June 8, 2011 \ Geoff Birmingham
Writing Scripts for Marketing Video: What Does Your Audience Care About Most?

SurgeonLet’s suppose you’re a tech company and you need to create a marketing video that explains your technology.  There’s a good chance that you’ll need to create a script, accompanied by some kind of graphics or animation to illustrate how your product works, since it’s hard to give an on-camera demo of your software or medical device in action.

So where do you start with your script?  The first thought that might come to mind is, “Well, I’ve got this PowerPoint presentation that I give to explain our technology, so maybe I’ll just translate that into a script.”

And this is probably not a good idea.  There are several very big reasons for this.  First, most people find PowerPoint presentations pretty dull.  Second, let’s say your PowerPoint is thirty minutes long, but your video should probably be only two or three minutes long.  Last, there’s a good chance that most of your PowerPoint is about your product rather than your audience.

Let’s focus on that last point, speaking to your audience. A typical PowerPoint presentation goes something like this: “Here are all the things my product can do, and here are all the benefits it will offer you.”  There’s nothing really wrong with that but this is a marketing video, which means that you only have seconds, literally, to grab your audience’s attention.

So you’re probably better off: 1) addressing the stuff that they care about (themselves); and 2) communicating that material in about 400 words or less, if you’re aiming for a

3-minute video.

If you know your customers well, this probably isn’t a hard thing to accomplish.  If your clients are surgeons – and I’m completely creating this off the top of my head, so if you’re a surgeon, please indulge me – and you’ve got a technology that helps their patients recover more quickly from surgery, that’s where you start your script.

For example: “Every orthopedic surgeon sympathizes with frustrated patients who tear an ACL and would like to get back on the sports field in days rather than months…etc.”

You then explain briefly the reasons for the long recovery time and briefly how your product can fix the problem.  With a marketing video, particularly if it’s intended for online distribution, the key is to engage your audience by immediately addressing whatever challenges they may be facing, and then give them a little teaser for how your product or service can help.  If they want more info, they can read more on your website, or, even better, pick up the phone and call you!

Photo: salimfadhley