Avoid these 3 things when drafting a script for an explainer video.
Before you make a video, you need a script. Seems obvious, but the script is something that’s often underestimated. Too often, the thinking is: making a professional marketing video is difficult – it takes special skill and equipment – but the script…it’s just words on paper, right? Anyone can do it….
Well, sure, anyone can put words on paper, but making a strong script for an explainer video is not as easy as it seems. Of course, an explainer is not a feature film that requires weeks/ months/years of development and rewrites, but it still takes some know-how to write one that works well for your brand. A bad script will result in a terrible video regardless of how awesome the visuals are. It needs to be done right before any major work can begin.
Every video is a little bit different and so each script will have some variance. For instance, a live action explainer will include different elements than an animated video, a funny explainer will have certain beats, and so on. Overall, though, all explainers will have similar structure and traits.
There are also things that all explainers should avoid. Here are three of them.
Density is Calamity
There’s a temptation to cram every single word of your marketing copy into your script. You want your video to be informative and comprehensive. Often the misconception is that the explainer is THE sales tool, instead of it being just one part of many. The problem then is that you have a script that is way too long. A good length of an explainer is between 60 to 90 seconds because audiences don’t usually watch a video more than that. A one-minute video script is only about 200 words. That means you have to be selective in what you want in the video.
You’ll need to condense sentences. Prioritize content and cut the lower priority items. Figure out what can be conveyed visually. It’s better to focus on one message and reinforce it than to have several that audiences probably won’t remember.
Solutions rather than Problems
Explainer video scripts are structured in this simple order: problem, solution, details and conclusion. The problem discusses the status quo and the issues that plague the world. This is the part that hooks the audience who we hope has experienced the pains and wants a rescue. It’s important in getting viewers to continue watching your video, but it shouldn’t be the main focus.
A bad explainer script will be front-heavy. That is, it spends too much time dwelling on the issues. You want the focus to be more on the solution rather than the problem. That is, the video should be about your brand. Everyone should already be aware of the problems that exist in their world. They don’t know that much about the solution – you. Talk about your brand. Focus on it.
Know your Audience
The language and tone of the explainer is a huge factor in how your brand is conveyed to the world. If an engineer is writing the script, it most likely will sound like an engineer wrote it. If a sales person writes it, it may sound very salesy. These are not necessarily bad things, especially if your audience are engineers or sales people, but it may not have the same human or emotional elements that connects people to brands.
It’s always best to be conversational. Even if you need to add some techy terms or industry lingo to appeal to your target markets, be conversational. You’re not trying to sell anything or educate anyone. You’re simply having a conversation and informing people about who you are and what you do.
At the end of the day, an explainer video is meant to inspire people to take action. You want to connect and get your audience interested. The script is just the beginning of the process of creating an explainer, but a very important one.