Let’s talk about how to write a script for a YouTube video that increases watch time and viewer engagement, brings a ton of value to your audience and helps you get through the whole process a lot faster! Oh, and I have a gift for you at the end of this blog as well.
First things first, let’s talk about why having a script is so important. Without a script, you might find yourself rambling, forgetting important points, or losing your train of thought. A script will keep you focused, and organized, and ensure that you cover everything you want to say. You are taking the time to make an impactful video, give it the best shot it has at being impactful by taking the time to write a great script.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. I’m gonna go top to bottom through my scripting process and share it all with you.
1.) Outline Your Video.
This means writing down the main points you want to cover and the order in which you want to cover them. This part might actually happen even BEFORE you start writing your script. For me, this happens during the IDEATION phase and I use helpful tools like Answer the Public, Chat GPT and YouTube Search to research my ideas and develop great outlines. This can stay flexible of course, but having it in place will keep you on the right track while writing your script.
2.) Create a polished working title.
This might change as you go but you should have already worked on having a title that you would be proud to publish. I call this a working title because I am a stickler for a tight production process and changing the name of your video “during” the scripting, filming, editing, and distribution could lead to confusion or even disaster. While you are writing your script this title will keep you on track to stay on topic. When you know what the title’s going to be, you’ll know what the viewer’s expectations are when clicking to watch your video… and you can craft the content to meet those expectations.
3.) Next is The Honey
Mmm, sweet sweet nectar of the gods, erm, the nectar of the Bees I mean. This is the part many youtube creators and gurus call the hook. I think calling it a hook doesn’t give enough credit to the viewer as a sophisticated audience member who knows what they want to see in a video. So I call it “The Honey”, based on a quote from Benjamin Franklin’s 1744 Publications Entitled “Poor Richard’s Almanac” which says
“A spoonful of Honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar”.Benjamin Franklin
Plus honey is super sticky and we want viewers to STICK AROUND, right?!
*Takes a Bow* – Thank you, thank you… I’ll be here all week!
Remember that often times your audience has quickly moved through the following sequence before viewing your Intro. They have Searched, Seen, Read, and Clicked and now it is YOUR JOB to make sure and tell them that they are in the right place. Reassure them with some delicious honey!
4.) Next is the INTRO
This might be a little different for everyone and in some cases not needed at all. But I like to take the time to share who I am and what I am up to. Here we can let your viewer know who you are, how you are going to help them, and what they can expect to see next. You may explain the video’s topic a little more here as well. I shared at the beginning of this blog that I would walk you through the scriptwriting process and that it was the exact process I use right on my own YouTube channel! This is where a viewer really starts to become invested AND they know they are in the right place and you are the right person to give them the answer or solution they came for.
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5.) Now to The Meat
Oh man, it’s time for the main course! The meat and potatoes of your video. (I must have really been hungry when I was writing this script, everything is food-based today) Now it’s time to dive into the heart of your story. Use specific examples and details to bring your message to life. Often you can use a good old numbered list sometimes referred to as a listicle. There are no hard and fast rules here, 3-6 main points can effectively serve as the meat of your script. There are a few ways to do it. You can use numbers Like “Here are 5 tips to help with X” or “Here is a countdown of the 4 best examples of Y” or like in this blog, list out the steps to complete the smaller parts of a whole. Remember that this is what they came for so take your time and deliver excellence. Compliments to the Chef!
6.) Now it’s time for dessert.
It is time to over-deliver and delight your viewer. You have given them what they came for and now it is time for something a little extra. This could come in the form of a tool or free download, a bonus piece of material that was promised or even a surprise that they weren’t ready for that adds to the over-expected value of the video. So for dessert today I want to offer you a chance to look over our menu and download your free “YouTube Script Template” so you can use the same approach that I do when making your next YouTube Video. Bon Appétit!
I want to quickly talk about “Sprinkles” – Sprinkles could be chocolate pieces on top of your ice cream or delicious seasoning on your steak. I want you to keep a list of things nearby that you can “SPRINKLE” throughout your scripts. Things like “Pattern Interrupts” to bring a viewers attention back to front and center. Using humor or a well placed joke to entertain your viewers, and other reengagement techniques like text, motion graphics and b-roll! Did you know those could be written into your scripts?
6.) Sometimes… A Summary
As you come to the end of your story, it is again “sometimes” appropriate to summarize your video which will leave viewers with a lasting impression of all the valuable information you just shared. Do this quickly and use this space to really grab your viewer’s attention and bring their thoughts back to the whole of the video and what they have just learned!
7.) Last but certainly not least is your Call to Action!
This can take many different forms but the most important part of a great call to action is that you are sharing with your viewer what the natural best next step is. My videos always let the viewer know what video is next in the series and serves as a logical next step in their journey.