Think about your favorite movie. It could be a classic, like Casablanca, or modern masterpiece, like Pulp Fiction. These movies have amazing cinematography and great acting, but one of the key elements that makes them so great came long before any of that – it all started with the screenplay.
Just like these movies needed an amazing screenplay to get the time of day from production studios, your video needs an amazing script to help you accomplish your marketing goals. It serves as the foundation of your video, driving everything from the actors you hire to the location you film in.
But how do you get it just right? For a company looking to market their goods or services, script writing doesn’t come easily. It’s not necessarily your area of expertise, and that’s OK! That’s where we come in!
If your video marketing script doesn’t make sense on paper, it’ll make even less sense on camera. We’ve broken down exactly how to write a short-form video marketing script, but today, we’re giving you some foundational tips to get you started.
Keep reading and learn the basics that’ll help you formulate a killer brand video script!
1. Just say the important stuff.
Your video should be no longer than four minutes (ideally between one and two minutes), and the average viewer likely won’t keep watching past one minute. Keep this in mind as you write your script. Avoid filler, long, drawn out explanations, and unnecessary details. Say the important stuff and leave out anything that doesn’t add value or information.
Pro Tip: The average reading pace is two words per second, so use this as a reference point. A one-minute video should be about 120 words, a two-minute video should be about 240 words, and so on.
2. Get to the point quickly.
In order to be successful with video marketing, you should hit your main point within the first 30 seconds of your video. Viewers often decide whether or not to watch an entire video based on the first eight seconds they watch, so make these seconds eye-catching and engaging.
Also think about the platform your viewer is watching your video on. If they’re scrolling their feeds on Facebook, those first eight seconds are crucial and your point should come very, very soon after, if not during. On the other hand, if you’re running an ad on YouTube that the viewer can’t skip, you can take a little longer to get to your point, but should still get to it as soon as possible.
3. Talk directly to your audience.
Using second-person point of view is more engaging to audiences because you’re inviting them directly into your video. That means using words like “you” and “your,” instead of referring constantly to “me” and “my.” Tell your audience what you can do for them; don’t brag about your own accomplishments.
Besides bringing viewers into the process, this also helps build trust and credibility in your brand. Feeling like part of a one-on-one conversation with a brand enhances the relationship and means this audience is more likely to come to you with questions or for information.
4. Don’t forget about tone.
Ninety percent of communication comes from tone – that’s an often quoted figure that may not be applicable in all circumstances, but rings very true in the world of video marketing. Think about it. A video confines a message to a relatively small amount of space, whether it’s a mobile screen, a scroll through a social media feed, or a tiny box on your smart TV. But that means the effects of body language, tone, and facial expressions are that much more magnified. It’s all you have to focus on, so making sure your tone is exactly right is essential when you’re communicating your message to your audience.
As you’re writing your script, create a mental picture of your target market and imagine how they’d like to be spoken to. Use the words they want to hear, but also focus on tone, cadence, and body language and include directional script notes if necessary.
5. Tell your unique story.
Facts and statistics are an excellent way to provide information and prove or justify a statement you’re making. But as far as a story goes, they don’t typically add much.
Instead, stick to telling your unique story. Especially for brand videos, commercials, and any video you’re using as a first touch point, stick to entertaining your audience. Tell the story of how your company came to be, what makes you different from the competition, and what your unique value proposition is. Add in figures and stats if they add to your story, but be careful not to bore your audience; you want them engaged, not zoning out!
6. Be careful with humor.
Many companies’ first instinct is to hit the audience with humor. The right amount of laughter loosens up your audience and engages them – but be careful! Humor is really, really hard to pull off right, and if your goal is to be funny, you’re more likely to end up with a dud of a video.
So, find the right balance of humor, but don’t force it. For every hilarious joke a comedian has, there are probably 20 that didn’t land a single laugh. Don’t work against those odds. And if you have a really amazing idea that you know deep in your heart is funny, work with an experienced video production company that has a portfolio of funny videos – only a company with that amount of experience can help you make your idea come to life.
A good video can be incredibly powerful, but when most people watch a video, they aren’t thinking about the work that goes on behind the scenes scheduling the shoot, casting the perfect actors, filming, editing, and more. And even all of this work is nothing without the right script. Start with the perfect script and you’re more likely to succeed, meet your marketing objective, and provide your audience with good, memorable content. As a business, there’s nothing better than that.