If you want to increase engagement and watch time as well as maximize value for your audience, you NEED to follow this YouTube video script writing format for your next video!
Video scripting and properly structuring your videos not only makes your videos easier and more enjoyable for viewers to watch, but it also makes it so much easier for you to create videos.
Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
Once you learn how to write a video script, your content creation process will be much more streamlined!
In this guide, we’ll share how to make YouTube videos that are properly structured and scripted for maximum results. This is the exact YouTube video script writing process we use here at Primal Video to create awesome videos, fast.
Plus stay tuned to hear about our incredibly simple ‘secret sauce’ you can use in combination with this template to dramatically increase YouTube watch time.
Let’s get started.
Ideal Length For YouTube Videos
Before we share the template for great YouTube video scripts, we wanted to answer this commonly asked question when it comes to planning videos: How long should a YouTube video be?
You should make your videos as long as they need to be and no longer.
Remember there is a real live person on the other end of your video. So pack in as much value as possible and don’t unnecessarily drag out your video to make it longer in an attempt to increase watch time.
It might take you 5 minutes to deliver all the content on one topic and it might take 20 minutes for another topic.
Each time you’re creating videos, ask yourself:
- What does the viewer need?
- What does the viewer expect?
- What does the viewer want from this content?
However long it takes for you to provide that information is how long your YouTube video should be.
YouTube Video Script Template
The first thing you want to do is immediately hook viewers in. Don’t worry about introducing yourself or talking about your channel or asking them to subscribe.
The most important thing you need to do is let viewers know they’re in the right place. Tell them that this video is the right one for them.
After they feel assured of that, they will relax into your content and stop wondering if they should have clicked on a different video.
Here’s an example of a hook:
“In this video, I’m going to share with you the top five video editing apps on iOS to help you decide which one is the best one for you.”
That’s it! Keep it short and sweet. Then you can dive into the intro.
This is where you can introduce yourself, your channel, more about the topic and how the video is going to be presented.
An example of introducing yourself might go something like this:
“Hey, it’s Justin Brown here from Primal Video, where we help you grow an audience and scale your revenue with online video.”
Then you can explain more about the topic and what you’ll cover in the video.
Here’s an example of that:
“If you’ve ever looked for video editing apps on iOS, you’ll know there’s a LOT of different ones out there. So I’ve spent a ton of time trying and testing all the top options and in this video I’m going to share with you my top five picks to help you decide which is the best one for you.”
And that’s the intro section complete.
You’ll see a lot of people who throw out call to actions in this intro section.
It’s not a bad idea, but again let’s think of the viewer experience.
How many times have you clicked on a video and early on in the video you’ve been told to smash the like button, hit the subscribe button and ring the notification bell so you don’t miss anything?
The problem with this is, the creator hasn’t built up enough value for the viewer at that point.
The content piece is where the viewer will be able to decide if it’s a good video or not. That’s where they’ll know if they want to subscribe or not.
Which is why we don’t include a call to action early on in our videos anymore. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, but we recommend experimenting to see what works for you.
If you did want to have an early call to action, you could try asking for a thumbs up.
This is a lower commitment than subscribing but it still sends a positive indication to YouTube and the viewer is then more likely to see your content on the platform in future.
An example of this might be:
“If you’re finding value in this video, give it a thumbs up. It really makes a huge difference.”
After that we move onto the content.
This is where you want to deliver on what you mentioned in your hook and intro.
Again, it’s really important in this section that you don’t drag things out and only include relevant content. Keep it short, sharp and concise. This will keep your audience engaged.
A good way to structure your content section is to use lists. For example, you could break it up into the ‘top 5 things’ or ‘6 easy steps’.
This is really great for viewer engagement because people will inherently want to stick around and hear all of the options through to completion.
So even if the viewer knows options one through four, they’ll likely stick around for option five because that could be the game changer for them.
Once you’ve covered the content, the next step in a good video script is the bonus.
This is essentially an over-deliver. Based on the topic of your video, offer additional information that will help your audience.
What else can you give them in this Bonus section that you know they’ll be interested in and will want to stick around for? We usually include actionable tips for the viewer.
Using the ‘Top iOS Video Editing Apps’ example, our bonus might be something like the three video editing tips that will be useful for anyone, no matter which app they end up choosing.
But you want to make sure you tease that Bonus a little earlier in the video. We like to mention it at the end of the Intro right before we move into the Video Content.
This is how that might sound:
“Make sure you stick around to the end, because I’m also going to share with you my top video editing tips to help you edit faster in any iOS app.”
This way the viewer knows that after the content piece, there’s something to stick around for.
Then after you’ve delivered the content section, you can deliver the Bonus. It might sound something like this:
“Earlier in the video I said, I’m going to share with you my top video editing tips to help you edit faster in any iOS app. So tip number one is…”
This Bonus piece is so powerful because it’s coming from that place of adding value.
In this case, the viewer didn’t expect to get editing tips as well as our top iOS recommendations. So think about what else you can give your audience based on the topic.
This is something that really helps with getting more viewers to watch for longer because they want to stick around and hear this out. But it also helps you build a really positive relationship with your audience by building goodwill and recipricoposity.
After that Bonus section we can move onto the next part of the video script.
Call To Action
This is the last piece of your video script for the action takers that have made it to the very end of your video.
It’s where you tell viewers what you want them to do next. Now that they’ve consumed this content, you might suggest that they:
- Subscribe to your channel
- Check out resources you’ve linked in the description
- Go to your website and sign up to your email list
- Download one of your free PDF guides
- Watch another video that’s linked on screen
Ask yourself, “What is the best next step for the viewer now that they’ve made it to the end of this video?”.
Remember that you want to come from a place of adding value.
If you don’t have the next best video for them to watch, link them to a channel that does.
Obviously it has to be a good video that you link them to but this can also help your channel grow because you’re creating ties between your video and another video.
When people watch your video and then click on the link to watch a video on another channel, this tells YouTube that the audience is similar. Then it might start recommending your video at the end of the video you first linked to.
It’s more information that you’re providing YouTube about the types of content that your channel is producing, but also the types of audience that would like it.
‘Secret Sauce’ To Increase Watch Time
Earlier in this guide we mentioned that we’d share the incredibly simple ‘secret sauce’ that you can use in combination with this video script template to dramatically improve watch time.
The ‘secret sauce’ is opening and closing loops. This is something we do in all of our YouTube and have done in this article as well!
The most engaging stories open some big loops at the beginning that you need to hear closed out in the end. Think about when you watch a movie and NEED to know what ends up happening to the main character. This is the concept of opening and closing loops.
You can do this in your YouTube videos from the perspective of adding value.
What value can you add that you know your audience will be interested in later on in the video?
Teasing out the Bonus section at the start of the video is a great example of opening a loop.
This is something we did at the very start of this guide, we said “Plus stay tuned to hear about our incredibly simple ‘secret sauce’ you can use in combination with this template to dramatically increase YouTube watch time.”
And now we’ve closed that loop by delivering on our promise to tell you about the ‘secret sauce’.
BUT we’re not doing this with our primary content. We’re not holding anything back or delaying the answers. The main content piece is delivered in a fast and efficient way.
You’re also able to open and close much smaller, more subtle loops throughout your videos as well.
If you’re structuring your videos using lists (e.g. top 5 things), people will want to stick around until you deliver number 5 because that’s the complete loop. They will want to watch that video through to completion to hear all five of them.
Say you stopped at number four and didn’t close out the loop by delivering five, your audience will feel like you ripped them off or left them hanging.
So it’s really important that if you open a loop, you always close it. It’s not about dragging things out unnecessarily. Always keep your audience in mind, be respectful of their time but also pack in as much value as possible.
That’s the COMPLETE free video script template we use here at Primal Video for all of our video projects.
This stuff really works. It makes it really easy for your audience to watch and consume your content but it also helps them stay more engaged.
But having this video script structure in place before you jump in front of the camera also makes it so much easier for YOU to create videos. Your filming process will be quicker because you know what to say and when to say it.
This means there’ll be less mistakes so when you sit down to start editing, your editing process will be faster as well. Even if you have a video editor, they’ll be able to save time editing too!
Planning and writing video scripts before filming really is an awesome way to save time and speed up your content creation process.
Interested in learning more about our content creation process (which includes coming up with new ideas and finding specific keywords & search terms right through to post production and release)? Check out this complete guide.
When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
Primal Video Resources:
Recommended Gear & Resources
Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!