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Video killed the radio star, they said. And boy did it ever. Video marketing has taken the world by storm, changing the game for how businesses reach out to their audiences. Cisco predicts that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic in 2017. Video is here to stay, but there’s a fine line between success and failure, especially when it comes to writing the script.

So what’s the secret to creating a killer video script? Here are my top tips for success.

Write like you speak

I’ve worked on endless numbers of video scripts for big marketing campaign launches, often based on existing print materials or sales presentations. But your video script isn’t the place to let loose with buzzwords and marketing one-liners. Nobody speaks like that, and you should avoid it like the plague. If you want your script to connect with people, stick to plain, conversational language.

Don’t leave gaps

Yes, you’re primarily putting together the spoken part, but your script should contain details of what’s going on in each segment of the video. The visuals and the voiceover should complement each other, so think about how each is used. Would these facts and figures be better spoken, or is it less confusing to illustrate them using a graph or some on-screen bullets? Do you want to emphasise any key taglines by reading them out and having them on screen at the same time? Where’s the logo or pack shot coming in?

Pace yourself, and don’t go overboard

Just because you’re working on what’s meant to be a three-minute video, don’t start by writing three minutes’ worth of voiceover script. Imagine someone talking at you non-stop for that amount of time. Exhausting, right? Transitions, visuals with data in them, pack shots or logos – these things all take up time. In a three-minute video, it’s likely that the voiceover itself only takes up a minute or so in total.

Read it aloud

Once you’re done with a first draft, sit down with a stopwatch and read your script out loud, then do it again. This will help you identify any awkward phrasing your voiceover artist might stumble over, or where you might have tried to cram in too many words. You’ll also know straight away if you’re in the right ballpark time wise. As for length, as you’d probably expect, shorter is better. Research suggests that videos up to two minutes long get tons of engagement, but after the two-minute mark that engagement drops off sharply.

In a nutshell, make each and every word count. A killer voiceover script is the thread that brings everything together, guiding the viewer through the story being told (people love a good story) and drawing attention to the key messages.

These tips should be a great start for making your video really effective. But if you need a helping hand, we’ve scripted videos for a bunch of industry-leading companies – just get in touch to see how we can help.

I’ll leave it to Buggles to play this piece out. And now this’ll be in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.