“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”Benjamin Franklin
If you want to see better results from your video and audio content – i.e., higher audience engagement and more shares – you need to polish your patter. Practising your scripts is the most important thing you can do to achieve this.
Whenever you produce YouTube videos, Podcasts, Instagram Stories, or webinars for your business, you must create a script. Having some idea of what you want to say, how you want to say it, and what you want your audience to take away will give structure to your content. This makes it easier for your audience to understand your message.
By making it easy for them, you improve audience engagement because you’re giving them easily digestible content. Content producers understand that clear and structured content is better than sloppy content for increasing engagement rates.
But a script alone is not enough. If you want good engagement rates, you have to practice your script before going live. In this blog, we are going to explore why it is so important to practice before posting or going live.
Why Your Content Needs to Be Top-Notch
Video marketing is a growing opportunity for marketers and they are making more videos than ever before, largely because it offers an excellent return on investment.
Consequently, video content is flooding the internet. According to Cisco, video accounted for 69% of all internet traffic in 2017 – and it continues to grow year-on-year.
You can appreciate how content marketers need to do as much as they can to shout above the noise. Your content has to be top-notch for it to stand any chance of engaging your audience. The smallest problem can have your audience bouncing off your page in search of better content.
Unfortunately, some content producers seem to believe that unscripted content works best. They’re confusing the principles of native advertising and guerrilla marketing with sloppiness, i.e. that being sloppy in their delivery is ‘authentic’.
These marketers believe the rawer the content, the more trustworthy it is. But, sloppy content hints at incompetence. It’s not hard to imagine that an audience that sees your content as incompetent extends this attitude to your brand in general. After all, it’s well documented that marketing affects customer attitudes. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be doing it!
What they don’t realise is that a well-delivered and fluent pitch (invariably a practiced pitch) can come across as much more authentic and trustworthy than off-the-cuff, stuttered, content. There is an authority to being able to convey your ideas well. It helps show that you know what you’re talking about. If your content has authority, people will trust it and this makes them more likely to engage.
Practising your scripts will help you produce good content that improves engagement rates.
Why Practice Leads to Higher Engagement Rates
What is it about practicing that helps increase engagement rates and sets you apart from non-rehearsing competitors?
- The more you practice, the better your words will flow and the more fluent you will sound. This is counter-intuitive for many people who believe that the more you practice, the more stilted your flow. It is possible to over-rehearse (see below) but you need a certain amount of rehearsal to achieve fluency.
- It helps you solidify your ideas and create content that makes sense to the audience.
- Practice teaches you where your script works well and where it falls short. You’ll discover problems and be able to solve them before you go live. For instance, you might realise that you have presented your ideas in the wrong order.
- Practising in front of a small audience allows you to modify the script to prompt a specific response in your audience, e.g., by making them laugh. Laughter builds rapport and if your audience relates to you, they’re more likely to engage with you.
- It helps prevent and anticipate technical problems. If they do happen whilst you’re live, you at least have some understanding of how to manage them. Tackling problems quickly makes you appear competent and competency helps build loyalty and audience engagement.
- Practice allows you to become familiar with the platform (e.g. YouTube, Instagram), which again highlights your competency
How to Practice Well
No one should be winging his or her online video/audio content. The more you practice, the better your content will sound. People assume that the more you rehearse the more stilted and the less spontaneous the performance will be.
Actually, the reverse happens. When you have a good grasp of what you want to say and how you want to say it, it frees up space for improvisation. Actors know this, which is why they rehearse so much.
Don’t fall into the opposite trap, though. You can make your script sound odd if you memorise it word-for-word. To avoid this, think of your script as an “Ideas Map”, gently guiding your content.
You must research and understand every point you are making so that you can relay it to your audience without having to follow a tight script. You are following ideas in a logical order and you understand these ideas well.
You’ll find that the more you practice, the more you go off on meaningful and improvised tangents that add spice to your content.
Make sure that you practice in front of an audience where possible so that you can gauge their reactions and change the script accordingly.
Always ask for critical feedback from the practice audience (and from your actual audience once you launch the content – this will help guide future content) so that you can make tweaks according to their engagement levels.
Do you need help writing content for your video and audio marketing campaigns? If so, get in touch with Lion Spirit Media and we’ll help you create content that ROARS.