If you’ve never written a script for a video or animation before, it can be difficult to know where to start. When writing copy the objective is to try and get people to read all the way through, similarly the objective of writing copy for a script is to try and get people to watch the entire video. The script is one of the most important parts of video production, so getting it right will determine the success video.
Why do we start with script writing?
A video script fundamentally acts like a detailed and structured plan of the narrative of the video. It acts like a reference point and will help you form ideas about the visuals of the video.
A script will help you visualise the flow of the story that you are going to be telling your audience. In a Q&A script will the presenter or interviewee understand the direction of the video and gives them confidence in what they are saying. The script for a voice-over for animation will help guide the visuals that your audience is seeing. The script is always the best place to start in any instance of video production.
Having experience in copywriting can certainly be very helpful when it comes to scriptwriting. There isn’t much difference between writing copy that is compelling and pervasive to an audience and writing a script that does the same. In this blog, we are going to break down what goes into writing a script that will promote key messages, increase engagement and improve customer perception of your brand and encourage action.
Know your audience
Creating good video content relies heavily on having a good understanding of your audience. Your audience should be at the forefront of your mind when writing your script. The tone of voice and language that you use in the script is going to differ massively based on who you are talking to, which is why it’s important to identify your audience before you start writing. Getting to know your audience’s needs and what questions they need answering will help guide your writing process. Getting to know your audience also means understanding at what point they are at in the buying process. If they are at the awareness stage, for example, they may not need as in-depth explanations compared to if they were in the purchase stage.
It is also important that you think about your audience as they will also help guide what platform your video appears on. There isn’t much point in putting a video up somewhere your audience won’t be.
Outline the purpose of your video
Just like with copywriting, video will have one of three aims: to educate, persuade or entertain. The purpose of your script depends on what message you want to get across to your audience. When you determine who your audience is and what you want to tell them you can start the scriptwriting process.
Every line of text within your script should have a purpose and ultimately guide the video also.
Generally, most marketing videos follow the same structure, and this is because it’s tried and tested formula. Following this structure will ensure that nothing is left out of your video.
Opening- You need something to quickly hook your audience in, a rhetorical question, an interesting statistic, or an anecdote that is relevant to your content. If you’re able to grab a viewer’s attention in the first 3 seconds, there is a 65% chance they will watch for 10 seconds, and a 45% they will make it to 30. In this opening, you may also want to include a short introduction about who your company is.
Identify the problem- Identify the pain points that your video is going solve for your audience. It’s important to make your audience feel understood at this point. Again, rhetorical questions work well, ask the questions you think your audience will relate to.
Offer the solution- Tell your audience about your product or service and how you’re going to help them. This part needs to be informative, efficient, and persuasive. This is also where you should be stating your unique selling points. You might want to include some credentials here too (depending on the purpose of your video or animation).
Call to action- Your video should always end with a call to action. Now your audience has all the information what exactly do you want them to do? The call to action encourages them to engage.
A script is a written document, but it will eventually become a visual piece of content.
Most video content should actually be designed to be watched with the sound off, as this is how most online content is watched today. This is why adding closed captions to your video is important.
Throughout your script, you want to be making notes about the visual aspects that will represent the key points of your video. It’s important that the visuals complement what the speaker is saying. Adding notes about the visuals will also help guide the editing process as well.
Tell a story
Your script should make viewers want to keep watching. Stories are remembered up to 22 more times, than facts alone, so telling a good story with your script will mean that your brand will be more memorable to your audience.
Stories make for better marketing as they elicit emotions. They influence who we trust, play on our nostalgia, and help us make sense of complex ideas and information. A lot of brands are now using ‘emotional marketing’ in their videos and this is because emotions compel action.
Make sure to read your script multiple times. It’s best to read your script aloud as this will help you know what parts need to be emphasised. Ideally, say are much as you can using the fewest words.
It’s also a good idea to show your script to someone who hasn’t been working at it. They will be able to spot mistakes, challenge you. It’s also good to get a second opinion on whether messaging and tone really fit the company objectives and if everything is easy to understand.
How can we help?
If you would like us to support you with your scriptwriting or structuring of a Q&A-led video, please get in touch by using our contact form here.