You’ve been churning out video content like a network TV station. You’re showing up on camera every day, sometimes several times a day, trying to build your audience, increase your influence and grow your business.
When you look at the disappointing results of your backbreaking work, though, it’s enough to bring you to tears. What happened to the good old days when just doing video was enough to trigger a flow of customers and clients?
At one time, all you had to do was create a weekly video and you’d be able to achieve great results for your business. Today, with almost everyone using video, it’s much more difficult to get attention and impact on camera.
To get ahead in a world flooded with entrepreneurs creating content to market their businesses, you have to produce standout video content. An important step in producing that quality of content is to write a video script.
Even though the number of people creating videos has skyrocketed, it’s still a powerful tool to showcase your expertise, forge connections, and influence decisions. However, you have to know how to use it to maximum advantage. Writing a video script is one of the best ways to ensure your video gets exceptional results.
Here’s what we’ll be addressing in this blog:
- What is a Video Script?—defining a video script for video marketing purposes.
- Won’t Writing a Script for a Video Make the Creation Process Longer?—the extra effort put into scripting will pay off in spades.
- Won’t I Sound Unnatural if I Write a Script for a Video?—busting a common myth about video scriptwriting.
- But Isn’t It Hard to Memorise a Video Script?—seeing your script as a guide, not a document to be presented verbatim.
- The Benefits of Using a Video Script—scriptwriting ramps up the performance of video content.
The online video landscape is densely packed with content. Viewers are now savvier about what qualifies as good video. That’s a natural by-product of their increased exposure to videos across online platforms.
With so much competition out there, content creators are stepping up their game. That means content that’s subpar or weak in the impact department tends to stick out like a sore thumb. If you want your videos to resonate with today’s more demanding audiences, you have to put in some work to give your video content an edge.
When you write a script for a video, you set your content up for success. The scriptwriting process calls for thought and planning; that’s what increases the chances of your video getting viewers to slow their scroll and really hear you out.
Let’s get into the mechanics of how video scriptwriting can help set your content apart from the others in your niche.
A video scripted well will serve your business well.
1: What is a Video Script?
A video script lays out all the critical components of your video from beginning to end. It’s a roadmap for your messaging and the experience you want to create for viewers.
At its core, a video script sets out what you want to accomplish with your video.
Here’s the thing, video scripts can be written to accomplish different goals. They can be written for television news stories, documentaries, business videos, and so on. All video scriptwriting is designed to keep a piece, whatever it may be, grounded in its goal.
In this blog, we’re focusing specifically on video scripts for video marketing. These scripts should follow a pattern that advances your business objectives.
Our take: In our early days as television journalists, it was hammered into our heads that we were working with limited airtime. It’s expensive, so it must be used well.
Every keystroke, every word in our script, had to build impact. With your video scripts, the story is much the same.
Your ‘airtime’ is expensive in that you invest time and energy to create video content for your business. Also, audiences have less time to spare, so you want to be sure your videos deliver a great user experience and that the video does what it’s supposed to for your business.
2: Won’t Writing a Script for a Video Make the Creation Process Longer?
Sure, it’s much easier to just switch on the camera, hit the record button and start talking. Many people do. Easier, though, doesn’t always translate into results.
If you’re carving out time to create videos, why not chip in a little extra work to be sure your investment of time actually pays off?
Yes, writing a video script takes a little more time. However, it will ensure every video you roll off your assembly line serves a laser-focused purpose in your overall campaign to grow your business.
Our take: During our careers as television journalists and video producers, the creation process always started with a script. In that sense, we’ve never seen it as an extra step but the first step.
When we worked as field reporters, we had to do live reports. There were no computers around to clack out a quick script. iPads weren’t even invented yet! Even so, we would sketch out the key points of our story to form a script outline. Right there in our little pocket notepads, we’d have all we need to keep us on track during our live on-camera presentation.
When you write a video script, you keep your video on the rails and headed directly for the main goal you have in mind for your audience and your business.
3: Won’t I Sound Unnatural if I Write a Script for a Video?
This is a belief we come across all the time. Some folks are convinced that if they write a script for their video, they’ll look and sound stiff and unnatural on camera.
In all our years in the media, the only occasions we’ve ever seen that happen is when people try to deliver their script word for word, which you don’t have to do!
A script is just a guide, keeping you on track with your messaging and the goal for your video. It doesn’t have to be delivered verbatim on camera.
Our take: When we scribbled script outlines on the occasions we had to go live as television reporters, the point wasn’t to memorise what we had written. The purpose of writing that script on the fly is so we’d have a reference point for certain information that had to be included in our on-camera presentation.
Also, the script outline helped us feel at ease with what we had to say. An automatic side effect of that was…drumroll…coming across as natural on camera! When you have a firm grasp on what you need to say, you feel, look and sound comfortable on camera.
4: But Isn’t It Hard to Memorise a Video Script?
As we just mentioned, you don’t have to memorise a video script word for word. When it comes to remembering your video script, it’s more about your key messages and the flow of your content than the exact words.
In your niche, you probably have a fairly good idea of the important information on a particular subject. After all, this is the field in which you have working knowledge and experience.
Here’s where the video scriptwriting process comes in. Getting your information down on the proverbial paper forces the brain to organise your points into a coherent format, one that makes sense to audiences. Writing your video script also refines your thoughts and ideas making it easier for you to express them on camera.
Our take: We often encounter clients who are petrified because they believe they have to remember their entire video script. Our advice is always the same—the words on the page are THEIR thoughts, ideas and expertise. It’s all information that exists in their heads.
So, we help them see that the script is merely a guide rope, taking them from one point to the next. They don’t have to regurgitate it. The script just lays information out in a way that gently nudges their mind in the right direction.
5: The Benefits of Using a Video Script
We can appreciate that, as entrepreneurs, time is scarce. You’re juggling a million things and need a strong justification for adding yet another task to your to-do list.
Writing a video script is one of the most calculated strategies you can deploy to dramatically enhance the performance of your video content. Let’s break down what that actually looks like.
Better business results
So, the goal of creating videos is pretty simple—you want viewers to take specific actions that will, in one form or another, advance your business objectives.
When you write a video script, you will get a healthier return on your investment of time in content creation. That’s because the scriptwriting process keeps your business goals front and centre when you’re producing videos.
Writing a video script encourages you to apply thought and strategy by making you plot a course to the ultimate goal for your video. It makes the content creation process more intentional—developing content that is viewer-focused and designed to trigger a certain action in the audience.
Our take: Creating a video that gets a great audience reaction can be pretty easy to pull off. A video of someone falling down the stairs, for example, gets huge views, shares and comments.
Many of our clients come to us fixated on the idea of going viral with their content. We usually advise them to focus on their videos being effective instead of viral. Creating a video specifically crafted to move your business goals forward should be the main objective. At any rate, falling down a flight of stairs for all of your videos is probably not sustainable.
You always want to be sure your video scripts speak directly to your most important target audience, not the biggest audience. The videos you create should have the right formula to inspire the right viewers to take the next step with you. That’s the strategy of intention that runs through an effective video script.
What do we mean by powerful content? Well, when you write out what you plan to say, it creates clarity on what you’re trying to communicate. Seeing your message on paper also exposes weaker points in contrast to the strong ones.
Is that thought or story really essential to my main message? Or can I ditch that extra bit and keep the video lean and mean?
A video script makes you work out what you want to say and the sequence in which it should be said for maximum impact. The result is a logical and compelling flow of information that keeps viewers engaged. That’s because it speaks to their experience and they’re able to follow and absorb what you’re talking about.
Given how much content is served up to online audiences every day, you want to ensure that your video is built on your strongest, most impactful points that move viewers along a specific journey.
Our take: Within the first few seconds of most videos, viewers can generally tell if the creator has put thought and effort into making it. Likewise, they can tell where someone has just switched on the camera and ‘gone with the flow’.
There are fellow entrepreneurs we follow whose approach to video content creation is quite distinct. One entrepreneur, for example, is pleasant enough and does her videos in a chatty, rambly sort of way. We appreciate such videos for what they are, but they would rarely move us beyond just watching the video.
In contrast, there are other entrepreneurs whose presentations are far more solid, immediately grabbing and retaining our attention. Their videos are invested with the kind of preparation that makes viewers want to take the next step with them. That’s the vibe you want to emulate by writing scripts for your videos.
Easier repurposing of content
To succeed in today’s digitally-driven world, you have to be sort of omnipresent. Your content needs to reach target audiences wherever they may be.
It would be great if your viewers were all in one place and you could just focus on that one platform. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. The people you need to connect with are scattered across the multiverse of the internet.
Churning out content to reach and engage target audiences on all the online platforms they use can be exhausting. Additionally, as entrepreneurs, we’re creating content to market our businesses. The content is not our actual line of business; it’s not the product.
So, ideally, you want to get the most mileage out of your content creation. That way you leave more than enough time to tackle your core business responsibilities. That’s where repurposing can be a huge help. Out of one video, you can create many pieces of content.
Writing a video script makes it easier to recycle your video into other forms of content like blogs, infographics, social media updates, emails or downloadable PDFs. Your video is worth a lot more than you think. Once you have a video script, you can immediately create a range of content that will give you wider reach with just some minimal touch-ups and tweaking.
Our take: When we started our online business, keeping up with the content marketing hustle felt like bailing a boat with a hole in it. A video on social media, a blog post on our website, a status update here, a witty quote over there; we were burning the candle at both ends…with a blow torch.
That all changed when we started treating our video scripts as source material for content that would be posted to different platforms.
We conceive each video script like a big bowl of cookie dough. That master cookie dough can be divided up and transformed with chocolate chips, coconut flakes, or slivered almonds and served to audiences in different places.
All our different types of content spring from an original master video script. They undergo minor tweaking to freshen up the angle or approach and make it relevant to specific platforms. Consequently, we spend less time feeding the content machine and more time helping our clients
Write a Video Script For Content With Maximum Impact
Look, the stakes in business are high. You already know this, but it’s a point that bears repeating in the context of video creation.
You’re producing video content to grow your business…period. There’s just no time to be messing about with it. Sooner or later, you’re going to run out of time and money before your attempts with video marketing yield any respectable results.
In a business environment driven by digital, crashing out with video isn’t an ideal outcome. Plus, it’s entirely avoidable.
A key pillar of creating a video script is this: you’re seeding your video content creation with strategy to get the best results with audiences. That’s a video specifically encoded to deliver a certain result.
Absolutely anyone can shoot and upload a video today. That’s a good thing. Getting the best out of your content in a crowded online landscape, that’s where the tremendous value of writing a video script comes into play.