By Andrew Angus on June 24, 2014

Pen and Paper

When making a marketing video, it’s easy to see why companies may not be focusing on the script. After all, video is visual, so it seems like the images, props and characters would be the vital parts to work on. However, this approach is misguided and can result in an ineffective video campaign.

Just because viewers won’t be reading the script doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be good. In fact, when you don’t spend sufficient time on your script, you can end up with a video that is long and unwieldy. A video is no good if the viewer can’t sit through it, so you should keep it under two minutes, ideally. Another reason tight scripting is important is that illustrators and the other creative team members putting visuals together may waste time making imagery that ends up getting scrapped. Finally, a great script can add serious value to visuals, providing another aspect of interest that will keep viewers engaged until the end. The script is just one piece of the overall video puzzle.

Yes, writing the script is an important step. But how do you go about writing one that will result in a successful animated video? Here are four tips for constructing a good video script:

  1. Ask yourself whether this needs to be a video
    The medium should match the message you’re trying to send. If you’re attempting to cram pages worth of statistics into your video, you may want to reconsider your medium. A good video is short, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for citing study after study. This means the best material for an animated video is to introduce a concept or product. Video is a platform where you can create a broad sketch that makes people want to know more. Once you’ve evoked that desire, there are other places you can direct viewers for more detailed information.
  2. Determine the essentials
    Who is the audience and what are you trying to communicate to them? These are also key questions, according to HubSpot. In a way, this relates back to the first tip – why does this need to be told in video? Maybe you’re a startup making an explainer video about your product or service, or perhaps you are a nonprofit sending an educational message. Figure out exactly what knowledge the viewer should come away with after sitting through your video. Construct a brief with this information and make sure everyone has signed off on it before moving forward.
  3. Collaborate
    The more eyes see the script, the better. Google documents provides a good method for working together on documents, even from remote locations. Use a shared document to communicate about changes, areas that sound awkward, lines that are unnecessary or anything else that comes up in the editing process.
  4. Be thorough
    Whether you’re scripting an animated video or a short monologue delivered by an executive speaking directly into the camera, it’s important to write out every word. Don’t just create an outline. Also, consider the voice at this stage, Entrepreneur recommends. Are you using language that will engage your viewer? This is the best way to maximize the available time in the video and make it as good as it can be.

 

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