7 Basics of Engaging Online Video Scripts

Lisa Burger
Marketing Health Services
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Key Takeaways

WHAT? A well-written video script provides the blueprint for your video.

SO WHAT? The first minute of a video is the absolute most important. It will make people either watch or click away.

NOW WHAT? According to Hubspot, by 2017, 69% of all Internet traffic will be video. Capitalize on this future growth by including online videos to your marketing campaigns now.

Here’s how to develop online video that will educate, inform and influence your prospects

Have you ever heard a basketball coach tell a team, “It’s time to go back to the basics”?

Well, I have. (And it was a good thing.)

My son’s basketball team in high school was fairly good. They won a few … and they lost a few.

But, they had been playing ball for so many years that they forgot about the basics. Such as passing the ball hard and fast, not slow and sloppy. How to make a free throw, the easiest way to score!

Online video scripts have basics, too.

No matter what type of video you want to produce, the script needs to have certain fundamentals to be engaging.

A Video Script Provides the Blueprint

A well-written video script provides the blueprint for your video. It serves as the cornerstone of your production phases.

The goal of a video script is to:

•    Supply direction for the entire production;

•    Educate, inform, and try to influence the buying decision;

•    Generate leads through a call-to-action (CTA); and

•    Coordinate with your other marketing efforts to nurture leads.

Your video’s goal will help determine what kind of video script you will write and what structure you use.

The key message of your video should be right up front.

It must resonate with your viewer. That’s why the first minute is crucial. The majority of viewers will only watch the beginning of a video and decide if it’s relevant for them or not.

According to Hubspot, 78% of people watch online videos every week. That’s a huge market to tap into.

There are many ways to write an online video script, just as there are many ways to write a sales letter or a white paper.

But the vital basics will apply to any of them.

1. A Strong Opening is Essential

You want it to quickly grab your viewer’s attention. To communicate that your video is relevant to him or her.

Think of it as the headline to your website page or sales letter.

Your opening can ask a question, relay a testimonial or establish the ‘pain point’ that your product solves. Let your viewer know what’s in it for him.

2. A Good Pace is Engaging

Most people bring a shortened attention span to their online experience. Therefore, a pace that moves right along is necessary to keep your viewer engaged.

Your video’s audible sentences should come across seamless and without effort, coaxing him from the beginning to the end.

For example, a movie trailer always has a good pace. It keeps you engaged from start to finish. Sometimes, trailer writers have to get creative to keep the pace up … this also applies to online video scripts.

3. Efficiency is Critical

You must create a lean, mean video script. There is no room for ‘fat’ in a well-written script. Padding videos with extra information is a huge mistake. Each word directs your viewer toward your video’s goal so filler content detracts from your video’s whole reason for being.

Viewers are impatient. For this reason, it’s critical that your video gets to the point quickly to keep them engaged.

Add to that … distractions. They are constantly competing for your viewer’s attention. That’s why efficiency in your video is vital, because you don’t want viewers to lose interest.

4. Clear and Simple Language is Crucial

Watch the use of overused buzzwords. Most of them don’t say anything at all. Such as ‘innovative solutions’ or ‘stakeholders.’

Avoid vague, limp language that’s stuffy and intentionally corporate. Especially for a ‘talking head’ script. If the language isn’t clear, it can act as a stumbling block in your viewer’s mind.

This can cause him to exit your video.

Instead, write in a conversational, flowing tone that speaks directly to your viewer. As if you are talking to him over a cup of coffee.

Use everyday, simple language he can easily relate to.

5. Visuals add Effectiveness

The whole point of the video medium is to provide visual stimuli.

This makes the content more memorable, more engaging, more powerful and more interesting. Whether your video is to demonstrate your product’s features, showcase a customer success story, or to entertain for brand awareness, visuals bring it to life.

Compared to the written word alone, communicating a message with video adds more content to the same message. And, it requires less of your prospect’s time.

According to Forbes, 59% of senior executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, they prefer to watch the video.

6. A Clear Objective is a Necessity

Your video script must stay focused on its objective.

Know where you intend to use it in your marketing campaign.

Is it for the beginning of the sales cycle to introduce your product or company? To educate your viewer about a problem your product or service solves?

Or, is it for the middle of the sales funnel, to explain how your product or service is better than your competitor’s? What’s unique about it?

Maybe, it’s for the end of the buying decision process, to detail the key features and benefits of your product or service. How it’s the solution your viewer’s been looking for.

All of the video script techniques need to support your clear objective.

7. A CTA with Clarity

A clear call-to-action is essential in your video script.

Always tell your viewer what to do next. He expects it. Without one, no action will be taken and your video will end.

Some CTA examples are:

•    “Call today for a no-obligation quote.”

•    “Enter your email in the box below to start your free trail.”

•    “Download your free white paper here.”

Even if it’s gentle, include a call-to-action to all your videos:

•    “To learn more, visit www.acme.com/learn.”

•    “E-mail this video to your colleagues by clicking the ‘E-mail’ icon below.”

Your CTA must be easy to follow and make a lasting impression.

According to Cisco, by 2017, 69% of all Internet traffic will be video. You can capitalize on this future growth by including online videos to your marketing campaigns.

A video can be at the beginning, middle, end, or throughout your sales cycle. Depending on its objective.

Your online video needs an attention grabbing opening, a good pace, and emotion to keep your viewer interested. Visual effects help to engage him.

The main portion of your video script should support your core message in clear language, and include a call-to-action to motivate him to take the next step.

This article was originally published in the November 2015 issue of the Marketing Health Services e-newsletter.

Author Bio:

Lisa Burger
Lisa Burger is an AMA Member and a Medical/Health Copywriter & Strategist at www.theLisaBurger.com. She writes emails, webpages, case studies, white papers, and online video scripts for the B2B industry and can be contacted at lisa@thelisaburger.com.
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