In the growing fight for people’s attention online, videos offer a winning strategy.
And, the sky-high demand for them creates a huge opportunity for you as a video scriptwriter.
Businesses urgently need more videos for a number of reasons:
- Videos will make up 82% of all Internet traffic in 2021, Cisco says.
- Online users spend 88% more time on websites with videos, according to WordStream.
- One minute of video has the same power as 1.8 million words, a Forrester analyst says.
- Ninety percent of customers say video helps them decide what to buy, and 64% of consumers tell Forbes seeing a video makes them more likely to buy.
- Many companies want to give their training videos YouTube-style makeovers to appeal to millions of new Generation Z employees, The Wall Street Journal.
- Unbounce has found using video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
- Sixty-five percent of company leaders have visited a vendor’s site, and 39% have called a seller after watching a marketing video, Forbes
- Sixty-four percent of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies soon, Nielsen reports.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to cash in on those statistics? These tips will help you do that.
1. Use these questions to outline your script:
What’s this video’s goal? It could be to introduce a new product… announce a special discount… explain why your client stands out… demonstrate how a product works… or prove how a service makes customers’ lives easier.
Why will people care? Maybe you’re solving a problem they have… easing their worries… telling them how they can avoid a problem… or warning them about something they need to know.
What benefits am I giving the audience? Here are a few examples of benefits many viewers feel thankful to get:
- Teach them something they want to learn.
- Offer an urgent discount code.
- Give a bright idea they want to share.
What should viewers take away from this? Your script needs to be strong enough for the audience to easily fill in the blank with a “because” sentence. Let me show you what I mean…
I should buy this product because _____________.
This company is unique because _____________.
I need to [visit their website, give them my email, share this video on social media] because _____________.
2. Know your target audience.
Understanding your audience makes the difference between a video that flops and a video that holds attention plus gets people to take action.
Dig deep to find their core emotions and needs, because those things influence every choice made in a video: the tone, visuals, and trigger words you use… your call-to-action… even the music.
Will the video catch and hold your viewer’s attention?
Will your words touch their emotions?
Will your content inspire them to buy your client’s product, visit their website, or share the video on social media?
3. Make every word count.
Aim to write your story outline in less than five sentences. That will help you stay focused on one clear message. Don’t forget to finish with a strong call-to-action.
Now, here’s a tricky part…
Almost always, the best online video scripts are very short.
At a comfortable pace, a one-minute video runs 130 to 150 words.
Master copywriter John Forde says the average person speaks in sentences that are about 7 to 12 words — as long as you can keep a breath of air in your lungs.
So, write your script that way.
After all, for an effective video script, you must write the way people talk.
4. Build an emotional roller coaster.
Tapping into your prospect’s emotions during the first few seconds of your video script will capture their attention.
These days, triggering positive emotions is crucial to keep their attention and convert it into action, Harvard Business School researchers say.
“Surprise and joy effectively concentrate attention and retain viewers,” the Harvard team reports.
Viewers respond best to videos that give them a surprise, quickly followed by joy.
They’re more likely to share those videos with friends and family. That sharing gives your client the best kind of attention.
Nielsen reports 83% of consumers say they trust friend and family recommendations, and 66% trust consumer opinions posted online. Those opinions and recommendations are forms of earned media or attention.
If you can deliver earned attention to clients, a stampede of businesses will race to hire you for their video projects.
But, there’s a twist…
The researchers discovered viewers are most likely to keep watching an online video ad if they feel emotional ups and downs.
So, give your target audience a jolt of joy, then take it away, and then restore it. Repeat that cycle. That’s the blueprint for the highest emotional roller coaster.
5. Preview, Proof, No Problem…
YouTube loves content that takes on a struggle prospects face now and delivers a convincing message with an answer to the problem.
With a hand from Search Engine Watch, I boiled this down to a formula I follow and call “Preview, Proof, No Problem”:
PREVIEW the problem or struggle when the video starts.
Give PROOF like research, testimonials, case studies, or customer feedback.
Show there’s NO PROBLEM now, because your client’s products or services provide the best way to solve the audience’s struggle.
6. Test your script’s timing.
A website that helps people audition and hire voiceover artists, www.thevoicerealm.com, includes solid guidelines on timing and word count for a wide range of video projects.
It also has a very useful app for scriptwriters.
This app I found gives a good estimate of your video’s length based on your script’s words.
Just paste in your video script, choose Regular Pace Explainer Videos as the voice speed, and click the Calculate Now button.
This app will help you edit your script to fit the timeframe your client desires.
7. Choose peak times to post videos.
YouTube audiences are most active and waiting for videos at certain times:
- 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Wednesday
- 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday and Friday
Those are the best times to post videos, TrackMaven found after diving deep into key analytics.
8. Tailor it to the small screen.
Over half of viewers watch YouTube on their phones, Brandwatch statistics say.
So, your video script must be mobile-friendly.
No small print. No fuzzy or complex images. Change course if a product demonstration involves a lot of fine details.
Make everything bold, big and simple to see and hear.
Do that and your video looks like a winner… no matter what device people use to watch it.
Video is becoming critical in online marketing strategies. Make sure you’re ready to help your clients capitalize on this trend.