According to a study conducted by Cisco, 80 percent of all global Internet consumption will be video content by 2019. In other words, most people across the globe will want to watch a video instead of read social media posts, blog posts, white papers, e-books, etc. In fact, 80 percent of audiences would rather watch video from an established brand than read other written posts (Source: LiveStream).
So, like it or not, you’ll want to strongly consider adapting your writing expertise for video content in 2018 and beyond if you publish, share, or promote content across the web for a branded entity or organization.
Here are some tips for how you can adapt your writing to create epic video content.
Know Your Target Audience When Writing Video Scripts and Always Include Transcripts and Captions
At first, one might think that a writer’s skills will become less valuable when videos begin to dominate content that’s shared online, but the exact opposite is true. Each online video will necessitate a meticulously written script.
Because most online videos are viewed without sound on, don’t underestimate the importance of having a well-written script and including video captions that are error free. Professional teams developing video content will need to rely on professional writers and editors who really understand their audiences. They’ll also need to rely on expert proofreaders to proofread video captions and transcripts.
It’s also important to note that a video’s transcript (not its visual content) is critical to whether a video is found or shared online, and that a quality transcript exponentially boosts the likelihood that a video will be discovered, viewed, and shared with others online.
Determine Each Video’s Core Message and Keep It Brief
When writing video scripts and planning video content, it’s important to remember that people have very short attention spans when viewing content. Depending on what type of device viewers are using, the amount of time watching video varies widely. The amount of time watching either video on demand or livestream video ranges from a low of 2.8 minutes on a mobile device to 34.5 minutes on a desktop (Source: LiveStream). So, in addition to fully understanding your target audience, make sure your video content is brief, to the point, and focuses on one core message. You may need to write scripts for multiple videos if there is more than one core message that you’re trying to convey in your video.
If you have trouble determining what your video’s core message is or how long it should be, try writing a piece of long-form content first (e.g., long blog post, white paper, e-book) to better organize your script and identify what you’ll need to include in it. For instance, each chapter of an e-book might have to be represented in separate five-minute videos, or each sub-head of a long blog post might end up as a separate video. And so on.
Structure Your Video’s Script Around Its Core Message and Its Audio and Visual Content
In addition to focusing on your core message, be sure to separate audio cues from visual cues when writing a video script. Whatever the viewer is reading will have to be timed with the narration or the actions on-screen. For instance, if you write a narration that lasts two minutes but the visual content lasts only thirty seconds, your entire video script will be confusing and incoherent.
You’ll want to combine your marketing and copywriting skills with basic screenwriting skills. Entice your audience to view your content and complete a specific action (e.g., signup for a service, buy a product, watch another video) while keeping your actors and visual content in mind as you’re writing the script.
Write for Real-Life Humans
Whatever you do, remember that you’re writing video scripts for real-life humans. So, while major grammatical errors should be avoided, be careful to include language and dialogue that’s natural for your audience. And write engaging scripts that tell a story and that are interesting or funny. According to studies, interesting and compelling content is still always the primary motivation for live online viewing of video (Source: LiveStream). If you don’t write compelling content, your videos will not be successful.
Do you have experience writing scripts for video content? If so, please feel free to share additional tips and information with us in the comments below.