Although a masterfully written video script may seem like a genuine work of art, it’s usually a remix of one or two classic templates. Plus, a bit of creativity, of course.
In this article, you will learn how to write a good video script on your own. Why would you want to write a script yourself instead of hiring a professional? Well, there are at least two reasons to do so.
Writing a promotional script on your own is a smart choice if:
Both reasons are understandable, and in both cases, you can accomplish your goal and without sacrificing quality. Below you will find the exact script templates, and how to apply them in practice correctly.
Great news! You know what your brand needs. Maybe you can’t clearly articulate those ideas yet, but nobody understands your company and your vision better than you do.
As a video production company, we spend hours on research (also known as a video strategy stage) to make sure we understand you and your marketing situation correctly. You, on the other hand, already have a head start.
Beyond knowing your audience and your message, here are the five easy promotional video script templates you can use:
Simple template, best fit for short, straightforward promotional videos. It can jump right out of the digital noise and really grab attention.
Announcements’ structure can vary depending on your purpose, but in general, it follows like this:
If you are using voice over, avoid turning your video into a lecture. Keep it brief and ask relevant questions (like “have you ever…?” or “don’t you wish that…?”) to sound more natural.
A brief video (usually animated) that explains ideas, products, or services in a memorable way. There are three popular explainer video script formulas:
“Meet Bob” (a.k.a. Vignette) – this template starts a scene where a character struggles with the same problem that your audience is facing. Once you establish the connection, you introduce the solution, show how it works, and what results it brings, closing with a call to action.
“Secret Sauce” – a perfect explainer video script template for niche and breakthrough products. Here you present the problem but focus more on the uniqueness of your solution and why it works. And don’t forget about the CTA, of course.
“Common Interest” – this template suits well with consumer brands and services. Stating that “everyone loves hot coffee”, or asking “do you like dirty floors?”, helps quickly establish a common ground for presenting the problem, solution, and why your call to action matters.
3) Video Interview (Talkshow) – people can watch talk shows for hours, as long as it’s interesting. This template for promotional videos is rarely discussed because it’s rarely considered as one, as the marketing message of such videos can be very subtle. However, that’s precisely why talk shows are so effective in the middle of a sales funnel.
A classic talk show structure includes:
For marketing purposes, it can also be beneficial to incorporate a Q&A section with real questions from your audience or even directly invite one of your viewers to join the conversation.
Note that you won’t be able to script everything (unless it’s a solo talk show), and it’s okay. Write down the key points and let the conversation take its course.
Another popular short-format template. Remember that testimonials can also come from employees, partners, and even random strangers, so you are not limited only by what your clients have to say.
A structure for video testimonial often resembles explainer videos:
Use some b-roll footage instead of featuring only talking heads. B-roll for a video testimonial can include scenes where people are using your product or service, their daily routines, area around the office, team shot, etc.
As the saying goes, if you want people to know the truth – tell them, if you want them to love the truth – tell them a story. Stories are the most ancient formula of them all… a-and that’s why it’s so challenging to make a story-driven video engaging (especially in under 2 minutes).
On the flip-side, every script template except for the announcement includes some story arc. By adding a few creative touches to your initial message, it is possible to hone a legitimate narrative that won’t sound cheap.
The Writing Cooperative defines a basic story structure as follows:
In explainer videos, for example, the problem you solve can become your antagonist, and your solution – the hero of the story. Think of expensive, inconvenient traditional taxi services and Uber.
Find the core conflict connected with your message. Then, imagine how you can depict this conflict in the form of a video.
Here are ten script writing tips to help you mix and match your creative ideas and make most out of the script template you’ve chosen:
Scriptwriting is not easy, it’s the foundation for all of the following video production stages. This means that a bad promotional script that makes its way into production can ruin the whole project.
It’s also worth mentioning that most production companies are open to ideas that their clients suggest. They also often have scriptwriters with both hands-on video production experience and a firm understanding of digital marketing.
Weigh all your options wisely.
So, you have decided to write the script on your own. You have prepared the video strategy, chosen the style, and ready for the next step – defining the video’s timeframe.
In our article titled “Sales Funnel & Video Marketing: What Goes Where?” we have already covered the standard length for different types of marketing video.
If you are looking for a general rule of thumb, then the following graph will be your best helper here. It’s based on research done by Wistia:
In essence, the shorter your promotional video is – the higher is the chance that viewers will watch it till the end. The sweet spots are 0-2 minutes and 6-12 minutes, where the engagement stays relatively stable.
Anything in-between 2 and 6 minutes is a red zone where every second counts. Past 12 minutes engagement decay kicks in again, but at a slower rate.
Regarding the voice over, our standard for scripts is 130 words per 1 minute of video. This minute also accommodates for pauses and minor sound effects.
Let’s face it – there are much better ways to be entertained than watching a marketing video. The only way to beat that unstoppable urge to scroll through, swipe away, or press that exit button, is to create a compelling hook.
One way to hook a viewer right from the start is to quickly explain the problem in one scene or a sequence of a few short ones.
Present your solution to the problem, but don’t try to explain every detail at once. Instead, try to form your promotional script as a so-called inverted pyramid.
Clearly state your solution, and only then gradually explain why it works best for this particular problem. This narration style instills curiosity and motivates viewers to stick for longer.
Also, keep in mind that the voiceover needs to be in sync with the video’s visuals and not overlap too much with other audio. You want the viewer to understand and accept what you are saying, not run away confused.
To make sure you’re not trying to squeeze too many words together, test your script by reading it out loud and measuring the time.
Give the name of your brand, product, or service early in the video. Then, try repeating it at least three times across the script without getting annoying. As professional speech writers recommend:
Marketing video is not just about your brand and your objectives. Remember that viewers are humans too, with their own knowledge, aspirations, and goals.
Speaking directly to the viewer and using personal pronouns (“you”, “your”) is great. What is even better – showing your audience the things they truly care about.
Skip past what your viewers most likely already know and avoid the topics that concern only you and not them. Treating an audience with care and respect can go a long way towards earning their trust.
Video is not just a visual form of communication, (surprise!) it can also have audio. Think about voice acting, sound effects, and pauses. These are all tools that can evoke a strong emotional response and convey additional meaning.
You can even activate smell and tactile senses with video. Well, almost. It’s incredible how quickly our brains associate pictures and sounds with our other senses, based on our past experience.
For example, a roasted turkey can have a smell and a taste even if it’s just a video on a screen. A burning fireplace with crackling sound can make your viewers feel warmer. Imagination is a powerful thing.
Unlike direct visual and audio stimuli, humor has to be interpreted. Hence, its effectiveness heavily depends on each individual.
With this being said, humor can become an indispensable tool in your storytelling kit. Know your audience and use humor when it supports your message.
When writing a marketing video script, remember about timing your humor correctly. You can also try introducing humor as an organic element of your video by using funny visuals and audio effects.
That’s right – your viewers won’t do what you ask of them if they don’t understand or simply don’t like your call to action.
Too many marketing videos end with a boring “go to our website to learn more”. Although sometimes it works, a simple trick of restating the problem and your solution again right before a CTA can make your viewers much more eager to convert.
For example, in our video for Qualifier.ai we’ve finished with a short and sweet “stop wasting your time, and start increasing your sales with Qualifier today.”
Provide a compelling reason for the viewer to act and then explicitly ask for what you want.
If you remember only one point from this article, let it be this – keep your script simple. And by simple, I mean focusing on one key idea and driving it home.
Get your viewer’s attention, deliver your message, and facilitate a conversion. If it works well – you’re on the right track, keep improving. If not – get back to this list.
Even when using a simple template, scriptwriting is a highly nuanced process, tightly knit to marketing research and other steps of video production. That’s why we recommend partnering with a full-service video production company (such as ours) to achieve the best results.
We are expert storytellers you can rely on. Share your script or let us create it for you from scratch, and we’ll help you create the right video your company needs. Contact us today!
Cookie-cutter explainers and brand videos are everywhere. They are simple, easy to produce, and terrible for your overall video marketing ROI. Here's why.
Facing the economic fallout from coronavirus, marketers need real examples of how to deal with it, not just opinions. Learn from the best in this article.
All you need to know about B2B video marketing, on one page. Tips, strategy, and best practices – everything in one comprehensive guide.