How to Write a Killer Explainer Video Script

March 15, 2016


explainer video scriptA video has the power to tell a convincing story about your business in 60-seconds.

But before you even think about the cutesy illustration and animation, you need to pour everything you have into developing a killer script.

A well-produced video is always pre-seeded by an engaging explainer video script. Without the right foundation, the rest of the creation process is in vain.

So what can you do to make sure your video is a killer explainer and not merely a nap inducer?

It starts with proper preparation – knowing your audience, your message and your call-to-action is essential.

But besides that, here are 7 other essential items that make the art of scriptwriting so effective in creating an amazing video.

video scriptKeep the еxpainer video script short.

The actual length of your script depends on who is your audience is… and it will also greatly affect your explainer video cost.

A captive audience sitting down in an auditorium can withstand some six to eight minutes before losing interest and beginning to drift away.

But the average Internet surfer who is popping by your website, on the other hand, will already check out after the first two to four minutes depending on how captivating the material is and how much do they need your product.

explainer videoPut your message in the first 30 seconds.

Get to the point, and do it straight away.

Except for people reading mystery books, nobody likes to be left hanging and waiting to find out what is your video even about and what do you want to achieve with it.

Be kind to your audience – reduce the message of your entire video to one single sentence and make sure that sentence appears somewhere in the first 30 seconds of the script.

This tells the audience what to pay attention to in the video, and will direct them towards what you want them to do.

Boy_user_man_male_child_girl_g12_baby_studentSpeak directly to the audience.

The easiest way to speak to an audience is to use personal pronouns like “you” and “your”. Another way to engage your audience is to show them things they care deeply about.

While your second quarter earnings are indeed very impressive and your team is rightly very proud of them, your audience unfortunately usually does not care half as much.

In the event that they do care, there are still things they care about more.

The very reason of your video should be to answer the audience’s single most important question: “how can this help me?”

If you don’t convince them that putting their money on you will somehow improve their life, business or else, you may have earnings bigger than Microsoft and Apple combined and the audience will still not care.

Of course, trust is important and there is nothing better than getting to know a company in order to trust it.

Your job here is to define clearly what does your audience need to know about you before trusting you, as opposed to what you want to tell them.

Think carefully about what do they need to know before taking the action you want them to take. Once you have the answers, present that in a way that makes them want to be friends with you.

Once they feel a connection with you and your company, they will be much more compelled to do business with you.

lips-512Find the right tone. 

Have a mental picture of your customer in mind when selecting the tone of your video.

To help you focus, write a one sentence summary describing why you are making the video and what you want the viewer to do at the end of it.

This will suggest a tone for your finished video.

You may decide you want a talking head in an office, a brief classroom style presentation, a light hearted romp, a bold outdoorsy documentary or a colorful animated review.

Having this idea down will help you focus and deliver content that is optimized to your audience’s taste and needs.

If you have story-driven characters, imagine real people as mental place-holders. It’s much easier to write realistic dialogue if you’re writing for someone whose habits and mannerisms you know well.

The tone you choose for your video will then drive your choice of setting, narrator or cast, tempo, pace and type of dialogue for the script.

explainer video scriptTell a story. 

Your explainer video script should present a problem (for example, Bob is tired), introduce a solution (to stop being tired, Bob drinks organic, sugar-free, calorie-free, nutrition-free energy drinks).

Explain how it works (OrganicBrand is an all natural…blah blah blah), and drive viewers to action (in other words, go buy OrganicBrand at your local gas station right now).

Dry facts, statistics and definitions are okay in the classroom, but unless your video is for students imprisoned in a classroom, avoid lifeless content whenever possible.

Instead, use the power of the screen to show your audience actual people your company has helped, or the wide-ranging benefits your services have bestowed upon your customers.

Human beings create stories about themselves to help them define who they are.

The better you tell stories about yourself, the more likely your viewers are going to understand what your company is offering and what it can do for them.

Presenting them with a human face goes a long way in marketing and sales, so use that whenever applicable.

hat-512Use humor wisely.

Humor is a great tool for story-telling so long as the humor supports your message.

Make sure your attempts at humor fit seamlessly within the story you’re trying to tell, and keep in mind that misplaced or poorly timed humor can be distracting and may actually put off potential customers.

Think of your explainer video as any presentation – unless you are a comedian, your audience is there for reasons that go beyond having a good laugh.

So keep the odd joke there but don’t let being funny take the focus away from your main message, otherwise it can get lost.

Tip: You can try to include written humor in your script, but sometimes it’s much more effective to introduce humor as part of the on-screen animation.

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1 Comment

  1. Marc Scott March 30, 2016

    Great tips. A short, personal, conversational story is definitely the most effective way to go with an explainer.


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