How to Write a Video Script

How to Write a Video Script

Between TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, it seems that people are gravitating towards these days are videos. After all, isn’t watching something more entertaining than reading? With a picture, what you see is what you get, and a video? There are endless possibilities of where it can lead. 

How to Write a Video Script

Now, if you have been relying on static posts for a while, this shift might seem daunting, especially with all the talk about Instagram’s algorithm favoring Reels over picture posts. However, here are some tips on how to make the transition from pictures to videos easier. 

Is a Script Necessary? 

Before filming anything, it’s essential to start with a script. Trying to fit everything that you want into a 30-second video is tricky—especially since, in school, we learned to expand on our points. By planning what you want to say, you can hone in on what is necessary to include and what can be ignored as filler. Plus, when you inevitably have to refilm, you won’t have to start from square one again. You’re setting yourself up for a smoother filming process. 

Identify Your Audience

Although you might think it’s best to try to make your content as general as possible to appeal to a broader audience, don’t. Not everyone has the same taste or sense of humor or even wants the same thing. By making something generic, you lose the focus of your content, and your video ends up appealing to no one. Better to focus on depth rather than breadth. 

Pick Your Platform

Once you know your target audience, you can choose a platform that best suits that demographic. For instance, TikTok is more geared towards Gen Z-ers and younger folk. The platform relies more on edgy, meme-like humor to build a following, whereas Instagram Reels can often be more polished and suited for businesses. 

These different platforms also support different lengths:

  • TikTok allows for videos up to 10 minutes in length. 
  • Instagram Reels have to be under 90 seconds.
  • YouTube Shorts max out at 60 seconds. 
  • Pinterest’s Idea Pins are 60 seconds as well. 

While you might gravitate towards the longer time limit, note that shorter videos still tend to perform better than their longer counterparts. According to a report seen by WIRED, one in four top-performing videos on TikTok were between 21 to 34 seconds long. It’s simple: with so much content on their hands, consumers now don’t have the time or interest to stay for a full 10-minute video. Not only that, but if your viewers aren’t staying until the end of your video, it can impact how often the algorithm sends your content to other users.

Identify Your Goal

As you write your script, try jotting down all your ideas before editing out the unnecessary details. By doing so, you don’t lose essential information, including the point of your video. Don’t forget: you’re not just trying to capture your audience’s attention; you’re also trying to get them to do something. 

Make sure your call-to-action is clear and concise while still being subtle; if you don’t know what you want your audience wants to do or take from your video, they certainly won’t know either. 

Write the Way You Speak

As you write, it is best to check in on your script by reading it out loud. This is the best way to test if it sounds natural. Reading aloud your script beforehand also allows you to check in with the flow of the video. An awkward pause or transition is easier to catch when you hear it. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to depart from the script. The script is there to help you, not limit you. If you feel that a particular word feels unnatural, switch it out! You want to relate to your audience, and sounding stuffy or stiff is a sure way to turn the crowd away. Go with the flow and see where it takes you. 

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