So, you have a video blog coming up, eh? Been there! You probably need one for yourself, your actors, or you voiceover talent, right? Got it.
Here are five tips to help you write your next video blog script.
1. Write Down What Your Main Objective Is
Be clear and to the point so that your objective doesn’t get lost in words. Do you want to sell a car? Do you want to get people to comment? Do you want people to sign up for your software? Or maybe get people to buy a product? What is the one action you want people to complete when they’re done watching your video, and how will you get them to perform it?
A couple of examples:
Bill’s Car Lot Video Blog Objectives:
- Show people the variety of new cars on the lot (don’t forget to provide your address)
- Tell people about an urgent one-time promotional offer that gets them to come in (don’t forget to provide your address)
- Get people to look at online inventory (don’t forget to provide your web address in case they view it on YouTube)
Bill’s Restaurant Vide Blog Objectives:
- Get people in to try your new menu (don’t forget to include shots of the food)
- Make people feel comfortable dining in with their children (don’t forget shots of families)
- Get people to RSVP for your Halloween Bash (don’t forget to provide a phone number or web address)
Decide what your goals are before you start, and your script will come more easily (as will your shot list).
2. Time Out Your Scripts
Most TV commercials are 30 seconds in length – But this isn’t a TV commercial and video blogs can be much longer. Even so, make sure that you keep your script short, sweet, and to the point.
Run through the script yourself, first – the stopwatch function on your iPhone works great. The trick is to read it at your own pace – don’t try to sound like a professional voiceover artist. I like my scripts to break in the 25-29 second range. This gives your talent plenty of room to improvise without ruining good shots if they mess up or start laughing.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Repeat Yourself
Repetition helps people remember, so whatever it is you want people to do (call, visit, make a reservation), make sure to repeat your call-to-action at least twice. If you’re writing a script for a brick and mortar store, make sure you mention the address a couple times throughout your script; the same goes for a website address. You want to hammer it into peoples’ heads, but be polite about it!
4. Get Your Scripts Approved
Get your boss or whomever to sign off on any scripts before production begins. This can save you time in re-recording, especially if your star works on an hourly rate.
5. Format a Script for Your Voice Talent
Is your video animated? Are you adding a voiceover artist? Voiceover artists need scripts to be easily read, and so there are styles of script-writing used on the radio and TV that makes printed words easier to read and illustrate verbally.
Brent Brace, a voiceover artist in Denver, told me his personal opinion (although there are many): “Most voiceover artists, including myself, prefer scripts written as upper lower case. It allows us to see the shapes of the words so that seeing it and saying the entire phrase is easier. When we worked in radio, we capitalized every word because we were not typists and it was easy to hit CAPS and go fast, but in the L.A. and N.Y major voiceover world, major ad agencies write a script like a movie script … upper lower case.”
Here’s a quick rundown on formatting your script for voice talent:
- Write out numbers * example: 3 becomes three
- Capitalize every word * THIS IS A PREFERENCE
- OR, Capitalize the first letter of every word * This Is A Preference
- Break lines where they seem most natural * create pauses where you want pauses
Leave a comment and let me know what you’d add to the list.