We get a lot of questions from our clients and associates in Toronto about video production procedure and how we go about writing our scripts. Script writing for a video is of course one of the first steps in the production process and requires a substantial amount of skill and experience to be done right. There are many variables involved in creating a great video script. Here are a few rules of thumb that we always follow in writing our scripts.

The term “elevator pitch” has become a popular catchphrase in business. The idea is to find a short summary that quickly and simply defines what you do and/or what your company does should you find yourself sharing a short elevator ride with a person of importance to your business. In a situation like this, you would be prepared to pitch your products or services to that person in that short period of time in the hopes of procuring new business.

In many ways, a video can be seen somewhat like an elevator pitch in that you must capture someone’s attention quickly to deliver your message (or pitch). Although there are exceptions, for the most part we approach our scripts from that perspective. We know that a video has upwards of five seconds to grab attention and compel a viewer to continue watching. Within these crucial first seconds, the viewer must get a clear idea that your company and brand are awesome and that your products or services are something they need…. NOW. A balanced combination of voiceover narration, compelling video shots and/or animated titles and text, are some of the many elements that can be written in to achieve this.

With video, one size does NOT fit all so we always keep the target audience (client’s target customers) in mind when developing our scripts. This comes down to having efficient dialogues with our clients and developing a thorough understanding of their target customers. Additional market research is often necessary on our part. The goal here is for the target audience to be able to easily identify with what is being expressed in the video. We ask ourselves the question: “What is the problem that this product or service solves?”. Often, creating a simple scenario or case example can help viewers get the point quickly. From there we present the solution. We explain what makes this product or service ideal and why the viewer should choose our solution over the competition. The solution needs to create a desire for the viewer to act fast.

In terms of duration, today the most effective marketing videos are between 30 and 60 seconds. 90 seconds and beyond is where you start losing viewers unless your content is really exceptional. Keeping a video to within 30-60 seconds means really keeping your information and content to-the-point. Narrations, actors’ lines, shots, call-to-action text, etc. must all be properly planned out to fit within this time rage. It helps to keep sentences and on-screen text short and to use simple language…. no insider-industry jargon…. always use layman’s’ terms. Once the working draft is complete, we read through the script and time it with a normal speaking cadence to confirm that the duration falls between the preferred 30 – 60 seconds. Revisions are then done as needed and the process is repeated until we’ve achieved the right duration for the script. This works very well if the video has narrations throughout and also helps us imagine how the visuals will play out on screen. It’s also important to allow for the right amount of time for the call-to-action shot at the end (the next step the viewer can take to get started). When the working draft is complete, we submit it to the client for feedback and apply any necessary revisions. As soon as the client approves the script…. it’s lights, camera, and action time!

Script and concept development is the first step and a decisive factor in whether a video will be great or if it will be a flop. If you are interested in joining the millions of companies world wide that are enjoying the benefits of having video in their marketing plan, contact a reputed corporate video production company today. Remember, video is no longer just some luxury marketing tool in it’s infancy, utilized by early adopters. Video marketing is essential NOW. And it all starts with a great script!

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