An explainer video can engage your audience and convince them to take the desired action within 2 to 3 minutes. But the power of your video lies in the quality of the script. A thorough and engaging script is the bedrock for a high performing marketing video. So what should you do to create a video that engages viewers from start to finish?
1. Create a Video Brief
You’ll never regret starting with a video brief. It allows you, other colleagues, and your boss to document the purpose and objectives for your video. Here are some of the most important questions to ask and answer:
- Why are we producing this video?
- What are the goals it is meant to achieve?
- What should the title of the video be?
- Who is the target audience for the video?
- What is the main message we want to communicate to our audience?
- Which distribution channels are we going to use?
- What should the viewers know or learn after watching it?
- What should viewers do after watching?
- How do we craft our call-to-action?
Writing your video brief should be a collective process. Focus on discovering all you can about your audience and what motivates them. Your brief will help you avoid unnecessary revisions and save you a lot of time and cost.
2. Tell a Story
The trick to making a great video is translating your message into a story that your audience wants to hear. Your story can be simple and straightforward. It should follow a logical sequence, starting from the way things are to the way you expect them to be.
A good story captures the attention of your audience from the start and continues to engage the audience until you give them the call-to-action. Here are things you should consider while telling a story that resonates with your audience:
- Simplicity: Make a concise statement of what your business offers: e.g. “we help businesses grow with video marketing”
- Pain Points: Address your prospects’ pain points from the beginning
- Illustrations: Use visual explanations to tell your story
3. Speak Your Audience’s Language
Always use words and expressions that your audience can easily understand. Avoid using marketing buzz words like: ‘turnkey’ and ‘synergy’. Instead of saying ‘for example’, say ‘like’. You may not need to use most of your college writing techniques here. Simply speak naturally, as if you’re talking to a friend.
In fact, for videos that will be hosted on Facebook, short sentences work best. Keep your tone conversational. Even when you’re doing B2B marketing, your audience is made up of humans and they want to hear you speak to them in a language they can quickly understand. This means leaving out buzzwords and complex sentences.
4. Write a Short Script
Write only what you need to say and let it be as concise as possible. Unless you’re creating a detailed training video, you can limit the length of your script to 3 minutes. Training videos may need to be longer, though.
Instead of creating a long video that’s nearly 60 minutes long, you can break it up into a series of six 10-minute videos. Remember that a captivated audience may not be able to sustain attention for more than 6 to 8 minutes. You’ll need to get your message across early.
5. Add Details for Sounds and Visuals
The beauty of video is that you don’t have to try to communicate your message entirely through speech. A video script should contain more than the words you’ll read or say to your audience. You can tell your story through music, sound effects, animations, and other visual effects. Your script should contain instructions, screen titles, and any sound effects that work with your speech to bring your message to life.
Adding non-verbal elements is not a hard task. You simply need to create a two-column document when you’re writing your script. One column should contain audio parts while the second column contains the visual effects. You can even make sketches of visual effects or illustrations and add a reference to them in the script.
6. Write Out Each Word
If you’re a confident speaker, you may think that you can just write the main points for your script and then add the details while you face the camera. While you can do this for a fun video or at an informal gathering, it seldom works well for a marketing video. This method won’t allow you to communicate as clearly and succinctly as you should.
Remember that you’re speaking to people with a short attention span. If you don’t come through clearly with your message within the first 30 seconds, your viewer could get impatient and pause or stop the video. That’s why it’s best to script every word. This allows you to be well-organized and save time during the final recording.
7. Do a Run-Through
After writing the draft of your script, read it aloud. Practice speaking as if you’re right in front of the camera. This is important because not all words that look good on paper sound great to the ears. As you read the script, you’ll be able to fine-tune the tone and discover words or phrases that are stilted. If anything sounds robotic or too formal, it may hinder you from connecting well with your audience.
Make sure the script flows smoothly from one line to another. If you find yourself reading the script like natural speech without sounding forced, you’ve done a good job.
As you practice reading, observe:
- The total time required to read the script
- Any awkward expressions that don’t flow naturally
- Areas where the emphasis falls
Aim to do at least three readings and be ready to modify any parts that need to be changed. Tweak and tweak the script until you can read all the way in a relaxed conversational tone.
Writing a great video script isn’t a very difficult task. If you focus on connecting with your audience from the beginning and tell a story that resonates with them, you’ll be able to get more viewers to watch the whole video and take the desired action.