If you’ve done a bit of research online, you’ll probably already know that the script for a marketing or training video is the most important part.
They have to sound natural and flow well, but at the same time they have certain points that they have to cover, and ideally in a specific order. If you’ve never had to write a video script before, it can be quite daunting. You can find yourself either staring at a blank white page, or write version after version that you’re not happy with.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you break the script down into specific sections and work on one section at a time, you’ll find the task is actually not quite so scary.
So here’s some more specific guidance on how you can break down the structure of a script, and what you should probably include and why.
Understanding the 3 Part Structure
The first thing you should do is think about dividing your script up into 3 parts. For the sake of keeping things super simple, we’ll call them Beginning, Middle and End. You can make writing your script much easier if you just think about each section separately and what it should achieve.
The Beginning needs to catch the audience’s attention and introduce the main theme of the video. You’ll hear this referred to as the ‘hook’ quite often.
The Middle needs to give more detail to the main theme and build on what has already been introduced.
The End needs to round off the theme and guide the viewers to their next action.
That gives you a bit of guidance already on what you should probably include in your video. If you think about each section achieving a different job, it breaks it down and makes it much easier. Using this 3 part structure you can make a few different types of script. Let’s cover three different specific types of script that you might need to write for videos.
The Three Parts of a How-to Video
I’m sure you’ve come across how-to videos quite often in the past, you’ll probably search for them on YouTube. How to change a tyre, how to install WordPress, how to make money online, how to increase website traffic. There’s a common theme in the way these videos are structured, and it goes like this:
- Beginning – Introduction to what you are going to learn.
- Middle – Step by step instructions on what you need to do.
- End – Recap the steps and bring the video to a close.
In a video, this might play out like this:
- “Today we’re going to learn a few simple techniques you can use to increase organic search traffic to your website, with immediately noticeable effects.” (The introduction tells us what we will learn and draws us in so we want to learn more.)
- “First you want to ….Then you need to….Lastly you should…” (The steps clearly indicate what we need to do to in an easy to digest format.)
- “So using those techniques you’ll start to see your website traffic increase over time and boost your online business. Check out our other tips for online businesses on our YouTube channel.” (The final step is to recap what’s been learned and provide a further call to action to lead the viewer on to the next action you want them to take, like viewing more videos, signing up for something or purchasing a product.)
The Three Parts of Explainer Videos
It’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Everyone who doesn’t already have a spotlight explainer video that explains their core business to potential customers probably wants one. Whether you’re producing one yourself or having one made for you, it’s useful to know how this type of video is usually put together. Here are the usual 3 stages applied to explainer videos:
- Beginning – Introducing the problem that the product solves.
- Middle – Explaining what the solution is and what it does.
- End – Detailing the benefits for the customer and giving them a call to action.
In an explainer video, it might go something like this:
- “Are your files too big to send by email? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?” (The beginning introduces the problem and empathises with the customer who experiences the problem.)
- “Dropsend is the solution you’re looking for. You can now send files of up to 2GB instantly” (The middle explains what the solution to the problem is and what it can do for the customer.)
- “It’s a secure way for you to back up your files and share them directly with anyone you want. Best of all, it’s free to get started. Give it a try for yourself.” (The end provides some benefits and leads the viewer to try the service for free.)
The Three Parts of Teaching Videos
These are similar to how-to videos, and can sometimes even look like explainer videos, but their purpose is quite different. Instead of demonstrating a particular step by step task, or explaining a solution to a problem, they are designed to teach the audience a particular concept and why it’s important. Here the 3 stages are again:
- Beginning – Introducing what the concept is.
- Middle – Explaining why the concept is important.
- End – Detailing how to do the concept in a simple way.
In a teaching video, it might go something like this:
- “Everything you do in business has an effect on how satisfied your customers are with the service you provide.” (The beginning introduces the subject of the video and explains what it is.)
- “Customer satisfaction has a huge influence on how successful a business can be.” (The middle explains why the subject is so important.)
- “You can ensure your customers are very satisfied by delivering exactly what they need at the right time and exceeding their expectations whenever possible.” (The end gives the viewer an overview of how they can achieve the subject of the video.)
Try it out for yourself
Obviously these examples are very basic and each section would be expanded much more to make the video scripts much more detailed, but I’m sure you get the idea. Whenever you see another how-to, explainer or teaching video like those above, pay close attention to the different sections that the video breaks down into and how each section fulfils its own purpose.
And when you’re putting together your own script for a video, try breaking it down into three main sections and think about how you can make each section better perform its individual purpose. I’m sure you’ll find the whole process much easier to approach that way.