Part nine of a nine-part series on video marketing for schools. Click here for part one “How to Maximize Your Reach Using Video Marketing”, part two “36 Video Topics That Will Generate More Views & Engagement for Your School” part three “How to Increase Inquiries for Your School Using LinkedIn Video“, part four “Facebook Watch vs. YouTube: Which One is More Important for School Video Marketing?“, part five “27 Video Marketing Ideas for School Marketers” part six “How to Create a Successful School Video Marketing Strategy for 2019-2020” and part seven “How to Get Your Administrators, Faculty and Staff Comfortable in Front of a Camera” and “How to Choose the Right Videographer for Your School.”
We all know that parents want to see more videos. As a matter of fact, research conducted by Wyzowl revealed that 68 percent of respondents would like to see more videos from brands they’re interested in. This is just one of the reasons why video marketing seems to be at the top of most school marketer’s to-do lists this year.
And while there’s no question that video marketing is a channel worth investing in to achieve more inquiries, there are a lot of questions about actually get started, like what type of videos to produce, video content topics, who will produce the videos, what type of equipment you need and how to write a video script.
Before you let that overwhelming feeling of “I don’t know how to do any of this” sink in, let’s take a step back.
Video marketing offers a ton of flexibility. Start with a simple focus – let’s say a simple explainer video that talks about a particular aspect of your school. Explainer videos should be short – 1 – 2 minutes max.
Make a Plan
Before you start writing your script, you need to determine the overall goal of your video. Start by asking two questions:
- What do you want this video to inspire people to do?
- What resources do you have to produce this video?
The answers to these 2 questions will help you determine the ideas and formats that are best suited to your goals and resources.
Another approach you can take to the planning stage is to consider the “buying” stage of the prospective parent you want to target.
Stage #1: Awareness. Prospective parents are first thinking about a private school for their child or about moving to a different school than their child is currently enrolled in.
Stage #2: Consideration. Parents are now clearly defined and have determined they want to enroll their child in a private school but are looking at different options.
Stage #3: Decision. Parents are now ready to make a decision and are trying to decide if your school is the right fit for their child and family.
Write Your Script
Once you’ve decided which stage of the journey prospective parents will be when they view your video you can select your topic and format.
Step #1. Start With a Brief
A brief is a brief outline of the video script. Your brief doesn’t need to be fancy, but there are several key questions it should answer.
- What is the goal of the video? Why are we making this video in the first place?
- Who is the audience of this video?
- What is the video topic?
- What are the key takeaways of this video? What do we hope viewers will learn from watching it?
- What is our call-to-action? What do we want viewers to do after they’ve watched this video?
Step #2. Write an Outline
An outline includes subtopics and lays out how the dialog will progress. To identify the right subheadings, consider the best practices of the subject you’re going to cover. Where do the natural transitions occur?
Step #3. Write an Introduction
Your introduction should introduce the speaker and/or topic of the video. Think about the main problem or concern your viewer has and speak to that need.
Step #4. Write the Body of Your Script
A good script makes it easy for the people on camera to get their message across while sounding and acting as natural as possible. Here’s how to write a good script.
- Write conversationally. Scripts work best if they’re written in the way people naturally speak.
- Make it thorough. A script includes the dialog as well as other details, like multiple shots, characters, scenes, etc. Be sure to include any information about stage actions, such as props or a wardrobe change.
- Write for the audience and platform. Keep in mind who your audience is and where they’ll be viewing the video. For example, if your video will be uploaded on social media, you may want it to be shorter and choppier but if it will be uploaded on your website, you may want to use longer, more formal sentences.
- Decide if you will script every word or not. Some professionals suggest it’s best to script every word to avoid confusion and lots of retakes, but others say it’s best to write a fairly detailed outline in order to keep the video flowing naturally.
- Support B-roll with proper call-outs. B-roll is if you will be editing your video to include video shot from a different camera or angle. For example, if you will be including interview clips as secondary to the main video, you will want to include those details in your script.
- Be concise. When it comes to video marketing, shorter videos tend to garner more views and be received more favorably. So keep your script short and succinct.
- Use a script template. Here’s a common one that is flexible enough for you to adjust to fit your video.
- Problem. Address a problem that the potential parent is struggling with (i.e. should they invest in a private school?)
- Agitate. The next step is to agitate the problem so the viewer will feel the pain of their problem. What are the biggest concerns your prospective parents express about public schools? (i.e. Class sizes too large? Teachers are not as qualified? Safety concerns? Lack of parent involvement? No sense of community? Lack of resources? Lower graduation rates? Fewer networking opportunities? Lower expectation of success?)
- Solution. What solution can your school promise? Ideally, you should include your solution statement within 30 seconds of your video, when most of your viewers are still paying attention.
Step # 5. Close with a call-to-action.
Refer back to your brief. What action do you want your viewer to take next? Be sure and be specific (don’t use “learn more”.) Your call to action should be the next thing someone needs to do to take the next step towards enrollment, such as “Complete Inquiry Form”.
Step #6. Do a verbal rehearsal off-camera.
Now it’s time to practice bringing the script to life. Doing an off-camera rehearsal gives you a chance to review the script and make any edits before you actually shoot the video.
Step #5. Use a laptop and chair as a teleprompter.
Usually you will need to boost the height of your laptop with a stack of books. Also, using a tool will help you to adjust the speed of your feed. One free teleprompter tool you can use with your laptop is Easy Prompter.
Writing a video script is easier than it seems. Just take it step by step and I know you’ll come up with a great video script.
Have you produced videos for your school marketing program? Did you write a script? How did that process go for you? Please share with the rest of the school marketing community below…