The internet is jam packed with videos these days.
Bloggers, would-be musicians and companies are all at it vying for your attention.
That means if your video is going to cut the mustered and get noticed it’s got to be something pretty special.
Granted, the production, initial idea and storyboard will have a lot to do with that, but so too will your video’s script. After all, you need powerful words to make the most of the action.
Making an impact
The first thing to remember is that your script must be written in spoken English.
Written English, as you would use for web copy and other marketing materials, will come across as stilted so it’s important to write as you speak.
Whether you have a storyboard to fit your script to, or you’re writing freestyle, it’s important to start with the most important person – the customer.
Every word must be directed at them and what they need, so think about:
What are they looking for?
How does the product/service help them?
How will it make their life better?
These should all be addressed early on (and recapped at the end) before you talk about any features.
Pain and pleasure
Once you’ve worked out what you need to cover to answer the question above, finding the customer’s pain (i.e. the problem they have and the reason for them looking for a solution) should be fairly easy.
Your next stop is to highlight this issue in your script and show how the product/service will alleviate it and make their life better.
Going back to the earlier point of using spoken English – now’s the time to ignore (some) grammatical rules and write as you speak.
Don’t get me wrong, it still has to be good English, just not as straight laced as written English.
The best way to make sure you’ve captured it is to read the script out loud and adjust it until it sounds like natural speech.
The length of the script
Remember this is a video not a feature length film.
The video isn’t there to answer every question the customer has; it’s there to tempt them into finding out more.
Ideally, your video shouldn’t exceed 90 seconds.
Call to action
Yes, your script does need a call to action.
If you don’t include one it will just fizzle.
Recap your main points (especially the benefits) and tell them how to get in touch. The final visual should be of the web address, phone number and email. Let’s face it, if you forget that they’re not going to get in touch.
It’s a great way to explain complex ideas in a simple way
There’s a good chance it could go viral, boosting your exposure online exponentially
That’s all great, but what happens in your organisation when you decide to put a video together?
Probably one of the first things is to find yourself a good video marketing company who can help turn your vision into a winning video. But how do you come up with your vision in the first place?
Too make cooks…
If you are a large company, the chances are you’ll have a team of people involved in the project.
There’ll be someone to lead and coordinate everything and then several others who will all have a say in what happens.
But what happens when someone, who has his or her own agenda, hijacks your team?
Before you get started it’s vital you all agree on:
Who your target audience are
What they want to know
How it will be conveyed to them
What the theme of your video will be
Whether it will be animated, voice over, using an actor, interviewing members of staff etc.
How long it will be
…and that you stick to your ideas.
It’s very easy to get carried away. Creating a new video is exciting stuff, but that can lead to random ideas being thrown about that end up taking your project off course resulting in a video that one team member loves, but everyone else (including your audience) hates.
If it becomes apparent that someone is driving the project off course, stop.
Go back to your original outline and ask yourself:
Will this appeal to our target market?
Is it addressing their needs?
Is it conveying the message we want to get across?
If the answer to any of those is ‘no’, it’s time to steer the project back on course.
When putting a video together it’s essential you have a goal and that you stick to it.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you can see things heading off track. The video exists to promote your business not the egos within it.
As a complete aside, we thought you’d like to take a look at our latest video. Our aim was to show our audience the benefits of using the services of a professional copywriter – what do you think?
What springs to mind when you think corporate video?
Panoramic views of a factory?
Shots of sign-written lorries driving past the camera?
Views of a group of workers looking studious?
Unfortunately, that’s how a lot of them turn out, which let’s face it is pretty boring.
We’ve said this time and time again on this blog, but are willing to get back on our soapbox again; the only way to engage with your audience (regardless of the type of marketing – website, newsletter, email, brochure etc.) is to stop talking about yourself and to concentrate instead on your customer and what you can do for them.
The same applies for corporate videos, which means forget about the arty shots of your premises and the booming voice that announces “We’re been in business since the start of time…” because, guess what, your audience couldn’t give two hoots about any of that.
So, that means you’ve got to get creative.
First up, let’s think about the premise for your video. We’ve already said that it’s a bad idea to create something that shouts about you.
To get your creative juices flowing think about what it is that you do and how that helps your customers. Then consider producing a scenario that highlights the benefits of your service. That could be in the form of a cartoon, animation, or a situation filmed using actors.
If you’re thinking hang on a minute, when do we get a mention in all of this, you do, just subtly.
Right at the end of the video you need to add a strong call to action highlighting that if the viewer wants to have the same wonderful experience as the actor/animation/cartoon character they need to get in touch with you – but slightly more creatively than that.
Powerful videos on a budget
If your budget won’t quite stretch to something like that, how about video testimonials from happy customers?
That way you reduce your production costs, help out your customers (with a bit of free exposure) and by getting them to shout about you, you get your message across without sounding pompous.
The power of this type of corporate video comes down to the script writing – not what your clients say, but how you frame their comments within the video.
Video scripts – making them hit home hard
Whatever you do, don’t try to script the testimonials – they need to ‘come from the heart’ otherwise they’ll come across as contrived and insincere. But the script that introduces them should be very carefully written.
This is your opportunity to set the scene and outline:
The issues your client had
Why they chose you
How your product/service helped them
The impact it’s had on their business
How it is helping them to move their business forward
Have you noticed something?
None of the items in that list talk about your company directly; they all concentrate on how you helped your customer. Clever eh?
Then the client’s testimonial will give a fuller account in his or her own words.
You see powerful corporate videos are quite easy to produce. If you have big bucks you can go to a creative agency and produce something epic, but by using these techniques any business can produce a video that really packs a punch without delivering a knock out blow to your marketing budget.
Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd
“OK, this is it lads. We’re going to create a viral video for our latest project. Any ideas?”
Well, if that’s how you think the process starts to create viral marketing for your business, you couldn’t be more wrong.
For a start, you can’t make something go viral – that’s the public’s job.
What is viral marketing?
Well it’s a way of using social networks to promote brand awareness (or boost sales) through a self-replicating viral process. Which means that you create something others love and feel compelled to share with their friends…who then share it with their friends…who then share it with their friends…who then share it with their friends….you get the idea.
And that is precisely why you can’t ‘make’ a viral video, image, eBook etc.
Qualities of viral marketing
The only way you’re going to make your piece of marketing go ‘viral’ is by creating an emotional connection with your view/reader.
Someone isn’t going to share your collateral just because you ask him/her to; it has to resonate with them and compel them to click the share button or talk about it to their friends.
There are no rules to say it has to be funny, gimmicky or super clever – it just has to evoke an emotional response.
OK, that kind of leaves the door wide open, but quite often the simplest ideas are the best.
That means studying your audience, studying your product (and the relationship between the two) and then working out which emotional connections your brand needs to make to kick-start the immediate ‘need to share’ reflex.
With the country gripped by Olympic fever, this has to be my favourite video on YouTube at the moment. OK, it’s not a product or a sales pitch, but it captures the excitement of a nation:
Reaction of the BBC commentary team as Mo Farah wins with 10,000 metres in London 2012.
What’s your favourite?
We’d love to compile an ‘all time favourites’ list of viral marketing, so leave a comment below with details of the one that captured imagination – and tell us why.