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How To Write a Video Script that Sells: 5 Tips For Video Screenwriting

Building a marketing video for your product or service can be fun, but writing a script is hard work. And while it may not be as exciting as picking the background music or creating the visuals, a well-written script is the key factor to your video’s success. Here are 5 simple steps you can take when writing your next script.

1. KISS (Keep it Short and Simple)

While content trumps length, it’s critical to keep your script to a manageable length. Thirty to sixty seconds is ideal. Once you get above ninety seconds, you better have some pretty great content, or you’ll start losing viewers fast – especially if they are just stumbling across your explainer video.

Creating a concise script depends on using short sentences and simple language. Always try to avoid industry jargon and make sure to have someone outside of your company review the script before signing off.

2. Set the Tone

Video is powerful precisely because you have the ability to choose a tone for your company and connect with your customers in a way that text cannot. The tone you choose to write in often depends on the intended audience.

The tone you choose to write in often depends on the intended audience. However, with any script, it’s safe to assume that your audience wants to watch something engaging, unique and useful. In that case, be personal. The viewer should be able to relate to what you’re talking about. In certain situations (most, in my opinion), a little humor can go a long way.

3. Start with an Elevator Pitch

There are exceptions, but most great marketing videos start with a clear and compelling elevator pitch in the first five seconds. An elevator pitch is your hook. It should quickly convey the core message behind your product or service. Crafting a great pitch can take a lot of time (here are some tips from Businessweek), but once you’ve nailed it, it can significantly help people remember who you are and what makes you unique.

4. Tell a Story

Everyone loves a good story, so why should your video be any different? A story, in essence, is a progression with a beginning and an end. Along the way, it identifies a problem and presents a solution.

Start by identifying the pain point. What is the problem your product or service solves? Make sure you present it in a way that your audience can easily identify with. Oftentimes, walking through a simple scenario or case example can help viewers connect.

Once you’ve painted a compelling picture of the problem, present your solution. What makes your product or service the ideal solution? Why should they choose you over the competition? Be clear and confident with your value proposition. Your solution should create a desire in the viewer to act, and act soon.

5. What’s in it for Me?

Throughout the script, never forget to be continually answering the key question every viewer will have, “what’s in it for me?” From start to finish, your video should be focused on your potential customer, what they want and how you can help them get it. Finally, end your script with a call to action — a next step the viewer can take to get started.

Writing a great script is hard work, but when you do it right, it will pay dividends. By using a personal tone, simple language, an interesting story and a valuable offer, you’re well on your way to creating an explainer video that sells.

Written by Andrew Follett
Andrew is the Founder of Demo Duck, a video production agency. He lives in Chicago, loves startups, and enjoys traveling. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.