A Video Maker’s Cheat Sheet

Who says cheaters never win?

Luckily this isn’t grade school anymore and you can’t get punished for showing up with some useful notes. Creating amazing scripts and storyboards for your business videos can be difficult because there are so many things you need to remember.

To make your life easier, here’s a video maker’s cheat sheet for writing a strong script and creating a killer storyboard:

1. Identify target audience

When you properly identify your target audience, you lay a solid foundation for your script writing and storyboard making process. Knowing your target audience is critical because anything you do with your video can only be justified if it will add more value to your viewing audience’s experience.

2. Pick a main character that your viewers can identify with

You dramatically enhance your video’s message when there’s a character your target audience can relate to. For example, if you’re a car company that produces family friendly cars, have your video’s protagonist be the responsible parent who is purchasing one of your cars for their family of five with a teenager, a pre-teen, and a toddler.

3. Come up with a use case or a story that resonates with your audience

An awesome video isn’t one that lists all of your product’s cool features. Instead, it elegantly shows how your product provides a solution that solves a common problem for your audience. A flawless script and storyboard considers how to get your audience to picture themselves using and loving what you have to offer.

4. Include romance to make your story more touching or engaging

Or simply add humor to bring a laugh.

You don’t have to make an extravagant effort to impress your audience. You just have to make an effort. In this digital age, no viewer is going to tolerate a boring and non-engaging piece of content. It’s not like walking into a public speech and having to stick around because it’s the polite thing to do even if the speech sucks. Viewers have absolutely no shame in hitting the Back button or the Close button on your videos.

5. Make sure your visual elements flow with your narration

What would you think if you were watching a video promoting a highly anticipated first-person-shooter video game, and it never showed clips of gameplay? As a viewer, you’d probably think there was something very wrong and might even feel cheated of the time you spent watching that crappy video. Visuals are meant to flow with your narration, clarifying your message because viewers honestly cannot be bothered to use their imaginations.

6. Include sound effects in your storyboard

Sound effects send signals about mood, tone, and even events within a video. Here’s an incredible six minute TED talk on how sounds affect everyone. The speaker, Julian Treasure, points out four Golden Rules for commercial sound, which are: 1) Make it congruent, 2) Make it appropriate, 3) Make it valuable, and 4) Test and test again. Proper use of sound affects in videos will engage viewers, enhance your message, and leaves less work for the characters and visuals artists to “wow” the audience.

7. Think about your call-to-action

You need a great call-to-action. Period. There’s nothing worse than a viewer watching your sales video thinking, “Oh what a cool product… but what next?” Your audience needs a bit of direction. Don’t be ashamed to tell them to join your mailing list, share your video, or register on your site before they run off and watch the next interesting video that catches their eye. Here are some tips that may help you create an unbeatable call-to-action, so you end your videos on a high note.

Use this cheat sheet every time you are working on a new script and storyboard, otherwise you’ll be smacking yourself in the head for forgetting one of these important notes after you’ve finished and published your video.

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