The great director Alfred Hitchcock once said,
“To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.”
The same rule applies to videos, too. Scripts define everything in marketing videos before you even start making one. Getting the script right means making an engaging video with viral potential, and that’s exactly what we’re going to learn now.
In this post:
- Five challenges of writing scripts for branded videos
- Five essential steps to write an engaging branded video script.
The Challenges of Writing Brand Video Scripts
Yes, writing a video script for a brand video is quite a challenge. But as with many other similar projects, research and planning are keys to success.
Let’s get your research started.
Here are the most important challenges you might face when writing a script. Knowing them will help you plan the project:
- Brand style guidelines. Colors, graphics, the whole visual “feel” and “vibe” — the new video must follow the established visual brand identity
- Fonts. Every brand uses a few specific fonts in digital marketing, which makes them a must for videos
- Customer needs. A video can strike the chord with the right viewers only if it appeals to the right needs
- Writing. Unengaging or too long speeches can make a good video boring, so speaking the “language of the viewer” is essential
- Voice-over. Finding the right content to engage viewers as well as the right tone of speaking are some of the challenges.
Now that you know who your “enemies” are, let’s get to planning. The next sections will walk you through the steps of writing a brand video from the planning stage to the final polishing.
How to Write a Brand Video Script: 5 Easy Steps
Step 1. Know the Goal of the Video
The goal of the video is your North Star.
It’ll guide you throughout the entire video creation process, from writing the script to finishing post-production.
That’s why we’re starting the video writing process long before we even type in the first word. To get there, we need to define a goal.
It’s easy. Just ask yourself:
“What do I want to achieve with this video?”
The answers might be about generating more leads, getting more app downloads, showing a particular feature within an app, or driving traffic to a website.
The goal, as you can see, defines the type of the video (promotional, instructional, etc.). Let’s give your video several goals to help you have a good idea of where to start.
Video goals (For a video promoting a new yoga app called ABC):
- Primary goal: Show that ABC is the best yoga app for beginners.
- Supporting goal #1: Get 2,000 app downloads and 500 paid subscriptions within 3 months.
- Supporting goal #2: Drive traffic to the app’s download page on the App store.
At this point, the goals are mostly about the product. But it’ll change when you finally sit down to write the outline because the video will focus on meeting the goals of the target audience.
Speaking of the target audience…
Step 2. Identify the Best Viewers
The next step is to find out how the goal relates to the needs of the viewers.
The goal to “show that ABC is the best yoga app for beginners” might be relevant to these needs:
- “Find an easy way to ease daily stress and anxiety levels with straightforward yoga exercises”
- “An opportunity to create custom workouts for personalized experience”
- “Find a collection of the best beginner-friendly yoga videos (rather than articles) chosen by experts.”
These might be the essential reasons why ABC’s target users might be looking for similar apps. Use the reasons you’ll find in your research to help guide the content and make the most important statements.
Customer characteristics to consider besides the goals:
- Demographics (tech-savvy teens, adults, etc.)
- The knowledge of yoga concepts and approximate skill level
- Devices used
- Learning styles (prefers videos/text/audio)
- Approximate daily time for learning — helps define lesson duration.
The information you’ll discover for each characteristic will define the tone of voice, content, and style of the video.
Speaking of the content, let’s now move on to the outline for the future script.
Step 3. Make an Outline
Robert Altman, a legendary Hollywood director, said,
“I don’t think screenplay writing is the same as writing. I mean, I think it’s blueprinting.”
Indeed, video scripts are like “guidelines” for how to make the video and tell the story. They are the “instructions” that tell us how to capture the tone of speaking, the scenes, the movement of the characters, and, ultimately, achieve the video’s goal.
An outline is a great way to list those “guidelines” and “instructions.”
Essentially, a video outline looks a lot like an outline you may have done for a research paper in college. It consists of the goal of the video, introduction, main points, transitions, and call to action — everything that’ll make it to the final version.
Let’s now show you a simple example of a video script outline.
Suppose we’re trying to make a promotional video to advertise a new Android app for yoga (let’s call it ABC once again).
Video Script Outline Example
Goal: Show that ABC is the best yoga app for beginners
Thesis: Yoga is an effective way to relax, and ABC is the perfect app to get you started
Supporting point #1: ABC has beginner-friendly video yoga workouts that are easy to learn even for people with no previous experience
A scene showing the video yoga functionality
Supporting point #2: The Personal Coach feature in ABC help choose the right workouts, plans, and monthly goals without the hassle of looking for videos every day.
A scene showcasing the Personal Coach feature.
Supporting point #3: ABC allows to create your own or customize existing workouts to help personalize your experience
A scene showing the personalization capabilities.
Conclusion: List the most important benefits of doing yoga to motivate viewers to download the ABC app.
Call to action: Additional motivation message: free download, limited offer, “try for free today,” etc.
The bottom line: the outline is the “pre-visualization” of the video. It allows you to have a good idea of how the final version of the video will look like, so noticing improvement opportunities will be easier.
Step 4. Use Conversational Language
A business video can become authentic and engaging when viewers don’t feel like it’s scripted. That’s why the entire script should be written in a language that the target viewer considers easy to understand.
In most cases, it means simple, conversational language — the one we use on a daily basis to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers.
Writing in conversational language means:
- Leave professional terms, jargon, and buzzwords out from the script. Those words might sound cool at first, but they will eventually cloud up your message and make it challenging to understand the video’s goal
- Use simple alternatives to words. This means choosing “but” instead of “however,” or “like” instead of “for example”
- Write in short sentences. People don’t tend to speak in long monologues, so try shortening sentences where possible
- Know when some formality is appropriate. When writing about subjects where viewers might look to you for help—like legal or financial topics—consider a more professional tone for more credibility
- Go for contradictions instead of full words. “Doesn’t” instead of “does not,” “wouldn’t” instead of “would not” and so on.
The bottom line: forget the formal rules of English for a minute and write as people speak. The conversational tone will help people feel like they’re being addressed personally.
How do you know if you did it right?
Read the script out loud, preferably to someone.
It’s an easy way to notice the words you won’t normally say or something that makes the text complicated. For professional writing help, run your text through Hemingway Editor, GetGoodGrade, or Grammarly and get expert advice on simplifying the script.
Step 5. Consider Storytelling
You’ve probably heard about storytelling as a digital marketing tactic. Telling stories through videos is a good strategy to engage more potential customers and make a brand relatable, that’s why many companies use it.
This strategy seems to be working, too. Research finds that 65% of decision-makers have visited a brand’s website after watching its videos.
You have to know one thing before getting started with storytelling: there’s no magical formula to create a story-based video that works for all customers. But you can achieve viral-level results if you respect the best practices of this strategy.
Video storytelling best practices:
- Make stories with a beginning, middle, and end. The script should introduce a challenge or a need at the beginning, continue by intensifying it towards the middle, and present a brand (or its product) as an excellent solution
- Focus on emotions. A story-based video should evoke specific emotions. The research found the most popular emotions in content marketing to be awe, laughter, amusement, and joy. Script contributes to that by ensuring that the story is authentic, relatable, and easy to understand
- Use engaging language. Don’t write “Live a better life,” write “Give yourself permission to listen to your body” or “Be in-tune with how you’re feeling.” More detailed and descriptive language will help your videos achieve better results
- Try a “zero-perspective” tactic. Instead of focusing the script on why your brand or products are great from your viewpoint, approach writing from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about them. For example, tell the story from a perspective of a person struggling with work-related anxiety if you’re promoting a yoga app.
The visuals are another important consideration for story-based videos. When you write your script, think about what kinds of visuals you’d like to see at some points throughout the video.
If your script is supposed to convey a story of happiness and hope, then bright-colored visuals might be a good idea. Conversely, dark colors can give viewers the feeling of loneliness.
Writing a Brand Video Script: Summary
There you go, five essential steps to write a brand video script. As you can see, the process will take some time, but the result will be an awesome brand video that’ll help you engage more customers.
We’ve covered pretty much everything, except this last thing: remember that it’s your video and your brand. Be authentic and tell your story like you only can.