To build a successful animated explainer video, you need more than eye-catching animations, cute characters, and vibrant colors. A good script binds all video components together and compliments the visuals by making everything come to life.
Creating a professional animated explainer video involves a lot of hard work and a long creative process, which includes scriptwriting. But, after today, even you can write a compelling and engaging explainer video script. Let’s learn more about writing video scripts with this step by step guide.
Why It’s Important to focus on your script for an animated explainer video?
We know that videos have become consumers’ favorite type of content to watch coming from a brand on social media. However, it’s not just the entertainment factor. There is also scientific reasoning why explainer videos are so useful. According to Allan Paivio’s Dual-Coding Theory, verbal and non-verbal or the combination of audio and visual channels of the brain simulating at the same, so watching explainer videos makes the information process with great ease and much faster.
Hence, to create successful explainer videos, you want to ensure your voiceover and the visuals compliment the script to make the most impact. As explainer videos are around 90 to 120 second long informational and marketing videos created to explain audiences about a company’s services or products, the script needs to be the hero.
A strong script or story defines the impact, reach and success of the entire explainer video, driven by both the audio and visual components. However, many brands who have just started video marketing struggle with writing effective explainer video scripts.
Why writing a good explainer video script can be a challenging task?
When writing a script for your explainer video, marketers often have more than one purpose. They want to provide useful and valuable information to the audience, but they also want to entertain them up to a certain extent, keep them engaged, and try to keep their attention till the end.
Explaining complex information or a detailed concept is already hard enough without trying to make it engaging and entertaining as well. Hence, it takes a lot of work and many drafts to produce a script that explains the central concept, portrays the brand’s personality, and tells an engaging story with a substantial takeaway for viewers. You got to achieve all this with a brilliantly limited word count, sound simple, doesn’t it?
But, the problem majorly comes down to a lack of knowledge. You see, many marketers around the world pulling off amazing scripts. If you want to write an impactful explainer video script or see the need to revamp what you are currently working with, let’s walk through a step by step process on how to write powerful explainer video scripts.
How to write an effective script for your animated explainer video
When writing your script for the explainer video, you need to be mindful of two things, the story you need to tell and how you choose to tell the story. Here is an eight-step process that can help you come up with excellent explainer video scripts without missing any crucial components.
Identify the core message of your story
We often come across explainer videos with unclear messaging, a tangled story that talks about too many things to make a real impact, or ones that wait till the last few seconds to come to the point. Sometimes, creating a video without a clear message or a definite story to tell, can do more damage for your brand than not having the video at all. You need to remember the core message, aim, or purpose of making the video. You want to be clear and concise by telling one specific story.
However, how you tell the story will be your decision based on what stage of sales or marketing funnel your audiences are in and the type of product or services you need to explain. The following are three different approaches to draft an impactful animated explainer video script.
- Problem and solution approach
It is one of the more popularly used approaches to portraying a particular product or service as the hero that audiences were always looking for. It is an effective way to tell a story because of the sequence. It starts with a persuasive problem statement, making it as relatable for your viewers as possible and take the story forward with an organic transition towards the solution. Besides, remember to not focus more on the problem rather than the answer, as you want your viewers to go away with a positive and strong opinion of the product or services.
- Features and benefits approach
Another common category of explainer videos is where you showcase different scenarios or contexts that help define various features, uses, and benefits of your product or service. This can be a great approach as it gives you space to be creative in how you explain the features. You can show different situations that make your product or services more relatable and create more anticipation within the viewers.
- Process overview approach
This can be an excellent option for giving a service overview, a product how-to video, or screencast explainer videos for software. With this approach, you start by explaining the product or service. It is a self-contained story, and the narration takes the viewers from one point to another.
However, your explainer video may not perfectly fit into one of these categories, and that’s not a problem. You can teak these approaches to better compliment your brand’s personality or your vision. However, here are a few factors to be mindful of when identifying your story:
- Anticipate your viewers’ questions and try to answer as many of them as possible within the story.
- Be straightforward and directly get to the point as everyone won’t show the same level of patience when watching the video.
- Make sure you are clear about your brand’s value proposition and vision behind telling this story.
- Ask yourself why people will care about your story. What do they get out of this, and what is the takeaway from the video.
Break down your story
One of the significant reasons why video marketing is gaining popularity across the globe is because visual elements make consuming information easier. Hence, the next step is to break down your concept along with the language and enthusiasm you would be likely to use when explaining the story to a seven-year-old. Even if your target audience is highly educated, your goal should be to explain the information succinctly. You want to keep it simple but not sound condescending at the same time.
A lot of your target audience is going to watch the explainer video from one of your social accounts, and a dry or too hard to understand script won’t do you much favor. By keeping it simple and easy to digest, you are showing respect for your viewers’ time.
When breaking down your story, aim for writing your story outline in five sentences and use short and clear sentences.
Connect with your audience through the story
Your explainer videos truly become effective when you include the audience within the story. Now that you have separated the story into sections look for opportunities to make the narrative more personal, relevant, and relatable for the audiences. It will be easier to make the video more engaging and gain their attention when they see content that’s meant to be valuable for them. Here is how you can do that:
- Speak to them directly.
Put your viewers into the driver’s seat wherever possible. For example, create a character that they can identify with, and speak directly to them by writing the script in a second-person voice.
- Adopt their language.
Study your target audience and find out who they are. For example, if your audience is academic professionals or business owners, make sure your language reflects that. But, avoid jargon and uncommon and unfamiliar terms that might annoy or confuse people.
Add emotions and brand personality into the story
No matter what might be your primary aim of making the animated explainer video in the first place, you will only be able to achieve it if you and your video can connect with the viewers. And you connect with the audience by evoking emotions. You can try to make them laugh or touch upon matters that are close to their hearts. Either way, you want to evoke an emotional response from them. Make them invested from the start.
You don’t really have to come up with the greatest campfire ghost story every time. A good story that adds some value to the viewers’ life works. Use your language, tone, stats, emotions, and anecdotes to build a bond and connection with the viewers.
To communicate effectively, you need to integrate your brand voice into the video. To ensure people build a strong bond with your brand, you want the human element to shine through and showcase the brand personality. You want to come across as a helpful and approachable associate or friend that viewers can reach out to.
Make it concise
The length of the script and video is an essential factor, as the more, you stretch it, the less impact it has. Typically, an animated explainer video can be of any length between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. However, the longer your video is, the more difficult it will be to keep the script engaging, entertaining, and informational consistently. Let’s look at two things you should keep in mind when writing the script:
- Keep an eye on the word count.
When you get your writer’s hat on and start writing, it becomes easy to go on and on. But to be effective, make sure you limit the word count between 130 and 150 per minute to have a comfortable pace.
- Test your read time.
Read your script out loud and ensure your pace is a bit slow just as the voiceover artist, for more accurate results. You can check your read time and make changes if required.
Adjust the script
You might write great blog posts or amazing e-books, but videos are a completely different story. Writing an explainer video script may sound very easy, but it can be challenging and time-consuming. Even though it’s not necessary, but most explainer videos havea voiceover, which means you need a script that goes perfectly with your story and message as well as helps in achieving the goal of the video. Here are a few last-minute adjustments you might have to make in your script.
- Avoid using complicated words.
Take a small break and then read your script once more. Do you see any complicated word or it just might be challenging to pronounce. Voiceover artists are pros, but one unfamiliar or odd-sounding word can disturb the flow of the video or divert the audiences’ attention. So make sure to cross-check the script for awkward pronunciations and complicated words, and also run it through readability check tools like the Hemingway app.
- Keep it conversational.
One easy tip to connect with your audience is to keep your tone conversational. So, make sure to look for any awkward phrases that don’t match how people naturally talk.
- Show and don’t tell.
Always remember you are writing the script to support the visuals and not the other way around, particularly with animated videos where you have some much creative space to be imaginative. So, keep your words to the minimum and don’t explain what you can show, as according to research, our brain process visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
Add a call-to-action
There is almost always a marketing or business purpose behind creating explainer videos. Hence, it is imperative to make it clear in your script what you want your viewer to do. They have just given a minute of two of their busy schedule to your brand. You don’t want to let this connection go to waste. So, tell them what you need them to do next. You CTA can be anything like to download an e-book, sign-up for a free demo, or schedule a meeting with your team, make sure it’s clear and direct.
However, don’t confuse your audience or annoy them by asking too much. Hence, making multiple CTAs may result in none of them having any real effect.
Test your script
The best way to ensure your script has the right effect on viewers, and it resonates with your target audience, is to run it by real people. Create a small panel or focus group who volunteer to watch the video and give you their honest feedback. You don’t have to make changes if you don’t want to. But it’s always better to get the second opinion and get live reactions of people and bring in some adjustments if necessary.
If a little focus test is not possible, then have a colleague or associate read the script or hear you read it, who isn’t directly working on the video. Second, third, or even fourth opinion doesn’t harm anyone.
Writing a script for your animated explainer video is relatively simple, but it sure can be time-consuming. It demands some patience and more of going back and forth. But because you know your audience very well and can incorporate your brand personality better than anyone else, writing an effective script should come easy epically now that you have this step by step guide to help you out. However, there are several professional video scriptwriters and video production companies available who offer these services and write an awesome script that fits your needs and audiences’ expectations.
Jane Collen is a creative content writer and digital marketer at CydoMedia. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing blog writing, video script writing, ghostwriting, copywriting and social media marketing services. I have worked on too many sites which are related to Tech, travel, health, education, and fitness.