The 5 Steps to Write a Great Business Video Script

This is one of the free lessons available from my Practical Video Production Courses. For resources and downloads, please click here to grab them.

Hi! In this series of blog posts I’m going to share with you some secrets of my trade – Corporate Video Production. You can use the principles discussed here for any type of video production. I’d appreciate it if you would share these with your friends and colleagues if you would be so kind.

What I’m going to talk to you about in this particular lesson is how you might write a promotional video script in five steps.

This course is designed for corporate communications professionals but anybody else can also benefit from its contents. You don’t have to have a background in video production of film production in order for you to benefit from this course although some experience will be beneficial.

Once you’ve completed this course you will be able to write your own scripts for your company, products or services with the five steps I’m going to outline in this particular lesson.

Scripts are extremely important for video production; they offer the blue-print that you need to follow in order for you to have a successful completion of your project.

What you need in order to write a script is nothing more than a pen and paper, basically but obviously there are a number of applications out there that will help you tremendously in writing a script.

However, please keep in mind that these applications are provided for video production and film production professionals who have had the experience in writing multiple scripts.

Why I say that is because some of these programs and applications are quite rigid and direct the writer into a channel that might feel quite complex. However, the basic thing is that they are just word processing programs that offer formatting for each sentence and paragraph.

Scripts have a certain look. They are formatted in a very specific way and I think they are quite rigid; although that’s not a bad thing. Because if you pick up a script and look down at the page you will immediately know just with the formatting what is happening on that page. These formats are called “lines” in the industry. 

Typically a script starts with a scene heading or a “slug line” that is normally followed by an “action” that describes what is happening on the screen and then it’s the “character” and that is followed by what is called a “parenthetical” which is an instruction to the character to perform on camera and then it is “dialogue” and then dialogue is followed by “transition”. 

As far as this lesson is concerned we don’t need to concern ourselves with any of that because what we intend to do is provide or produce a promotional video, a short promotional video for a company, a product or a service.

Yes, you can take advantage of the applications that are available but I suggest that these might be a bit too complex too soon at this particular stage. What you need to do is just use a normal word processor in order for you to write your script and then if we need to break that down into the various other elements then I’m sure we’ll be able to cover that.

Most of these productions that I’m talking about will be short, necessarily they’ll be about 3 to 7 minutes and they are specific to business communications and marketing. 

I’m not suggesting that business communications and marketing is too simple and we don’t need to spend too much time on it and of course I’m not belittling business videos and marketing videos. On the contrary, I want to provide you with practical experience on how to write a script based on my own experience of over 15 years in the industry.

Here are the five steps that I usually use for writing a script quickly and efficiently:

  1. Open with the problem
  2. Frame your product or service as the solution
  3. Outline benefits of your product or service – 3 to 5 key points
  4. Offer social proof, provide testimonials
  5. Call to Action, get the viewers to do something

Translated practically, the first thing I would do is actually write a concept; what are we actually trying to show or do in this video?

Once you’ve put that concept in place please stop. Take a breath and think how we’re going to execute this? What is the best way of actually doing this?

In order for us to get this done properly and efficiently we need to know a number of things before we delve into actually expanding that particular script.

What I mean by that is that we need to know specifically who the audience is? Understanding who the audience is, is going to allow us to think of the style and the theme of the film.

Other than the audience, we also need to know practical things like what platform are we going to use to broadcast our film? Is this film going to be on a television screen in the reception area of our company? Is it going to be uploaded to YouTube? To Instagram? To Facebook? To LinkedIn? To Twitter?

All of these have very specific requirements as far as the format, the aspect ratio and the resolution of the film in order for them to be efficiently uploaded and broadcast from those particular channels and also ultimately how are we going to measure the success of our efforts?

All of these elements are included in the “Creative Brief“. I go into the Creative Brief and explain every element in there and give you practical examples based on my recent productions and my current customers in my Practical Video Production Course you might want to have a look at that.

Now that we have the framework in place we can go ahead and expand on that concept and create a full blown script that will create a blueprint for us to film for.

Once the creative brief is filled that provides us with the context of how the film is going to be presented.

Now that the Creative Brief is done and we thought strategically about how we are going to create our video.

Let’s go into what is included in the actual script.

How I like to write my scripts for promotional videos is offer the most important information first and then offer an explanation or offer supporting information in the middle and end it with a call to action.

That is basically, briefly how the whole package is. 

In order for our film to be successful we need to grab the attention of the viewer quickly. We only have a few seconds literally to grab the attention of our viewer before that viewer flicks through or naturally our film goes below the horizon. So grabbing the attention is extremely important.

How I do that normally is to ask a question. I find this method quite powerful because the human brain would naturally want to solve a problem and would answer a question.

Opening with a question, or an anecdote or even a controversial statement is going to grab that attention. But be careful because what we’re asking must have must be in the same context of what we’re trying to show.

Once the problem or the question has been posed I then frame my product or my service as a solution to that particular problem. This is the answer that people are looking for, obviously. I then provide 3 to 5 key points to convince them that this is the actual answer. This is the bulk of the film. So you’re going to spend quite some time in order to actually make it interesting and convincing as well.

One thing that I also do in this particular segment is offer social proof. This is a very powerful method in order for people to believe you – and authenticity is everything in this section. Obviously.

Here you would bring in your customers who are using your product or service and allow them to provide you with a testimonial on screen on how that has changed their life? How has that improved their life? How they have used it in their daily life.

After the social proof I normally would provide a Call to Action asking the viewer to do something.

This is the process that I adopt for writing quick promotional videos. These are the five points that I consider when writing a quick promotional or business or marketing video.

To recap, the 5 steps are:

  1. Open with the problem
  2. Frame your product or service as the solution
  3. Outline benefits of your product or service – 3 to 5 key points
  4. Offer social proof, provide testimonials
  5. Call to Action, get the viewers to do something

If you found this course useful, please consider sharing it with your colleagues and make sure that you return here once in a while for more courses in video communications that might help you along your video communications journey. 

Make it a great day!

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The 5 Steps to Write a Great Business Video Script