I’ll admit it. When we first added video to our marketing strategy, I had no idea what I was doing. I’m a writer, and I’m a reader, but I’m not really a viewer. People who know me know that I live in somewhat of a bubble – I only got my first TV about a year ago. I don’t really watch videos, and now I was going to help create some. I had to learn fast! Here are seven video script writing tips that helped me start our video marketing campaign.
7 Video Script Writing Tips
1. Establish the purpose of the video
The first thing I do before writing a script is to establish the purpose of the video. I create a brief for every video we produce here at TrackFive. In the brief I outline the purpose of the content, who the audience is, the keyword I’m targeting, and which platform will host it. For example – is it going to be a YouTube video or is it better suited for Facebook. Are we creating the video to promote a social campaign or are we making an instructional piece? Once I know the intent, I can move forward to write the script.
2. Keep it short and catchy
You have something like eight seconds to tell people exactly what your video is about and to hold their attention. That’s not much time, which is why your video script should be short and catchy. The intro should explicitly tell the viewer why they should watch your video. If it doesn’t do that, the rest of the content doesn’t much matter.
3. Write like you speak
This is one I struggled with. When I’m writing, I pay close attention to grammar and punctuation. Yet, sometimes this can sound really stiff when you read it out loud. This is why it’s important to keep your video script as conversational as possible. You want to write it as you would say it. Video viewers are drawn to authentic, personal content. If it sounds too scripted or unnatural, they will drop off and skip to the next video.
4. Consider the visual elements
Writing a scrip goes beyond crafting the right message. Beyond words, you also need to consider where the host is going to stand. What visual elements will contribute to the video, from background, hand motions, to added graphics? Where will the captions fall on the video? Thinking about all of this, along with the message you want to convey, will help both you and the host get the right tone across.
5. Promote your other content when possible
Writing a good script is more than keeping someone’s attention and relaying your message. At the end of the day, it’s about getting people interested in who you are and what else you have to offer. Therefore, when you’re writing a script, consider creative ways to plug your other videos, blog content, or services that you offer.
6. Don’t forget to read it out loud and get feedback
Ok so this can be awkward – especially when you work in an open office. You should read all of your scripts out loud. If you can’t do that in your work environment, sneak somewhere quiet so that you can. Trust me – it helps. You’ll be surprised how much of the wording you decide to change once you hear it instead of reading it.
7. Accept that you still might have to make changes during filming
Alright so… this was probably the hardest thing for me. I have the script ready, the video mapped out, and we’re starting to film. We get into it, and the host keeps screwing up the lines. In fact, they are tripping up over the same line every single time. Now you’re looking at it and you’re like, yes, that’s awkward. Why didn’t I catch that before?? Well, keep in mind that just because you wrote the script the way you speak, this isn’t necessarily the way your host speaks. You may need to adjust the script as you go. If it’s possible, have your host read the script out loud before you start filming.
Do you have any additional video script writing tips? Drop them in the comments below!