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How to Write an Effective Video Script

Video marketing is increasingly becoming a prominent form of content marketing and is not showing signs of slowing down.

According to the 2023 Video Marketing Trends report by HubSpot, video is becoming an essential form of content marketing, with 91% of businesses using video as a marketing tool and 9 out of 10 consumers wanting to see more videos from brands.

What makes video such an appealing marketing tool? For starters, video content is engaging, memorable, and effective at driving conversions. According to the same report, 92% of marketers who used video in their marketing campaigns claimed that it yielded a positive return on investment (ROI).

However, creating a compelling video is not just about producing visually stunning content — it requires a well-crafted script that resonates with the target audience and delivers a clear and concise message. So, how do you ensure you are doing just that? This whitepaper lays it all out for you.

How to Write a Video Script: Step-by-Step Guide

We suggest breaking the video script writing process into a series of actionable steps.

Step 1: Identify your audience

Identifying your audience is a critical first step in creating a successful video script. Your audience dictates the topic, format, and content of the script. The more you understand who you’re talking to, the better you can craft your message to resonate with them.

Consider demographics such as age, gender, location, education, income, and job title. Think about your target audience’s interests, behaviors, and pain points. Use this information to create a detailed buyer persona that represents your ideal customer.

Step 2: Define the goal of the video

The next step in writing your video script is to define what you want the video to accomplish. For example, do you want to educate your audience? Entertain them? Sell them something?

A clear goal will guide the creative direction of the video and help you measure its effectiveness. It will also help you determine the appropriate tone, length, and messaging.

Step 3: Choose a topic

Now that your audience and goal are clear, it’s time to choose a topic. You want to choose a topic that will capture your audience’s attention and provide value to them.

When deciding on a topic, you should consider what your target audience cares about, what pain points they experience, and what you offer that is unique. It can also be a good idea to tap into time-sensitive events, topics, and trends.

Here are some examples of video topics that may work based on the type of business you have:

  • CPG brands: “10 Surprising Uses for [Product Name].” This type of video can be a great way to showcase the versatility and value of your product while providing viewers with ideas and inspiration for how to use it. By highlighting unique and unexpected uses, you can help your product stand out from competitors and position it as a must-have item.
  • B2B: “How [Service/Product] Can Save Your Business Time and Money.” This type of video can be effective in demonstrating the practical benefits of your B2B solution and how it can help companies solve real-world problems and improve their bottom line. By highlighting specific use cases and customer success stories, you can build credibility and show that your solution is a valuable investment.
  • Service provider: “5 Key Questions to Ask Befoderre Hiring a [Service Provider].” This type of video can establish your expertise and authority in your industry while also providing viewers with valuable information and advice. By sharing insights and tips on what to look for in a service provider, you can position yourself as a trusted advisor and differentiate yourself from competitors who may not offer this type of educational content.

Step 4: Choose the type of video

The type of video you create depends on the topic, your goals, and your audience. Here are a few of the most popular types of videos:

  • How-to videos provide step-by-step instructions on how to do something. These are great for showing customers how to use a product, maximize a service, or solve a problem.
  • Explainer videos are designed to explain a complex concept or idea in a simple and engaging way. These are ideal for B2B businesses, SaaS organizations, or direct-to-consumer brands that sell a complex product that is difficult to explain with text alone.
  • Demo videos showcase a product or service in action, highlighting its key features and benefits. This type of video also makes sense for SaaS or technology companies whose product comes packed with features and use cases. Demo videos enable you to touch on a variety of points in a digestible fashion.
  • Case study videos tell the story of how a particular product or service helped a customer solve a problem or achieve a goal. They are great for building credibility and trust with potential customers.
  • Educational videos provide information and insights on a particular topic or subject. They are great for establishing thought leadership and demonstrating expertise in a given industry or field.
  • Promotional videos are designed to promote a product or service and generate interest and excitement among potential customers. They are often used to announce a new product launch or seasonal promotion.
  • Testimonial videos feature satisfied customers talking about their positive experiences with a particular product or service. These are great forms of social proof that can sometimes make the final push to get a prospect to buy.

When choosing a video format, consider your goals and target audience. For example, if you’re trying to teach existing customers how to do something, a how-to video might be the best format. If you’re trying to build trust with prospective customers, a case study or testimonial video might be more effective.

Step 5: Outline major points

Outlining your major points in advance of writing a video script helps you deliver your message effectively. This is the point in the process where you must really consider what you want the viewer to take away from the video and the best way to communicate it.

In order to effectively outline your points, you must also consider how long your video should be and how much content it needs to fit into that timeframe.

To determine the right length for your video, consider the following:

  • Your message: How much information must you convey to communicate your message effectively? If you have a lot of information to share, you may need a longer video.
  • Your audience: What is their attention span likely to be? According to Colormatics, Gen Z loses attention after only 8 seconds, whereas Millennials’ interest tapers off at about 12 seconds. This means that if you’re targeting a younger audience, you may want to opt for making a shorter video.
  • Your platform: Where will your video be posted? Different platforms have different ideal video lengths — for example, social media platforms like Instagram often have shorter video length requirements than YouTube.

Here are the ideal video durations for various platforms, according to Piktochart.

  • YouTube: 5 – 15 minutes
  • Instagram Reels: 15-30 seconds
  • TikTok: 10 – 15 seconds
  • Pinterest: 15 – 30 seconds
  • Twitter: 20–45 seconds
  • LinkedIn: 30 seconds – 5 minutes

Remember that while these recommendations are based on best practices, each platform supports videos of varying durations. We encourage you to choose a video length that best complements the items already discussed, such as your audience, topic, and goals.

Once you know how long you want the video to be, you must figure out how much content it can contain.

How can you determine the number of words needed for a video?

To determine the number of words needed for a video to be a certain length, first consider the average speaker’s speaking rate. For example, a normal speaking rate is around 130 words per minute. That means a 1-minute video would need around 130 words, a 2-minute video would need around 260 words, and so on.

As you outline your key points, you may realize you have too much content for your chosen duration. If this is the case, you must decide whether to cut out some material, adjust the length of the video, or break up the content into a series of multiple videos.

The best way to determine what content to cut is to go through your outline and ask yourself whether each point is essential to delivering the intended message. If not, you can probably remove it.

Step 6: Write the script

Writing a video script involves crafting a compelling story that engages viewers and considers all the points previously discussed in this whitepaper. Here are some essential tips for writing a video script:

  1. Start with a hook: Grab viewers’ attention with a strong opening that reels them in and sets the tone for the rest of the video.
  2. Write the body: Develop your main message or story in the body of the video. Use clear, concise, and conversational language, and avoid jargon or technical terms that might confuse viewers.
  3. Finish with a call to action (CTA): End your video with a clear call to action that aligns with the video’s intention. This might be an invitation to subscribe to your channel, visit your website, or buy your product. Make sure your call to action is relevant to your message and is presented in a compelling and persuasive way.

Step 7: Clearly outline visual and audio elements

Now that you have the script written, it’s time to outline the video’s audio and visual components.

When specifying visual and audio elements in a video script, it’s important to be as clear and detailed as possible to ensure that everyone involved in the production understands the vision for the final product.

Here are some tips on how to effectively outline visual and audio elements in your video script:

  • Visuals: Be specific about the video footage, animations, graphics, text overlays, or still images you want to include. You should also specify the length of time each visual element will be on screen and any transitions between them.
  • Audio: Outline the audio elements you want to incorporate, including any background music or sound effects. You should also specify the length of time each audio element will play and any transitions between them.
  • Actors or Interviewees: If your video will include actors or interview subjects, specify the individual roles, how many people will be needed, and what each one will be doing in the video.
  • Testimonials: If you plan to include testimonials, specify who will be giving them, what they will say, and any supporting visuals or footage that will accompany their statements.
  • Slides with narration: If your video will feature narrated slides, outline the content of each slide and the corresponding narration that will accompany it.

When outlining these elements, it’s important to consider the overall tone and style of the video so you can specify cues to your actors, interviewers, and team. For example, if you want a light and fun video, you may want to include more animations and upbeat background music. On the other hand, if you want a serious and informative video, you may want to include more interviews or still images.

Step 8: Read your script out loud

Now that your script at least “looks” like it’s done, it’s time to revise and make any final tweaks. The best way to do this is to read your script out loud. This can help you:

  • Ensure that the script flows naturally: When you read a script out loud, you may notice areas where the language is awkward or difficult to read. This can be revised to improve the script’s overall flow.
  • Check for timing: Reading the script out loud can also help you check the length and timing of the video. You’ll be better able to estimate how long each section of the script takes and identify where to make adjustments to ensure that the video stays within the desired length.
  • Check for clarity and tone: Reading the script aloud can help make sure the message is clear, and the script’s tone is appropriate for the video’s intended audience. Listen to the script as though you’re the viewer and make changes so your message is communicated effectively.
  • Catch errors and mistakes: When you read a script out loud, you’re more likely to catch any errors or mistakes that you may have missed when reading it silently. This includes spelling errors, grammatical errors, and other issues that may detract from the quality of the script.

Tips for Writing a Script That Stands Out

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to write a script, let’s discuss how you can ensure that your video stands out.

Open with something powerful and interesting

One of the most important considerations for your video is capturing the viewer’s attention and maintaining it for the duration of the video. That’s why it’s crucial to start with a strong opener. You can open with a question, a surprising fact, or an emotional story related to the video’s topic. This will make your audience want to keep watching to learn more.

Write in a conversational way

Writing in a conversational way makes your script more relatable and engaging for the viewer. Avoid using overly technical language or jargon, and instead, write in a way that feels natural and easy to understand.

Include transitional phrasing

Transitional phrasing helps to connect different sections of your script smoothly. It can help you move from one idea to the next while keeping the flow of the script consistent. For example, phrases like, “Now that we’ve talked about X, let’s move on to Y,” or “Speaking of Z, let’s take a closer look at it,” can be very effective.

Be concise

A video script should be concise and to the point. Avoid using unnecessary words or repeating the same information multiple times. Keep your sentences short and focus on communicating your message as clearly and efficiently as possible.

Create a strong CTA

The end of your video should include a strong CTA that aligns with the video’s goals and prompts the audience to do something. The CTA should be clear and specific while encouraging the viewer to take action, whether that’s subscribing to your channel, visiting your website, or making a purchase.

Video Script Templates

How-to Video Tutorial


  • Introduction — why the viewer should watch this video & what they will learn
  • Step-by-step instructions — simple, clear, and concise steps
  • Tips or additional information — shortcuts, best practices, and warnings
  • Conclusion with a CTA — summarize the steps and encourage the viewers to try it themselves

Example: How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

  • Introduction: “Welcome to our how-to video on making the perfect cup of coffee. In this video, we’ll show you step by step how to make a great cup of coffee that will impress even the biggest coffee snobs.”
  • Step-by-step instructions: “Step 1: Choose high-quality beans. Step 2: Grind your beans. Step 3: Heat up your water. Step 4: Add your coffee grounds. Step 5: Brew for 3-4 minutes. Step 6: Pour and enjoy!”
  • Tips or additional information: “Don’t boil your water! Use water at around 200°F for the best taste. Also, be sure to use a good quality burr grinder for consistent results.”
  • Conclusion: “Congratulations, you’ve just made the perfect cup of coffee! We hope you enjoyed this video, and don’t forget to subscribe for more great how-to videos.”

Promotional video


  • Introduction — what the company does and what problem it solves
  • Benefits and features — what sets the company apart, why it’s better than competitors
  • Testimonials or social proof – what other satisfied customers have to say
  • Conclusion with a CTA — encourage viewers to visit the website, sign up for a free trial, etc.

Example: XYZ Company – The Best Solution for Your Business

  • Introduction: “At XYZ Company, we help businesses solve their toughest challenges with our cutting-edge technology and industry expertise.”
  • Benefits and features: “Our software is easy to use and will save you time and money. With our powerful analytics and reporting tools, you’ll gain insights that will help you make better business decisions.”
  • Testimonial: “Donna, a satisfied customer says, ‘XYZ Company’s software has completely transformed how we do business.’ And John, our partner, says, ‘Working with XYZ Company has been a game-changer for our business.'”
  • Conclusion: “Visit our website today to learn more and sign up for a free trial. Don’t wait — start revolutionizing your business today!”

Educational video


  • Introduction — what the video is about and why it’s important
  • Key points — facts, statistics, or information that supports the topic
  • Examples or demonstrations — visuals or animations that help illustrate the key points
  • Conclusion with a CTA — summarize the main points and encourage viewers to learn more

Example: The Science of Sleep: Why It’s Important and How to Get More of It

  • Introduction: “In this educational video, we’ll explore the science of sleep and why it’s so important for our health and well-being.”
  • Key points: “Did you know that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”
  • Examples or demonstrations: “To help you get more sleep, try these tips: Create a relaxing sleep environment, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and establish a consistent sleep schedule.”
  • Conclusion: “Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health, and yet so many of us struggle to get enough of it. Set yourself up for success by following these tips to ensure you get adequate sleep every night.”

Video testimonial


  • Introduction — who the testimonial is from and why they’re qualified to speak about the product/service
  • The problem — what kind of problem the speaker experienced before using the product/service
  • The solution — how the product/service helped solve the problem
  • Results — the positive outcomes the speaker experienced as a result of using the product/service
  • Conclusion with a CTA — encourage viewers to try the product/service

Example: Customer Testimonial – ABC Consulting

  • Introduction: “Hi, my name is Jane, and I’m the CEO of XYZ Corporation. I want to share my experience working with ABC Consulting and how they’ve helped my business.”
  • The problem: “Before working with ABC Consulting, we were struggling to streamline our business processes and improve our bottom line.”
  • The solution: “ABC Consulting provided us with expert guidance and helped us implement new strategies that saved us time and money.”
  • Results: “As a result, we were able to increase our profits by 25% and improve our overall efficiency.”
  • Conclusion: “If you’re looking for a reliable and knowledgeable consulting firm, I highly recommend ABC Consulting. Give them a try today!”

Demo or product tour video


  • Introduction — what the product/service is and why it’s important
  • Features — what the product/service offers and how it works
  • Benefits — how the product/service can benefit the user
  • Examples or demonstrations — visuals or animations that help illustrate the features and benefits
  • Conclusion with a CTA — encourage viewers to try the product/service

Example: Product Tour XYZ Software

  • Introduction: “Welcome to our product tour of XYZ Software. Our software is designed to help businesses of all sizes streamline their operations and increase productivity.”
  • Features: “With XYZ Software, you can easily manage your projects, collaborate with team members, and track your progress in real-time.”
  • Benefits: “Our software is cloud-based, which means you can access it from anywhere, at any time. You’ll also enjoy a user-friendly interface and powerful analytics tools that will help you make informed business decisions.”
  • Examples or demonstration: “Watch as we create a new project, assign tasks to team members, and monitor our progress. With XYZ Software, you’ll never miss a deadline or lose track of important tasks again.”
  • Conclusion: “Try XYZ Software today and see the difference it can make in your business.”

Final Thoughts

Writing an effective video script is crucial to creating a successful video that engages and resonates with your audience.

By considering these factors and following the tips and best practices outlined in this whitepaper, you can create a video script that grabs your viewers’ attention, effectively communicates your message, and achieves your desired outcomes.

Remember to always keep the needs and interests of your audience top of mind, tailor your script to the specific platform and medium you’ll be using, and ensure that your goals for the video are clearly defined and aligned with your overall marketing strategy.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to creating compelling and effective video content that resonates with your audience and helps you achieve your business objectives.

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