To get engagement and see conversion in your marketing videos, you need to think like a copywriter Copywriters use tried-and-true copywriting formulas to guide buyers headline to that “buy now” button.
You can do the same in your video script with the right formula.
In this episode, I cover 3 copywriting formulas you can use immediately to write a persuasive video script.
Read the Transcript
This is the Making of a Video Marketer, a podcast to help you navigate the wild west of marketing videos, so your videos are engaging and persuasive.
I’m your host Ame Proietti, a freelance script writer, and I take on every burning question about scripting producing and promoting marketing videos, so you put out videos that actually get results.
Thanks for joining me, amd my burning question of the day is about using copywriting formulas to drive conversion in your video.
A lot of people don’t think of video scripts when they think copywriting websites, emails, or even blog writing come to mind instead.
But if you want your videos to grow your business, you need to think of a video script as a type of copy. Video copy is a real thing. And the reason you need to think of it as copy is because you need to be in the mindset of direct response marketing. There are two main groups of people that come into marketing videos.
The first group are from the filmmaking side. If you’re in this group, you know how to shoot great video, but you probably struggle with the direct response marketing aspect. Basically, your videos look amazing, but you aren’t seeing the results you want.
Then you have the copywriting group. On the other side, you can write a killer message, visual planning, where do you even start? And that’s going to affect your overall message.
There’s also a very small minority of people who jump into script, writing headfirst without a background in either filmmaking or copywriting. I started in this group, and I can say it’s a bumpy road.
But anyway, today’s episode is probably more useful for the first group, but copywriters, you know, it never hurts to go back to the basics.
Plus, I’m also sharing how you can visually support these formulas so you know how to approach your visual planning and have one cohesive persuasive message.
By the end of this episode, you’ll know, three copywriting formulas to use for a persuasive video script.
So let’s dive.
Why You Need a Copywriting Formula in Marketing Videos
Cue the cliche statements “work harder, not smarter”, and “don’t reinvent the wheel”.
A formula saves you from staring at your screen for two hours wondering what to write. A formula also gives your message a structure, which is really important.
Most marketing videos are short. Five minutes, max, although the ideal length is under two minutes. You don’t have the luxury to waffle around if you want to see conversion go up.
Structure is one of your many friends in copywriting and these formulas serve that structure to you on a silver platter. And the best thing is that a ton of other copywriters have tested these formulas.
So, you know they work. Use what works.
Now let’s get into those formulas so you can write a juicy message.
Side note. Have you ever thought about why we call it a juicy message? Thoughts like this or why it takes me longer than I planned to write things. Welcome to my mind.
All right. Getting back on track.
Copywriting Formula #1: PAS
Formula one, PAS—pain, agitate, solution. Ask any copywriter for a formula and you’ll get this one 90% of the time.
It just works. And it works with anything.
P stands for pain or problem. This is where you highlight the problem your customers face.
A is for agitate. This is where the juice comes into that message because you dial up those emotions. Agitating isn’t necessarily the same as scaring though. And I want to point that out. For some problems, there is naturally an element of fear, but you don’t want to full out scare people.
The chances of them becoming destitute on the cold harsh streets with no friends or family isolated from anything they ever wanted, just because they didn’t buy your product is slim.
You know what? I’m going to say the chances are probably zero. So don’t fear monger your audience, but you do want your audience to know and feel why their problem hurts.
This is where you need to dig into those reasons why people buy. Let’s say, for example, the problem is weight loss. I use a lot of health and wellness examples by the way because that’s my niche.
And also because I’m becoming a registered dietitian. So, topics related to that area of health and wellness are topics that I work with often.
Connect the Dots for Your Viewers
Going back to the script, your job in your video script is to connect the dots between the problem weight loss and what it means for someone.
The agitation could be talking about what not losing weight means for someone usually weight loss relates to people, wanting to escape a pain, gain, more comfort, increase their self-confidence and things like that.
Agitate your problem, using these reasons, but do it without breaking your customers. Your role is to guide your clients to success, not be their savior.
And the S in PAS stands for solution or solve. You frame your product or service as a solution. Talk about the benefits your customer is going to see.
A Common Mistake Marketers Make in Video
A common mistake I see is marketers or brands focusing on all the great features of their product or service in a video that’s supposed to sell.
People want to buy their success story. So, save your product descriptions for your demo videos.
Using PAS for Your Visual Message
Now this PAS formula is aimed at writing or in your case a spoken message, but you want to consider this formula when you plan your visuals too.
You need to capture someone’s attention instantly. Your hook then needs to logically flow into the problem, the problem into the solution and the solution to the call to action.
The Visual Message Must Clarify the Verbal One
So, think about what kind of visual elements will reinforce your verbal message. You need images that will resonate with your audience, support your tone and keep people engaged in your message.
I’ve seen some beautiful marketing videos that are just visually stunning. And I remember showing one to my mentor a few years ago and he asked me a question I wasn’t prepared for.
He asked if I understood what benefits the customer was getting. I mentioned whatever I remembered from the video. And then he asked me what that meant.
I did not have an answer because honestly, I didn’t know. Now I wasn’t in this company’s target audience, so it’s possible I didn’t understand what some of the things meant.
They might’ve just been industry terms, but still, I didn’t really have an idea of what this tool would do for someone. On top of that, I was more focused on the visuals than the message, and that’s not good either.
That’s because the visuals weren’t clarifying what I was supposed to be here. The visual message should show me something concrete. It should show me the details I’m not hearing.
So, I better understand how this product or service is going to make my life better.
For example, if the video is trying to sell nutrition coaching for weight loss, I want to see people like me struggling with what I struggle with. That would be things like not knowing what to buy in a grocery store or feeling awkward when I’m eating dinner out with my friends, because they’re not dieting.
Visuals like this are going to make me feel my problem.
All right. So that is the PAS formula– pain agitation solution. I basically use PAS, with a call to action of course, for any video that’s 90 seconds or less.
The next formula extends on this PAS format. And it’s one of my personal favorites. I use it in my website copy, and it’s great for videos when you have more time to work with.
Copywriting Formula #2—PASTOR
Formula two PASTOR. I believe this is a Ray Edwards formula, but don’t quote me on that (NOTE: It definitely is).
P stands for pain or problem, A for agitate and S for story or solution, which is the same as the PAS formula. But the extra three letters are T for testimonial, O for offer, and R for response.
The testimonial section is great for adding proof or credibility into your video script. For the same reasons you use testimonials on your website, you want to use them in your video.
People are more likely to trust a product or service real people have actually bought. Plus, a testimonial speaks to the pain points and how your product or service transformed someone’s life.
So, you’re reinforcing your overall message with a testimonial or three.
Follow up the testimonial section with your offer highlighting what benefits someone gets out of your offer of course. Then asked for a response which should be your call to action.
If you were ruthless in your editing and your product or service is straightforward, you might be able to squeeze this formula into two minutes.
The Harmon Bros and PASTOR
The Harmon Brothers actually use a formula like this in their Kodiak Cakes ad. I’ll link to that in the show notes. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a really good. That video is two minutes and 21 seconds.
Another side note– if you like pancakes and protein, Kodiak Cakes are very delicious. I could eat them for days.
Getting back on track. Now for your visual message, follow the same thinking as you would with PAS for the problem, agitation and solution.
Using Testimonials in Your Video
For the testimonial section, you can include screenshots of text testimonials, and just put them on screen in a modified form. Like texts with a plain color background or something.
You can even embed a video testimonial if it flows well with the video. If you’re making a shorter video, I recommend text testimonials and save the video testimonials for the longer videos.
Testimonial videos are another type of video you can use to sell. But I’ll get into that in another episode because you don’t script those like you do an explainer video or an ad.
Choosing Strong Visuals
Okay. So now we are at the O of the pastor formula, the offer. You want to be effective and choose things that people will recognize instantly visually, but you also don’t want to be too obvious.
So, try thinking like a customer. As a customer, I want to save time because I want to use my time to do other things like hang out with my friends, exercise, read a book or nap.
Depending on what the product or service is, you could show someone doing any of the things I just mentioned, and your audience is going to see a person who gave themselves more time to do the things that they love because they used your product or service.
That is a strong visual.
All right. So that’s the PASTOR formula. Pain, agitation, solution, testimonial offer, response.
Both of these formulas have a problem. And a problem is critical for most copywriting formulas to work, but you might be making videos for leads that are further in your funnel.
They already know the problem and they know you’re a solution, they’re just not committed yet. So this next formula is great for warm or hot leads.
Copywriting Formula #3 If you want[benefits]…then do [action]
Formula three. If you want benefits, then do. This formula leads with benefits.
Unlike PAS and PASTOR, the problem is implied in this formula. So, people watching a video with this formula must be problem aware at the very least. If they aren’t, this video will probably flop.
Use this formula with your warm leads who just need that last little push before they’re committed to buying.
Going back to my weight loss example, this formula would look like:
If you want to achieve your weight loss goals, order without any guilt from any menu and keep your results for a lifetime, then check this out, and then you would plug in whatever your product or services.
It’s a bit like taking your value proposition and leading with that. Instead of a problem, you can use any number of benefits, but three is ideal. people like odd numbers and many benefits. So, you can’t go wrong with.
Lead with Value and Build Desire
With this formula, you’re building desire and you want to build desire with your visuals too. So, you should have positive visuals, then focus on visuals that show how people use your product or service to get the desires that you showed. Using my weight loss example. Again, I would show someone who looks happy in their clothes to match the “achieve your weight loss goals” verbal message.
And that’s because again, people aren’t losing weight because they want to lose weight necessarily. They’re losing weight because they want to achieve their ideal way of looking. They want to achieve a certain feeling. So, if I’m showing someone who looks happy in their clothes, that’s what people want.
So, people watching the message are going to say, “oh, I also want to look at myself in my clothes and feel happy with that”. That kind of message is going to resonate more than just showing a pound of fat that’s been lost.
And for the ordering without guilt from any menu, this could be a person at a burger restaurant with their meal in front of them.
And results for a lifetime could look like a montage of the same person in different seasons to show the passing of time. That’s just a quick example, but you get the idea.
All right, so that’s it.
Time to summarize. You should use one of these copywriting formulas to give your message a persuasive structure. And then your video will get results.
Plus they can save you from hours in front of the dreaded blank screen.
PAS Formula and When to Use
Formula one is PAS– pain or problem agitate and solution. It’s great for anything. Especially short videos.
PASTOR Formula and When to Use
Formula two is PASTOR that expands on PASwith a testimonial offer and response section.
This formula helps you show proof, so you look more credible.
If you want [benefits]…then [action] Formula and When to Use
And finally the, “if you want benefits, then do this” formula. Use this for warm leads to build desire and try to show benefits in threes.
All right, now you can start using these formulas immediately in your script writing. That’s it for this week.
I wanted to share a few updates with you though, before I close out the episode.
Right now, I release a podcast episode once a month, but I’m considering a bi-weekly release. Let me know if you prefer an episode once or twice a month. Go ahead and leave a comment.
Find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email me. I’ll put my contact info in the show notes. Also, if you’ve been listening for awhile, you know I focus a lot on script writing.
I’ve been working on having some kind of newsletter that focuses just on script writing.
Weekly Script Tips newsletter
So I want to announce that I’ve just launched my weekly Script Tips. Script tips is a collection of micro-articles to help you write engaging and persuasive marketing video scripts that get results.
So if you like all the script writing content from my podcast, Go ahead and sign up for that if you want weekly emails delivered to your inbox, every Thursday, I’ll put the sign up link in the show notes as well.
Thanks for listening to the Making of a Video Marketer and my burning question of the day. If you have any questions or comments, write them in the comment section or reach out.
In the next episode, I’ll be talking with my mentor at Charles Gibson about what changes you can expect as you become more competent script writer. Please leave a rating and subscribe.
Until next time.