How to Write an Effective Script

November 21, 2023

When it comes to your brand’s videos, one of the most important elements of their creation is the script. Whether or not you’re responsible for writing it, it’s still important you know the steps it takes to write an effective script. So, let’s dive in!

What’s Your Main Objective?

First things first: what is your main objective in writing this script? Are you selling a product? Providing entertainment? Generating better brand awareness? It is essential you know what your main goal is in creating your video BEFORE you write your script, as it is your core guidance. Once you have decided what your objective is, look at every element of the script through that lens. Is it serving that purpose or not?

Another important element to write an effective script is understanding who’s watching it: aka your audience. Who are they? What’s their age range, demographic, etc.? And why should they care about what you have to say to them? What problem of theirs are you solving with your scripted video? If your script does not solve your customer’s problem, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Tell a Story

It’s important to remember all good video begins and ends with a good story. Take this product video we shot for Blink. It demonstrates the life of this woman, busy and on-the-go, needing to have the assurance her home (and pet) are safe and sound while she’s away. In a matter of only 26 seconds, we were able to present a snapshot of what her life and needs looked like as well as how Blink provides a solution for her problem.

Speaking of video length, short-form video generally performs better. According to Meta, the best performing videos online are no longer than 15 seconds. That being said, though, length should be dependent on your video’s purpose. If you’re filming a more in-depth tutorial, walking your client through how-to’s, you may want a longer video to aid that goal.

To Dialogue or Not?

In watching the last video, you might have also noticed there was no dialogue in it. Yep, as crazy as it sounds, some scripts don’t have any. Depending on the objective, writing action may be all you need. Meaning, the action of the actors, the cameras, where the product will be placed, etc. Ask yourself, Is dialogue needed? Does it serve the video’s goals? If no, then go without. If yes, then bear these points in mind:

  • Keep it succinct. Get to the point, and write clearly and simple, so there’s no confusion.
  • Employ your brand’s keywords when possible. This will help boost SEO.
  • Again, be sure to tell a story i.e. include conflict with a resolution.
  • Ensure that your brand’s overall personality and message is represented within your video. Stay true to who and what you are always.
  • Depending on how specific you want your script to be (specificity is great, FYI!), include music cues, and even design cues, such as “Cue brand logo” or “Fade music”. This way you keep your vision clear, and visible within your project.

Edit, Edit, and Edit Again

When it comes to writing an effective script (or creating anything, for that matter), editing is your best friend. There’s a reason there are such things as first drafts, second drafts…heck, even 15th drafts! Having a first draft of your script is huge, but don’t consider it your final one. Updates and edits are always needed–and, believe it or not, happen ON set all the time!

You can (and should) ask for your trusted colleague’s or friend’s advice. Objective eyes on scripts are super helpful! So, stay open and welcome the process. It may be frustrating at times but it’ll be worth it in the end, when you view your final cut. Happy writing!