Elements of a Successful Video Script
Video content, whether for marketing or for outreach, isn’t just a trend anymore. It should be an integral part of your communications strategy. Videos can build emotional connections while delivering complex information in a fashion that is easier to digest than a dense page of text.
However, not all videos make an impact. No matter how compelling your photographs or images may be, an excellent video must start with a compelling script. When creating your video script, start with a clear goal, an interesting storyline, and an ear for sound.
A Tight Focus on Your Goal
The most effective videos are two to three minutes long. Just like online content must be concise, video content must appeal to the same short attention span. Given this time constraint, your video must have a specific goal and a tight purpose. The value of the video should be immediately clear. Videos that are slow to get underway may be high-quality videos, but they risk lower viewership. Here are a few basic video types to help you clarify your goals:
- Explainer videos. Do you need to educate your audience about a new or difficult concept? Are you offering educational content that establishes you as a thought leader? Or do you just need an introduction to your company? Look for an interesting angle to explain information.
- Testimonial videos. Real people talking about their experiences with your company can build trust, credibility, and emotional connections. At the same time, “talking head” videos risk losing viewer attention quickly. Find a way to combine the personal connection of a testimonial with additional visuals that provide viewing interest.
- Demonstration videos. Do you have a new product or a new feature? Walk your viewers through it using the same UX approach you would apply to your website to ensure your customers’ questions and needs are met.
A Crisp Story
Once you have established your goal, focus on the story that your video will tell. Storytelling isn’t just for fiction; it’s a popular concept in the world of content marketing and communications. While it might seem hard to apply storytelling to your professional video at first, all good stories have a beginning, an obstacle to overcome, and a conclusion. Here’s a sample arc:
- Introduce the problem. What problems are your viewers or potential customers facing?
- Talk about your solution. How does your company or product solve those problems?
- Make a call to action. What should your viewers do next? This can be as complex as “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Sign up for a webinar.” Or it can be as simple as “Contact us.”
A Script Written for the Ear
Writing for the spoken voice, and the ear, is different than writing other genres of online content. Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Use a more conversational, informal approach. What looks good as written content can sound formal and stilted when read aloud.
- Write to your audience. At the same time, your tone and your word choice must be targeted for your audience. Will they appreciate technical detail or a high-level overview? Is humor appropriate?
- Use short, concise sentences. Complex sentences and an overabundance of jargon make it easy for your point to get lost in translation.
- Read it yourself. Read it aloud to yourself, or have someone read it to you. Do this not only to see how easy it is to hear and read but also to determine how long it takes. There are several online timers that can help you keep your script within your time limit.
Voice-over, visuals, and music will complete your video package, but it all has to start with a strong script. If you haven’t created a video before, video professionals can help you brainstorm your goals and story ideas into a well-written script and put it together with effective images and music to set the tone and deliver your message.