Scripting your Marketing Video in The Age of TikTok
Lead With A Video
Today, any successful campaign should lead with a well-produced video. According to IdeaRocket, videos encourage engagement. Users (read your customers) are eighty percent more likely to act upon your call to action (CTA) on a landing page with video content than they are on a page with just text.
Crafting a quality video will encourage your marketing department to define a voice, a point of view and a focused call to action.
But how to begin?
First, define your Call To Action (CTA). Literally, what do you want your viewers to do after they watch your content? Buy a product. Engage a service. Click a link. Register for a Zoom call.
Consider the narrative as a storyline that presents either problem / solution, or past / present / future. And, guess what, your offering provides the answer. Don’t shy from actually telling a short story about how your company’s products and services will solve problems for your prospective customers. All successful marketing campaigns achieve this goal.
Next, define five vital messages you want to convey in your video? Reduce those messages to single ideas. Focus on signal over noise, as the engineers like to say.
Define Your Audience
This may sound obvious, but whom are you speaking to? Are you trying to close brand new customers? Are you speaking to existing clients? Are you trying to create an audience? What is the target demographic of that audience? Age, gender, ethnicity, geography, education, income, etc.
This will help you with the next step.
Define Your Voice
Your brand, identity, mission statement, origin story, Web presence, social media presence and your community outreach will help establish this voice. Try to emulate the brands that do this exceptionally well: Apple, Nike, Disney.
Sometimes it’s helpful to generate ideas about this voice through analogies. One of my favorite is, if your company were an animal, what animal would that be?
You’ll remember this step from high school English class. Take pen to paper and expand upon the five essential messages you want your audience to walk away with. Bullet point them. Again, focus on signal over noise.
Finally we get down to brass tacks.
Author a Google doc with 3 columns. Place Audio, Video and Graphics at the top of those columns. Expand your outlined bullet points into action-verb sentences. These can be spoken by either a voiceover talent or by on-screen talent.
Next add thumbnail images to correspond to the spoken word. These can be your talent, stock photography, stock video, your product or service, etc.. They can be hand-drawn sketches or loose placeholders. But they will advance the thinking and pre-visualization of your video. Your Google doc will mature into your guide for the live action shoot and your post-production processes. The first thing your editor will ask for is the script!
Then add text callouts into the Graphics column to support the key words and messaging in Column 1.
Revise, revise, revise.
And share your Google doc with all of your internal stakeholders. Producing a video is a collaborative endeavor. Share with your preferred video production vendor. Collect, integrate and iterate on all of the feedback you solicit.
Formatted this way, one page of a script will equal approximately one page of final video.
Read your copy aloud. This will help you hear the voice, pre-visualize the video, and keep you honest in terms of running length.
photo credit: Artem Podrez / Pexels
Believe it or not, your high school English class curriculum will serve you well. Dig deep and avoid passive voice. Include action verbs. Use declarative speech. Do not incorporate run-on sentences. Think Hemmingway. And a little alliteration goes a long way.
If you’re describing something technical, consider your audience. Speak to them, not above, and definitely not below.
And you can also rely on that tried-and-true formula for a speech propounded by that master of rhetoric, Aristotle: tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.
YouTube will automatically generate a written transcript of your video. (You can also upload your own.) Google owns YouTube. If you want your video to rank in terms of key-word search, be sure to include those words into the body of the script to help Google find and index your messages.
As Shakespeare notes in Hamlet, brevity is the soul of wit. Consider the channels and platforms for distribution for your video.
In the age of TikTok, viewer’s attention spans continue to crater. Ninety seconds or less is the sweet spot for a marketing video. If you’re running over this target before you start shooting, you’re including too much information and should refocus on your core messaging and CTA. Stay under ninety seconds.
Hire A Professional Production Company
And when it comes time to turn your awesome script into a live-action production, always hire professionals.
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