include:
The great thing about having a finely tuned script that covers every single permutation ensures if you have any problems, you can make changes or start again.
It’s much harder to make changes after the event, which can incur further costs.
Even if you don’t know where to begin, here is a very simple formula for an explainer video script that can get you started:
It’s a very good place to start because you will have more viewers during the first 10% of your video’s runtime, so you’ve got to hook them in.
Those first few lines must introduce the narrator or main character and what your audience is going to learn by the very end.
You should also bear in mind people’s viewing habits, as many people don’t watch videos with the sound on so people will need to know what your video is about based on compelling images or an inspiring title card to hook the viewers in.
If you are trying to hook someone in you’ve got to keep it short, which means having a short script, and you should keep it to less than two pages.
One page is the optimum length, and be sure to write in short paragraphs, as this makes it easier to understand the script’s timing.
Reading it at an average pace should cover approximately two words per second, so if you are using a teleprompter or want the presenter or performer to say the script word-for-word, those paragraphs need to be, at most, three or four sentences.
One of the biggest mistakes we can all make when we start writing videos is being too caught up in the wording or the dialogue, in other words, making it a blog post with pictures.
A great video script is all in the imagery.
When you are writing your script, keep the visual components in mind, whether it’s a YouTube video or an explainer video.
Picturing what you want to achieve will help you to trim the fat, and using the following can help make your video stand out:
These can help make your dialogue easier to understand or remember, and can include the following:
As tempting as it is to add visuals for the sake of it, always ask yourself how each image adds value.
This movie term refers to the secondary shots that occur while a narrator or person is speaking off screen, and can make you more distinctive than a standard vlog.
The video above makes fine use of the B roll during the first 10 seconds, uses eye-catching graphics, and makes full use of subtitles so the audience knows what’s going on without the sound on.
You’ve poured your heart and soul into your script, so now what?
The process is not over just yet. Here are a few things to ensure that you can tighten up your script and make it ready for the set:
There is a big difference between writing something where we have agonized over every word and how it sounds coming out of someone’s mouth.
The first draft is the perfect opportunity to explore and make these mistakes, so when you start writing a video script, allow yourself the luxury of exploring the page, listing all your ideas, and letting your imagination wander.
Ernest Hemingway said, “the only kind of writing is rewriting,” so don’t pressure yourself to make it perfect.
Even further into the process, you can do a table read or a verbal runthrough off-camera so you can shorten sentences, remove unnecessary words, and make sure it is making a real impact.
There’s no point being protective over your words, especially if they don’t sound right on-screen.
Repurposing content is common sense for anyone looking to work smarter rather than harder. It can help you:
Take a look at the following video:
All of the information from the video is simultaneously covered in this blog post, but with more information, rather than just the video script being the blog.
We can spend so much time attempting to fine tune things to make the grammar perfect and agonize over every word, but the most important element of all is the heart.
As long as it aligns with the brand, uses comfortable language, and feels familiar, this should be the best way to remain true to the message.
The best approach here is to get a second opinion, and see if it does feel like it slots in with your brand.
A great video script is a template, and there can be a lot to consider at the initial stages.
While a lot of writers are cutting down the process by using AI tools like our YouTube title generator and video script creator, ensuring you write a great script for a video is also about retaining that human element.
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