An explainer video script is a narrative read by voice actor for an animated video. The script is a quality explainer’s cornerstone.
Writing an video script is a tricky matter. A good video must have a uniquely written script instead of a template. The purpose of handwriting script is each company has a different target market, and they have a different preference. Diction, phrasing, and references in a script that reflect the company’s character is also a set of sign from a quality explainer.
A voiceover is the other half of the video’s visual aspect. They work in harmony: the voiceover explains what might be overlooked in the visual, and the visual shows what the voiceover can’t quite deliver with words alone.
That said, writing an animated video script is a handful — but you can do it yourself, assuming you have the time.
Having written over 2,000 explainer scripts, our writing team has passed on some of their wisdom about video scripts.
Based on what they’ve told me, I decided to write a blog post about their tips, or guide, for writing an explainer video script and I’m going to share them with you.
Here are insiders’ tips for writing an excellent script:
Write with illustratable words.
Our new clients who come to us prepared with script often use complicated words that even our writers have to look up first. In order for the video to represent your script well, you need to use simple words that can be easily translated into visual action to avoid a problem in the illustration process.
You’ll see an easy example in: “lots of documents,” vs “a stack of paperwork”. Which one do you think will be easier to visualize?
Simple changes in dictions can help the graphics designer to create a much more accurate illustration of the subject.
Keep in mind that explainers are short. Writing a script that can be represented visually means conveying a lot more information about a product within a short 60 seconds of an explainer clip.
When we started creating explainer clips, all we cared about was smooth animation and pretty illustrations. We now have learned that a poorly visualized script can be fatal for an animated clip. They are a great marketing tool because it has both visual and audio information that help viewers learn.
Show your sense of humor.
Two purposes drive people to watch a video: to gather information or to be entertained. You have to understand that there is enough ads and salesman in the world.
Bettina Hein, the co-author of Video Marketing for Dummies, says that the most successful marketing videos have both humor and information, which is why humor in video marketing is such an important and popular tool.
Check out this hilarious video by Dollar Shave Club on YouTube. Their catchphrase “Our blades are f***kin great!” is what had me in awe.
An explainer video is a marketing tool, and sometimes it’s hard to get people’s attention when a video is exclusively about you trying to sell a product. In Dollar Shave Club’s case, though, they handled everything like a pro.
There is enough humor to make you (or at least me) burst out a laugh that was audible to the entire office. I find this kind of video really entertaining and refreshing coming from a commercial company. Within a video less than three minutes, they reeled thousands of customers in their early days.
I don’t mean to say that humor is the only way to write a video script, but it definitely a viable solution to overcome the promotional video stigma, and it works.
In a nutshell, if you put your sense of humor into your script, your audience will feel amused throughout the video.
Emphasize your words and tone.
Write your script in a way that can be easily read by the voiceover. That means including the pace and tone as well as the words or phrases that you want to highlight.
These things matter for your explainer because the tone is what brings your brand to life: It helps shape your brand’s persona in the eyes of your audience.
When you’re thinking about using an explainer video as part of your video marketing, your first thought might be about the amazing and creative visuals your viewers will see. That’s the most common mistake about video marketing.
To address, avoid and solve this issue, you must not forget that the tone of voice is more important for branding your business than anything else. Essentially, the tone of voice should reflect the brand’s personality and value.
Don’t forget that in an explainer clip you can be more playful with words and pronunciation. Some clever puns never hurt since your viewers will be able to hear how the words are pronounced, so there will be context.
Write like you talk.
Writing like the way you talk isn’t an excuse to write poorly or provide content that doesn’t have any real value.
Write like you talk, or technically known as ‘conversational tone’ describes a way of writing that is free of big words and technical mumbo-jumbo that are not reader-friendly.
Good writing is like a conversation between the writer and the reader. So, when you’re writing your explainer video script, imagine yourself trying to explain your products to a close friend.
However, writing with conversational tone is not an excuse to blurt out a bad script. Write like you talk means you write like how you speak to your friends, but in it should be the things you say to impress your boss.
If you were having an actual conversation about your business with a friend, what kind of words would you use? What tone would you speak with?
And if you were pitching an idea to your boss, you would put an effort to impress him with that idea, right?
Apply those to your video script and you’re off to an incredible start in making an awesome animated clip.
Write just enough.
An explainer video script should only as long as it needs to be. There’s a reason you have all of those characters and objects moving around: to make you talk less. Based on our data, an average 60-second script has 160–180 words in it.
That number may vary mainly due to:
- Pauses and stresses
As a matter of fact, it is possible for a voice actor to read up to 240 words per minute. Read more about animated video length in my in-depth analysis here.
Longer scripts for an explainer clip will not perform well when shared to social media like Facebook or Instagram.
Apply The Classic Structure.
Last but not least, you need to implement the classic structure of any narrative script ever. Remember, a great explainer video is the one that serves as a story and promotion at the same time.
The first thing you should address before anything else in an explainer video script is what problem the viewers are experiencing. This will shape viewers perspective as someone having that specific problem and therefore giving an opening to introduce your product or service better.
The introduction part of your explainer video should be very brief. For example, if we were to introduce ourselves it would be: “We’re breadnbeyond and we help startups explain their products with animated videos” or something along that line. Sharp, focus, and to the point.
Explain the reason your proposed solution to the problem is better than anyone else’s. Your message in this subject shouldn’t beat around the bush. Just straight up “We’re better than Acme company because we’re cheaper and just as good”.
The next part should explain how you solve the aforementioned problem better than any other company in the market right now. There should be clear steps showing your product or service is actually capable of solving the problem. This approach is effective in ensuring viewers that your solution isn’t just another flop.
By using these script writing tips, you will able to build an emotional story to motivate viewers to buy your products or use your services.
You should read our video production guide and our other posts\ to gather more insights about explainer videos online . We also made an infographic that you can add to your resources. Feel free to embed it to your website (and please link back to us!).
Still in search for more information about your explainer video script? Leave comments below so I can help you out!
One of our best explainer was made for Pinterest, and it has been viewed more than 160,000 times.