You may already know that animated explainer videos are not just made with cute characters. Before they even come to life, professional explainer video production includes a long process of nothing but hard work on a solid story.
But what’s the secret to writing a solid and engaging explainer video script? Today, you’ll get 5 awesome tips that can help you create a great one, or help you review the one you’ve already written.
You can also download our free ebook “how to write an explainer video script” (which is where our great tips and advice come from) or a Free script example.
#1. The Classic Script Structure
Every famous Hollywood movie script follows the same basic structure, so why can’t your video follow it too? Following this structure assures that your video script will be as engaging as a Hollywood flick for your audience.
This classic structure is based on 3 acts: a beginning, a middle and the conclusion. In an animated marketing video script, these acts remain quite similar but with a little reworking:
Act 1. “What”
The very first thing your script should explain is “what” the problem of your target audience is that your product or service solves. This will immediately engage your audience and make them want to watch the video all the way through. The “what” is the reason why people are looking for your animated explainer video, so you should make it clear right off the bat.
Act 2. “How”
Once you’ve settled on the problem, you have to explain “how” your product or service solves that problem. The solution has to be explained as simply and directly as possible. The audience has to grab it instantly, so there’s no way to be overtly detailed or promotional here.
Act 3. “Why”
Ok, now your audience knows how to solve their problem; but surely many other companies with similar products and services are able to solve it too. You need to tell your audience “why” they should choose yours instead of the competition. This is the most “salesy” part of the video because here’s when you describe your product’s features, benefits, and so on.
Sometimes, the “how” and “why” acts are quite similar and they overlap a little or they are actually the same thing, but that’s ok. Whether they’re similar or mixed-up, our advice is to not being too salesy all the way through: save the salesy part for the end.
Apart from this, always try to follow the classic structure as precisely as possible. That’s because it’s a tried-and-true narrative that pretty much everyone in the world is already familiar with. That familiarity will play in your favor, as people can subconsciously anticipate how your video will move forward and focus on what’s most important to you – your brand’s message.
Watch this cool animated video and see how it applies the 3-act structure:
#2. Make it Short
The longer a video is, the less likely people will be to watch it all the way through. This fact is field proven: 85% of people will watch an entire 30-second video, but only 50% will watch a video completely if it’s up to 2 minutes. That’s still a pretty decent number. Now, if a marketing video goes on for more than 2 minutes, viewership numbers begin to drop even faster!
So, what’s the lesson for your explainer video script here? Simple: try to be brief!
The script is what defines the length of your marketing video, but how do you know how long your script will be on video? Easy-peasy: 160 scripted words in English is equal to around one minute on video. At Yum Yum Videos, we believe that the magic number is 240 words: that’s 90 video seconds; enough time for you to explain your product or service without anyone losing interest in the story.
Check out this catchy animated video; I dare you not to watch it all the way through!
#3. Get Straight to the Point
You’ve already learned that an animated marketing video must be short enough to deliver your business idea quickly and directly, so that your audience steers clear of boredom world.
Now, another key piece of advice is: keep it simple! Don’t try to explain absolutely everything about your company in a single 2-minute-long script. Get straight to the point, and take the time to think about what’s important to include in your video and what’s not.
And, don’t you worry: later on, once your audience gets really interested in your product or service, you’ll have the time to explain the details that couldn’t make it into the video (with sales calls, blog articles, more videos, your own website, etc.).
Watch how we managed to explain how this awesome product works without getting into too much technical detail; just enough for the potential customer to be willing to install it:
#4. Focus on your Audience
The most important thing to keep in mind with your animated marketing video must always be your audience and how you can help them solve their problems. Don’t try to sell your audience anything, but rather, make them understand that you can actually help them instead; only then will they truly trust in your brand and decide to purchase your product or service.
And, be careful: if your video talks about your brand’s features the entire time, and overlooks your audience’s problems, you may lose a lot of conversion opportunities. In other words, the solution should always be the focus of any explainer video. It’s the association between that solution and your brand that will get you the potential new customers to your funnel.
#5. Have a Clear Call-to-Action
Finally, don’t forget to make it clear -in your script- what you want your audience to do after watching your video: from downloading an eBook or a free demo to sharing on social media, your call-to-action must be really clear and direct.
Don’t make multiple calls-to-action in the same video! Make only one, and make sure it’s straightforward and clear. Multiple call-to-actions only bring confusion that will dilute your efforts or worse – not have an effect at all.
However, if your marketing strategy requires different calls-to-action, you can always make different versions of the same marketing video with a different call-to-action in each; then, you could use them in different campaigns or conduct A/B testing to see which would be more successful.
Here’s a great animated marketing video example for you to analyze:
There are some additional things you should consider when writing the script, for instance:
- Find the right tone: keeping your audience in mind is more than just thinking about the solution they are looking for. It’s about remembering who they are, where they come from, their age and background. All of these will help you nail the right tone your video should have, a crucial decision that will determine the setting, narrator, cast, pace and dialogue type for the entire script.
- Take a shot at humor: perhaps you’ve noticed that many company videos that have gone viral over the last couple of years have more of a funny nature. That’s no coincidence. Research has found that funny content is more likely to be shared than serious content. If you’re able to find an unexpectedly funny angle for your business, you should try it. However, remember that you DON’T have to be funny just because – if you can find an angle, don’t force it.
- Discuss benefits, not features: I’ve said above that you don’t want to try to sound too “salesy”. A great way to achieve that is to talk about your product or service benefits, not its features. While it may seem tempting to talk about how technically capable your product is, getting too technical can backfire. So, instead of talking about a 50” HD screen, talk about the big sized TV that will gather the family around it. See the difference? The former is just a loose fact, the latter is an invitation for the customer to think of himself in that situation.
We always advise that any animated explainer video script be done by professionals (such as explainer video production companies that offer that service), who can really understand the script process and its cinematic value. But, you can always try to write it on your own at first, if your budget isn’t big enough.
Hungry for more? Learn all about marketing video scriptwriting inside our free eBook: “How To Write An Explainer Video Script (A Step-by-Step Guide)” where you are going to find a lot tips, best practices and all you need to make a great video script.