Writing a Script for Video
Videos tend to say something. That’s sort of the point.
So what are you trying to say?
More importantly, how do you ensure people hear the right message (and act)? You need a script. Here’s how you make an awesome one.
Start with the goal.
Without an objective, you’re lost.
Don’t start writing a script until you’re clear on three things:
What you’re trying to accomplish
What your audience is trying to accomplish
Where this lives in the campaign structure
A script is built with an objective in mind and the perspective of the customer at the stage they’re receiving the information.
For example, should you provide a detailed demonstration script at the start of the funnel? Probably not. You need to connect to their problem before you give them all of the detail.
Define the Concept.
Your brand has a voice. Whatever script you’re writing needs to feel connected to your brand and your audience. What you choose to say should align to a higher-level concept and fit into the puzzle we described in the previous section.
An advertisement to get attention at the start of a funnel is likely short and punchy.
A video at the end of the funnel designed for conversion is likely longer and provides more detail.
The style that you wrap around these can take a variety of forms based on the concept.
You may opt for something quirky, memorable, and punchy.
You may want to have an explainer video with motion design.
You may need real people sharing success stories.
The options for concepts are wide open. This is the fun part. Brainstorming all of the potential pathways before jumping into scriptwriting.
What Type of Script Do I Need?
Because there are lots of options for approach, there are different ways to think about scriptwriting. Here are three common approaches:
A script for a narrative shares the dialogue between actors.
A script for a voiceover or spokesperson is a voiceover or on-screen person.
A script for a documentary story driven through interviews where we draft a sample script and interview manuscript to ask the right questions.
Now, You’re Ready to Write.
Here are some tips and tricks.
There aren’t many hard and fast rules about scriptwriting. Even more, every approach really has its own best practices. To get you thinking, here are some considerations to make your process stronger.
Just write. Don’t aim for perfection right away. Aim for structure. Block time, move fast, and iterate multiple options and ideas. At this stage, you’re looking for connections and ideas. Writer's block is fake.
Refine. Select your favorites, rework, and refine. Simplify.
Challenge your perspective. Once you have ideas you love, look for an entirely new way to solve the problem and draft a solution with half the number of words.
Avoid passive language. Look for active language to help speed scripts up and make them feel more confident.
Avoid obvious language. Look for words that feel like you and your brand, but don’t overcomplicate it.
Don’t try to be like someone else. Let people sound like themselves and keep it authentic.
Unless you’re great at writing comedy, be skeptical of your jokes. It’s one of the hardest things to pull off.
Use an audio-visual script to inform where words can be replaced with imagery.
Use a collaborative writing platform, such as Google Docs.
Provide a clear sense of the tone of your words. Sharing music and reference videos can often help.
Proofread and make sure you have approval before moving on. There’s nothing worse than going three steps forward only to end up at square one again.
Writing is easy. Great scripts are hard.
Here’s the reality — anyone can and should write scripts. It’s fun. It’s rewarding. It allows you to flush out ideas. Heck, you can even use AI to draft something or have them write it in the style of a poem or ballad.
Knowing what information to include and what to remove.
Selecting language that separates your brand.
Letting the tone, concept, and visuals lift the script, so you can say less but make a bigger impact.
If only you knew a team that could help you think through your goal, collaborate on concepts, and take the burden of script writing off your shoulders.
We’re always happy to hop on a call, review your scripts, or help you get a project off the ground.