Scriptwriting is one of the most important steps of the video production process. It is also the step that we find companies struggle with the most.
While many adults have been schooled in writing, script writing is a different skill altogether. Poor script writing can make videos appear awkward, tedious, or unnatural. You can have the best lighting, graphics, and talent in the world, but if the script is not up to par, your video will underperform.
Now the good news. Video script writing is not hard once you understand some basic tenets and get some practice. Here are three simple steps to make your scripts irresistible.
1. Your script should appeal to a target audience.
A stand-out video script starts with the question, “Who am I speaking to and why?”
Be specific when you answer this question. Who are you reaching out to? It’s time to become an expert demographer. Consider your audiences’ sex, age, education, location, marital status, hobbies, and whatever information would create a complete picture of the people you are trying to reach. This information will help you craft an effective tone for your script and inform your language, social norms, and humor.
Next, dig deeper into the information your audience seeks. What do they already know and what do they want to know? This thinking will help you craft dialog that is relevant and direct.
Also, consider where you plan to promote this video and the audience on that platform. A video created for a conference or for your website will differ from one created for social media. Also, within social media, the audience on LinkedIn will differ greatly from that on Facebook or YouTube.
2. Your script should solve a problem.
Part of the challenge of writing a stellar video script is deciding the structure of the content. Begin by answering the question, “What is the problem being solved?”
Once you have defined what customer problem you want to address, leverage the first part of the video to remind your audience of the problem you will solve.
Boom! Now you have a starting point for the rest of the script. The rest of the script speaks to the audiences’ pain point and then introduces the solution that alleviates their pain.
But remember to focus on the benefits, not the features. Features describe attributes about a product or service. Benefits show a user how the solution will make their life better. For instance, a feature of your software platform may be an integration function. The benefit is that it saves the customer time and frustration of manual integration.
3. Your script needs a core message.
The final way to WOW your audience is to define your core message. What core message do you want to communicate?
This step may require a brainstorming session with key stakeholders. Often people have a sense of what they want to convey in their video marketing such as “grow brand awareness” or “promote our company culture.” These ideas are too broad. The core message is more granular and will require a deeper dive. Consider using a series of “so what?” questions to work backwards. This process will provide insight into your customers’ perspective and help you identify why your service or product, or culture is valuable.
Also, when supporting your message, aim to have no more than three supporting points. Research has shown that people have a special affinity for remembering three points when processing information. This rule applies to all kinds of content from speaking to storytelling, to literature, slogans and marketing. If you find yourself wanting to share more than three key points, it’s time to either table some points for a later video or consider organizing a series of videos instead.
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