You know you need a video (or videos) for your company’s website and social media, but how do you get started? Many people become intimidated by the amount of time and money that is required to pull a video’s storyline together. Starting the video process yourself can be simple, and these script writing tips can help you save a little money along the way!
You already have an important qualification for video script writing. You know your product or service better than your production company does. In order to write an effective script, it is important for the writer to understand the company, the product/service, and the specific goals for the campaign. Fully grasping this information can take a lot of time for the production team before a single word is written. These hours of work affect the pre-production costs associated with your project. So you’re ready to save time and money by writing the script for your production team…but where do you start?
Make a list of the topics that need to be covered in the video. Then make a list of the goals that the video should achieve. Once you have these lists, you can begin to think about the best ways to explain your product. For easy comparison, write the lists side-by-side. Every sentence should serve a dual purpose: it should share information and convince your intended audience to buy-in to your campaign.
Now that you have your list of requirements and goals, consider your intended video time. Are you trying to accomplish too much in a one-minute video? Would your messaging be clearer if you created multiple short videos instead? Make sure you aren’t setting your audience up for information overload. Alternatively, you might find that your message can be communicated succinctly. That’s great! Consider shortening your video to meet your simplified message.
Once you’ve written your first draft, read your script out loud and time it. This will help you catch errors and odd phrasing, but more importantly, it will give you a preview for the realistic timing of your video. If your video is supposed to be a minute long and it takes you two minutes to read, then you need to tighten your script drastically. If it only takes you thirty seconds, consider adding a point or two to flesh your ideas out a bit. This timing is important regardless of whether the script is dialogue, voice-over, or typography based. If your script is dialogue based, make sure that you leave a little extra room between lines to get a more accurate time. If it’s voice-over, make sure that your sentence structure will give the VO artist good opportunities for pauses and breaths. And if your script is typography based, keep your sentences simple, and allow for even more time than it takes to say the words. Make sure your audience will have time to read and then process your messages.
Finally, don’t forget to allow time for a beginning and/or end graphic.
Choosing too many metaphors or themes is the quickest way to messaging chaos. Choose one to three key themes and focus your message around those central ideas. Your video length will improve because you won’t have to setup and explain additional thoughts. Your imagery will feel consistent and your audience will be happy knowing that they fully grasp what you are trying to convey. One example of a video with carefully selected themes is this explainer video that we produced for Streamline. Notice how the repeated themes strengthen the messaging.
By Liz LeGrande
Frozen Fire is a digital business development and communication strategy firm that exists so that businesses have the tools necessary to know exactly who their customers are and what their customers are looking for; we help companies connect with their customers via digital marketing strategies; and we help them to drive their sales, business development and marketing efforts, so as to gain the maximum return on their investments in terms of marketing dollars, efforts, and human resources. Contact us to learn how we can help your business know, connect, drive.
Want to know more about video pricing. Check out our article here.