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Common Video Script Writing Mistakes

When it comes to Ad copy for video, most companies are left to write their own. This is a great first­ choice because no one knows a product or client’s needs better than the company.However, companies often struggle with formatting their message for video if you are this point, the best thing to do is pay a professional ad copy writer a few hundred dollars to format your language. The cost is minimal and their creative abilities are worth well beyond what they charge. 


If you don’t have a few hundred dollars to spend, here are a few ad copy mistakes that are easy to fix:

1. Stating the company or product name over and over. ­ You only need to state your company name twice. Once at the beginning of the video and once at the end of the video. If youare nervous about people not remembering your company or product name let the visuals or your video title be a reminder for the viewer.

2. Including lists of things in the Voice Over. ­Companies make the mistake of trying to cram as much information as they can into as few seconds as possible. While this looks good on paper, it’s often very hard to hear. Your audience will watch your video once. When they do, they will want to click away. Don’t give them a reason to click away. If you are nervous about viewers missing your list, include the list in your visuals or direct them to your website, avoid including a list in your voice over. Lists can also be grouped into general terms, for instance sub out “black, red, orange, and blue” for “colors.”

3. “____ and ____” phrases ­ Phrases like “managing and assisting” or “analyzing and strategizing” are hard for a listener to hear. If one of the two terms contains 70% of the meaning go with one term. It’s better for your audience to understand one phrase, then to have trouble hearing the phrase altogether.

4. Adding www. to domain names. ­ Adding "w-w-w" unnecessary, hard on the ears and wastes time. You only have so much time to present your message. 

5. Focusing on the solution not the problem. ­Companies love to focus on a client’s problem because they are trained to think that way. A client, however, does not like to think about their problem, they want the solution. The majority of your ad copy should be spent discussing the solution with your viewer. If your client doesn’t know they have a problem, you will have a hard time convincing them. A few companies however are forced to convince the unconvinced. If that is your only option, we wish you all the best.

6. Write in the present tense ­ Instead of, “Acme company is strengthening your business.” Say, “Acme company strengthens your business.” In other words make all sentences active. Who is doing what to whom? Most companies should make themselves or their product the subject and their client the object.

7. Be Bold. ­Companies shy away from active sentences because they don’t want to over promise or sound arrogant. But bare in mind, people watch ads with grain of salt. And they are unimpressed by companies that are not proud of their product, so take the risk. Be bold. The business is not kind to qualifying words like “perhaps” “maybe” or “possible.”

8. Video Ad Copy is written for an actor’s breathing ­Ad Copy is meant to be performed. It is heard, not read. Long run-on sentences, long words, and complicated terms are hard to say AND hard to hear. So as you write, read your copy out loud. Can you say the sentence and still be understood? If not, break your sentences into chunks a human can speak AND a human can hear, like eight word phrases.

9. Avoid adverbs like “very” used for emphasis and emotion. ­You may notice a common theme in this list­­­. Scripts are meant to be performed, not read. When a good performer reads your words, they will bring the emotion and emphasis you are looking for. So adverbs like “very,” “most,” and “extremely” end up getting in the way of their performance and adding to your word count.

10. Condense. Condense. Condense. ­(No, not soup!) A good writer can make long sentences very short, yet still retain the same meaning. One way of doing that is cutting any words the audience already assumes or statements that have already been made. Consider your Ad Copy as a puzzle that can be condensed condensed condensed.

11. Finally, and most importantly, make sure your message has a thorough­line. ­ A through­line is the action of a story that ties all of the thoughts together. The most common form of a through­line is a character journey. A through­line could also be called a video’s concept. It’s the most memorable part of the video. It is the magic. The reason why a company sets out to make a video in the first place. It is also the part where a good copywriter or production studio will really shine!

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