How to Write a Video Script

Writing a video script requires the same discipline you'd expect any time you create something where you expect to motivate the viewer to take action. Having recently completed a series of videos for a nutritional health supplement maker, I can tell you that done right, it's a lot of work.

In the case of this client, we created a series of videos with the first video being an opt-in video. In the first video, email and social media will drive traffic to a landing page where the viewer can watch a short (in this case 3:30) video. Our goal is for the reader to "opt-in" to the next video with more detailed information (which they get access to immediately). Then a few days later we email the viewer, invite them to watch the next segment, and a few days later the viewer is emailed yet again inviting them to watch the final segment.

In this marketing program, we are educating the viewer about a particular health-related situation (when it's available to the public I'll share the link). During our course of videos, we educate the viewer, give them more information, and importantly, the viewer will be able to comment on the landing page using their Facebook account.

Obviously, the goal is that after watching the series of videos the viewer will be enlightened, trust the marketer, and by that point be comfortable making the purchase.

Here are a few of my pointers on how to write a video script like this series described:

1. Research is vital. Often times you will have find your own research - that is, the client won't spoon feed it to you. In this example, our research took us down a couple of paths for content that the client ultimately didn't want to pursue. But the time and research was worth the investment so I could get a better depth of understanding about writing the video script.

2. Identify the persona. In this case, two personas: first, the person will be watching the video. Second, create a persona of the person delivering the voice over (which in this case, was me). As it turned out, as the video script writer, I was exactly the target market for this product.

3. Overview the story. For the opt-in video, we had to structure enough information in the script to entice the viewer to stick with us while watching over 3 minutes of content. But we also had to withhold enough information so there would be something left in the subsequent videos for them to want to watch.

4. Sequence the story. After the opt-in video, we created three more videos. We call them value videos. They are valuable because of the content and education delivered. In the first two of the three, the product name wasn't mentioned. All we said is that a new product would be available soon.

5. Pace the story. We couldn't give away too much information in the story. Yet there needed to be enough so the viewer would stick with us.

6. Golden thread. A tactic used when writing direct mail is to include a golden thread in the copy. Something that brings the reader back to a common theme. This is important when planning how to write a video script. Chances are, the golden thread won't surface until after you've written a fair amount of copy. But look for it!

7. It's in the voice over delivery! A good script can become a great script with the right voice over. The voice has to be authoritative, yet approachable. As I continue recording these scripts, I'll post here soon about how to voice over a video. Stay tuned!

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.