In business and in everyday life, all of us occasionally struggle to communicate the ideas that mean the most to us. When a listener isn’t engaging with something we find exciting, important, or novel, it can be disheartening—especially when the topic is a major product and your organization’s revenue is on the line. So let’s explore how to write an effective product video script, and ensure that your video leaves your viewer as engaged with your product information as you want them to be.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost, know your audience, and try to put yourself in their shoes. In other words, go beyond the normative standards of market research and thnk hard about your viewer’s perspective. Let’s grant that your writing is correct for the demographic you’re targeting (in tone, energy, etc.).
The key to taking a good, audience-conscious script on product information and making it great is continuing your empathetic approach. Those who have researched creativity in business, and specifically design thinking, will recognize this approach.
Here, in the context of your tutorial or product information script, the empathetic approach will help you remember that your audience doesn’t know what you know. Unlike you, they have not worked extensively with your organization. They have not been a part of this product’s inception or been a part of its journey to market.
You’ll want to keep this in mind throughout your process as you write your product video script. With every informational sentence, ask yourself: “Does this really explain what I want it to explain?” and “Will this language help someone understand the product?” If you honestly have to answer “no” to either question, rewrite the sentence.
You can use the product’s history to inform your writing here. Ask yourself: What idea, discussion, or explanation really worked for you? There was a time when you knew nothing of this product; what helped you to understand it? Was there a particular metaphor, or demonstration? Chances are good that your audience will be similarly swayed by that content, so involve it as much as you can.
Use Story to Share Information
Let’s move beyond knowing your audience and think about how to write your product video script in terms of narrative. Story is our human coding language and is prized by TruScribe as one of the design principles that we call Scribology. People have a natural tendency to want to hear stories, and hear them all the way through.
The simplest way to use storytelling in your script is to follow a character, or characters, as they experience your product. It’s a great way to inject levity and relatability into what might otherwise be a cut-and-dried walkthrough of your product.
Say your product is a new projector that brings theater-quality sound to consumers. The element you most need to explain is how to set up the speakers to create this effect.
Now, say you create a character named Liz. Liz loves scary movies and is tired of watching them on her laptop. She wishes she had a way she could get better sound out of her movies. Already, a lot of your storytelling is done: we’ve established our protagonist and given her a pain point that your product will address.
When you introduce your product, it won’t be in a vacuum: it’ll be the logical next step in your story. And your character will provide an anchor for your tutorial, keeping the script engaging in the most technical moments.
This is perhaps the most useful part of whiteboard video in product information/tutorial contexts: maintenance of engagement, even in the most complex or dry of moments, and enhanced retention rates of your information. Why does this happen when this type of script is supported by great images? Compare the following two sentences, and ask yourself which feels more engaging:
“Users then choose locations in their viewing room to attach speakers to the wall.”
“Liz decides to put one of her speakers behind her couch, right between her favorite movie posters.”
It’s probably safe to say the second one is more engaging. In fact, you might’ve had a moment of mental movie-making or “transportation” reading it. This is the brain’s way of leaving reality and taking up the world of the narrative. You might’ve pictured posters behind a couch in a living room, and maybe even put images from your own favorite movies in the poster frames. Regardless of how deep into the story you went, you were transported, and a transported mind is an engaged one.
Don’t Forget a Call to Action
So, you’ve thought about your own biases as a writer, and written a script that relies on a narrative to keep viewers engaged. What’s the last step?
As you close your script, make sure you include a clear call to action. By the end of your video, your viewers will know how your product can serve them. It’s time to be sure that they know how to get their hands on that product.
Invite your viewers to order your product from your website. Suggest that they ask their doctor about your product. Remind them that your product is available in retail locations. However you believe you can best turn engagement into conversion, your call to action will be your best way to do so.
The real danger of a product information/tutorial video comes from the potential to lose viewers due to the by-the-numbers nature of some of the material. Counteract that with your scriptwriting. Write like someone who has never heard of your product—or your company, for that matter.
Use a narrative, and create a compelling character (or characters) to take advantage of the mind’s love for stories. Transport your readers into a world where they’ll be highly engaged, and use that engagement to teach them about your offering. And be sure to close with a strong call to action.
How do you write your own product information/tutorial scripts? Do you agree that storytelling is a strong approach? How do you ensure engagement with your script?