How To Write a Winning Marketing Script

Posted: November 15, 2023

Joy George Proofreader

Higher ed marketers are being asked to wear a lot of hats, and with the increasing demand for video content, many marketing departments are being asked to create compelling video content. We get it though – maybe you aren’t sure where to start, what works in today’s market, or what messages reach modern audiences. Marketing scripts are a different sort of beast, requiring very specific know-how in order to be successful. Don’t worry, though! Two of VisionPoint’s copywriters have advice to help you feel confident and give you the skills to write a script for your institution.

Create a persona

Before you even begin to write, think about your ideal student. Imagine the qualities they would have when they walk onto your campus. What kind of car do they drive? What kind of house do they live in? The more you can see the specific person you’re writing to, the more you’ll know what to say in order to get them to complete your call to action.

Talk only to that person

When you write your script, write to that specific persona. If you focus on that one person rather than all the people you hope will see and respond to your ad, your writing immediately becomes more personal and conversational, allowing viewers to relate to you more and see themselves in the video.

Have content, not copy

Writers use what’s called copy when they want to sell something, they use content when they want to give something of value to the viewer. If your script is content driven, it has value outside of the words. Think about the video you’ll use and the music to help pull the content and the words out that you want to use.

Say it in words your audience will understand

We know it’s easy to want to sound intelligent, interesting, and unique, but it’s important to talk like regular people with a regular audience. Use short sentences, not high-brow words that people need to look up. If you have a conversational tone, you’re focused on the consumer and they become the hero of the script. Your brand is the guide or the ally to get them what they want.

Make it memorable

You might use words to evoke an emotional response, or you may want to make it entertaining, but whatever you choose to do, if you can make it memorable, that will go a long way. People will want to share that and your view will get even more reach. 

Keep your audience top of mind

Remember that whoever asked you to write this script is not the audience. They may be your boss, and they may be able to give you a yes or a no on whether or not your script is okay. But you have two different goals. Where their goal is to put out a video, your goal is to write a script for your institution’s ideal student. That persona is your audience, not the person who assigned you this job.

Use a creative brief

With a creative brief, everyone involved in the project can be on the same page from the beginning. A creative brief is a strategic document that puts all of the thinking down on one page. Through it, you’ll know who your audience is, what visuals you want to use, and the concept.

Getting everyone on board with the creative brief can give you buy-in from the beginning and can also allow you the space to explore ideas without sinking a lot of time or money into them. With the whole group together, you can ensure the concept you’re going for, what kind of emotion you want to draw out of your audience, and if there is a creative campaign you’re working with, you’ll know that as well so you know what lines to stay within when creating your script.

Your creative brief also allows you the opportunity to figure out what the overall expectation is at the end of this ad. What is the call to action that you want your viewer to do? Is there an open house you want them to attend? Is there a website you want them to go to? Knowing the single call to action for your script will help create a script that will get that job done.

Use professional talent

We know using students for your video may be cheaper and may appear authentic. However, if you have the budget, consider using professional talent for your voiceovers. It comes down to delivery. Your student probably does not have the skill or training of a professional actor. They may not have the resonance that’s needed for the type of script you’re writing. The delivery of your script’s words can be a game changer when it comes to the success of your script. If you have a limited budget, this is definitely a place to use your resources.

Don’t fill every second with words

In a video, the visuals are going to carry a lot of the lift. You don’t have to fill every second with words. You might only need to say one or two things. A video script is generally half the size of a radio script. If you have a :30-second video that you’re making, you’ll maybe have 35 to 40 words. It will be a small, tight script. That’s why every word you choose to use is going to be important.

Break through the noise

Remember that many college videos look and sound the same. They may be filled with bland shots of campus and jargon-y words. If you want to stand out, you’re going to need to push the boundaries a little bit. You shouldn’t go completely off-brand, but you want to do enough to stand out. One of our favorite ways to do that if a client is willing, is to add some levity to a script. People in better moods tend to make better decisions.

Tell a story

Remember to loosen up and understand that the best way to woo prospective students is to show how their life will change for the better by enrolling at your school.

In the end, the script for a marketing video doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the checklist above, you can write a script that gets all stakeholders on board and that will allow prospective students to see who you are as an institution.

And if you’re still unsure, get in touch with us at the form below. We’d be happy to chat about your current video needs and explore the different ways we can help based on your needs.

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