We all know how important videos are in the world we live in right now. Studies find 27.2% of viewers watch more than 10 hours of online video per week with 60% watching more than 4 hours a week. Further supporting the impact of video, 81% of marketers believe video has a direct, positive impact on sales and 94% say that video increased consumer understanding of their brands. Supporting this, 64% of consumers report buying a product after watching a video on a social platform. As you can see in the graphic below, video content is a primary form of content added by marketers because they understand its ability to help them reach their goals. That’s because visitors spend 88% more time on a website containing video than those without them. Videos also slowly became the prime source of entertainment to many of us over the decades, a scenario supported by increases in the amount of video uploaded to sites like YouTube, with 300,000 hours of new content uploaded per hour. To succeed in meeting your brand goals, writing great scripts to support these videos is essential.
Have you ever wondered what helps videos stand out from other types of content and why 87% of marketers use video as part of their content marketing efforts? Certainly, cinema-quality recording isn’t the key to videos that perform well, as you can see for yourself if you view a smattering of those uploaded to YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram Reels. Yet, you can’t just upload anything to these social platforms and expect them to deliver ROI for your brand. Instead, you must focus on producing videos with good quality footage, suitable music, great graphics, and an engaging voiceover. Writing great scripts for the voiceover may be the most critical factor in producing ROI as your voiceover explains your product, its proper use, and offers incentives to buy the product.
Writing great scripts for the voiceover is almost as important as the video itself because it can make or break the video. The main intention behind writing great scripts is to set the tone of the video right to the viewers.
Indeed, writing a voiceover script isn’t something one can master in one go. It takes time to master the art of writing great scripts because one needs to have a creative mind and understand what viewers need to know, then tell them in a way that resonates with them.
But if you keep a few simple tips in mind, writing great scripts for videos is something anyone can master over time. Here are some tips that will help you write great scripts with ease.
Writing great scripts
Never create a video with the notion of just winging the voiceover. Although your might not resort to writing out the script verbatim, you need an outline at a minimum. If you have talent creating the voiceover, they need a complete script, including staging and context to reproduce the voiceover you imagined in your head.
As with any other marketing task, writing great scripts begins with knowing your target market.
- What motivates them, ie. what are the hot buttons that they use in making purchase decisions?
- What do they look like; using images and talking points that mesh with them, their lifestyles, and their worldview gain more traction?
- How do they phrase elements of their world?
In general, consumers buy brands they see as “for them”. Your job in crafting a video is to ensure the video tells them your product is “for them”. Even subtle deviations have a big impact. For instance, an automobile commercial designed for multiple European markets did much better in one market than in the other 3. Investigating the explanation for this difference found that a small piece of the license plate was visible in the ad and consumers representing that county were more likely to make a purchase than those in other countries.
This effect is even more pronounced when it comes to writing great scripts. For instance, words have different meanings in different countries. Just as Americans say elevator and English say lift, these subtle differences can not only cloud meaning, they can turn off consumers who don’t find products reflect them.
Here’s some additional advice as you start writing great scripts.
Have a clear message
Since the attention span of audiences slowly declines over time, you must write the script to spread your message quickly and clearly to your intended audience. Below, you see an image showing the average video abandonment rate based on video length to help you gauge how long to make your videos.
Therefore, ensure each word you write connects to the main message you are trying to convey through the video. Coming up with new ideas in the middle of the script will only clutter the point you are trying to make. Also, consider the character of your intended target for the video. It’s better to create multiple videos each intended for a narrow market than trying to create one video that appeals to all your target markets.
Always write as you speak
A voiceover script is created to connect with the audience. Therefore, it is wise to adopt an informal and conversational writing style. While writing great scripts, try saying the exact sentence first to see how it sounds. Try it out in a focus group or with your salesforce Such attention to phrasing makes the job easier for both you and the voiceover artist you hire for the finished video.
Set the right tone
The tone of the voiceover script plays a huge role because it should mirror the target audience. So, before you write your heart out, think about your target audience and what words they would use to convey the message. Avoid jargon and complex sentences in favor of sentences that make sense to your target.
For example, if the video is aimed at a teenager, the tone should be very different from the video aimed at mature individuals. So, choose the idioms and internet slang wisely based on the audience you want to attract. Also, ensure your tone is authentic, as viewers will quickly eviscerate a video that appears unnatural or patronizing.
Make it easy to say
Keep your voiceover script simple so the artist can read it aloud without raising eyebrows. The best way to ensure that is to read the script as you write and alter the phrases where you stumble.
Avoid using difficult words and phrases that are too wordy as they might make the viewer pause and check the dictionary to understand what the artist is implying.
In simple words, you shouldn’t force the viewer to focus on the video but they should find it both entertaining and informative. It shouldn’t be a chore to view the video. You can also use voice generators to check the tone of the script before developing the final draft to hear how it sounds.
Use only one voice
This is a general concept from your English class in high school. If you writing in the first person (which I totally recommend as it helps you connect with the viewer), be consistent throughout your script. If you writing in 3rd person, continue that way. The same goes for other grammatical elements such as tenses — pick past, present, or future but don’t mix them.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep all this grammar in mind while you write out the script. A great tip is to soundcheck the script using voice generators to highlight any mistakes. Sometimes we don’t see grammatical errors in writing but our ears detect them pretty quickly when they hear something that’s not right. Before wasting money to produce the voiceover, check it out.
Although not a grammatical imperative, videos with active voice keep the viewers more engaged because passive voice doesn’t show action and doesn’t resonate with viewers as well.
Using direct voice in videos helps you connect with the audience on a deeper level. So, make sure to use direct voice in videos as much as you can.
Use silence effectively
So many creators remove pauses and breaths from recordings thinking that it makes the video shorter and better defined. However, it’s not always a good idea to compress the video by removing silence and other non-directed aspects because it makes the artist sound unnatural. You can also put more depth into a video with silence and pauses, as well as drawing attention to certain aspects of the script.Well-timed pauses in videos help you emphasize a topic. By pausing in between, you give time to the viewer to articulate all the things they just heard.
End with a call-to-action (CTA)
If the motive behind making a video is to make the audience take some actions afterward, the best way to achieve that is to remind them about that at the end of the video or at other points in the video. Only include a single CTA so your viewer knows exactly what action to take.
Make the most of the last few seconds of your video with CTA buttons or include links in the description with a voiceover containing clear instructions to find the link. While concluding the script, write two to three sentences to remind viewers to click on a certain website, email, etc., to make the video fruitful.
Writing top-notch voiceover scripts isn’t something one can master overnight. But if you keep the aforementioned tips in mind and draft your scripts accordingly, you’ll surely come up with something useful.
You will no longer feel the need to hire a professional copywriter for your videos if you consistently practice writing great scripts.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.