Making the perfect video requires you to make the ideal script.
They might fall under different fields, but both video producers and online marketers actually breathe the same air when it comes to creating and editing video content. Both are trying to convey a story, and whether it’s about fiction or a particular product, we are always trying to capture our audience and encourage them to believe in our story. However, what happens at the very end of the story is entirely different.
While video directors intend their viewers to come away feeling or thinking about a particular thought, online marketers want their audience to do a specific action. It could be subscribing to a blog, filling out a form, or signing up for a free product trial. Whatever it is, their goal is for their viewers to do them a favor by doing a particular action after watching their video.
Marketers consider a lot of things in their marketing journey, yet among all these strategies they do, video making seems to be the one they find unfavorable. The main reason is that creating videos can be quite intimidating, especially if you’re still new to video making.
Importance Of Planning
If you’re a copywriter, most of the time you are going to overlook the importance of the planning phase. Planning is the part where you conceptualize everything and solidify your video concepts, goals, and script. Contrary to what most people believe, you can’t just rewrite a blog post and say that it’s already enough. Similarly, there’s a lot of ways you can write a script so that it shapes into a compelling video.
That’s what we’re going to be talking about in this article: how to write an effective video script to make sure that we achieve nothing but the best possible outcome in our video making journey. We’ve come up with a total of three useful steps that anyone can incorporate when making a video script.
How To Write a Video Script
1) Start with a Brief.
Although it might seem like a tempting step to skip and ignore, it’s not going to be worth it if you do so. Starting with a brief will enable you and your team to track and record the answers to the most important and frequently asked project questions so every person involved in the creation of the video can get together and be on the same page at all times. Come to think of it, getting your team together is absolutely crucial, as minor misunderstandings can lead to unnecessary problems that you could’ve avoided had you considered making a brief in the first place.
Just imagine that you’re already half-way through the entire editing process, and all of a sudden, a member of the team demands that you make a complete redo on a particular portion of the script. That’s going to be frustrating for you, as you’re going to change things all over again.
When these types of scenarios happen, it can be convenient to have a brief to fall back and refer to as it serves as a document that records the goals and project plan your team mapped out together in the beginning. Having a brief will grant you all the right to contradict and say, “Actually that wasn’t the case that we agreed upon.”
Answer Specific Questions
When developing your brief, always focus on your goals, topics, and takeaways. Keep in mind that your brief doesn’t have to be elegantly complicated, nor does it have to follow a specific set of rules. However, there are specific questions that that should be considered to be able to create an effective video script. Some questions would include the following:
- Why are we making the video? What’s the overall goal of this video?
- Who is the target audience of this video?
- What’s the topic of our video? (NOTE: The more specific your topic is going to be, the better. For example, if you’re in the roofing business, you might choose a topic like, “choosing the ideal roof guard”).
- What are the key takeaways from the video? What lessons should viewers learn from watching the video?
- What’s your CTA (call-to-action) going to be? What actions do we want our viewers to do after they finish watching the video?
Creating a brief can quickly be done in Google Docs. Your brief will serve as a living, breathing template that you can revise and edit over time. Having it on Google Docs will enable your entire team to be in sync, collaborate on its progress, and contribute to its development.
2) Write your script
Once you’ve chosen a topic and come up with your video brief, it’s now time to start writing the actual video script.
Now you might get intimidated and write your script in full complexity. However, it’s actually the complete opposite. Similar to your brief, your video script doesn’t have to be fancy and complicated. Take note that you are using this script as a reference only — you are not going to submit this script to anyone, so its purpose is strictly functional. Having a good, readable, and understandable script will make it a lot easier for people on camera to deliver their messages, all while sounding and acting naturally.
Write in Conversational Tone
Composing a video script isn’t quite the same as writing an academic paper or marketing research report. You want to write a script that is according to how you want the video subject to be speaking.
The most ideal would be speaking in a more conversational tone. It not only makes you more understandable but also relatable to your audience. For instance, saying “I’m gonna create a video right after reading this blog post” on camera will read and sound much better than a bulkier “I am going to create a video after reading this blog post.” Always be mindful of sentence length. Keep sentences as brief and concise. The best recommendation would be to avoid compound sentences, if possible.
Make it Accurate and Detailed
Your script doesn’t necessarily have to be just a sequenced compilation of dialogue that you are going to incorporate in your video. If your video requires multiple scenes and shots in a specific location, or require a hefty number of characters, then you should also include these details and information on your video script. Also be sure to add information regarding the set or stage, other information like timings on wardrobe change and all the minor details.
You basically want your script to be accurately detailed enough that you could give it to someone else on your team to shoot a particular scene and they would instantly be able to understand everything you just placed.
Determine Your Audience and The Platform They’re Using
Your audience is the most crucial element of your video-making campaign. For that reason, it is absolutely important that you are 100% familiar with your target audience. Are they made up of young adolescents, young professionals, middle-aged parents, or old retirees?
Where will you be uploading this video? Will it be on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube? Determine where you’re going to be sharing your video content, and make sure that you keep things conversational for the people that you’re trying to reach out. Infuse proper inflection, a good tone, and timely humor to make your video a lot more interesting.
If you’re planning a transition from the subject speaking the first narrative into a close-up shot of your product — along with a text overlay — you should also include these details in your script so that anyone who reads it will know what’s supposed to be read on-screen. Overall, knowing your audience and which platform they like to hangout will give you valuable information as to where you are going to post the video that you made. This will ensure maximum views and shares.
Script Every Single Word.
It’s pretty natural to assume that you can just write down the primary bullet points for a script, and then just follow it up when you’re on camera, especially if you already know your subject matter. This approach is quite faulty and will make it hard for you to communicate your message as clear and concise as you want possible and it usually results in a multitude of re-do’s and re-editing.
That is why we strongly suggest that you try to script every last word you make. Doing so will keep your script clear and organized during filming, saving you loads of time later when you start looking for potential flaws to edit.
Keep Everything Short and Brief
Marketing-wise, shorter videos are a lot more attractive than longer ones. To be able to make a short video, you will need to utilize a short script. For that reason, you should not write a script that is any longer than two pages.
As much as you can, keep it to only a single page. Also, make an effort to do two to three rounds of edits focusing exclusively on eliminating all unnecessary parts in your video script. Just like composing a blog, try reading your video script out loud and listen for opportunities to make your tone a lot more conversational, or shortening your sentences can also help you out. The result will be a video script that’s brief, captivating, and allows for a simple editing process.
Already have your script ready? Great! It’s now time to…
3) Conduct A Run-through.
Now that you’re aware of how to properly write a video script, it’s time to put everything into practice. The final thing that you’re going to do is to conduct a table read, which is the part where you will be practicing on bringing your script to life.
You need to start practicing. Why? Because although some words look fantastic on paper, they might not sound right once you start reading them aloud. The table read is where you’ll get the chance to fine-tune the tone of your dialogue and remove or replace anything that sounds improper, too proper, robotic, or just straight-up inappropriate for the message you’re aiming to deliver.
Use A Laptop And A Chair As Your Teleprompter.
You don’t necessarily need a fancy script to create a fancy-looking video. Sticking to that concept, you also don’t need a fancy teleprompter just to help you remember your lines. However, you will still need something to help you out with remembering them. So instead of purchasing an expensive teleprompter to do a single job, why don’t you try improvising? You can actually utilize two things you already have to keep track of your lines as you’re shooting. These two things is a chair (or a table), and a laptop. Set them up together and you now have your improvised teleprompter.
As Long As It’s Understandable, It’ll Do
These three tips may be simple, but they are incredibly essential in every video script making. Incorporate each of these steps, and you’re on your way to making the perfect video script. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be fancy. As long as its brief, concise, and understandable, it’s still going to serve its purpose, which is a reference for your video-making effort. Have fun!
How’s your video script-making effort? Is it going great or do you need more encouragement to help you out? Share your experience with us now by sending us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.