If writing isn’t quite your thing and the idea of crafting an entire script scares the sh!t out of you, you’re in the right place.
Script writing is just as much science as it is art. Regardless of what the script is meant to explain, at its very core it’s simply a story. And lucky for you, almost every single story since the beginning of time contains the same elements and follows pretty much the same formula.
Understand the science behind a great story and you’ve already won half the battle.
This author’s favorite storytelling formula is courtesy of Donald Miller:
That’s it; the 6 essential elements of a great story! So if you’re crafting an explainer video to introduce a revolutionary product – let’s say it’s a new miracle drug that dramatically improves your memory – then the elements of your story would go something like this:
This is your customer. Picture your ideal customer in your mind; what do they look like? what do they love? what do they hate? what does a typical day look like for them? Having a clearly defined portrait of your customer will help you keep them front of mind as you write your script and ensure you keep the focus where it should be; on them!
For our example we could say our customer is the average Joe, with average memory, 2.5 kids, white picket fence, etc., just trying to keep all his work, family, personal, and every other area of his life straight so he can make it through the day.
Has a Problem…
Now that you know exactly who your ideal customer is, you can answer the question; what keeps them awake at night? This is their big problem they need to solve and oh if someone could just help them solve it!
Our average Joe is, well…average. Maybe he lays awake at night wishing he just had that extra ‘edge’ to help him stay ahead of his day? Maybe he’s afraid of waking up one day and realizing he can’t remember his kids’ birthdays? In reality your customer has more than one problem in their life, but we really want to focus in on the major problem that relates to your product.
They Meet A Guide…
This is you!
Well that was easy…
Who Gives Them A Plan…
Here’s where you explain your product and all its glorious benefits. You want to be very specific in telling your customer how you, over everyone else, is going to solve their problem with your product or service.
Here we’d tell our average Joe our new miracle drug is packed full of a unique blend of naturally derived botanicals, formulated to increase cognitive function. We’d want to explain how much he can anticipate his memory will improve and how this will improve his life, as well as throw in some research that supports our claim.
And Calls Them To Action…
This part seems quite simple but can often trip up a lot of script writers as they try to get their customer to do too many things. This can lead to confusion and that’s the LAST emotion you want your customer feeling at this point in the story. Think about the next minimum action you’d like your customer to take that’ll get them closer to your end goal (purchasing your product). This might be: schedule a consultation, learn more, etc.
Since we’re selling a product in our example, our call to action would likely be: Buy Now! We may even offer a discount or limited time offer to entice them.
Which Turns Out Either Good Or Bad…
You’re probably thinking this is where they purchase the product and either like it or don’t, but we’re not quite that far yet. Remember, at this point you’ve only asked them to purchase and if you’ve written your script well, they’re still watching your video and haven’t taken any action. This is where you want to reiterate the benefits they’ll experience if they purchase, or the loss they’ll experience if they don’t.
So our average Joe will experience increased memory allowing him to be a better boss, employee, husband, father and self…not to mention the better nights sleep he’ll get now that he’s not worrying so much. 😉 Alternatively, if he doesn’t purchase he’ll continue to struggle to stay ahead of his day, won’t see any life improvements and will continue to have sleepless nights.
And there you have it, a very simplified example of the elements of a typical business-to-consumer video script. Once you’ve written out these elements in detail you’ll realize you have a comprehensive outline of your entire story. All that’s left to add are some transitioning sentences to help with the overall flow and you’ve completed your kickass video script!