Scriptwriting Tips for an Effective Marketing Video

By | April 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm | No comments | Multimedia in Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Critical First Step
A script is the critical first step in the video production process. It defines what the video will be about, who it will address, and lays out the framework for how it will communicate the intended message. Good scriptwriting is an art in itself, but beyond the creative aspect, it requires critical thinking and organizational skills. Failure to adequately address the scriptwriting process before starting the video production process will have lasting negative effects on the overall success of the video.

Many small to medium businesses opt to write their own script for a video project. This often becomes a collaborative effort with their in-house marketing team and a contracted video production studio. Below are 7 tips to consider when writing a script for a marketing video:

1. Length – Decide how long you’d like the video to be. As you work through the script, keep in mind 150 words per minute as a general guideline. The ideal length for web marketing videos is 30 to 60 seconds. Longer videos should be reserved for product demos or detailed infomercials. On the web, you have a very limited time to catch and then hold your viewer’s attention.

2. Structure – Organization is key to a good script. Start by building a framework. Most marketing videos follow a similar formula: Bold Statement (attention grabber), Present a Problem, The Solution – Your Company or Product, Call-To-Action (what should the viewer do now).

3. Tell A Story – Audiences love a story. Building a narrative might take the form of a few ways – First by following the structure outlined above you create a logical arc for your viewer to follow, thus telling a story. Second, you can use your video to literally tell the story of your company or product. Third, you can tell a fictional story which creatively relates to your products or services. This last example we call entertainment marketing as these stories have the potential to entertain the audience while also reminding them of your message.

4. Who Are You Talking To? – In order to decide on the tone, concept, and precise message of your video, you first have to establish who your target viewer will be. The verbiage will be impacted, for example if talking strictly to people in one industry, more technical terminology might be appropriate. It is important to go back and ask yourself who you are talking to throughout the scriptwriting and production process.

5. Consider Visuals – While you may employ a production company to assist in creating the visuals for the video, providing them a rough concept or idea can be helpful. Try searching YouTube or other related business sites to see what sort of marketing videos they may employ. Collect examples of videos or visuals that you like. Its important to consider, “is this script visual or not”. Many scripts make the mistake of making broad, generic statements that are too abstract to visualize in an interesting way. In the case of live action video, begin to think about the location, props, and who you want to be on-camera. The video production company will utilize your concept ideas as they develop a storyboard based on your script.

6. Get Feedback – The scripting phase is the most critical phase to get feedback and make changes. Some changes may be impossible or very expensive to make after production has begun. Its important to think of the video production process as an assembly line – if a problem requires a change at an earlier stage of the process, the production must, to some extent, go all the way back through the assembly line to get back to the same point. Do several reads of the script, and get feedback on how it sounds. Practice the tone of the script – is it too serious, too casual, is it funny (if that’s what you are going for)?

7. Call To Action – Lastly, make sure your script has a solid call-to-action (CTA) at the end. This tells the viewer what you want them to do next. Should they visit your website? Give you a call? Do you want them to buy something? This is really the point of the video so make sure to include it and get it right. A video is a great way to get your viewer’s attention; now that you have it, make sure to take advantage of that.

Well there are our 7 tips to getting started with scriptwriting for marketing videos. Remember there are experts out there for hire that do nothing but write scripts for marketing videos. In any case, the process is a collaborative one between the in-house marketing person/team and the production team. The important thing is to take the time to get this step right before plunging into the rest of your video production.

The R.E.D. Team



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