How to write a video script
A Complete guide to video script creation process
Video is the most important format and tool for any modern business. Video marketing is a powerful way to connect with your audience, build relationships, convey your message and drive conversions.
Having a good script is a necessary part of any video production process. Doesn’t matter if you’re making a video for small business or a huge corporate video production.
But before you can create a video project, I’ll teach you how to write a video script.
What is a video script?
A video script is a document that outlines the key visual, audio and dialogue elements of your videography. It also includes instructions for actors and presenters that will be used in the video.
Why do you need a video script?
A video script will give you guidelines that will save you a lot of time and resources when creating your video content.
The video script will keep your focus on the video type, and length of the video.
You’ll be able to plan your messaging and allow for collaboration with your team.
The video script will provide scene descriptions, how will they be filmed and the context for filming scenes.
A good script will establish what the talent is going to do and say.
You can use video scripts for post-production notes to describe how the video content will be edited. It can include all visual and audio elements that the final video should contain like illustrations, animations or motion graphics.
Writing a video script will help you to structure your video and help you deliver your message in an effective and efficient way.
Writing a video script will give you the freedom to experiment and try new things since you can edit them later.
Video script can help with interviews too. Share it with your interviewee ahead of recording to give them a chance to structure their thoughts better.
Lastly, a video script can strengthen your brand identity. Include your brand messaging, visuals and other elements that will reflect your brand and business.
Before you start writing a video script, create a video brief
How to create a video brief? Keep reading!
Identify your target audience
A target audience is a group of people who are interested in your product, service, brand and business.
In our context, the target audience is the group of people you want to reach with your video content. They will influence everything about videography.
You need to know who they are, what their needs are and how your videography services can help them. Focus on finding out:
- Basic demographic information.
- What are their goals?
- What is their problem?
- What are their core values, visions, missions and personalities?
- What are their online habits
- Where will they be watching your video?
Set a goal for your video
What is the purpose of the video? What do you want people to do after watching your video? The answer to this question will help you determine how you should approach your video script writing.
Have one simple and clear goal. What’s the one key thing that you want people to do after watching your video? Your script and consequent video should encourage viewers to accomplish this goal. Understand how to measure success in accomplishing this goal and what metrics you need to follow.
Have a powerful Call to Action at the end of the script. A call to Action should reflect the goal of the video script.
Remember that people use emotions to make decisions. They only use logic afterwards only to justify those decisions. If you have done your target audience research, you should know what your audience likes and dislikes.
Mention the good feelings that will result from taking action and the negative consequences if your viewers won’t act.
Think of the Problems and solutions
What value will the video script have for your viewers? Be clear on what problem your video, product or service solves and how exactly it solves it.
The challenges in the video script should be the same as the problem of your audience.
By solving the video problems, you can effectively show that you can solve the problems of your audience as well.
Think about how the video script relates to this problem and solution equation.
use your value proposition
Know alternative solutions but understand how your solution is unique and better than your competition.
What will be happening in the video? What are your video and script about? Define the specific topic of the video. Don’t be afraid to go narrow. The more narrow you go, the more specific problem you can talk about which will simplify and clarify your message.
What is the one key message that you’re trying to get across? Focus on the simple problem and solution. What will your viewers learn? What will be the value point for your viewer?
Define the visual style of your video. What’s your unique angle? This will help you visualize what will be happening on the screen.
What will be the storytelling style and consequent tone and voice? Why do you want to tell this particular story? Why should your viewers care about this story?
Distribution and marketing
How will you get your video to your audience? You should know by now where your audience hangs out and what platforms they use. Instagram? Youtube? TV? Each of these platforms uses different video formats. Think about it when you’ll be choosing your distribution channels.
Understand your funnel and your audience’s buyer’s journey. Where does the video fit in your funnel?
Use your brief to write an outline
Use the elements of your brief to write an outline for your video scripts. This will serve as a foundation and guidepost for effective video script writing.
The outline should include the key takeaways you want to hit, the visual style of the video, the storytelling style, tone and voice and the distribution channels you plan on using.
Remember to keep it simple and focus on your one key message. This will help you stay on track when script writing.
Open with a hook. Get right to the point and tell your viewer what is the benefit of watching your video. Add a surprising fact to capture the attention.
Introduce the problem your viewer has and how it makes them feel. Tell them why should they care and mention the negative consequences of not acting on the problem.
Be clear about the benefits of your solution. Speak emotions again. Let people imagine overcoming the problem and achieving the desired goal.
Don’t forget your secret sauce. Point to the unique solution that is better than your competition. Draw from your value proposition.
End with Call to Action. You know what the goal of the video is. Remind viewers to do the action you set as a goal.
Tips for writing an outline
As you create your outline, think about where natural scene transitions happen. If you’re promoting a new product, you can divide your outline into sections like coming up with the idea, market research, design of the new product, testing, production, marketing strategy and launch.
- Double-check your script by asking the following questions.
- Does the script achieve the main objectives?
- Will the script resonate with my audience? Will they relate to the video?
- Does the video script communicate the core message?
- Is the story I’m telling in the video logical? Does the flow make sense?
- Is it long enough to convey the message but not too long to be boring?
- Is it clear and simple so the message gets easily across to the audience?
- Is it the ideal length for the intended platforms and channels?
- Does it have good and effective transitions?
- Does it use the full potential of audio and visual?
- Is the CTA strong and compelling?
Choose the main character
Choose the main character for your video. To be relatable, the main character will be the one who embodies the problem your audience has.
Don’t forget to give your character a backstory and some details.
Use your character’s story to tell the story of your video. Use their dialogue and actions to illustrate the key points you want to make.
Your character’s story should arc throughout the video, culminating in a resolution at the end.
How to write a video script? Tips
- Start writing your script section by section. Write down all the ideas you have for each section. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just get all your ideas out there.
- Make two columns. Use one column for visuals, what will be happening on camera. Use the other collumn for spoken word, what your character will be saying.
- Focus on a single idea, goal or problem. You should focus on solving one specific issue with one single solution to make your message clear and easier to remember. If you need to address several issues, just write a different script for each of them.
- Don’t repeat things unless it’s for dramatic reasons. Repeating yourself is a no-go as it will both bore your viewers and lose your audience’s attention, and make your video longer for no valid reason.
- Use simple language that anyone can understand. Avoid excessively long and complicated words. Write like for an 8-year-old. Get rid of tongue twisters.
- Do you need to use complex terms? Explain them to your viewers so there is no confusion.
- Use contractions instead of full words (e.g., “can’t” instead of “cannot,” and “don’t” instead of “do not”).
- Use the present tense to make your video easier to understand.
- Think visually and don’t be too wordy. Remember that you’ll be making a video. You can use visuals to express your ideas. Remember that many people watch videos with no sound.
- Add branding elements to reinforce your brand and business.
- Support any B-roll with the proper call-outs in your main narrative.
- Create backstories for your characters to make them relatable and likable. Give your characters different motivations to do the same things
- Speak directly to the audience. Use “you” and talk to your viewers. It’s more personable, and people prefer being spoken to rather than being spoken at.
- Write it the way you talk. Your audience isn’t going to read your script. So write what you would actually say, not what looks best on paper.
- Begin with a powerful and intriguing hook in the first 3 seconds of the video script
- Tell a story. Write a video script that has a beginning, a middle and an end. They follow a logical progression that moves the story forward.
- Keep your script short, simple and easy to understand. Break it into manageable blocks of information. Keep your sentences to 15 to 20 words long. Write in short paragraphs. Don’t make your message hard to understand.
- Don’t use more than 3 or 4 sentences in a scene.
- Use action words. Good video scripts are active, not passive. They use strong verbs that create visual images.
- Use strong visuals and various graphics to make your video stand out. Good scripts paint a picture in the reader’s mind. They are full of vivid images and sensory details.
- Use various visual techniques to keep the pacing and make it more interesting. Use talking heads, b roll, screen recording and text on the screen
- Make it short and sweet. Create video scripts that are concise. They get to the point and they don’t waste words.
- Write conversationally and make it flow. People use natural language, not jargon or technical terms.
- Make it thorough. Good scripts are complete. They cover all the bases and they leave no stone unturned.
- Script every single word.
- Use emotion. Connect with the reader on an emotional level. Evoke feelings of happiness, sadness, anger and fear.
- Write for the audience and platform. Keep your audience and platform in mind as you write. Write for their needs and preferences. Plan to repurpose your video content for other platforms too.
- Be unique. Remember your value proposition. Don’t bore your audience with the same thing as everyone says.
- Write everything. You can edit your script later. But for now, just get it all down on paper.
- End with a bang. Good scripts have strong ending that leaves the reader wanting more.
- Do a verbal run-through off-camera. Once you have a complete draft of your script, do a verbal run-through. This will help you catch any errors and make sure the script flows smoothly. Read your script out loud to find out if your dialogue sounds natural. If you make changes, read it out loud again.
- Get feedback. Ask a friend or colleague to read your script. Get their feedback and make any necessary changes.
- Set up a table read. Read to your audience and ask them what was the message. If it made sense and if they would complete the desired action. Would they change anything in the script?
- Writing video scripts requires a lot of editing. Don’t be afraid to rewrite it again and again.
Now that you have your outline and script, it’s time to start thinking about visuals. What kind of images, graphics or videos will you need to bring your story to life?
What should the script include?
- The words that will be spoken.
- The name of the person speaking.
- The length of time this person will be talking for
- Information about the words. Where they are said. How they are said.
- A description of the scene, including the location and any props that are needed.
- The emotions that the character should be feeling.
- The action that is taking place.
- What kind of visuals will support the script? Images, graphics and videos
- An outline of the video
Templates to create your own video script
To make your script writing easy, I made a few script templates that you can use.
A Three-act structure script template
- Show your viewer what the problem is
- Demonstrate how your product or service solves that problem
- Explain why the viewer should choose your product or service instead of someone else’s
The A.A.A.A script Formula
- Attention (Grab their attention in the first line)
- Agitation (Agitate the pain that you can solve)
- Activity (Show them HOW to solve it)
- Action (Call them to action and tell them how to get the solution)
The tree part structure
- An introduction and hook to draw viewers into your video projects
- A problem, pain point, or question comes up
- A conclusion and resolution of the problem, including a call-to-action
Think of the Problems and solutions
- Start with your viewers issue. Show empathy and understanding your audiences problem.
- Show how your product or service solves that issue. Show your audience how you can help them. Showcase your expertise and what makes you different. Present data and convince your audience that your brand is the ultimate solution to their problems.
- Finish with a strong CTA. Encourage your viewers to sign up for your newsletter, download an ebook or share your video on social media.
4 point structure
- Audience/Problem: Define the pain point that your product or service solves.
- Solution: Explain how your brand solves this problem.
- Vaue proposition: How is your solution unique and better.
- Call To Action: Move your viewers further down your funnel with powerful CTA.
Writing a video script can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few simple tips and using our templates, you can create a video that engages your audience and drives results. Contact us today and we’ll create a great script and video for you and your business