How To Write A Great YouTube Video Script

Writing The Perfect YouTube Video Script

“I don’t think screenplay writing is the same as writing – I mean, I think it’s blueprinting.” – Robert Altman

We chose to start this article with a quote because we feel that it best conveys what has been known – and often ignored by some YouTube creators – for years. A great YouTube video needs a great script. Just as a building needs a foundation to support it, so does a YouTube video.

Currently, there are 2 billion users on YouTube. 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute. The options viewers have are endless, and you want them to choose you above all others. To do so, you need to make great content. It’s not only about great SEO and top-notch equipment and cinematography skills. Creating a great YouTube video has a lot to do with planning, scripting, and executing your plans properly.

Why Writing A Great Script For A YouTube Video Is So Important

Scripting Your Videos Saves Time And Energy

  • When you’re scripting your videos, it might take time to write the script out, but ultimately, it saves you time in the long run.
  • Not only will it make Closed Captioning a breeze, but it will also cut your video shooting and editing times significantly.
  • That’s because you’ll have a clear outline in your head (and on paper) of what to say while you shoot, and when you edit you’ll know exactly which section goes where and how long you want it to be.

Scripting Your Video Helps With Building Your Brand

  • Having a consistent foundation for your videos will manage your audience’s expectations.
  • When they’ll watch your video, they’ll know what to expect of you and will stick around. Which brings us to our next benefit…

Scripting Your Videos Will Increase Watch Time And Engagement

  • Writing a script will help you be more eloquent in your video. It’ll also be a great chance to keep your keywords in mind when you write it and remember important things you wanted to talk about in your video. It could also help you prevent using “fillers” (like “uh”, “um” and so on) so your video will flow better and you’ll have less editing to do.
  • Being confident on camera is difficult enough as it is. Having a well-written script will increase your confidence on-camera and improve your delivery in your videos.
  • The more confident and interesting you are to watch, the longer viewers will watch your videos.
  • Furthermore, if you ask your viewers to subscribe, comment, or like your videos confidently, they are much more likely to do so!
  • You can use your script as your closed captions (CC) or subtitles when you upload the video. When you upload a captioned video, you’re giving YouTube’s search engine even more information about your video’s context and content. So, when you insert keywords into your script and CC, you’re optimizing your video for the search engine, and then it becomes easily discoverable by them. Better discoverability leads to more potential viewers and subscribers – which are clear indicators of success.

What CC/Subtitle File Formats Can Be Uploaded To YouTube?

Subtitle/CC files contain the text of what you’re saying in your video. They also contain time codes for when each line of text should be displayed. Some files even include position and style information, which is really useful for deaf or hearing-impaired viewers.

The most commonly used file format is the SubRip or .srt file. On YouTube, only basic versions of this file type are supported. No style info (or “markup”) is recognized. Also, the file must be in plain UTF-8.

Another commonly used file format is the SubViewer or .sbv/.sub file. Once again, only basic versions of these file types are supported. No markup is recognized and the file must be in plain UTF-8.

To upload your CC to YouTube, follow these steps:

Step one: Log in to your YouTube Studio and click on Videos.

Step one: Log in to your YouTube Studio and click on Videos.

Step 2: Hover with your mouse over the video you wish to add CC to and click on the pencil icon.

Step 2: Hover with your mouse over the video you wish to add CC to and click on the pencil icon.

Step 3: Click on “More Options”.

Step 3: Click on “More Options”.

Step 4: Scroll down to “Original video language, subtitles, and CC” and choose your video language. Next, click on “Upload Subtitles/CC”.

Step 4: Scroll down to “Original video language, subtitles, and CC” and choose your video language. Next, click on “Upload Subtitles/CC”.

Step 5: Choose whether you want to upload your .srt file with timing or without timing Click on “Continue”.

Step 5: Choose whether you want to upload your .srt file with timing or without timing Click on “Continue”.

Step 6: From the pop-up window, choose your .srt file and click on Open.

Writing A Great YouTube Video Script Starts With An Idea.

Once you have an idea for a video, you can start doing some keyword research to dig deeper into that realm and find out what people are searching for when they talk about that topic. You can also use our Advanced Topic Research if you have a general topic idea and keywords, but you’re not sure where you want to take it or what topics you should discuss.

Doing Keyword Research and Advanced Topic Research will help you organize your thoughts and think of good keywords, phrases, and topics to discuss/cover in your video.

Choosing keywords with high monthly search volumes and low competition scores will help you rank your video at the top of the list, so everyone could find it easily and watch it. This means you’ll get constant traffic and views to your video, and as a result, your video will become so popular, it might even go viral.

You Will Also Want To Find A Quiet Place To Write.

Writing is hard work. No matter what it is you’re writing – a blog post, a video script, an article or (for some, at least) a shopping list – you need to stay focused and distraction-free. Keep your phone on silent and do whatever you possibly can to increase concentration while you’re writing your script.

If you have specific music that gets you in a productive mood, play it! Make sure you’re creating the conditions for you to create your best work. Don’t worry – practice makes perfect. The more scripts you’ll write, the easier it will become eventually.

How Do You Start Writing a Script For Your YouTube Video?

Please meet the ‘The Video Engagement Timeline (VET)’ formula – The VET was first introduced by video content strategist Salma Jafri as a video script template for story-boarding and planning YouTube videos, and from our personal experience, we know that it works wonders.

When you’re planning out your script, you can use the VET formula as a scaffold to build your script around it. The VET formula works best for How To videos and tutorials, but it can also be applied and implemented for other YouTube video categories.

The VET Formula For YouTube Video Script Writing Infographic

The VET Formula is pretty simple to understand and use. Below your can find the main points –

  • The first 15-50 seconds are the “make or break” seconds of your video. If you don’t give a well-thought-out introduction and really let your viewers know what they’re about to watch within the first 15 seconds of your video, most of them will click off immediately.
  • To keep your audience around, you should take good advantage of those first 15 seconds and make sure your audience knows exactly where they are and what they are about to watch. You can be creative with that and show some highlights from your video or you can give them an introduction to your video yourself.
  • Next, you’ll want to add a 5-10 seconds intro clip to brand your channel and make your video look more professional.
  • Once you’ve done that, it’s time to frame the problem – why should your audience keep watching this video? How will it help them? What value do you provide your viewers with?
  • This will lead you to your hook in the middle of your video – you have to remind your audience that in order to learn more about what you’re saying, they’ll have to keep on watching.
  • Next, you present solutions and examples to your audience’s problems.
  • Your next step will be summarizing the video and giving your audience a call to action to subscribe to your channel, like the video, share it and comment on it, etc.

Using the VET Formula will help you create great and highly engaging video content in an easy to apply manner. Using it will give your video content structure and clarity and will help you grow your channel and become more successful on YouTube!

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