Engineering Copywriter Blog

Content marketing tips and insights to help grow your engineering audience

November 19, 2021

8 Steps to Writing a Killer Video Script


Videos have long proven their worth as effective marketing tools. Publishers who use them enjoy higher engagement and follower growth to their page and website than with any other form of media. However, videos only work well when they’re properly produced using high-quality content. That is why publishers place great importance on production planning and video scriptwriting to support them.

Writing a video script is not as complicated as writing a white paper or case study, but there’s no denying the fact that it can be intimidating for those with no experience. If you are looking for tips on how to create an interesting video for your audience, read below.

1. Start with a video brief

A brief ensures that the final script will drive toward your desired results. Specifying the video’s objectives helps your team understand their audience and the value that you want to demonstrate. Anytime a question arises during production, the team can always refer back to the video script brief. 

A brief does not necessarily have to be fancy. It only needs to include factors such as: 

  •    –  The goal of the video
  •    –  The audience
  •    –  The topic
  •    –  The key takeaways
  •    –  The call-to-action to be used

2. Write an outline

Once the video brief is complete and agreed upon, you can start writing an outline of how you want the script to progress. The outline will also serve as a guide for how the video should be broken down into subtopics. 

Though you can’t merely read it word-for-word, if you have already written a blog post on your topic, it can make for a good script outline. All the basic information is there. The post’s subdivisions can be used as starting points when organizing the script’s breakdown.

3. Keep it short

When writing, we often forget to be mindful of overall time and length. This is a critical factor with video scripts. In marketing, shorter videos are more compelling than longer videos, although lengths can vary depending on the type of video you produce. According to recent studies, 68% of consumers prefer learning about new products and services through short videos. As such, it is safe to say that ‘less is more’ when writing a video script.

Image Source: Hubspot

A rule of thumb is to try and produce videos in the 2-3-minute range. Remember that the length of your video will depend on the intended audience. If the person needs your product or service, they are likely to watch the video from start to finish. Otherwise, their attention will stray if it isn’t compelling enough.

4. Introduce yourself or the topic at the beginning

Like most marketing tools, the first 30 seconds are vital. You need to hook your audience during this timeframe. One effective way to do that is to introduce yourself or the narrator and give a very brief explanation of what viewers can expect from the video. 

Your video is short, to begin with, so keep the introduction brief. Offer the name of the person, their position, or the company name, and then add one short sentence about the message of the video. Simplify it to ensure it is memorable and stands out.

5. Speak directly to the audience in a language that they understand

Write your video script in a conversational manner that will make your audience feel that you are speaking directly to them. Using pronouns like ‘you’, ‘I’, and ‘we’ will make it more engaging and personal. Avoid scripts that feel detached and impersonal. Connect with people in a way that will give them the sense you are there to help.

Additionally, when you know your audience it will be a lot easier to determine what tone of voice you need to project. For an engineering audience, the use of jargon and technical terms is acceptable and even expected. Remember to inject a little humor into the writing too, if the overall tone is amenable to it.

6. Turn your message into a story

Explainer video scripts are often laid out by presenting the problem, introducing the solution, explaining how it works, and driving viewers to action. While this is especially effective for technical videos, you can make them even more interesting and attention-grabbing by talking to, interacting with, and showcasing actual people from the company. 

Additionally, make sure your script follows a logical progression. Avoid throwing in random facts and events unless they connect directly with other key points. Organize your video script in a way that makes it easy to understand and engaging to watch.

7. Do several script readings

Once you have your workable draft in place, start reading it out. You can schedule several table reads or practice with the narrator to see how they bring your script to life. As the writer, you want your video script to flow smoothly from line to line, and you won’t know exactly how well it sounds until you’ve done some readings. This will reveal portions of the script that need alteration before it’s ready for final production.

Pay attention to:

  •    –  The time it takes to read the script.
  •    –  Where inflections and emphases fall.
  •    – Phrases that are awkward or difficult to pronounce.

8. Compare the final video script to the brief

Before you finalize the script, compare what you have to the video brief that you wrote at the beginning of the process. This will ensure that you have not missed any crucial aspects that you considered important in the planning phase. Remember that your brief serves as your guideline and should be consulted before you sign off on the video script as complete.

Below are some questions that you can ask before you mark it as finished:

  •    –  Does the script achieve its objectives?
  •    –  Does it resonate with the intended audience?
  •    –  Does it communicate the core message?
  •    –  Does it tell an engaging and logical story?
  •    –  Does it have a compelling call to action?
  •    –  Does it conform to the optimum length for its intended distribution channel?

The process of creating an effective video script may be complicated, but like anything, if you practice frequently you will find that it becomes easier and will flow naturally. Remember that a compelling and engaging video script can help boost your content marketing strategy, so it’s important to work on it. If you need help writing a great script for your website or social media page, contact us and we can help you create one.

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