I love writing and hopefully you do too.
One of the most challenging parts about writing for me is getting my head in the game depending on what subject and platform I am writing for. This couldn’t be more true for two of my biggest writing en devours. One of these is of course writing video script both for my clients and my own business. In this instance, what I write has to be simple, short, to the point and devoid of any clutter.
My other big writing en devour is a fantasy novel. It is currently sitting at over 100,000 words which for reference is longer than the second Harry Potter book (85,141 words.) It’s a side project I am working on for fun and has absolutely no correlation to Business Marketing Den or any form of video marketing. For that reason, it is the complete opposite of everything I am doing here. The words must come alive and dance on the page. Descriptions must be vivid and fill the reader’s mind with powerful images. Taking writing shortcuts is frowned upon and creating versatile depictions is much more efficient.
For instance, “James dreamed of things once again being the way they used to be” written in a novel would much better be written as the following:
“Before the skies had turned red and war threatened each moment of his life, the days had been much more enjoyable. James dreamily recollected the drifting moments of his past. A time where his loving wife Emma and their two daughters had spent each hour as a family, doing the things that families were meant to do together. Like enjoying Sunday brunches and spring picnics; taking the kids to the movies and to see Santa at Christmas time. He wished things were like they had once been.”
That’s writing for a novel. Writing for a marketing video is significantly different. For instance, that last paragraph took 25 seconds to read out loud. In a marketing video that can translate to an eternity if the content doesn’t hook your viewer’s attention and then deliver them value. In a marketing video, ”James dreamed of things once again being the way they used to be” would be just fine.
As a video script writer, how does this influence writing video script for you? It means:
- Cut the clutter. It can be easy to get wrapped up and lost in trying to make your product, service or company sound better by using more words and bigger ones. That stuff doesn’t fly in a marketing video. Keep the essential information and scrap the rest.
- Think about what your viewer will benefit from hearing. Do they care if your product was the Grammy-nominated, boy scout of America winning thingamabob or do they care if it’s going to solve their problems?
- Tailor your content to the desired outcome of your video. If your video is meant to get your viewers to sign up on your mailing list then the content in your video should be tailored to walk your viewer down the path that takes them in that direction.
- Keep it interesting! Just because you need to be direct doesn’t mean you need to be dull. Use humour, be quirky and ask questions. Play to your strengths and use your personality.
- Use visuals that contribute to your audio. The great thing about video is that you don’t have to verbally explain everything in detail if your visuals can help you get there faster. For example, on my home page video (the one that’s half-way down to the bottom) I explain where to go on my website to get more information and I then show the viewer visually where to actually click.
- People have short attention spans. This appears to be especially true the younger someone is. Last night I was watching an episode of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and a little girl was explaining what a ‘Vine video’ is to her dad. The father asked “So it’s like a YouTube?” to which she resplies, “No! YouTube videos are like three minutes long – no-one has time for that!”… Yikes!
Writing video script is an art just like so many other forms of digital media. It takes more than a single night to perfect it so keep practicing and good luck!