Scriptwriting isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of people; there’s a way to do it and there’s a way not to do it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words“, but did you know that, according to Forrester Research, “a 60 second video is worth 1.8 million words“?
Of course, the content of your script is crucial to deliver your core message to your target audience; but just as important is it’s structure and how it’s put together.
Here are our top tips when writing your next video script:
1. Don’t start with a blank sheet of paper
Staring at a blank sheet of paper can be a bit daunting! Using a scripting template allows you to structure your video script, as well as note down ideas for the visuals and any on-screen text that needs to be included.
2. ‘Hook’ your viewer in the first 8 seconds
With the average human attention span of around 8 seconds, it’s crucial that you give your viewer a reason to continue watching the rest of your video within the first 8 seconds.
Don’t waste these precious seconds showing your brand logo. By all means include your logo, but only when you’ve given your viewer a reason to stay and watch your video.
3. Say your ‘Target Keyword’ within the first 7-9 seconds
If you want your video to help with your search engine rankings (let’s face it, who doesn’t!) one great little tip is to say your target keyword within the first 7-9 seconds of your video.
This will massively help with your SEO (search engine optimisation) and confirm to the viewer that this is the video they need to watch.
Not sure what a ‘target keyword’ is? Here’s an example…
Let’s say you run an online store selling shoes and you want to create a video to promote a new line of ladies shoes you’ve just got in. The keyword you want to target could be “ladies shoes”. So your script could read something along the lines of:
“Hey guys, chances are you’re here because your looking for your next pair of ladies shoes that will…”
This technique is particularly beneficial when producing YouTube and product videos for your business.
4. Keep it as “short and sweet” as possible
Believe it or not, you can actually deliver a lot of content within a 60-90 second video. And if you keep your videos to this sort of duration, you’ll enjoy far higher conversions than if you produce 5-10 minute videos.
If you’re producing a promotional video for the home page of your website, for example and your ‘call-to-action’ is for the viewer to sign up for a free trial of your software or service.
If your video is 5 minutes long, there will be a high percentage of people who won’t watch right to the bitter end!
So the trick is to keep your video short, sweet and succinct; this way you’ll see a far higher number of viewers watch the whole of your video, including your call-to-action.
5. Stay on-topic
It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of videos out there that just “waffle” and go off on tangents.
Your viewers have taken the time to come and watch your video, so make sure that you deliver what they’re looking for. Don’t start talking generally about what you can do for them; stay focused on the main subject of your video – your viewers will thank you for it!
6. Don’t sell
Presented in the right way, your product or service will sell itself. Everywhere we go these days, we are being sold; in the supermarket, in shopping centres and on the internet.
Don’t try and ‘sell’ your product or service, as this will put people’s guard up and they will most likely stop watching your video. Instead, just softly recommend the product or service, explaining that you have the solution they’ve been looking for.
7. Focus on benefits NOT features
Benefits and Features are two very different things…
Benefits (when it comes to your product or service) are things that will help your customer to complete the task or problem they are trying to accomplish. You could also class benefits as ‘results’ and focused solely on your customers thought process of “what’s in it for me?”
Here are some examples of benefits:
– “Generate leads, close deals & manage your pipeline with the Hubspot Growth Stack” (Hubspot)
– “Behavior analytics for driving growth” (Kissmetrics)
– “What’s making your visitors leave? Find out by seeing how users click and scroll through your website” (Crazy Egg)
Features, on the other hand, are details about a particular product or service. Here are some examples of features:
– “Batteries included”
– “Open 24 hours”
– “Free 30 day course”
So how do you apply this into your videos?
The best way is to think in terms of the results that your customers will have if they use your product or service. So taking the example features above:
– “Batteries included” – customer might think, “Great, I haven’t got to scramble around the house looking for batteries!)
– “Open 24 hours” – customer might think, “That’s perfect if I need to go and pick up some tablets during the night for my poorly child”
– “Free 30 day course” – customer might think, “That’s great that I don’t have to pay anything but can learn how to do
I hope this post has been useful to you and that you’ve now got a much clearer idea on how to write your next video script.
It’s important that you don’t rush the scriptwriting process; take as much time as you need to get it right and always get feedback from friends and colleagues; you’ll find that you get so absorbed in it that you won’t notice little mistakes or how you can say something in a simpler, more effective way.
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