How to write a YouTube script (step-by-step guide + examples)

With over 2.7 billion users, YouTube’s potential to land your brand videos in front of a global audience is unparalleled. For businesses seeking an edge in this sometimes overwhelming content landscape, crafting the perfect script can make all the difference. 

But where do you begin?

Enter Wordbrew’s definitive guide to writing a compelling YouTube script. By tapping into a synergistic blend of AI precision and human creativity, we’ve harnessed the best of both worlds. The result? A clear, concise, and comprehensive roadmap for YouTube scriptwriters and marketing professionals across all industries.

The art of writing effective YouTube scripts

For all kinds of businesses in all niches, YouTube offers a platform to share your unique Point of View (PoV) and enhance your brand’s visibility. A well-crafted script ensures that your content resonates with your target audience, emphasizing connection, authenticity, and trust.

But, the ripple effect of getting a YouTube script right goes deeper than simply building brand trust. More engaging scripts lead to just that—more YouTube engagement. Which in turn means more visibility in YouTube’s algorithms. When your viewers watch your video through to the end rather than backing out after a few seconds, it signals to the inner workings of the YouTube mind that your content is valuable and interesting—and something that should rank higher in future searches.

In short, an effective YouTube script can lead to:

  • More video views
  • A higher conversion rate 
  • Increased brand recognition
  • Greater visibility on Google search
  • More qualified traffic reaching your website

Tools for unlocking trending YouTube content

Really want to engage your target audience? Find the topics that they care about. Centering your content around viewer trends can help you resonate more soundly with your customers, stay current, and build a sense of authority. But, harnessing the potential of trending topics requires more than just a keen intuition. 

A blend of AI technology and human expertise, akin to the hybrid content creation process, can help you pinpoint exactly what your viewers want. Let’s explore some essential tools and platforms to guide you to your next impactful topic.

1. TubeBuddy 

Specifically designed for YouTube creators, TubeBuddy offers a treasure trove of features, including keyword research, competition analysis, and trend alerts. Its ‘Keyword Explorer’ can give you insight into topics gaining traction, ensuring that your script aligns with what the YouTube community is hungry for.

User interface of TubeBuddy's keyword research tool

2. Google Trends

A direct line into the vast data reserves of Google, this free tool showcases trending search queries from across the globe. Originally designed for journalists to get the jump on a trending story, the real strength of Google Trends lies in its ability to break down data by regions, time frames, and categories. 

By keeping an eye on spikes in specific search terms, you can craft your script to match peaks in global or localized interest around your industry and activities.

Google Trends for the search term "back to school" showing peaks in interest around September every year

3. Ahrefs

While primarily seen as an SEO tool, Ahrefs boasts a powerful keyword explorer that draws data from multiple search engines, not just Google. By analyzing top-performing content in your niche, you can gauge topic popularity and deep dive into related questions to find angles or sub-topics that haven’t been extensively covered.

The best part? There’s a section on their keyword explorer that deals specifically with YouTube data! 

Ahrefs' keyword research tool showing trends in interest for the search term "angle grinder" on YouTube

4. Reddit

Here at Wordbrew, we love a deep dive into Reddit for nuggets of content gold. These informal virtual conversations can be a beeline into the inner workings of your customer’s mind. Often dubbed ‘The Front Page of the Internet’, Reddit is a dynamic platform where discussions on virtually any topic under the sun take place. 

To know what fancies your audience, browse subreddits (topic-specific communities) that resonate with your channel’s focus. Here, you can discover questions, discussions, and topics that are gaining momentum. Crafting video content around these discussions not only addresses current trends but also answers specific questions and challenges faced by your target audience.

5. The human touch

While these tools are immensely powerful, remember that they complement, not replace, human intuition and creativity. Tools might show you what’s trending, but understanding why something is trending, tailoring it to your unique brand voice and perspective, and adding the emotional connection your customers crave requires a uniquely human touch. 

For instance, while Ahrefs might tell you that “sustainable travel” is a rising keyword, you will need to use your creativity and human empathy to unearth the emotional and societal reasons behind the trend, allowing for a more profound, nuanced script.

How to write a YouTube script: A step-by-step guide

So, you’ve analyzed trends and been head down in keyword research. Now, in front of you is a list of burning topics that, with the right treatment, will attract your target audience and keep them hanging onto your every word. But, where do you start when it comes to the actual scriptwriting?

1. Understand your audience

Before you set pen to paper, you must understand who you’re talking to. Recognize your audience’s needs, preferences, and challenges. Whether you cater to small businesses or large enterprises, knowing your audience is the first step in crafting a message that strikes a chord.

How do you get to know your audience better? 

It might not seem like it at first glance, but you have plenty of resources within your organization to call upon before you start commissioning expensive market research surveys. Talk to your sales and customer services team. Find out who they are talking to, what problems they need solutions to, who the customers are, and where they are based. 

You can also use the insights functions on your social channels to gain a clearer picture of your followers’ interests, ages, and when they are most active online.

2. Set clear objectives

Your content strategy should include clear objectives for your video marketing efforts. Is it to educate, entertain, inspire, or persuade? Your objectives will guide the script’s tone, content, and call to action.

Setting SMART targets will help you produce videos that drive real results. 

What is the end result? How will you accomplish it? Who will do it?
So you can track progress and monitor what is and isn’t working. 
What can your brand realistically achieve, considering resources, and budget?
Why are you setting the goal you are setting?
Build time parameters into your goal so everyone can stay on track.

Using our sustainable travel example again, a holiday company promoting its sustainability credentials via a YouTube video might set a SMART target as follows:

Social team to create and release one YouTube video per week for three months to promote our sustainability initiatives to increase traffic to our sustainability pages on our website. Sustainability is becoming a prerequisite for travelers in the post-pandemic era, and positioning our brand as the ethical choice will positively impact our bottom line.

3. Craft a strong introduction

Engage your audience from the get-go. Start with a compelling hook, a question, or a startling fact. This sets the stage for the value your video promises to deliver. Keep your intro short but powerful—ideally no more than 20 seconds long—and incorporate your brand logo, typography, and style to increase brand recognition. 

This from Recognize works well, drawing the viewer in by presenting a problem their target audience has and that they can solve.

RECOGNIZE | Explainer Video by Yum Yum Videos

4. Build your narrative 

YouTube is more than just sharing information—it’s about storytelling. Structure your content with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Take your viewers on a journey, one where they emerge more informed or inspired than before.

As brand stories go, you don’t get much more compelling than Google’s Parisian Love ad—which cleverly takes you through all the features of the search powerhouse without once uttering a word about what the website actually does. 

Parisian Love

5. Keep it conversational

While you might need to stay professional, strive to keep your script approachable. Use simple, clear language and think about how you talk, rather than how you write. The aim is to communicate, not complicate. Where you can, show rather than tell. 

Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays series does an excellent job of taking complex SEO topics and making them clear, understandable, and relatable to their audience. All the while keeping the tone conversational yet authoritative throughout. 

Stephen A. Smith on Skip Bayless, First Take, LeBron vs Jordan & More With Shannon Sharpe | EP. 85

6. Incorporate visual cues

Consider the visual elements accompanying your words. Will there be graphics, animations, or live shots? Align these with your script to create a cohesive experience that increases the clarity of what you are saying and helps define brand identity. 

Things you might want to consider:

  • Displaying numbers or statistics as graphics.
  • Using animation to show, rather than explain a complex process.
  • Speaking directly to the camera rather than a voice-over to make your video more personal.

7. Conclude with a clear call to action

Every video should have a purpose. End with a call to action (CTA) that nudges viewers towards a specific action, whether subscribing, purchasing, or simply exploring more content. This is where setting your SMART goals comes in – when you know what your overarching goal is, you know what you need to ask your customers to do. 

With this video, AllRecipes does better than just a final CTA. With up to 40% of viewers bouncing – leaving – videos lasting up to 2-3 minutes, they’ve included a short, sharp call to action at the very start to capture as many of their audience as possible.

AllRecipes' YouTube video featuring a CTA to subscribe to the channel 7 seconds into the video.

8. Review and refine

Even with AI-produced drafts at your disposal, the human touch is irreplaceable. Review your script with a critical eye. Edit for clarity, conciseness, impact—and, most of all, creativity. Remember, the empathy and creativity of a human writer are crucial to the hybrid content creation process, ensuring that your content truly resonates with viewers.

Storytelling tips for YouTube

For generations, humans have been telling stories. But why does storytelling have such an impact on us? And why should you use it in your YouTube videos? 

From cavemen sitting around a campfire to the modern day, the stories we tell all have something in common: An ability to engage and connect us. They play with our emotions, reel us in, and leave us with a message that stays with us to pass down through time. Use YouTube storytelling in your brand videos, and the message your viewers take home will be you. Here’s how to make engaging YouTube videos:

Build your narrative around empathy and emotion

YouTube is a platform where emotions can drive engagement. Craft stories that resonate emotionally, whether with humor, inspiration, or even surprise. Why does that matter? Because our emotions drive 95% of our purchasing decisions, so connecting with your customer’s subconscious is a powerful marketing tool.

Define your leading character

It might be you, your brand founder, or someone in your team with an engaging personality and confidence in front of the camera. Viewers connect with characters. So, build your video around someone who can lead your viewers through your brand journey with conviction and empathy.

Show, don’t tell

Leverage the visual nature of YouTube. Instead of just describing situations or concepts, show them. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text—so, rather than telling or writing out an explanation of what you do, use graphics, animations, and other visual aids.

Best practices for writing a YouTube script

The inner workings of the YouTube algorithms are driven by engagement. Get viewers to watch your videos all the way through—or most of the way there—and YouTube will start ranking you higher up the search listings. But how do you ensure your videos and channel perform consistently?

Engage early

The first 10-15 seconds are crucial. This is when viewers decide whether to continue watching or click away. 

Be consistent

Maintain a consistent tone and style across your videos. This helps in building a recognizable brand voice and identity.

Be conversational 

Speak to your audience, not at them. Avoid overly formal language. Instead, focus on authenticity and relatability.

Time it right

While YouTube doesn’t have a strict time limit, attention spans do. Aim for scripts that translate to videos between 7-15 minutes long for educational or informational content.

In a world awash with digital content, YouTube offers a canvas for businesses to paint their brand stories. Crafting the perfect script is both an art and a science. It’s about understanding your audience, telling a compelling story, and ensuring your message is delivered with clarity and impact.

Ultimately, it’s all about meaningful engagement

Trending topics are valuable, but they’re a means to an end, not the end itself. The end goal is authentic, meaningful engagement with your audience. As you employ these tools to guide your YouTube script topics, ensure you’re not just chasing views. Your content needs to be uniquely yours and portray your brand identity at all times. Don’t just piggyback off trends. Use them to showcase your unique perspective, voice, and value to your viewers.

In the fluid world of YouTube, where trends come and go, it’s this authentic connection with your audience that will stand the test of time. So, while you ride the waves of trends, ensure your content anchors are deeply rooted in genuine value and authenticity.

AI scriptwriting helps you follow those trends, generating content at speed that allows your brand to stay ahead of the wave. But, with the hybrid method, it’s the human touch that ensures the emotional connection with your audience.

Embrace the tools and techniques available, and let your brand’s voice resonate on YouTube like never before.

Need help writing your YouTube scripts? Start a project with Wordbrew today!

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