Explainer Video Script

How to Write an Explainer Video Script? 7 Easy Steps

How To Write Explainer Video Script

Explainer videos are making quite the buzz these days, and if you haven’t realized the potential of this format by now, you are seriously missing out. Anyways, even if you manage to produce a high-quality explainer video with breathtaking visuals, it would be a waste if the script is not up to the mark. Keep reading as we do a breakdown of the importance of a ‘script’ and how you can succeed in writing one in the perfect manner!

An explainer video script plays a huge role in the overall production process as all explainer video production companies would testify. The storyline, flow of words – all of them matter. A well-written script can even help a mediocre ad succeed. Unfortunately, most brands focus on ‘fancy’ visuals while undermining the most important aspect i.e. scripts.

Importance Of An Explainer Video Script

To explain the importance of an explainer video script, and why you should invest in one, let’s take a look at the one made by the Dollar Shave Club

This company’s ad merely costs $4500 to make, yet has millions of views on every social platform. The 8-year-old ad had a great script. It was hilarious from the start to the end. The script managed to grasp the attention of viewers. Production quality didn’t matter, the script was more than enough.

Even scientifically, Allan Paivio’s Dual-Coding Theory suggests that the brain perceives audio and visuals separately. Meaning that, by creating an explainer video that thrives on both – audio and visuals, you are increasing the chances of your viewer receiving it well.

Creating An Amazing Explainer Video Script Takes Time

There’s a common myth that explainer videos are lackluster, boring, and straight-up nonsensical. Sadly, it is true to a certain extent. Most brands underestimate their potential and don’t spend enough time on research. Before creating a commercial, go through past examples and take your time researching before you understand what it takes to create successful explainer videos.

Don’t just follow the typical route of ‘think, create, execute’ – distill your brand’s core values and how it can be perfectly depicted in a 30-second explainer video, for example. Luckily, we’re here to help you with that. Keep reading and learn more about the entire process – starting off with, ‘how to write scripts’.

Here are the major steps to writing a script:

7 Step Process To Write A Successful Explainer Video Script

It’s a simple, straightaway process. Know your story, and how you’ll explain it to consumers. The ‘story’ is the key foundation in a script. So, let’s take a look at how you can execute it well:

#1)  Know Your Narrative

Brands often overlook their own message and flow away from the actual purpose. The end result is a video that is all over the place and the viewer doesn’t have a clue of what’s going on. To avoid such disastrous mistakes, acknowledge your story.

In any explainer video, there’s a scenario and how your product or service can help solve it. It’s not necessary to follow this format, but it’s highly recommended.

  • Showcase a scenario: Firstly, before delving into the problem itself, familiarize the audience with a scenario. But consider the time frame as well. You don’t want to bore the audience with needless information. Keep it concise. Also, make sure it’s relatable to the target audience.
  • Solve a particular problem: Once the audience gets comfortable, slide in with the problem, and advertise your brand. Add CTAs, slogans, promotional deals – outline it perfectly. It should be a linear process. The scenario, the problem, and its ultimate solution – depicted in a short, powerful explainer video.

Although, these are vague guidelines. Story scripts can be often complex and require a lot of brainstorming. So, here are a few questions you should reflect upon. It’ll help you realize your shortcomings, and what you need to be aware of. Even an easy script requires a breakdown. So, let’s get into it:

  • What’s your long-term goal? Don’t create an explainer video for the sake of it. Take a look at your business model and how a ‘video’ can be lucrative. The script should be accordingly as well.
  • How is the plot looking like? Is the video too complicated? Remember, the goal is to help customers.
  • Who’s Your Target Audience? The script’s tone needs to be according to the culture, religion, and socio-economic conditions of the people you are communicating to.
  • Is CTA detailed? Where will your customer go? Acknowledge how the video will end. Write sentences from a CTA perspective.
  • What format are you going along with? These days, an animation script format is very much a major part of the overall animation process. In fact, marketers are using animated videos more so, every day. A whiteboard explainer, 3D animated explainer – there are numerous types, choose wisely.

#2)  Breakdown Your Story

Growing up, we all have gone through some sort of inferiority complex. Especially when it comes to comprehending ‘complex’ text. Hilariously, there was a book series, titled – ‘for dummies’. The goal was simple – help customers understand difficult concepts in the easiest way possible, without any gibberish. Surprisingly, the series has been sold far more than any academic book ever could – just because the masses easily understood it.

So, follow the same strategy in your explainer video script. Distill the story and market it, as if your target audience consisted of children. The enthusiasm, vocabulary, visuals, audio – every aspect should be easily comprehensible.

In our view, the perfect explainer video script should be entertaining to people of all ages. But don’t get carried away with it. As long as your ‘brand’ is family-friendly – there’s no harm in creating a funny, wholesome ad.

For example, Visa brilliantly explained their ‘purchase alert’ feature in this 30-second explainer video.

Overall, keep these two points in mind:

  • To create an amazing script, use a casual style
  • Use short, go-to sentences

#3)  Stay Culturally Relevant And Add Emotion

Touch your viewers on a personal level. Create a script that has a long-lasting impact. A lot of brands use social issues, politics, and cultural holidays in their videos for this very purpose.

For example, Coca-Cola crafted an ad where the premise revolved around family and Christmas. It had a Youtube center script. Titled as ‘the last customer’ – it has 2.7 million views on the video platform and is loved by consumers in the Philippines and even worldwide.

Even a corporate brand such as Erste Bank used a wholesome animated video for their Christmas campaign. The video didn’t seem like an ad at all – it connected with the viewers in a heartwarming way. The script, music, visuals – they all played a part in gathering over 52 million views!

Apart from these two examples, here are a few points worth looking at:

  • Confront in the second person. Speak in a personal tone, as if you are making an effort to know the audience. Use comforting words and create a relatable ambiance.
  • Use culturally relevant words. Use local-based words. If your brand is targeting a specialized local audience, it’s recommended to use relevant words in your slogan.

So, you might have realized by now that the ‘script’ needs to be emotionally captivating and should grasp the attention of users instantly. But don’t get overwhelmed by it. You don’t have to create a next-generation blockbuster ad every single time. Just create a script according to your brand voice and use a comforting tone. Basically, depict ’emotions’ in the video while not getting distracted. A corporate video production company would always ask you about your brand voice as well before it gets started on your video.

The brand’s tone matters a lot and the audience will acknowledge it as such. Showcase the brand as a friendly, go-to, comforting company that’ll cater to a customer’s needs.

#4)  Keep Length Of An Explainer Video In Consideration

How long should a script be? “How long is my script?” Nowadays, everyone consumes content on the go. In fact, stats show that the world is shifting more and more towards digital mediums every day.

It’s difficult to grasp someone’s attention in an already busy world. So, write your script accordingly. Explainer videos range from 30-seconds to even 5-minutes so it’s important to realize what’s best for you. Here are a few templates:

  • 15-60 seconds: ideal for everyday product videos; depicting a feature and new brand launches.
  • 1-3 minutes: to show explicit details. Perfect for videos with a longer narrative.
  • 3-5 minutes: established brands are recommended to use this format. If you want to showcase your brand’s message to its fullest, use this format.
  • Ideal word count. In terms of scripts, 130-150 words per minute are recommended.
  • Read time: before going through the production process, make sure that you’re aware of the read time. To figure out the length of your script, click here.

#5)  Voice Over Should Be In A Flow

While writing blogs, articles, or any editorial – creative artists often overlook the importance of ‘audio’. Using a crystal-clear voiceover is important in an explainer video, specifically whether you hire a voice artist or DIY.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Use simple words: the purpose of an ad is to raise awareness while keeping simplicity intact. So, check the flow of words – the pronunciation, syllables, everything that comes along with it. To make sure your script is readable, you can use Grammarly.
  • Rewrite phrases: simplify weird, complex, nonsensical phrases. Usually, consumers complain that explainer videos lack originality and have a ‘robotic’ tone. So, use natural, everyday sentences. The video’s voiceover should be relatable and to the point. Also, use active voice rather than passive. It depicts a direct tone.

#6)  Show Details

There’s an old saying that – ‘show, don’t tell’ and we need to adhere to it. Even psychologists recommend it. The brain craves visuals and is attracted to them. There’s a reason why most people can binge-watch a show in a day but will take ages to complete a book. Procrastination gets in the way, every time. Remember that our brain grasps concepts from ‘video’ 60,000 times faster. So, utilize this fact to your advantage!

Use animated instructional videos, do cartoon scriptwriting, create an animated screenplay – just focus on visuals. Mind-blowing graphics are definitely appealing to the eye and play a major in explainer videos.

#7)  Release Demo Videos

Before launching any product, it is necessary to test it out. Making a prototype and sharing it with your internal team first is a good place to start off with. So, before creating a fully-fledged explainer video, showcase a demo to ‘actual’ people. Do a survey, even.

Go through their recommendations and reactions – it’s better to test something out in front of a few people before it’s shown to millions. Gather different opinions, and reflect upon your script.

Conclusion

So, keep these seven steps in mind when writing a script for an explainer video and you’re good to go! Lastly, here’s a bit of general advice:

  • Stereotypical gimmicks. Brands often don’t step out of their comfort zone and use the same typical gimmicks, one after another. To stand out, you need to be creative. Viewers can easily pick up when a video is too ‘fake’, so be cautious of that. Cringe-worthy cartoon script writing is an absolute ‘no’ from us.
  • Keep drafting. There’s a huge chance that you’ll need to improvise again, and again. Rarely does a plan work out ideally. Your script will need constant drafts and revisions. It is a ‘must’ when it comes to creating content, unfortunately.
  • Showcase your brand’s potential. Do not get distracted while writing the script. Focus on your brand’s motive and showcase it in the maximum way possible. From, introducing it, highlighting its history, to concluding it with a final message – make your audience realize why they should invest in your product.

Related Article: 10 Impactful Video Storytelling Strategies

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