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4 tips for the amateur script writer

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4 tips for the amateur script writer

If you saw our social media post from Monday you’ll know that video now accounts for nearly 70% of results in the first hundred search entries–and that viewers are 64-85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video.

So whether you like it or not–script writing is probably in your future.

There’s a subtle art to script writing that goes beyond mere copywriting because the content you’re presenting has a ticking clock element. At some point your commercial/tutorial/etc will have to come to an end. If your information wasn’t presented in a clear, logical way–your customers and clients aren’t going to get the point of any of it.

And videos take time to produce. It’s one of the reasons why the Instagram community is up in arms. It’s not that photography and copywriting don’t take time. But that element of movement and timing adds to the complexity of video–so it’s even more imperative that you put your best foot forward right away.

You have to be able to “see” in your mind exactly what’s going to be happening and how the words you use will help or hinder the visuals–which according to this article–not everyone can!

So here are a few tips to help you on your way to script writing greatness:

  1. Don’t try to say too much. This is the number one mistake of amateur script writers. Trying to pack too much content into one video. To solve this, see number two.
  2. Choose a takeaway. We’ve all been there. We get to the end of a commercial and still don’t really know what it’s about. That’s usually because they were trying to serve two masters. We support causes that lessen the impact of harmful chemicals on the environment AND we are selling swimming goggles for $4.99. You can have a plot and a subplot–but the mistake I see the most is competing plot lines. Focus on the one, absolute, most-important thing that you want you customers to remember and stick to that idea. You can always make another video about that other topic!
  3. Storyboard it first. After you’ve chosen a takeaway, it’s important to plan out what you want to see and what you want to say. That will help you decide on impact points. Where should a certain amount of text/a certain part of the actor’s speech stand alone? When can thoughts be combined together?
  4. Just say a little at a time. You’ve decided on your takeaway. You’ve got a story board. You have a clear, concise script. You’re nearly there! Now you need to remember that brains take time to process information–and no one knows you, your company, or your offerings NEARLY as well as you do. Dole out a little information at a time and people will be able to understand what you’re saying much better.

Oh–and side note–80% of consumers are more likely to watch an entire video if captions are provided. So make sure you throw them on there too. Not only is it ADA compliant, but it’s better for your bottom line.

If script writing just doesn’t come naturally to you–no worries. Give us a shout–we’d love to help you with your next script-writing project.

amy mertz in form creationsABOUT AMY
Amy Mertz is our Creative Director, StoryBrand Certified Guide, and copy writer. When not in the office you can find her chasing down her toddler, searching the land for great coffee, or espousing the current books on her nightstand.