‘“To make a great film, you need three things – the script, the script, and the script.”
– Alfred Hitchcock
What do all the best movies have in common?
A great story.
Video scripting is a crucial element of any video pre-production process. That’s because a script is the engine that drives your video and takes your audience on a unique journey.
It’s your way to channel your wildest ideas, bringing them to life and turning them into a compelling story.
Now that we’ve established that scriptwriting is a key element of a successful video, let’s take a look at how to write an engaging video script that converts.
Organize your ideas
The first step to learning how to write better video scripts is to organize and structure your ideas. This will allow you to create a logical thread and help your viewers embark and stay on this journey with you.
Here’s a three-step process to help you structure your ideas:
- Tell your audience you know their pain points, and you understand what they need.
- Show your audience you have the product or service to solve their issues.
- Move your viewers to action with a strong CTA (call to action). For instance, encourage them to go on your website to browse your range or subscribe to your newsletter.
Depending on the type of video you’re working on and your own preferences, you can either write the entire script down or jot down some main talking points on paper. If you write the entire script, make sure to keep some room for improvisation. It will help you come across more naturally and convey the authenticity factor, so many viewers want to see with brands these days.
Write a Killer Opening Sequence
The first few seconds of your video are critical to your video’s success because they’re the first impression of your brand and content. If written properly, your opening sequence should tease your viewers. It should spark their interest, immerse them into your video, help build your narrative and keep them glued to the screen until the end.
To achieve this, you need a strong hook.
Your hook can serve to:
- Build suspense
- Create excitement
- Make people laugh
- Create emotions
A few ways to spike their curiosity include: hinting at a story so they want to know more, using a great joke, or a shocking or surprising fact. The idea is to provoke some sort of emotional reaction, including curiosity.
For example, a Ted-Ed video released in 2015 still drives engagement these days due to the killer hook they created. The video titled ‘’what would happen if you didn’t sleep?’’ starts with an intriguing, attention-grabbing story about a student doing an experiment and deciding not to sleep for 11 days. This simple fact immediately hooked the viewers in, making them want to know what happened to him.
Just like with a good book, a well-written and well-structured opening sequence featuring a scroll-stopping hook will make your viewers want to turn the page to see what happens next.
Perfect Your Story and Your Storytelling
“Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.”
– Steven Spielberg
Storytelling is the essence of a great video.
That’s right; a fantastic story is instrumental when learning how to make a great video.
After all, for millennia, humans have been connecting emotionally through stories. That’s why we’re 22 times more likely to remember stories than facts alone.
You might think storytelling is only reserved for a certain type of video. Yet, you can tell a great story regardless of the type of video you’re making, may it be educational like with a video explainer or tutorial, entertaining, or inspirational. The idea is to always seek to take your audience on a journey with you by telling them a great story.
How to write a great story?
Here are a few tips to help you master storytelling in your next video:
Use a teaser to grab your viewers’ attention
Say you’ve developed a matchmaking app with a unique algorithm that helps people find true love. A great teaser for your promotional video could be: ‘’sick of being single and only having meaningless relationships?’’.
Share your hook
Using our matchmaking app scenario, an example of hook could be: ‘’by the end of this video, you’ll know exactly how our new dating app and powerful algorithm can help you find true love’’. Here, the hook tells the viewers what they’ll get if they keep watching, encouraging them to stay tuned.
Set the scene
Use B-rolls, sound effects, and your branding to take your viewers on a journey. Adding sound effects, b-rolls, and branding elements will make your videos more engaging and help you to create a mood. It will also make your work more recognizable.
Spend most of the time on the ‘’meat’’ of the video
What we mean by meat is the content your viewers are expecting to see when clicking your video. In our example, it’s talking them through the app’s special algorithm in a compelling way. The video could explain how this algorithm works, why it is so unique, why it is effective, how it can help them exactly, and showcase customers’ testimonials from people who have successfully gone through the process.
Circle back to the teaser
Here you want to provide your viewers with additional context on what you’ve just explained. For instance, ‘’using this app is really all you need to never have to put up with meaningless relationships ever again’’.
Wrap things up
At the end of your video, don’t forget to provide a few key takeaways to reiterate the main ideas and, of course, a strong call to action to drive engagement and sales.
Keep your Script Short and Easy to Understand
It’s easy to get caught in the excitement when writing the script for your next video. Let your creative juices flow without a specific goal in mind, and soon enough, you’ll end up with pages and pages of script. But remember, we’re not shooting the next Hollywood movie here. We’re trying to promote our offer in a concise and effective way.
Shorter is sweeter when it comes to videos, especially on certain platforms. For instance, TikTok videos perform better when they’re between 9 and 15 seconds long. On the other hand, YouTube videos experience the most engagement when they’re between 7-15 minutes long. So, for best results, make sure to know the optimal length for each platform, time your script, and adjust your story so it fits within these optimal timeframes.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is your language. If your product or offer is technical, don’t use complicated words to explain it, or you might lose your viewers’ interest. Instead, explain technical features using simple words.
Write an Effective Call to Action at the End
Sure, you’re sharing your videos to inspire, entertain or educate your audience. But your video content marketing strategy also has another goal; increase your sales and engagement. That’s why you need to wrap things up with a strong CTA that encourages your viewers to take action.
We’ve listed below some tips to write a killer call to action:
- Use strong and clear action words such as sign up, subscribe, or try.
- Elicit curiosity, enthusiasm, or emotions such as ‘’Get 20% off for life.’’
- Add a sense of urgency and create FOMO with a few specific time-sensitive CTAs like in this example from Shaw Academy.
- Provide your potential customers with a reason to take action, such as ‘’Click here to book a free consultation’’.
Need help crafting your video scripts? As one of the most experienced San Diego Video Production companies, we love turning our clients’ raw ideas into high-converting videos and help them establish their brand as a staple in their industry.
Our cameras are always rolling, and our team is always here to help. So, get in touch now for a free chat with one of us. In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s us placing our CTA using some of the tips we’ve provided above 😉
If you’re looking for video inspiration in your niche, here are two blog posts that might help:
Video Marketing Ideas for Tech Companies