How to Write Video Scripts That Go Viral

Do you want the exact script formula that I’ve used to generate 5 BILLION views on social media videos? I have driven 5 billion plus views on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more by using this one specific social video methodology. I developed this when I was running the big video teams in New York Magazine and Business Insider. When I was running all of these teams, I had to come up with a way to turn out viral video almost all the time. So, how exactly do you turn out all that video you need into a methodology? I developed it over the course of a few years based on what I thought people would be sharing the most. What gets viewed, then ultimately gets shared with others and that’s what we want to happen.

So, let me take you right through this scripting methodology. The first thing that you need is a hook, which can be a hook shot, similar to a visual hook. It can be something that blows you away in the feed. If you have access to a really good video, you can blow people away with that. Now if you don’t have that, you can instead just come up with a killer headline. This headline uses something called the SEED system and I also have a video on that as well which I’ll link to the bottom of this article. The SEED system torn apart is Specificity, Empathy, Emotion and Deliver. This helps you decide which content to create and how to pump it out and get it to a place where people are going to click it. It’s a framing device, right? You want that very specific headline that pulls on empathy, so you fly that right in off the bat on directly on the screen. If you don’t have good visual footage, you’re probably going to use this tactic a lot. Even if you do have good visual footage, the whole point in all of this is thumb stopping. To get the viewer to stop scrolling through their phone and get distracted by your content. We do not have time with our analytical mind to actually process whether we should watch this video or not. There’s our brain that makes decisions like, should I have a ham sandwich today or should I have a turkey sandwich today? While we’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, the only thing we have time to do is feel some sort of emotion, right? These two things do just that. The headline cuts to the empathetic core and gets you right directly in it or the visual footage captures your attention and blows you away.

The second thing that you want to have in this, is the most shareable piece of information. A lot of people make the mistake of let’s say you’re telling a story about some woman in South Carolina that did something incredible. So your headline that you fly in might say something like, this woman in South Carolina cured a rare form of disease that’s all wonderful and great. But then the second thing you’d put in the social video is something like, her name is Rhonda, she lives in the suburbs of Charleston. It’s boring, right? If you’ve ever looked at the engagement graphs on Facebook and Instagram video, it’s like people just leave. So you want to make sure to keep them as long as you can but you also want to make sure that they are sharing it as early as possible in the video. This is super important because a lot of people will share this video before watching all of it. A lot of people will share it before watching 15 seconds of it, so if you keep the best stuff for last, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Same thing goes for the hook shot. Your best footage, your absolute BEST footage, goes right up front. It’s front loaded. Basically, you get a hundred to eighty percent of people watching this content so they can take all the valuable actions you want them to take on the video. If they get all the way to the end, then you’re saying okay, well, all the great content is at the end. That means only 10% of people are going to see that so what’s the point of that? So then you want to go into the second most shareable piece of content. Again, take everything you know about storytelling and just throw it in the trash can. What we want to do is front load all of our great stuff and then work our way down. We want to continue to add value and keep people engaged. Obviously by telling a good story, but you want to make sure to have the most shareable content right at the beginning, so you have your hook shot or your headline right off the bat. Then you have your most shareable piece of information, then your second most shareable piece of information. Only then can you get into the details like her name is Rhonda, so you’re getting into those details a little bit here and people are already invested. They’ve already bought in. You’ve given them a lot of interesting stuff that they’ve maybe already shared and they’re probably already still watching. So you continue to bring them through, right? This is where the meat of your story goes, and again, this is a methodology for short videos. You can use it for everything from stories about some woman in South Carolina or a tips and tricks video about video hacks to rearrange your basement. This system can be used for all those types of videos.

The last part is really making sure that you deliver or overdeliver more specifically an extra layer of value. I go over this a lot in the hero system and I also have a video on that as well. The last step in the hero system is to overdeliver. There’s so much content out there and in order to actually compete in this landscape, you need to bring it to an editorial level. It’s all about how well you can tell a story and follow the method that I’ve just taught you in this blog. Literally, if you’re just telling a story, you just give an extra layer of value, an extra five minutes of Googling, a little bit of context. What’s next for this? Has this been done before? Just give it an extra five minutes of thought in a way that you can add an extra layer of value so this piece stands out. There are billions of hours of video being uploaded to these platforms every single minute. How are you going to compete with that? You just do five more minutes of extra work to overdeliver and you structure your scripts in this specific way.

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Matt Johnston and Allie Bloyd