An explainer video is just what the name says—an explanation. Explainer videos are very short, and often animated, although there are other formats as well. Their purpose is to explain a business concept, such as a product or service, in a clear, direct way but also to be engaging.
The ideal explainer video is going to be able to find a balance between being informative and entertaining, and it’s going to show the audience how the product or service being featured could provide them with value.
Explainer videos are different from a standard marketing video in a few ways. First, they’re short, and they’re also simple. They need to be really good quality, and they more often than not include animated characters.
Most explainer videos also feature design elements such as color palettes in-line with the overall branding of the company, and they have music that creates a specific mood and conveys a tone. Explainer videos can include a combination of on-screen text and narration or just one of these elements.
The script is what guides the text or the narration, and undoubtedly that script is the foundation for a successful explainer video.
The following are some of the best tips to write a script that’s going to be engaging, and compelling while succinctly getting across the most important overall message.
Brainstorm and Then Eliminate
One of the most important overall things to keep in mind with an explainer script is that it has to be short. It really shouldn’t be any longer than 90 seconds.
Coming up with what to talk about isn’t the hard part—it’s condensing it so that it will fit into such a short amount of time.
When you start a script, sit down with your team and brainstorm all relevant concepts. From there, cut them down until you have the bare minimum.
Know Your Audience
One of the most important but often overlooked aspects of script writing is speaking to your audience in a language they understand and relate to. Before you start scriptwriting, it’s so important to have a really clear idea of who you’re targeting and how your content can most effectively resonate with them.
A good rule of thumb can be to create a few targeted personas. Fill out every detail you can come up with about these personas, and write as if you’re speaking directly to them.
As you’re doing this part of the script-writing process, think about the questions these personas would have if they were standing in front of you wanting to learn more. Write down specific questions, and use these as a guide for your explainer.
This has the double advantage of being useful when it’s time to market as well because you can use these personas to guide so much of the rest of your marketing strategy.
Tell One Succinct Story
You need to decide on a general approach for your explainer video before writing a script. Two of the most commonly used approaches include either creating a problem-solution scenario or walking the audience through a specific process or situation.
If you’re going the problem-solution route, it can be simpler and more straightforward to write this script. Just don’t get caught up in the details and features of your product. Keep it very direct. Think linearly during the writing process. Outline the problem, and position your product as the solution.
If you’re going through an explanation of a product or a how-to, it can get a little more convoluted. Be careful that you’re moving from one point to the next in a definitive, clear way.
Keep It Simple
You don’t need to speak to your audience like they’re dumb, but you need to be aware of the fact that they likely have a short attention span and may have no background knowledge about what you’re explaining.
Keep your language and sentence structure simple and drilled down to the essentials.
Rather than trying to get tons across in the script, make sure that you’re conveying messaging with the other elements of the video like the music. You can also work on triggering some emotion. That can be humor just as an example.
Finally, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself as you’re writing a script. First, why do you want to create this video? What is your primary objective? Why does the audience care? What is it at the end of the video you hope your audience walks away thinking and feeling?