Topic :
Video Marketing

How To Write Video Scripts That Sell

Bad sales scripts convert poorly.
Of course, you know that, which is why writing the script is the hardest part of making a sales video. You know if you mess it up the whole project will be a failure. Goodbye profits, hello shame and bankruptcy.

No pressure.

But fear not fellow wordsmith. I’ve found that by following the simple steps below, the quality and effectiveness of my scripts has improved significantly. Hopefully they’ll help you too:

How to Write Scripts That Sell

1) Isolate the Viewer’s Pain
2) Interact with the Viewer
3) Show Them How You Will Ease Their Pain
4) Keep It Bright and Light

1. Isolate the Pain
Many people try to draw people into their script by selling the benefits of the product/service. But it’s been shown that people respond better if you first isolate a “pain point” that they are feeling and then show how the product/service can resolve it.

BUT – it’s important that we recognize that a “pain point” is not the same as a direct problem. What do I mean?

How to write a script that sells

How to write a script that sells

To illustrate, which of these two statements is more likely to grab someone’s attention?

  •  “Fewer flats with Acme Tires”
  •  “Flat make you miss her first dance recital? Next time use Acme Tires.”

The first statement is a direct problem that the product can solve. Sure, a flat tire is annoying but the way it’s presented here is unlikely to pull people’s attention away from other concerns.

But the second statement highlights a possible “pain” caused by a flat tire, that of missing your daughter’s dance recital. The desire to avoid that emotional pain is far more likely to motivate people to action.

To isolate “Pain Points”, first define a direct problem the product solves (e.g. flat tires), then write out all the “pain” caused by that problem (e.g. getting chewed out for being late, missing important moments, getting dirt all over your suit). This “Pain Map” will help you isolate what is truly of interest to your viewers.

When starting your script, concentrate on just one or two of these “Pain Points” and show people how your product/service can relieve them.

2) Interact with the Viewer

We are much more engaged by two way conversations that by one way sermons. When you talk “at” someone instead of talking “with” them they switch of mentally.

So, to pull your viewers in, you need to involve them in the dialogue. The easiest way to do this is with questions.

Of course, viewers won’t reply verbally to questions in your video, but they will think about the answer – they will engage mentally with what you’re saying.

And since you’ve already isolated some “Pain Points” in the previous step it’s easy to create questions based on these.

  • – “What were you late for the last time you got a flat tire? Getting chewed out by your boss isn’t a good way to start the day…”
  •  “How dark and terrifying was the last place you got a flat? Flats always seem to happen at the worst moments…”

Questions aren’t just useful when introducing a concept. Using them at different stages in the script will help to keep people mentally focused on your message.

Keep Calm and Write the Script

Keep Calm and Write the Script

3) Show Them How You Will Ease Their Pain

Once you’ve decided what “Pain Points” are of most interest to your viewers and you’ve hooked them in with some simple questions, it’s time to show them how your product will ease their pain.

The key point here is that you want to “show” them, not just “tell” them.

Many people fall into the trap of just stating benefits (telling people):

  • – “This is the best product in it’s class.”
  • – “The is a truly unique solution.”
  • – “This is the best value for money solution on the market.”

This is a bad way to convince people. We are now totally programmed to ignore sales patter, so instead, we need to see proof of a product’s worth.

Why not show people benefits instead:

  • – “This product won gold industry awards in both 2011 and 2012.”
  • – “Our new product helped Coca Cola and P&G reduce shipping times by 10%.”
  • – “Based on our recent experience with Goodyear, I believe we can save you 17% on your current production costs.”

Even if you don’t work with Coca Cola or Goodyear the principles are the same. Find some way of showing people how a feature of your product can benefit them.

And remember, when making claims about your product, always keep your integrity. If you state something make sure you can fulfill it. Talk is cheap and making empty promises will ultimately reduce your reputation to tatters.

4) Keep It Bright and Light

Now it’s all starting to come together. You’re addressing real “Pain Points” that will interest viewers. You’re mentally engaging them with questions and you’re then proving to them that your product/service is the solution they need.

The hard part now is keeping all this information concise and easy to follow.

Long verbose scripts are not effective sales tools.

Too often, people try detail every possible feature and benefit that they offer – but this is counter-productive. Don’t see your video as a complete educational program, it’s just a teaser trailer, something that will pique people’s interest and motivate them to learn more.

Keep the Script Short and too the point

Ideally a video should last 90 seconds or less, which roughly translates to a script with 210-240 words. If you can’t get your script within this range it means you’re trying to say too much, cut something out.

Also, don’t try to prove how smart you are by filling scripts with acronyms, complex language and corporate buzzwords. The problem with this is that it works, you do look smart, but the client feels stupid because he doesn’t have a clue what you are saying. The result? The viewer gets embarrassed and/or frustrated.

Instead you want the viewers to feel smart. Avoid acronyms and language you wouldn’t normally use (e.g. synergy, dynamic). By using everyday language and short sentences you’re not dumbing things down, you are helping viewers to understand and get motivated faster.

It’s a good idea to ask a friend who is not involved in your field to read the script. If they can understand it without extra explanation from you it’s likely that your viewers will understand it too.

So there it is. Some simple steps that will hopefully help you write a sales masterpiece.
If you have any questions or suggestion I’d love to hear them, just post them in the comment section below.

Kenny Simpson is a Creative Producer at ExplanatoryVideos.com
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