Short videos on your B2B or B2C website can be a really effective way of getting a compelling message across to your audience. I was writing a case study today for a consulting client, and was looking on their own client’s website for corporate information. I came across a 3-minute video by the company’s MD, and boy, was it effective in telling his story about his experience with the consultants. Third party endorsements can be so powerful, and this was.

So here are 5 tips for writing online video scripts:

1. Keep it short and sweet

Write a tight script, and keep it to 3 – 5 minutes. Make sure you get your key message in the first 30 seconds or so. And think about the tone of voice that fits with your corporate culture and your audience. Formal, informal, casual, humorous? What’s the right setting: a talking head in your office or factory, an outdoors location, a city street or clever animation?

2. What does your audience want/need to know?

You’re selling benefits, not the features of your business (remember Marketing 101?) so focus on 3 or 4 key selling points. Remember to engage your audience by using words such as ‘you’ and ‘your’. Think about the call to action, and try to drop it into the middle of the video as well as the end (remember those short online attention spans).

3. Tell a story

Everyone loves a good story – and little anecdotes or case studies are a really convincing way of getting your message across. Consider a quick testimonial interview with a client, as their positive comments about your company will carry far more weight than a company spokesperson saying the same kind of thing. The ‘challenge/solution/outcome’ format can work really well here.

4. How does it sound?

You may have a company spokesperson who is great on-camera talent. If not, consider using a professional as an interviewer or voice over. Music can quickly set a mood and tone, but make sure it’s appropriate to your culture and product or service.

4. Use good graphics

You may want to emphasise some points with graphics – products, prices, a contact phone number – or wrap up the video with great graphic that sums up your call to action.