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Why Script Writing Is The Key To The Ultimate Success Of Your Video Marketing

You know that video marketing can expand your brand, get your message in front of more people and help you grow a more engaged community. In fact, research shows that video has a 74% better return on investment than just static imagery—and 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by watching a video. 

And yet every time you sit down to make a TikTok, YouTube video, or FB Live broadcast, you’re stuck. You don’t know what to say or how to properly say it. You feel awkward and can’t remember exactly what it was you planned to say. Words tumble out of your mouth and you have no idea if the point you’re trying to make is really coming across. 

Video is such a huge part of our virtual worlds, and everyone who’s creating video content makes it look so easy. 

Here’s the thing: most business owners, thought leaders, industry experts, content creators and influencers aren’t born performance artists. Speaking on-camera in front of a virtual audience is not a talent ingrained in your DNA; it’s a skill that you build over time with tons of practice. 

But there is one trick that can make video marketing easier for those who are not naturally good at speaking: script writing. 

What Is Script Writing?

When you think of script writing, you probably conjure up images of movie or TV scripts that are pages upon pages long. Luckily, script writing for video marketing is a little simpler and a lot more streamlined than script writing in Hollywood. 

In the  most basic sense, script writing is the method of writing out a story for a screenplay medium. So rather than just the words on the page (much like you’re seeing here) a script writing format would include actions, movements, facial expressions, gestures, settings—pretty much anything that describes what will be happening in the video. 

Now you don’t have to write out fight scenes or car chases, but script writing for a short marketing video can help you determine not only what you say, but how you want to say it. 

How Script Writing Helps Your Video Marketing 

You know that old saying, fail to plan and you plan to fail? That couldn’t be a more accurate way to describe the importance of script writing for video marketing. Turning on the camera and pressing record will only result in a fumbly, low-quality video. Whereas script writing will lead to a more well-thought out piece of content. 

Even if you have all of the fancy equipment, expensive camera and awesome backdrop, your video will still seem unprofessional if you don’t have something prepared to say. 

Writing out even just some basic bullet points to refer to will help you stay on message and prevent any irrelevant rants or anecdotes. It’s easy when you’re talking about something you’re passionate about to go off topic. Scripts keep you right on track. 

Having a prepared script will also help you make sure that you fit in everything you want to say within the time allotted. While writing an outline is a good first step, writing a script with a recording time in mind will make your video even more professional. 

You can lay out how long you want to talk about a subject and what key points or facts you want to share. You can determine if you want to leave time for questions at the end or where you’ll put a call to action. Whatever you want to include in your video, it’s much better to decide and plan for it ahead of time than trying to wing it. 

And finally, script writing makes you a better speaker. Because once you have your script written, you can practice saying it a few times in front of a mirror. Reading the words out loud will immediately alert you if something doesn’t sound right or isn’t coming across as clear. 

Some things look great on paper, but are terrible when spoken. Script writing saves you from finding out which line is which while you’re recording.  

How To Write A Video Marketing Script  

Now that you’ve learned the benefits of writing a script for your video marketing content, it’s time to dive into the process of creating one. Below are the steps for writing a video script. 

  1. Figure out who you’re talking to. 

As with any kind of content creation or marketing strategy, you want to identify your audience before you do any other kind of work. Getting a clear, narrow focus on who you’re speaking to will help to determine what it is you’re going to say in your video. 

While it might be tempting to appeal to a wide audience, it’s a much more strategic practice to hone in on the few. Make multiple videos with different audience avatars in mind rather than a single video that attempts to capture everybody. 

  1. Determine what they want to hear. 

With a crystal clear vision of your audience in mind, it’s now up to you to figure out what it is they would want most from your video. Are you offering a solution? Validating their problems? Telling them a relatable and moving story? 

Here are some other questions to ask yourself before you start writing: 

  • Does your audience want to be amused and entertained about this topic? Or do they strictly want to be informed?
  • Do they want tangible evidence like statistics and research? Or emotionally triggering anecdotes? 
  • Do they want all the information you can give in a single video? Or would they rather have short snippets that are easy to digest? 

Indulging in a little target market research can help you create a more relatable and attractive video for your audience. Even if you’ve done this kind of digging before, it’s never a bad idea to spend some time getting to know the people you’re selling to on an even deeper level. 

  1. Choose your goal. 

Of course, every video needs to have a point. Whether you’re providing important information or selling a new program, you need to have your end goal in mind while writing your script. And that means having some action you invite them to take that you can measure to see how successful you were. 

These call to actions, or CTAs can be anything from visiting your website’s blog to subscribing to your YouTube channel to opting in for your newsletter. The goal can change with every video, but you need to have a clear CTA in mind that you can measure after your content goes live. 

  1. Choose your point. 

The goal of your video and the point of your video are not the same thing. The goal is the metric or CTA you’ll use to measure if the action you wanted viewers to take was actually taken. The point of the video is the message. It’s the key thing that you want to get across to as many people as possible. 

The easy way to choose or identify the point of your video? Pretend you’re telling someone why they should watch your video—and do so in a single sentence. 

  1. Get writing. 

Now that you’ve completed all of the necessary prep, it’s time to sit down and write your script. Or, if you’re really stuck, hire a copywriting agency or take a few copywriting courses to get more comfortable with your writing.

Start by just powering through your first draft. Write out any and everything you want to say in the video, and avoid the delete button at all costs. Just get it all out of your head and onto the script. 

Then (after you step away for a few minutes, of course), go back and read through the script with the goal of trimming it down. Even if you don’t have a limit on your recording time, chances are you’ve got more words than you need to get your point across. Quick and to the point is always a good stance to take while script writing. 

Here are a few more tips for writing: 

  • Write the way you talk, not the way you write. 
  • Use “you” and speak directly to your audience. 
  • Focus on shorter sentences. 
  • Read your script out loud as much as you can. 

While the bulk of your script will be what you’re saying to the camera, it’s also helpful to include any visual or audio elements if you have them. 

Think of your script as not only your directions on what to say but also the directions you would give a director, cameraman, audio editor, etc. Include everything that’s happening in the video so everyone on your team is on the same page on what the end results should look like. 

And remember this: you do not have to stick exactly to the script while you’re shooting. There are no plays or films here. You can use your script more as a guideline than a rule, so long as your message is clear and you communicate your point. 

Liz Slyman

Over the past decade, Liz has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups to and mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing and copywriting agency, designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.

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