At one point or another, each of us have had that gut feeling that defies the facts and numbers. When everything looks right on paper but for some reason it just doesn’t “feel” right.
So where does that feeling come from?
Contrary to what you may be thinking, it actually comes from the BRAIN!
Simon Sinek, a British-American author and motivational speaker, does a great job explaining this in his book called “Start with Why.”
He talks about the two parts of your brain
The Neocortex or “the what” and the Limbic or “the why”
The Neocortex being responsible for our rational and analytical thought and language and the Limbic being responsible for our feelings, behavior and decision making. He also talks about how our Limbic brain has no capacity for language.
What this means is the part of our brain that DRIVES BEHAVIOR, our Limbic Brain, doesn’t even understand the vast amounts of information you are throwing at it. It just hears BLA BLA BLA!
So how does knowing all this, help make better videos?
Studying the human brain helps us understand what motivates our audience leading to lifelong business.
Like Simon mentions, when we first communicate the “why” and get our viewer believing what we believe, we establish an emotional connection. After that connection is formed, it doesn’t really matter what we have to offer them or how we have it because “people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
You can explain to your viewer till your blue in the face what all of the facts, features, benefits and details are of your company but at the end of the day, if they don’t trust you, they aren’t going to click on your website or set up that free consultation or even think about contacting you.
So before smack your viewers in the face with 7 million reasons why your company is exponentially greater than your competitors….
Ask your self WHY you do what you do. Ask yourself if you actually need all that nitty gritty, technical jargon in your video. Ask yourself if you are selling a product or selling an idea.
Understanding the role of the emotional unconscious and how it plays a role in the decision-making process of your audience is critical in making your video successful.
Remember…. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
How Can You Produce the Right Message and Get Magical Results?
Let’s talk scripting. How can you write a perfect script?
Simply put, no script=no video, bad script=bad video.
Over the years Ydraw has published (and will continue to publish) posts about script writing since the topic is so important and sometimes can be a hard one to truly grasp.
Your script is the framework or skeleton and life’s blood of a video that will deliver your core message to your audience and draw them in to learn more about you and your company.
I may be stating the obvious here, but everything else that is done with your video, from scene planning to art to voice over, follows and builds on your script. Unscripted delivery is called improv and that only works on stage or on the sales floor.
Whether you’re working with one of our creative directors/script writers or writing on your own, following the six guidelines in this article will save you time and frustration during the script writing process and help you create a perfect and effective script for your video.
1-Know Your Audience and Speak To Them..not At Them.
You have a product or service that will change peoples’ lives and the world deserves to know everything about it! Right?? Wrong!!
Let’s face it, your audience is priority #1 so before you start bullet-pointing all you have to offer, make sure you really understand who you’re trying to reach, put yourself in their shoes, and see how long you’d be willing to listen to your own message.
What is your audience dealing with, how can you help them, what will make them listen to you and why should they? If you were them, what would catch and keep your attention?
Create a fictional person or avatar. Know everything about him or her—write to connect with that “person”.
As a professional writer, whether I’m writing scripts, blogs, articles, screenplays or a full blown novel, I’ve noticed my best work is done when I put my ego aside and find a specific target or “person” to write to. It helps me write in a way that creates a much deeper connection with my audience as a whole.
In the article Script Writing 101: Know Your Audience, Ydraw Creative Director Linne Marsh goes into detail about how to identify your audience and how to gain trust and interest by showing that a product or service you have can “ease their pain”. She also warns against going off on tangents that could drive potential customers away.
2-Include Five Key Elements in Your Script:
These elements are your structure and must be included somewhere in your script, no matter what and no matter how. You can be creative and hint at or even combine some of the elements (your B-Problem can also be your A-Header depending on how you write it) but make sure you incorporate all five.
A-Header: Have a powerful header or hook to draw your audience in.
B-Problem: Clearly identify a problem your audience can relate to.
C-Solution: Show how your product, service or idea will remedy that problem.
D-Testimonial or Proof: Provide testimonials or an example of when or how it has worked for others.
E-Call to Action or Offer: Invite your audience to buy, click a link, send an email or make a call, whatever it is you want them to do, at least once during your video.
3-Follow the Made to Stick Principles:
Jace Vernon wrote an in-depth article called 5 Step Guide to Writing A Script the “Made to Stick” Way about one of his favorite marketing tools; The Made to Stick Model by Chip and Dan Heath. Read the book. If not the book, at least read or re-read Jace’s article—it is well worth your time!
Put these tried and true Made to Stick guidelines listed below into practice and you will see results!
A-Simple: Save the nitty gritty details of your product, business or people until after you’ve gotten your audience wanting to know more. Keep your message clear, simple and relatable.
B-Unexpected: Have an element of surprise to your message to catch and keep attention. Have fun with this. Use off the wall ideas or metaphors, unexpected facts and definitely include humor when you can!
C-Concrete: Create a very clear picture of your message for the audience. Avoid being too abstract.
D-Credible: Use statistics or authorities/experts to validate the benefits of what you are offering.
E-Emotional: Playing to your audience’s emotions is so critical! People remember messages when they feel something during delivery. So many decisions are made emotionally!
F-Stories: Make sure your script has an engaging story your audience will get involved with and want to watch through to the end.
4-Write in Memorable Scenes
We love what we do and we love our videos! What isn’t to love about watching a cartoon being drawn and listening to an entertaining story, right?
Where making people smile is definitely right at the top of our list, the reason we are here is to help you market your message. If too much focus is on creating a captivating cartoon, your message could get lost in the art of your video.
Keep in mind, the human brain thinks in pictures.
This is why Ydraw videos are done in shorter scenes rather than one long visually stimulating story.
For example, say you want to market a program to help with finances. It could look like this:
Scene 1: A family of five is having financial struggles.
Scene 2: Your amazing program can help them organize their finances just like it has helped dozens of others.
Scene 3: The family uses your program and they are able to afford a trip to Disneyland.
Scene 4: Invite your audience to call the number on the screen and talk to a financial expert NOW!
Of course there would be a lot more to the script, but if you focus on the main points, put them into scenes and write catering to those scenes, your audience is going to walk away remembering what you want them to remember.
5-Write with Pictures in Mind
Writing a whiteboard script is very different than just about any type of writing. You have a short period of time to tell a story while it’s being drawn to life on the screen before your audience’s eyes.
Yes, your script is the foundation and most critical part of your video, but the pictures are what people see and remember–and that’s why you’re here.
As you think of your scene, think of potential accompanying visuals and write only what will be said by the voice over artist.
The beauty of whiteboard video is that pictures do a lot of the explaining for you and this cuts down on your word count. A good rule of thumb for word count is to keep it between 150-160 words per minute. Writing that way might be more challenging than you think but you’ll notice much more clear and memorable messages as you write with the pictures in mind.
6-Make Sure Your Script Isn’t Boring
There are enough boring things to read and watch in this world.
Clients admittedly come to us with necessary but less than exciting products and services. We make learning about somewhat mundane things un-boring with metaphors, humor and unexpected twists.
Enlist the right side of your brain and add life and character to your message so it grabs and keeps attention, is memorable, and makes magic that encourages potential clients want to learn more about your business and you!
Thank you for reading “How to Write a Perfect Script”
Since I’ve started here at Ydraw we have put in place a simple Script Writing Formula that we like to call the The Made to Stick Formula. I’ve gotten familiar with the Made to Stick method, the formula that makes an idea remembered. It is categorized in 6 principles.
Each of these principles represents the methods to help stick your ideas in the heads of the consumers. Let’s look at each one individually.
What are the core elements of your message? There is a lot that goes into a company and a lot that goes into a product, but the audience doesn’t need all of that background knowledge. That’s the difficulty of having knowledge, thinking that everyone will be able to absorb what you know when they can’t. By adding too much information you can confuse the audience in what they are supposed to know. Find the core of your message and share that message with others. In doing so, you will motivate them to a decision.
If there’s nothing to grab your audience, why would they remember your video? Try and pique the interest of your audience by introducing a mystery that they can’t wait to figure out. Humans like to think in patterns and to keep their attention all you need to do is break these patterns.
The easiest (and most quoted) example of this is Aesop’s fables of the concept of “sour grapes.” The Fox cannot reach some grapes and decides that they must be sour anyway. He wasn’t bitter over not getting what he wanted. But the term ‘sour grapes’ is a lot easier to say than ‘don’t be bitter from not getting what you want.’ Something becomes concrete when it can be described by the human senses.
How do you look credible? Base your idea on authorities – experts, if you will. If you can’t do that you can use 5 other methods. An anti-authority (the dying smoker), Details of about your product, Statistics, Using the ‘Sinatra Test’ (“If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere” – the one test case that proves what you can do) and Testable Credentials (allows consumers to test it themselves).
I’m not suggesting that you should make your audience cry or anything, I’m suggesting you get them to care. For people to take action, they have to care. To do that focus on the individual, as Stalin once pointed out, “a single death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic”. Association also works well by associating between something the audience doesn’t care about and something they do.
What really makes an idea stick? Tell it as a story. Stories can reflect oneself in the minds of the audience and can go a long way to enter the long-term memory storage of an individual. There are three major types of stories to look for. The challenge plot (underdog, rags to riches), the connection plot (developing relationships that bridge the gap), and the creativity plot (somebody making a mental breakthrough or solving a long standing issue).
When following these six principles, your ideas can stick better in the brain of your target audience. But let’s see it in action, here’s a video we did for Atlas, an IT service management company.
How well did this video accomplish the 6 principles of ‘Made to Stick’?
Let’s go through them.
Simple. Atlas is the choice for your IT service management.
Unexpected. Using a monster truck as a metaphor for being stuck without knowing what to do with your IT services is something out of the blue and no one saw it coming.
Concrete. “We are your IT service management contact.” That is a concrete promise to the consumer. By using Atlas they won’t need to go any further to get their IT service management needs met.
Credible. At 1:15 the video talks about costumer satisfaction and shows a graph to show how they are improving on that concept. In the next scene they go over the benefits of using Atlas, cooperation through get together sessions, using webinar training and choosing ways to save money while increasing the user experience.
Emotional. There were a lot of emotions that are felt in that video. Worry and frustration, because the truck was stuck in the mud. The relief when Atlas came along and helped them out of the mess. Finally, gratitude, when they chose a better path and Atlas filled their gas tank and cleaned up their truck.
Story. If I worked in IT service management, I would certainly remember this story of how Atlas came to the aid and helped an ITSM company out of the mud and back on the right track.
There are so many great ideas out there that are just waiting for a story to tell the world about how amazing they are and how that idea can improve the lives and companies around the world.
I hope this little Made To Stick formula will help you create your next script. If you need a video, reach out to us. We would love to help craft the perfect script for you company.
Hey by the way, if you want to check out how to write a script the Made to Stick way, check out this guide on writing a script.
I’m not saying I broke my chair by doing something irresponsible or life threatening or trying to race down the parking lot or anything.
I sneezed and broke my mother-flipping chair. How does that happen? HOW?
Let me explain it as best I can. My desk is in the front, you might think I was the receptionist, but I’m not. Thankfully, for them at least, I would be a terrible secretary.
I was doing some writing (it is in my job description as ‘writer’) and I was wedged up to my desk nice and snug. I was sitting more towards the edge of my chair and typing out something as I was listening to some music on my Bose headphones.
“Makin’ my way downtown, walkin’ fast, faces pass and I’m home bound!”
Without warning, I had a surprise sneeze. Not a super violent sneeze or anything, just a normal sneeze.
Immediately, I heard a small pop. I thought the quick action had popped the lever out of its place. You know, the little lever on the side on the chair that makes it so the chair will either lean back to stay up straight.
So I didn’t really think anything of it. I do like my chair up straight so I tried to lean forward to put the lever back into place.
When I tried though, the lever was already in place and the chair was wobbling wildly.
I still had my headphones on at this point, so I took them off to maneuver easier without a cord wrapping around me. When I took off the headphones I could hear my coworkers calling out to me.
Coworker: “Are you okay, out there?”
Me: “Uh, yeah.”
Boss: “Did you fall over?”
Me: “No. I think I broke my chair.”
Coworker: “What? How?”
Me: “Um, I’m not sure.”
So I finally wheel back a little and realize how bad the wobbliness really was. It was obviously broken more than I thought it was.
I overturned the chair and found this.
Yeah. I broke metal. METAL.
Now sure, I’m a big fella, like a pretty big fella. I’m 6’2” and look like I’m about 250 to 260 pounds when in actuality I’m heavier. My shoulders are incredibly broad and if I really put my mind to it I probably could be some sort of heavy weight lifter. It’s not for me, but I could do it.
So now I’m in my new job and within the first month of being here I broke my chair, by sneezing.
About this time is when I try and merge this anecdote into some sort of marketing or video production “life lesson”, so I’ll give it a try.
Don’t be caught feeling comfortable in what you’re doing, whether it be video scripting, writing, animation, marketing, or creating; a sneeze might come along and force you to stand all day with a cardboard box propping up your keyboard so you can type.
Because you’ll look like a full-fledged moron standing next to a broken chair.
What are cave paintings, essentially? A pretentious art show in the middle of a damp cave, that’s what. I can picture the artist was standing there next to the paintings in a Woolly Mammoth beret looking bored. At some point, there were probably caveman art critics who came along. “Oog no like use of space.”
The paintings ended up drawing notoriety and attention. The same is true with today’s online content.
Videos are made to attract attention and hopefully keep an audience long enough to motivate someone to action. That would be pretty easy to accomplish if today’s online viewers didn’t have the attention span of a toddler hopped up honey smacks and jolt cola.
Sounds patronizing, I know, but that’s exactly what the audience has been reduced to. Recent studies show that online viewers have an attention span of 9 seconds. 9 seconds? I can’t even have a thought in 9 seconds, a hazy recollection maybe, but never a full thought.
Ask any six-second “star” of Vine to explain why anyone would subscribe to his or her channel. I’m sure they couldn’t tell you because, quite frankly, the phenomenon of Vine shouldn’t even exist. People shouldn’t have fans for a six-second joke that has been circulating within 5-6 different Vine user variations. It’s absurd.
Unfortunately, that’s the reality we now live in. As we devolve into human versions of Spongebob Squarepants we have to change the way we approach making video content. So now the job is to shake a pair of keys in front of the audience and have them on their backs, giggling and reaching for the shiny–shiny.
Again, sounds patronizing, but that’s the truth of it.
The meat of the message is in between two carefully crafted intro and conclusion buns. Now, the art of the video is more like the KFC Double Down
A chunk of meat, a bit of cheese, some tantalizing bacon and ends it all with another huge chunk of meat. It may not be very good for you, but it’s popular and people keep on buying it.
This is the formula for a new age. A snack sized informational nugget to fill you up as quickly as possible. Seems kind of difficult, but there are ways to make it work.
Key things to remember with this new format:
GET TO THE POINT. Since videos are inherently getting shorter, your message should get to the audience quicker. The specific fight is to get your point out before the viewer clicks on the ‘Skip Ad’ button. This is the new marketing battle for many companies. First it was recordable TV– viewers could hit a button and skip the commercials, now it’s a small clickable banner in the bottom right corner of your video. How many seconds do you have? It takes 5 seconds for that button to get clicked. Spitting out your point or grabbing their attention in the first 5 seconds will do you well to get your message out there.
EXPECT A DROF OFF. Unless the video you make has a very specific purpose, the most important part of your video will not be the end. The end is where most of your audience has already clicked away so they need to see who you are and what you do before that happens. 20% of the audience has already clicked away within the first 7 seconds, so make that time count. Those first seven seconds could make all the difference between a skipped video and a high retention rate.
A MOSTLY WATCHED VIDEO WILL USUALLY BE THE MOST YOU’LL GET. A mostly watched video on YouTube or post on Facebook, unless it’s a 6 second Vine, is probably the best result you can hope for. As you watch the numbers of where people click away, getting 75% retention on that video is actually amazing. Most videos don’t even last that long. The challenge is not only to get all the information you can in a small amount of time but to also front load the thing as much as possible. Basically, all videos have become the equivalent of children’s shows and the end is now usually saved for a kicker of some sort. Some off chance reward for making it through a video.
Now that you know the formula, the real challenge is getting your message out. The first 7 seconds could be right on point, but the second that video falters, it’s lights out. There is no room for fluff in the entire video. It’s all meat with a bit of cheese. Why am I so hungry all of a sudden? Is KFC still open?
Have you ever had one of those weekends? A food fueled smorgasbord that leaves you with a meat hangover?
I did this last weekend.
(Pictured: a heart attack)
It was AMAZING! Three racks of ribs, two full home grown chickens and ten bratwursts.
I spend over 9 hours making this. That picture was taken near the very end and I had spent a very long time making sure that everything went perfectly. Boy did it ever.
(Pictured: Drool Factor 5)
The same thing can be said about anything: School, children, career, business. They all need nurturing. They all need taking care of. They need time to be mastered.
It’s the same with writing. You have to nurture the skill if you want to master it. Perhaps some think that it’s all just a matter of left to right, up to down, put it in an order to make sense and viola! You have some magical sentence that will change the world.
Or not. It does matter what the words say. I forgot to mention that.
In my line, that’s really all that matters. Especially when trying to write and explain concepts for companies that not only make sense, but are engaging and entertaining.
But hey, that’s our job.
There’s nothing that feels quite as nice as when a video comes together. Especially when that video is now creating traffic to your website.
The numbers don’t lie. 80% of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website in the past month. Video sharing websites like YouTube are getting millions of hits a day. Since nearly the entire world is on board with this whole Internet thing, that’s a lot of people that could be watching videos about your company.
When Ydraw started we were making good videos that held audiences attention.
Then as the years went by, the videos went from good to great. Sort of like how the Beatles only got better after they replaced Paul after the car crash.
So as we venture into the future, we write.
Writing has always been second hand nature for me. To accurately represent feelings through action and dialogue have been a staple in my life ever since I can remember. A lot of it has been from working on movie sets with my dad, an accomplished Special Effects Technician.
Since I was a little kid I’ve always been on a movie set. My first memories of a movie set was going down to San Diego and seeing some jets used on ‘Top Gun’ and getting yelled at by Tom Cruise. I started working on movies since I was 15 and have a decent resume (not that my name appears on all of those movies, not a lot of people’s do).
But my passion wasn’t into making the production, but rather into creating the story. So I started writing and writing and then after that nap, more writing.
I still have some of those first attempts to put pen on paper and they are BAD.
In the same way when I started to smoke ribs, those first racks of ribs were terrible. Absolutely and horrifyingly terrible. I even made friends of mine eat them.
I still feel bad about that.
But today, my writing and my ribs are something I’m proud of. It took years to accomplish. Hours upon hours of practice. Now I’m being recognized for both. I have a great writing job here at Ydraw and my whenever anybody takes a taste of my ribs are blown away at the quality. The reason is simple.
Through nourishment and time-consuming effort, I have been able to cultivate the type of result that is extraordinary. And more importantly, a result I’m proud of.