Sep 7, 2021

How to Write a Video Script

It's no secret that over the past decade, video has continually risen as the preferred choice for marketers to deliver their message. The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the popularity of the medium, especially among millennials and Gen-Z populations. The flip side of rising popularity is a rise in competition. Your videos need to engage your audience to cut through the noise. And it all begins with the video script.

Preparing the Groundwork for an Engaging Video Script

Before you even begin to write a video script, it is critical that you answer the following questions:

1) Who Is This Video For?

In other words, define your target audience. Create user personas to understand the shared values of your target audience, their challenges, internet habits, and so forth. You can use the following template to build user personas:

  • Demographics: Age, job roles, monthly or yearly spend, geographical location, etc.
  • Pain Points and Challenges: What are their common challenges that you are aiming to solve? For example, in enterprises, a steep learning curve for new hires could be a challenge you aim to solve with onboarding videos.
  • Language: What sort of tone does your audience use in their everyday speak? Are there any particular words or phrases that are specific to the demographic? Younger populations, on average, find a light, funny tone more engaging. Conversely, people in senior job roles might respond better to a more professional tone.
  • Internet Habits: How much time does your audience spend online? What percentage of that time do they spend watching videos, and what kind of content do they consume regularly? And what is their average attention span?
  • Cultural Idiosyncrasies: Are there any cultural idiosyncrasies you can take advantage of in your video to really connect with the viewers you want to reach?

2) What is the Purpose?

Why are you making the video? With training videos, for instance, the most likely goal is to educate your viewers. With marketing videos, the goals can differ depending on the marketing funnel. Some common marketing goals are brand awareness, building authority, gain subscribers, download your app, or visit your website.

Related Reading: How to Use Video to Drive Sales to Your Company

3) How Do You Want Your Audience to Feel?

Good storytelling leaves a strong emotional impact on the audience. What emotions do you want to convey with your video campaign? For instance, new hires can feel intimidated or out of place on their first day. A light onboarding video might help soothe their nerves. Similarly, if you are a nonprofit organization that is trying to get people to join your cause, you, likely, would want them to build hope and overcome despair. The emotions you want to convey should complement your brand's overall tone too. Dollar Shave Club's video campaign is a good example of this.

Getting Down to Writing your Video Script

The groundwork will act as the brief for your video script. Once you have the brief, start writing an outline. Focus on the following to make the task easier:

1) Open with a Bang

Internet audiences, on average, have an attention span of 8 seconds. So you need to capture your audience's interest right away. Here are a few tactics that usually work:

  • Introduce the narrator and what the audience will get out of the video — this works especially well for educational content.
  • Start with an interesting fact that's related to the content.
  • Ask a question that's related to one of the pain points you identified in the groundwork.

2) Think Visually

A script acts as a set of directions for the production team. In that sense, writing a video script differs from writing a blog. For each section of the script, write corresponding visuals, audio cues, and text call-outs that will appear on screen.

3) Be Conversational

Address your viewers directly by writing in the second-person point of view (you), and don't be overly formal. For example, "We're gonna..." sounds more natural than "We are going to..." You want the viewers to connect with the narrator, and using colloquial phrasing helps. Read the lines out loud to see how natural the language sounds.

4) Size Matters

It's a well-known best practice to keep the length of online videos as short as possible. However, that's only telling half the story. Several factors go into deciding the optimum length of your videos. These include:

Note: In general, one page written in proper script format equals approximately 1 minute of edited, finalized video.

Related Reading: Top Video Trends 2021

5) Include On-Screen Text

Increasingly, users are watching online videos without sound. Captions are an obvious way to accommodate this growing section of viewers. As a scriptwriter, you can use text cues for important sections of your video to keep the audience engaged.

How Viostream Can Help

Your video marketing campaigns can tell you a lot about your audience, which can help you develop scripts to better engage your audience. At Viostream, we help marketers, enterprises, and even governments master the art of video marketing. Our strong analytics suite, coupled with publishing and storage capabilities, helps enterprises unlock the full potential of video for the internet in the 21st century. Start your free trial today.

Brendan Sas
Brendan Sas is a digital designer and creator based in Sydney, Australia.
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