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Have you heard the great debate? To script your video or to not script your video. That is the question! While writing video scripts doesn’t have to be difficult, understanding if you need them can be.
Have you ever asked yourself, should I script my marketing and sales videos?
I know I have, many times.
Some people say that you should get in front of the camera and just riff! Now, riffing a video is not really a technical term. So when you hear that, what do they mean by riffing a video?
Simply put, you get in front of the camera and just say what you think about a product, service, or topic. While this might be okay in certain scenarios, for most mortals, it is a recipe for disaster.
When Does Riffing Sales & Marketing Videos Work?
To be honest, I use to be on the side of the fence that was yelling for people to riff their videos. I would say things like, “a video done and published is a video that is played.”
I use to talk about how writing scripts for your marketing videos was a waste of time. I believed that the time writing could be time spent on recording a new video for your business.
But, I’m no longer on that side of the fence.
With that said, I am not going to badmouth riffing. As a matter of fact, there are times when riffing makes sense.
When you ask.
Well, here are a couple times it totally makes sense to riff your video.
You’re a sales rep who has said the same thing over and over again about the products and or services you sell. Look, you know this information forwards and backwards. There is no difference in talking to a human or talking to a camera when it comes to your expertise.
When you are part of a group video. This could be a webinar style video or some event panel video. The idea here is you will need to think on your feet and interact to what others are saying. If you try to script your answers for this type of marketing video senario, you will come off robotic as well as unengaged with the actual conversation happening.
When you’re really passionate about a topic and you just need to get it out to the world. Look, there is nothing wrong with firing up Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or even LinkedIn and creating a topical video on something you're passionate about. In this type of scenario, your audience expects a lower quality in video as well as your possible makeshift thought process.
When you’re a “pro”. Wait, what? Even pros use a great video script. I love this video by my buddy Nick Nimmin where he is completely authentic at the beginning. Listen to what this pro with over 327,607 subscribers has to say about the use of a script.
I’m sure there are other reasons you can think of for video riff sessions. If so, leave a comment or hit me up on the socials. I would love to carry on the conversation.
Before we dive into when video scripts make sense for you, I should probably make sure you know what a video script is and what it is designed for.
What IS a Business Video Script?
One thing to note, a business video script is a bit different than the script you imagine hollywood actors and actresses using. The technical definition of a script may be what you use or, you may pare it down a bit.
So, what is a script? The folks over at scripted put it this way:
“A video script is a chronological run-down of scenes, shots, action and dialogue specifying who is saying and doing what, and when they're saying or doing it. Each page of the script represents roughly one minute of screen time.”
If you have a couple minutes after you are done with this article, you may want to check out the article they wrote on How to Write a Stellar Short Video Script.
When Does a Video Script Make Sense For Sales & Marketing?
The obvious and easy answer is any other time than the times I mentioned above. However, that answer doesn’t provide a ton of value to you as the reader.
So, let’s dig in and give you what are my thoughts on when sales and marketing professionals should leverage the amazing power of a video script.
When you are doing any video over one to two minutes. Look, your brain is super powerful but, when you get past one to two minutes of talking about a topic, you brain can either wonder or start to repeat itself. Neither of those look good on camera, trust me.
When you are going to make episodic videos. If you want to be consistent with your intros, outros and call-to-actions, a video script will keep you in line. If you don’t use that script, your brain will take you into different directions. Why is being consistent important in your videos? It creates “familiarity” and builds trust.
When you are talking about new topics. You don’t have to know everything about everything. But, your audience needs to learn what they need to learn. If you do some research and use that research to build an outline that later becomes a video script, a couple of things happen.
You learn and become familiar with the content you are about to create a video about.
You are able to add in moments of fun, or seriousness, depending upon the topic.
You can extend the verbiage that you might not use or say things in a way that makes more sense. Communication is key and marketing and sales video scripts absolutely help you to communicate better.
Should I Write My Video Scripts or Use a Script Writer?
Here are my thoughts on writing your own video scripts versus getting a script writer.
Leveraging strategic writing and hyper-focused communication when speaking to a specific audience or relaying a certain brand message is essential.
Not only is a story needed but it needs to tie into the brand or audience's values/needs. Most script writers have advertising and marketing experience so writing your type of video script can come very natural to them.
When writing a script, a good script writer is able to communicate effectively in a number of ways. Remember that a script isn't written to be read; it's written to be communicated.
As with most projects, improved planning creates a better process. This is even more true in the video production realm.
A great script writer understands all the things that can go wrong as well as every scenario that needs to be planned for.
Quality production creates a seamless process with less stress and more action thought out during the filming day.
Less mistakes because of script usage is a surefire way to win big when saving recording time.
Leveraging scripts created by a script writer also gives the “talent” aka business owner, sales rep, marketer, or other employees more time to focus on other aspects of the company that require their attention.
So, scripts help employees still do their job and create amazing quality video content as well.
With all that said, I don’t think most of you reading this need a script writer. If you are in sales or marketing, you are already good with the words. You already know your messages, your audience, your goals and other important aspects of the conversations you are using video to get started.
I personally write at least 80% of my own scripts. The other 20% it is a brand or event message they have asked me to share before I speak or it’s a scripted video for our Impulse Creative website.
So go write some script, record the videos and send them my way! I would love to see what you can accomplish. If your not sure where to get started, you could watch this kick butt video from my pal Sunny Lenarduzzi. Oh, did I mention that she has 233,071 subscribers and uses scripts?
Why Did I Fall In Love With Video Scripts?
The main reason I fell in love with using scripts for all my video is simple. I love to save time. By using video scripts, I dramatically decrease the amount of redos I need.
Past saving time, a great creative outcome was super important in my decision to change from the riff side.
Using scripts allow us to tell a good story as well as:
Improve our timing
So much more …
They also (and you may fall in love with this reason) allow us to spend less money.
When filming a business video, you not only have to consider the time it takes, but the amount of money you pay everyone involved.
Even if your talent is insourced talent, “employees” make an hourly or salary wage. Investing a little more on the front end to establish a great script/story saves time and money in the long run.
Then, you can focus on earning more money per video versus spending more.
But Wait, There is More...
This is borderline common sense, but it still needs to be stated: A professional script will allow you to develop and promote a higher quality video with a more substantial message.
You'll be focused on story as well as SEO along the entire video production journey. The better your storyline resonates the more trust you generate towards you and your brand.
Entertaining and educating prospects leads and current customers creates a sense of intrigue that allows your leads to enter the mystical world of brand loyalty. You know, the place we want all of our customers to be.
I hope that this article has helped you answer that age old question, “To script or not to script?”
If you have questions or need help getting started with video at your company, check out our two free modules in our video fundamentals masterclass. Or, reach out to me directly as I love answering questions and helping folks like you to use video for business growth.
PS. No matter what, make videos! : )