The Ultimate Guide To Writing Video Scripts

A great video script is necessary to make a good project work.

Even great art won’t save a bad script.

Writing them is a specialized skill.

It’s a specific type of writing that not even great writers do all that often.

It’s part of the value that we offer: Simplifilm writes and

Boiling complex products like software or bestselling books into 150-180 words is not easy.  It’s hard work. Fortunately, our experience has given us a guide and we can figure out how to outline an effective demo script in a short amount of time.

How Long Should A Video Script Be?

  • 60 seconds – 125-150 words (less is more)
  • 90 seconds – 150-200 words (less is more)
  • 2 minutes 250-275 words (this is the longest possible Simplifilm)
You have a lot of ground to cover. So it’s important that we get it all right.

Like we say a lot, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

First: Write a Compelling Opening Headline For Your Demo Video

You have to write a good headline for your demo video. Really. You have to construct two things: what they’re going to learn in the rest of the video, and why the software matters.

We have many tricks in our bag, but to write expediently, we’ll stick to two staple scripts: The Welcome and The Problem.

The Welcome  Open:

This is easy.  A warm, low key welcome to a service or product, and a 10-word description of how it works. This is effective, and keeps people watching. (We’ll get into it soon, but you want people to understand what they are seeing.)

“Welcome to [Software Name] the [features you’ll explain in detail].”

So, for example, it’d be “Welcome To Headway, the Drop and Drag theme for WordPress websites.”

This explains what you’re going to present later. People are curious, they want to learn more. It’s a little different—but not wholly different—from copywriting headlines for a sales letter. With good visuals, a straightforward approach will work. We’re matter of fact and low key because that converts. The other way to do it is “the problem.” We present the problem that exists and then go towards the solution.

The “State Your Problem” Open

We introduce a problem, and bring in the product or brand to solve it.

So: [List problem] then bring in a brand (and maybe logo reveal) that solves it.

“Tired of filling in giant stacks of paperwork at the doctor’s office? Welcome to myHelo, the paperless online portal for your business.”

The issue with this is that we have to make the sure we’re solving a real problem. For example, if nobody cares about it, then the script can’t work, and people will tune out. A service like Yelp would have a better time introducing their service then pretending that “rating coffee shops,” is a problem plaguing humanity.

Second: A Tie-in That Matters (with Bullet Points)

This is where the nuts and bolts come in.

OK, so we have the open. That will take—literally—half the time of writing the script. It’s the most important piece because what we’ve learned with our millions of views is that when people stick around for 10 or so seconds, they will be 80% or so likely to watch to about 75 seconds.

So we have to act on this stuff. We explain, in detail, what the software does.

The easiest good way to do this is a 1, 2, 3 metaphor or “in 3 steps you can _______”.

  • Design a website
  • Add your content, like videos and blog posts
  • Go Live!

You can’t be too simple here. We want people to feel like they are using and accomplishing something.

We always leave out a few great features on a one minute software explainer walkthrough video. People don’t comprehend a lot while watching a video. A slow pace sells, and we use the close to hint at more features (or we can say “and so much more” and bring up screens and symbols to hint at the other things that the software does).

When we pick two points, the third can be “Go Live” or “Publish” or “Finalize” because people like to be done. A sense of completeness relieves tension and makes people feel like they’ve accomplished something.

Reverse The Risk, Then Close

 

After we’ve introduced the problem, we want to reverse the risk, and ask for a sale.

Our goal is to make it so that the cost of staying where they are at is greater than whatever we’re asking them to do.

For example, if you don’t know how to write a video script, you might wind up wasting thousands of dollars on making the wrong video.

So you’d better grab our download.

1 Comment

  1. Zequek Estrada on April 26, 2017 at 08:01

    Christ, this provided some great insight. I kind of agree that you can’t save a bad script even if you have great art. I can only imagine how much time must go into creating the perfect production transcript.

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