YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, with more than two billion active users and over 122 million visitors every day.
But with 720,000 hours of video uploaded daily to YouTube, it’s getting harder to cut through the noise. Without taking certain steps, your video can easily end up at the bottom of the pile, failing to make an impact. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to get the right eyes on your content.
Getting your video noticed on YouTube starts with understanding how to write a YouTube script. A script helps you to stay on topic, visualize what your content will look like, and makes for a better video all around. Here's how to get started.
Why create a script for YouTube videos?
Most importantly, it saves you time. Having a plan for what you will say in your video will reduce your chances of wandering off-topic when filming and save you sifting through heaps of raw footage while editing. By writing a script, you’re able to stay focused, organize your thoughts, and prepare short, snappy, and engaging content.
When creating a YouTube script, keep in mind that the level of detail should be appropriate for your objectives. If you’re hoping to create short-form content, you will want to keep details minimal. Focus on the big picture and invite readers to learn more through other content distribution channels, like your blog.
However, if you want to create long-form content, you will want to spend more time organizing your content into relevant sections and deciding which details are most important to include.
Your script should simply outline the main points you want to cover. It should be specific enough to keep you on track while filming, yet flexible enough to allow for ad-libs and your own unique style to shine through.
How to get started with your script
While this step can also be completed after writing your script, deciding on a title beforehand can help direct what you will include in your video.
There are three main things to consider before writing your script:
1. Your target audience
Who are you creating your video for? What question or problem are you hoping to solve for them?
Find My Audience by Google is one useful tool for answering these questions. It lets you search for audiences by interests (known as “Affinities”), like “Lifestyles & Hobbies”, and then drill down into the details. You can choose from categories like “Fashionistas”, “Green Living Enthusiasts”, or “Pet Lovers” to find out which videos this demographic is watching and what other audiences they’re likely to be a part of.
Knowing details like this and identifying your target audience upfront allows you to then cater your script accordingly, both in terms of what you cover and what tone you use.
2. Your keywords
In order for your content to show up in users’ search results, you need to identify specific keywords and include them in the title and description of your video.
There are many tools for keyword research, including Google Keyword Planner, Also Ask, and YouTube's auto-suggest feature. For the latter, simply start typing your proposed title or general topic into the search bar, and YouTube's algorithm will suggest relevant queries containing your keywords. These are actual questions that YouTube users are searching for, so this should provide you with plenty of inspiration for both your title and script content.
3. Your video title
Crafting a strong title will help to draw viewers’ attention and entice them into clicking on your video. And without a strong title, your video will be less likely to gain traction.
Focus your title around one of your keywords, and aim for around 60-70 characters to ensure that it displays clearly on the majority of devices.
Writing your script
It’s time to start writing your YouTube script. Here’s how to plan and lay out your script. We've added a free script template at the end of this article to help you out.
Your hook is what draws viewers in. Though it may seem like just one small part of your video, the first 10 to 15 seconds are critical. This is your one and only chance to convince viewers to stick around.
A good hook will be entertaining, emotional, and/or informative. If viewers stay, how will they be rewarded? What do they gain by watching? What does your video have to offer? Even just hinting at these outcomes can be captivating.
For example, you can summarize your title and what they’re going to learn:
Or, you can ask them a question to connect with them:
Once the hook has been established, it should be followed by an introduction. The goal here is to introduce yourself, highlight the key points of your video, and explain to your viewers how they stand to benefit from watching it.
It's also a good idea to preview a tip that you'll discuss later in the video – but keep it brief.
Now it’s time for the main event: writing the bulk of your script.
Although this will naturally be the longest part, try to keep it concise so your audience stays engaged. While the length of your video will very much depend on the content covered, Wistia recommends that you aim for a run-time of two minutes for short videos and between six and 12 minutes for longer content. Keep this in mind as you write.To ensure your body flows and is structured properly, you can follow this simple formula:
Wordtune has a few helpful tools that can help with this part of your script. Wordtune Spices, for example, can produce clever analogies, impactful examples and thought-provoking counterarguments for any subject. Likewise, you can use the Wordtune editor to shorten passages and make them more concise.
Above all else, keep your target audience in mind. What are they looking to find out? How are you answering their questions? If you have decided on a video title, this might also guide you. Equally, you may find that writing the script first will help you generate the perfect title. Allow yourself to be flexible and find out what works best for you.
No matter which order you decide on, be sure you follow through on what you promise in the title.
By the end of this section, your viewer should feel like they’ve learned something, or that they can take action on the information you have provided. If you can provide this, they'll be more likely to engage with more of your content in the future.
The Call to Action
In the conclusion of your script, you should summarize your video's main points and include a small request of your viewers – also known as your call to action (CTA).
On YouTube, viewers are usually asked to like the video and subscribe to the creator’s channel. Another common strategy is to ask a question and encourage viewers to leave their answer in the comments. You can also ask your viewers to share your video, visit your website, or subscribe to your mailing list. Finally, you can direct them to other content on your YouTube channel.
Reviewing your script
Before you hit record, it’s time to review your script and make sure it’s going to result in a top-quality video.
Practice going through your script a few times to ensure it flows well and that you can confidently improvise if you’ve left yourself space to do so. This will also give you an idea of how long it will be once recorded. If it’s too long or too short for your target audience, either adjust your speed or add or remove content.
You may also want to ask someone else to read it and offer feedback. Does it cover all the key points you set out to discuss? Do they have suggestions of anything else to include?
Finally, be sure to paste your script into Wordtune. This will help you to avoid repetition, rephrase any awkward sentences, and ensure there are no errors in grammar or tone.
Tips for writing a great script
Engaging scripts help you communicate effectively with your audience. Make sure to keep your target audience in mind as you write, ensuring you’re offering something of value.
Keep your script conversational and use short, simple sentences and language to avoid overwhelming your visitors. Check your tone and read aloud what you've written often so you can ensure it feels natural. And don’t be afraid to add a little humor to spice things up!
Use the present tense when writing, and use active voice rather than passive voice throughout. To keep your viewers focussed and engaged, you might also consider incorporating pattern interruptions into your script. These help keep viewers engaged by subtly playing off their expectations.Remember, your script doesn’t have to say everything. The goal is to encourage viewers to explore your offering further. You can do this by referencing other videos on your channel within your script or by ensuring your CTA directs viewers to your website, blog, or newsletter.
If you're having trouble getting started, we've created this handy template to help you out:
While a snappy title, an intriguing thumbnail, and a tempting description will help get you noticed, it’s your video’s content that makes your viewer stick around. Savvy scriptwriting is your key to success.
Invest time into planning and writing your video script, using Wordtune features like "Analogy", "Example" and "Counterargument" to help you craft a compelling story. Read your script aloud to others and pay close attention to how it flows and how long it takes. Following these tips will help you attract a loyal audience that actively engages with your content and drives results for your channel.
This article was co-written with Wordtune. Wordtune didn’t write the whole piece. Instead, it contributed ideas, suggested rephrasing alternatives, maintained consistency in tone, and of course - made the process much more fun for the writer.