In This Article
- How script frameworks save you time and make your videos more effective
- Script writing starts with knowing who will see your video, when, and for what purpose
- The C3PO framework for B2B marketing video scriptwriting
- Writing B2B Scripts For Videos Without Voice-Over
- 9 Tips and Tricks for B2B Marketing Video Scriptwriting
- The Next Step: Start Writing Your B2B Marketing Video Script
Writing a killer B2B marketing video script becomes a simple task when using the proper framework.
You have probably already seen enough B2B video stats to know the impact a good video can have in your marketing today. If you are producing marketing videos in-house, your script is the cornerstone of your video. If you’re working with a production agency, a solid understanding of script writing helps you select the best partner and manage the process.
A great way to ensure your script is a success is to use a tried and tested framework.
How script frameworks save you time and make your videos more effective
Video is like any other form of content where a good structure increases your impact. That’s why a solid B2B marketing video script is crucial to the overall success of your video.
Aimless script-writing can be time-consuming and produce lackluster results. It’s far better to begin with a simple structure and adapt from there.
Take this article for instance. There is an introduction that draws you in. A section that explains the value of reading the article. A stack of sections that provide how-to instructions. And a wrap up that brings it all together, reaffirms what you’ve read, and inspires your next step. That didn’t happen by accident.
Because video involves visuals, motion, and sound, it is easy to get distracted by small details.
Have you ever sat down to watch a movie, and after 15 minutes you started to think, what’s going on here? Where is this going? They probably got off track.
Script writing starts with knowing who will see your video, when, and for what purpose
A great B2B marketing video script shows an understanding of their audience and where they are taking them. As you’re planning your video, it’s first necessary to ask:
- Who will be watching this video?
- Where are they in my buying process? (Awareness, consideration, …)
- What should happen after they watch this video?
Here’s an example.
Not long ago I wrote a 35-page eBook for a startup. It is a definitive guide on a niche topic and it’s packed with great information. The problem is that it is long enough to be intimidating, so along with it, I made a 5-minute webinar version of the same content. When people download the book they also get a link to the webinar.
Who is watching this video?
People who downloaded the eBook. They are either intrigued by the video, or decided they don’t have time to read the book and are grateful for the video. (Tip: Short webinars like this are great for B2B video because they demonstrate your authority on a topic but also respect the viewers time.)
Where are they in my buying process?
A definitive guide is a type of content for people who are aware of an issue and want much more context around it. They are probably in a consideration stage and trying to decide if they want to buy a product/service and if they do buy, what they should know as they continue their research.
What should happen after they watch this video?
The prospect should have a healthy understanding of our niche and its benefits, see our company as an authority in this space, and continue their research influenced by our point of view in mind.
Now that I know the answers to all these questions, I can make assumptions about what the viewer knows, cares about, and wants from watching this video. I can also properly give them a call to action at the end that reflects what their next step should be.
Apart from videos like the one above, I’ve also made a ton of videos for sales enablement purposes. These videos are used by a sales team over the course of the cycle of selling software to enterprises. Each highlights just a single benefit of using the software.
For sales enablement videos, the audience is people in touch with sales who are already considering making a purchase. You can assume they know some general information.
The C3PO framework for B2B marketing video scriptwriting
I originally came up with this framework around when The Force Awakens came out in theaters. Star Wars mania was in full effect and I thought I might be able to get a guest article posted in a major publication if I came up with a catchy Star Wars-related acronym. (You should see my failed BB8 framework… nine words that start with B!)
Even though it started as a joke, as time went on I realized that most of the B2B marketing video scripts I was writing followed this structure.
The C3PO framework is:
C3PO is essentially a mini case study. It is especially good for sales enablement videos around a specific benefit of working with you or buying your products.
For most B2B marketing video scripts, you need to set the stage. This can be even a single line of dialogue or title on the screen, but the viewer needs to get oriented before you start throwing things at them. You may be an expert on what you have to offer and know its ins and outs, but you should always assume the person watching your video has a lot of other things going on.
Providing context should also give the viewer a clue to whether the video is for them. Are they a possible customer for your product?
Establishing context can be providing some data:
- Video is one of the fastest growing areas in B2B marketing. 65% of B2B marketers plan to increase their investment in online videos.
Context can also be half a sentence at the beginning of an explainer video:
- Mary is a marketing manager at a small technology startup…
What are you solving in this video? This is your moment to draw the viewer in and get them asking themselves, do I have this problem, too? This could be the primary problem that your business solves. It can also be a smaller problem that just one feature or benefit of working with you addresses.
The key with putting up the problem is to bring a pain point into focus.
Having stated the problem, it’s time to show how that problem is solved. How is the pain removed? What happens when this problem isn’t so much of a problem anymore?
The promise section of your video is where you help a prospect or customer envision what success looks like for them. Video, as a format, can be tremendously convincing. It paints a vivid picture in a person’s mind about what will happen, much moreso than a one-pager or some website copy typically does.
The promise section of your video sets expectations for what the customer will expect, so make sure it is a promise you can keep.
Provide evidence that you can fulfill on your promise. For the sales enablement videos for the enterprise software I mentioned above, a lot times this is an abbreviated demo of some features so they can see firsthand that the software works.
More often the proof is real results that your B2B product has produced for others. Is there a case study you can highlight, or figures that show on average what lift in what metrics that users of your products/services get from working with you?
For an explainer video for a new business where you may not have a lot of proof, or more often then not, you’re not allowed to share the proof, you may decide to run a fictitious narrative through your video of a typical customer and what happens to them.
Other times social proof is required. If this is an explainer video, you might include how many customers you have already (e.g. “Proudly used by over 1,000 brands and agencies”) or quotes from customer testimonials or news outlets.
Every good bit of B2B marketing collateral should have an offer, including videos. Now this isn’t typically where you ask directly for a sale or provide pricing or anything like that. The offer is the call to action, or a reinforcement of the sale ask.
The offer may be something as simple as:
- Learn More www.yourwebsite.com
- Contact Sales for a free consultation
- Start your free trial
In B2B, it’s important to reaffirm key benefits repeatedly. Buyer’s are likely to have many touchpoints with your company before they contact you, and many more before they purchase. You don’t want to ask them to buy constantly, so sometimes the offer is more subtle.
In a sales enablement video the offer may be a short reaffirmation of the promise or a benefit statement. Sometimes you want to include the word “you” in your offer statement.
- With our mobile CRM, you will always have the information you need at your fingertips.
- With our automated proposal software, you’re ready to close the deal within minutes of agreeing to terms.
Offers like the above are the equivalent of Buy Now! in B2B, but instead you’re saying Remove this pain point, receive this benefit!.
Writing B2B Scripts For Videos Without Voice-Over
A lot of the B2B marketing videos I make don’t have any voice over, but they still have scripts. That’s because I use animated text to tell the story instead of voice.
Why? Because a lot of people want to watch a video without sound. Maybe they’re in an open office and their headphones aren’t handy. Maybe they just want to glance at the video to decide if they want to watch it. A video with background music that has text come in here and there to tell the story can be very successful in this format.
For voiceless videos, word choice and brevity become very important because your words will be shown on the screen. Not everything needs to be a proper sentence anymore. When intercut with visuals, short statements are often more powerful.
For this kind of script, I recommend writing out titles of some subsections, and then turning each into a list of bullet points. The bullet point format will help you stay on track by not writing too much.
You should also include notes about the visuals that will come between the titles to help the narrative flow better. Don’t feel like you have to over-do it. Because you’re not bound to an audio track, you can make some decisions later in the production process about what goes where.
9 Tips and Tricks for B2B Marketing Video Scriptwriting
If you follow the framework above, you will be well on your way to writing a killer video script. Here are some tips to follow for an even more solid execution.
Be brief. Don’t overdo it. It’s possible even a single sentence in your script covers one of the five sections in the C3PO framework. At work, people are busy.
I said brief! Most scripted videos should be 60 seconds to two minutes long. That’s about half a page of writing. As your refining the draft of your B2B marketing video script, make sure every word needs to be there. I typically cut a full 40% of the words between my first draft and my final one. Obviously webinars and influencer interviews don’t need to this brief.
Script both what is heard and what is seen. You don’t have to write down every visual up front, but makes some notes or rough storyboarding. This will help you avoid mistakes and make the video flow better. I like to display a logo and tagline at the beginning and end of every video. Writing that down helps me think about how the script will flow from and into the branding.
Use straightforward sentences with all the necessary information at the front. Your audience is listening or watching, not reading. They will rarely back up if they don’t understand something.
- Don’t say: Moreso than a one-pager or website copy, video paints a vivid picture in a person’s mind.
- Do say: Video paints a vivid picture in a person’s mind, moreso than a one-pager or website copy.
Focus on one thing at a time. Unless it’s your main explainer video, you don’t need to try to pack everything about your business into 120 seconds. If you have multiple narratives, say, one about productivity, and one about the power of your analytics, it’s okay to make two videos. Or five. A lot of videos don’t get watched to the end, or with full attention. If you have only one main point for video, it’s more likely that will come across.
You have to earn attention. Chances are, nobody watching your video is in love with your company like you are. They may have a passing interest in you. They may have been on your website for four seconds and are lazy about reading. Don’t over-assume about their interest. Instead, put together something compelling. Make your video worth watching.
Tell stories. Ask yourself, three days after watching this video, what will the audience remember? If you haven’t involved some kind of narrative or story, chances are the answer is very little. Bring your content to life. In a product demo video, use realistic examples. In explainer videos, talk about customers, either real ones or typical ones. B2B products and services can be very complex and specific, and if all you do is explain what they are, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Read your script out loud while you’re writing it. Nothing draws out awkward phrasing or typos like reading something out loud. If you’re going to pay someone for voice-over work, make sure you read it out loud until it sounds natural, because their recording is going to be verbatim to what you have written.
Don’t overthink it. If you’re reading this article you may be new to the B2B marketing video world. It’s easy to get up in your head and make projects take longer than they need to. Start with a framework, refine what you have, and then make the video. If anything, make the video sooner and make adjustments if it isn’t working, rather than spending endless hours fine-tuning the script.
The Next Step: Start Writing Your B2B Marketing Video Script
If you’ve finished reading this article then the information is fresh in your mind. Maybe it’s a good time to take a swing at that first B2B marketing video script?
Or if you’ve already done that, you may want to know what screen recording software is good for making marketing videos. If that’s the case, check out this breakdown of the two frontrunners: Screenflow vs Camtasia.