Hell Yes I’m Ready to Write a Video Script!

by: Kathleen Martin

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Great news, video newbies! You’re almost ready to start writing that script for your new video project. 

And we’ve saved up some of our very best advice for those just getting started with video to prove script writing doesn’t have to be an exercise in self-immolation.

We all know video is an increasingly crucial component of today’s marketing campaigns, but not everyone realizes just how essential a well-planned script is for a successful video project. And I’ll be completely honest and tell you it’s often one of the most overwrought as well. While there’s no doubt the dreaded blank page is a fearful sight for any writer, a little pre-work can help you overcome your script-writing jitters so you can forge ahead and release your creative ideas.

Preparing for Impact: The Script Pre-Investigation

Here at Outlier, we start off any new video project by asking a lot of questions and we strongly suggest adding this as part of your video writing as well even if you think you already know the answers. When you take the time to challenge your initial understanding of what you think a video should say and do, we have found you often discover some additional insight that can add a lot to your final cut.

Questions About Your Video that We Find Helpful

  • What is the goal of this video? This may seem like a no-brainer, but put some brain behind it anyway and see what shakes out. The answers may surprise you!
  • Who is the target audience? Knowing who you’ll be talking to will help you tailor your message and your language to meet audiences on their own turf.
  • What information do you want them to leave with? Create a list of the key takeaways for the audience. You’ll use this information to ensure you’ve got a script with all the details necessary for success.
  • How do you want those audiences to feel after they watch the video? Are you trying to inspire? Educate? Sell? These types of questions can go a long way towards determining the tone and content of your message.
  • What do you want your audience to do after they watch the video? A next step--even if it’s “tell someone else about the video” is important so you can judge the success of the final product.
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Once you’re satisfied that you have the answers to these questions, the writing can begin! Again, take a deep breath and remain calm. Here are a few additional tips:

Simple and shorter are almost always better. Video moves quickly and audiences can lose interest even faster. As a result, video does best when the actual script does less as well. Sound confusing? I promise it’s not! Your job is to clearly state what you need the audience to know. Unnecessary fluff is to be avoided at all costs.

Remember - your script won’t have to do all of the heavy lifting. That’s good news! It means that much of what the audience will take away will depend on the visual information they’ll receive while watching.

Always, always, always read your script out loud when you’re done. All writing benefits from this treatment, but script writing will actually be read out loud, so it’s approximately 150% even more important (give or take).

By doing a little additional homework upfront, you’ll be in a much better place when it’s time to begin writing. So what are you waiting for?  You are now armed and ready to take on the important task of writing your next video masterpiece. That blank page is calling your name. Go show it who’s boss.

Questions about how to get started creating your next video? Contact Outlier today to talk to a member of our video team!

Outlier

Video, Web, and Design Agency