How would you like to put together a video presentation that attracts lots of visitors and preps your prospects to enter your sales funnel? Believe it or not, you could put together a dynamic video sales letter in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Law and Order. In order to do this effectively, you’re going to need to establish a firm foundation. Here’s what you need to get started.
The video script
You’re going to need a system for developing and creating compelling content. I use a seven step method for developing the video script that gets me from point A – Z the right way every time. Start by laying out the problem. The essence of compelling videos is the same element that makes good drama; conflict.
Start by laying out the problem, then explains why this issue is so challenging. Once you’ve laid out the scenario in a way that the viewer can relate to, it’s your turn to relate to the viewer and their situation. At this point you’ll want to take the viewer’s perspective and even offer reasons why they have not been able to solve the problem on their own.
The next step is to outline the solution to the problem. This is the point in the video where you describe how their life would be better with your solution. You’re literally turning the viewer’s perspective 180°. Give them a vision of how the solution will make them happier, healthier, more prosperous, etc., then explain why the solution is so much better for them than anything else.
Develop urgency; demonstrate the reasons why they need to take action this very minute! Take it for granted that they are already experiencing that sense of urgency and focus your script on the scenario. Show them what their risks are for not taking action right now. Put them in this scene with a worst-case scenario. Finally, give them their call to action; tell them exactly what they must do next.
Now that we’ve set up a three act drama, it’s time to do some editing to make it even more compelling. Let’s go to scene two and create a short teaser of the solution and place it as a sentence in the first frame of the video. Next we’re going to create a smooth transition from scene one to scene two. Finally, create a smooth transition between scene two and scene three.
You will have written your copy fairly quickly and now you’re going back to do some editing. Check the flow, as well as the dramatic impact of the words in the script. Working rapidly allows you to get to the meat of the story. Keep your sentences short and simple.
Scene 1 – The Opening
The first frame should contain an attention grabbing headline. Many video marketers use a short but powerful audio clip right at the beginning to grab the viewer’s attention. This clip is often louder than the actual video to catch the viewer off guard.
You can use testimonials in scene one as a way to draw in the viewer. If you do this, the testimonial must still begin with a compelling problem. Remember that drama and conflict sells. You can also use testimonials in scene two when outlining the solution. Be sure that the individuals who are sharing their story can present it well.
Scene 2 – The Action
This is where the story must keep the viewer’s interest. One way to do this is to transition your shots with each sentence. Avoid the still frame at all costs. If you have a presenter, use varying camera angles or cut to other visuals to keep the video compelling.
Scene 3 – Pulling The Trigger
This is where you take away every excuse that the prospect may have for saying no or delaying taking action. Take away the risk and the pain of committing at this point. This is where the close comes in. Give them a logical justification for making an emotional decision.
Although I’ve taken quite a bit of time to explain the process involved in writing the video script, an average video script of this type should be no more than two – four minutes long. The number of words involved in a two-minute script is roughly 300. That is roughly half of a typewritten page.
Actually, 300 words allows you to break the script evenly in thirds of roughly 100 words each. Now you have an idea of how quickly you can work on each scene. Once you’ve reached a point at which the script feels right, it’s time to select the visuals.
Graphics For Your Video
Graphic overlays, pictures and titles are important elements in the creation of your video. They can help to make a two-minute video sparkle. Even if you are filming live footage, it’s a good idea to have graphics for the following:
• Product Samples
• Webpage Graphics
• Sales Letter Graphics
If you choose the right graphics you may not even need live footage. If you’re shooting live footage to accompany the dialogue in the script, there’s no need to try to replicate Citizen Kane. As a matter of fact, you can shoot video from a cell phone to give it that sense of immediacy. As a rule, you don’t want your video to look overproduced or too slick.
These types of videos should have an edge; they tend to garner more interest if they don’t look like television commercials. You can use a program such as Camtasia to combine your graphics and video as well as audio. With practice, a two-minute video can be produced in as little as five minutes.
One way to ensure that you avoid wasting time in production is to storyboard your video; scene by scene. Just scribble down the bare details that allow you to understand the flow of the words and images. I like to break my storyboards down by sentences. They give me a rough idea of sequencing and transitions.
If you decide that you would rather outsource the production, be sure to include a rough sketch of the storyboards to help the person producing your video to understand your thought process. This worked well for Alfred Hitchcock; he included thumbnails of every scene in his movies.
Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way. With practice comes improvement; you’ll find that each video will be a little bit better than the last both in content and effectiveness if you follow the tutorial closely and keep practicing.
Video marketing strategies continue to be widely written about more on the Internet. I’m going to be featuring a webinar on video marketing strategies in April where I’ll cover writing scripts for videos in more detail. I’ll also be covering video production, how to outsource specific components of your video, as well as how to distribute and promote video content to boost your existing marketing campaigns.