Making a video without a script is like riding a bike without wheels. Difficult, inconvenient, and pointless (if at all possible).
At the heart of every great commercial you've ever seen is a well-written script. As one of the most important elements of the video, the script makes the campaign successful or, conversely, leads to a complete collapse. Therefore, video script writing is a great skill to have.
So, how to write a video script? Read this article to the end and create your million-dollar script today!
THE MOST COMMON VIDEO TYPES AND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEM
There are various types of videos for different tasks. Before you move on to writing a script, you need to decide what goals you are pursuing.
- Do you want to promote your brand?
- Do you have a high-tech product to explain to a broad audience?
- Are you going to tell viewers about the values of your company?
Based on the answers to these questions, choose the appropriate video type. Here are some popular types.
A promotional (or promo) video is a marketing video intended to promote your products and services, attract the customers’ attention, and make them learn more.
A good promo video doesn't try to sell the product openly by yelling "buy, buy, buy" every second. Instead, it connects with the customer emotionally by sharing important news, events, and stories about how your company helps others.
Despite the belief that decision-making is based on logic, people are often driven by emotions. That is why promos are effective.
Video explainers are short marketing videos to explain your company's product or service. Explainer videos are often displayed on landing pages, emails, or social media pages.
Good explainer videos are short and catchy, which allows you to grab the viewers' attention and make them watch the video until the end.
Explainer videos don’t sell the product openly but talk to the audience about how to use it and what benefits a potential client can get.
Companies can create corporate videos for onboarding, technology demonstration, financial results presentation, and more.
A distinctive feature of corporate videos is the target audience. Due to their particular qualities, corporate videos focus on a specific audience rather than the general public.
Corporate videos are used to talk about your business as a whole rather than explain specific products (apply explainer videos for this task). But you can still mention the company's products in a corporate video script without going into too much detail.
These are the three most common types of videos. If these video types don’t meet your goals, you should consider other types, such as a brand video, self-introduction video, training video, tutorial video, etc.
Once you choose the right type, move on to the more exciting part and start writing a script.
THE MAIN STEPS OF WRITING A VIDEO SCRIPT
The writing process varies from person to person. But if you are a beginner and want to create an efficient script that makes sense, you should go through these steps:
Step 1: Create a video brief
The brief is the first and most important step in writing a script. At this stage, you answer the central questions of the project, as well as determine the budget and deadlines.
Answering these questions will help you get closer to your perfect script:
- Who is your audience?
- What is the main message?
- Why should viewers watch this video?
- Which channel will you distribute the video to?
- What action should viewers take after watching?
When you know the answers to all the questions, you can better understand the who, what, when, where, and why of your video. It will help you delve deeper into the pains of your audience and build quality communication with them.
Congratulations! The first stage is over. Let's move to the next step.
Step 2: Think of the structure
Knowledge and the ability to apply the structure in practice will help improve even the shortest video. The classical structure includes three elements: beginning, middle, and end.
The main task of this part of the video is to grab the viewers’ attention and encourage them to watch the video to the end. Therefore, it will be advantageous to use a hook, a powerful tool for creating a memorable and unique video opening.
Do you want to become a master of awesome hooks? Check out the ‘What is a hook and how to create it’ section, and reveal all the secrets!
So, you've got the audience’s attention. Now is the time to show how your product can solve viewers’ pain points and provide evidence. Evidence can be anything that proves the effectiveness of your product: real cases, customer testimonials, before and after photos, examples of work, etc.
We've reached the end of the video, but don't relax! You should include a clear call to action to make the video work effectively and bring the desired results. Otherwise, viewers won’t understand what they are supposed to do after watching. So if you need a viewer to visit your website, say so.
Step 3: Write your first draft
The time has come... Gather all your thoughts and put them on paper. Do not try to write the perfect script the first time. Now your task is to write down your ideas, create a catchy opening, and think over the sequence of shots.
Remember that great ideas don't always come first. Don't stick to the first thought that comes to mind. Better write several concepts and then choose the most successful one. Give freedom to your imagination!
If you are confused, brainstorm with your team. You will be surprised by what the collective mind can create.
P.S. To make the script writing process easier, you can use a ready-made template, which you can find in the ‘Use a Template’ section.
Step 4: Edit your script
Pause and abstract from the first draft before you start this step. Come back to the script in a few days. Don't worry if it seems terrible to you. Now we're going to fix it.
Message. Was the message delivered clearly? Will the audience understand you?
Dialogues. Are they convincing enough? Don't the lines sound robotic?
Actions. Are there any moments that seem awkward? Are there any sudden transitions?
If your script turned out to be too long, then cut the extras. Check if all the scenes move your story forward. Perhaps some scenes seem brilliant to you, but they do not affect the story in any way. Then it's better to save them for a future project.
Step 5: Get feedback
You wrote and edited the script. Good job! But this is not the finish line. Even if you think the script is perfect, ask for an outsider's opinion. It will be easier for a bystander to notice some flaws. Don't take this as a criticism that will only harm your script. On the contrary, feedback will help you improve your video.
Step 6: Polish your script
You are almost there. There is only one step left. Once you've received feedback, refine your script. Make some changes, and check the text for errors.
Yay! Your script is ready, and you can start producing the video 😎
Now you know what steps you should go through to write a great script. Use this knowledge, and remember to practice to make your future creations better.
WHAT IS A HOOK AND HOW TO CREATE IT
As said above, a hook is the attention-grabber that helps make viewers interested in the video through a memorable and unique video opening. The hook happens at the beginning of the video and sets the tone for what comes next.
So, how to hook the audience? Here are some techniques:
1. Ask a question
Ask a question that your video will answer. The beauty of this technique is that people are naturally curious. Therefore, if the question is intriguing, viewers will watch your video until they know the answer.
2. Promise a story
A hook that creates the feeling of "Once upon a time" has great power. People love stories, and it’s difficult to stop watching a movie, series, or video until we know how it ends.
3. Create an amazing character
A character that can evoke emotions in your target audience grabs attention quickly. These characters may have an ordinary appearance, but it doesn’t prevent them from winning over the audience since their main strength is to have the same pain points as the viewers. In this case, the viewer will think: "Hey, this dude looks so much like me! Let's see how he solves his problems."
A joke, quote, or fact is also great for an engaging opening scene. You can use the mentioned techniques separately or in a mix. Try to experiment, and then your hook will be even more catchy.
USE A TEMPLATE
When you start with video script writing, templates can be indispensable helpers. That is why we’ve prepared a free video script template you can use for your project. Access our template here.
Mistakes are almost inevitable for people who write their first-ever script. However, if you know your enemies by sight, it’s easier to deal with them. Here are the top three mistakes people make in their advertising scripts.
1. Too many words
If your script includes continuous monologues or dialogues without visual variety, then we have bad news for you. Endless conversations tire the viewers, so the likelihood that they will turn off your video in the first seconds is high.
2. Formal language
Formal language is a zombie in the advertising world. They can somehow walk, but it doesn’t make them living people. When you present information in the form of boring facts, the audience is less likely to trust you.
3. No focus on the product
In a burst of creativity, you can come up with a bunch of cool visual solutions and unusual scenes. However, in the pursuit of the most creative ads, you can completely forget about the primary purpose of the video – to show your product. Therefore, it’s necessary to stop in time and not lose focus.
SCRIPT WRITING TIPS
So, we figured out the most common mistakes. Now is the time to talk about tips that will help you improve your video script. Let's go!
1. Use a conversational tone
Unlike formal language, a conversational tone is better at building a connection with viewers. Drop all the tricky words and imagine having a conversation with a friend. Then the audience won’t feel you want to sell them something and will treat you more loyally.
2. Be concise
Don't make your video too long. Even if your script has a great concept, but its running time is 10 minutes, most of the audience will skip it. The trend of short videos is only growing with the rise of TikTok's popularity.
3. Read the script out loud
When you see your text on paper, it can shine bright like a diamond. But when you read it aloud, you may find some sentences sound strange. We highly recommend using this tip to adjust the flow of words and replace difficult words.
4. Avoid clichés
No one wants to watch videos with overused references or memes. The only thing you want to do when watching such a video is to get it out of your sight as soon as possible. So forget the "One Does Not Simply" or "Blue Pill or Red Pill" stuff.
5. Look for inspiration
Inspiration can be found in everything, whether it’s an art of a famous artist or an ad created by another company. It’s beneficial to collect everything that inspires you and keep it in one place. There are many services for this task. For example, the Lemons team uses GetSpyder.
Good scripts make good stories. Although the script requires a lot of time, effort, and perseverance, the results will please you.
In this article, we went through the steps of script writing, took a closer look at the concept of a hook, sorted out common mistakes, and shared some tips to improve your script. We hope you now feel more informed on the topic and look forward to getting started creating your story and telling it to the world.
Let your creativity run wild, push boundaries, and feel free to use this article to make your script epic!