Every single video you make should start with a script. If you watch a lot of how-to videos, it may seem that the creator of the video is improvising and simply saying whatever is on his or her mind – but this is very rarely the case.
The smooth production of these videos obscures the fact that they are tightly written. The best how-to videos have plans that lay out each step of the process, and scripts that help the creator of the video stay on track, keep their content brief, ensuring that they won’t forget or skip over any important information.
This doesn’t mean you have to follow your script to the word – but having a script is absolutely necessary to determine the flow, feel, and content of your video. Here are some tips on how to write a great how-to script.
1. You Have To Be Entertaining – But You Don’t Have To Be Funny
Being entertaining is more important than you might think. Though viewers may come to your video for helpful information, they are still easily distracted, and could skip through your video if it isn’t interesting. Researching other content creators in your niche can be helpful when figuring out what your audience expects.
In addition, your script should be entertaining. This doesn’t mean that you have to write in a bunch of lame jokes – that’s equally likely to make viewers leave – but you should really understand what makes your video interesting and entertaining, and emphasize that in your script and video post-production.
For example, if you’re making a video about building model rockets, start by showing the rocket launching, or a fun explanation or graphic
about how rockets work. Entertainment doesn’t necessarily mean something that’s funny – just something that can catch interest and hold it.
2. Write For Your Audience
When you plan and write a video for a particular audience, you can safely assume certain things about them.
For example, if you run a how-to channel about smartphones or computers, your audience is probably tech-savvy, well-informed, and passionate about technology. If you run a how-to channel about gardening, on the other hand, your audience is likely older, skews female, and is passionate about nature-related subjects.
Understanding your audience
is crucial for writing a good script and planning your video.
If you know your audience, you can engage them with content that is interesting and unique, and tailored specifically for their tastes – and their level of knowledge.
3. Keep It Short. Seriously.
People consume more online video than ever – but the length of these videos is dropping
. The average length of a video is now 5 minutes, down from 7 minutes since 2012.
The reason is simple – there are so many videos out there that viewers won’t stick around for a long, boring video if they think there’s something better to watch.
Figure out your game-plan and write your script for your video to keep it under 5 minutes, and “front-load” it with information. Whatever is the most unique and interesting thing about your particular how-to video should be emphasized not just in the first minute – but in the first ten seconds.
4. Keep Your Format Consistent
One of the things people like about watching videos from the same content creators is the familiarity of the format. They know exactly what is going to happen at each stage of the video – even when the content changes.
Keep this in mind when you’re writing and planning videos. Once you find a format that works for you, stick to it, and begin writing scripts that consistently follow the format. This will help you maintain a consistent tone and style in every piece of content that you create.
5. Be Prepared
Have any props, items, or objects you’ll need on another table, within reach. Read through your script to make sure it sounds natural and flows well, and remember your lines, actions, and the steps for each video.
If you’re not prepared, no amount of post-production will help. It will be clear that you’re rushed or confused about what you’re doing, and that goes against the spirit of your video. So make sure that you’ve done all the preparation you need to before shooting your video.
Making Money with How-To Videos
Making How-To videos is easy – and can produce quite a bit of income with just a little bit of knowledge and dedication. If you’re interested in acquiring the skills necessary to create great how-to videos, you can work over a variety of niches, using different experts and on-screen talent to do the actual instructing. By simply understanding what makes a good how-to video, having a knowledge of basic video production and editing techniques, and learning about what audiences expect from informational content, you can easily become a top-notch “How-To” video producer in no time at all – and earn some sizeable income while doing so. - Learn More