29 Sep 2016 / by Dale Sullivan / in Explainer Videos
Need To Write A Perfect Script For Your Explainer Video?
Explainer videos have the massive potential to tell a powerful story about your company in 1 minute. It’s more than just displaying the most advanced visual effects, a good video has to ‘pack a punch’ and the script that engages your target audience is the key to its success. The script is the foundation, that if done right, will take the video to great heights.
But how do you create a simple video script – that latches on to the viewer and never lets go? Heed the words of the wise: Planning is the key to success. You need to define your target audience and what they want, determine the message you want to send and include a simple, but compelling call to action. Here are 8 ways that will help you craft that perfect script:
1. Key Message In First 10 – 30 Seconds
Many companies get so drenched in their very own lingo that it shows through too strongly in their marketing activities, and the key message can be lost on the target audience they’re hoping to reach.
So begin with a bang! A TV commercial has just 30 seconds to say everything it needs to and the equivalent is true for the explainer video. The average online users attention span is short these days, which means you need to include words to hook them in before they start thinking of what they want to eat for lunch.
55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website.
So try to choose the main message that you really need to communicate. Having trouble thinking of the main message? Imagine reducing the whole video down to a single sentence. What would it be?
It might be something like…
“Welcome To Drag-n-Drop, the easy Drag and Drop theme for WordPress websites.”
“Tired of trying to get your CV in order again? Welcome to myCV, the automatic online CV creator”
So the main message is like a headline for a sales letter and will hook the viewer in so that they want to find out more. People are curious, and you can tap in to that.
2. Short And Simple
Attempting to explain everything there is to know about a product or service is often self-defeating, as it will bombard the viewer with too much information and they won’t remember anything. So simply pick the main points and leave out the rest.
One way to tackle complex products or services is to break them down to 3 easy steps, such as – “in 3 steps you can pick a design, add your content and then go live!” Remember less is more, you want the audience to take in everything and feel like they are accomplishing something. If the product has lots of benefits you can stick to showing a few of the best and adding “with many more” and perhaps introduce a couple more images in the animation to illustrate them.
An explainer video should only be about 60 to 90 seconds long, 150 words per minute maximum. In that length of time, the narrative should engage your target audience. The average web surfer invests appoximately 90 seconds of their time to check out a good video before moving on to something else, so keep the script short and sweet, with emphasis on a simple message. If you use words that are difficult to understand by the average viewer, they’ll lose interest faster than you can say ‘meaningless jargon’.
3. Make It Personal
The most powerful messages get to the heart of the viewer. Using the words “you” and “your” can keep it direct and personal. Show them things that they care about. They don’t want to know how great your business is doing – instead, discuss things that matter to them and will help their business.
Introducing things that would be of interest to them will help build trust in your business and improve your brands personality. Get them on your side, and pretty soon, they will be buying your product or service.
4. Target And Tone
Take a mental snapshot of your target audience and picture them in your mind when selecting the tone of the animation video. Do you want it to be casual, conversational, fun, humorous or corporate? A casual, conversational tone is the most popular!
Try to sum up the reason why you are making this video and what action you want the viewer to do when they reach the end. These two things will more or less give you the tone you are looking for and should help you attract the right audience.
5. Story Structure
Its good to start out with a basic story structure – Problem, Solution, How It Works & Call To Action – Many explainer video scripts start out with a problem in the first 20 seconds ie “feeling tired and fed up?” and leads to a solution in around 20 – 25 seconds ie “Drink Energeee an organic and 100% natural energy drink”. Then go on to explain how the product works in 25 – 50 seconds ie “Energeee is made of magical rainbows and water from the fountain of youth”, which concludes with a call to action in the last 50 – 60 seconds for example “Buy the Energeee drink now for youthful energy… Try for free”.
The solution shows how your product or service solves a customers’ problem or how it improves their situation, alongside the reason why they should purchase from you rather than from your competitors.
Tell your viewers the main benefits that your product or service provides them. A productive explainer video details the benefits they can offer the viewer to improve their life.
The call to action needs to be compelling, you want them to feel that it’s worth trying, overcoming all doubts. One way to do this is by giving them something risk free, like a free trial, demo, consultation, quote or perhaps a guarantee.
It might go something like…
“Click here to get started with a risk-free trial”
“Get started today with a 30 day trial”
“To see risk free plans and pricing, just (click button)”
“Contact us to schedule a free demo”
“Contact us today for your free consultation”
“For a free, no obligation quotation, contact us today”
“30 day satisfaction guarantee or your money back”
6. Ha Ha Humour
Including humour to an explainer video can help reduce the boredom factor and also compel viewers to watch the whole thing through to the end. Comedy is great to have in an animation as long as it supports your overall message. Craft a script that incorporates humour seamlessly into video; use appropriately and timely or you will miss out on one of the best engagement methods. You may include humour in the video’s dialogue, or introduce comedic scenes in the form of on-screen animation. Remember videos with a couple of subtle laughs tend to be more engaging and memorable.
How do I add humour into the script? You could add metaphors or similes into the script to help add comedic scenes to the animation.
Metaphor examples could be:
I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.
The computer at school is an old dinosaur.
She is a walking dictionary.
Simile (same as metaphors but uses the word like or as) examples could be:
He cried like a baby.
She is as blind as a bat.
He was as busy as a bee.
7. Go With The Flow
The spoken dialog should be at an optimal 120 to 150 words per minute. Sure, you may be able to do 200 words per minute, but bear in mind that voice overs are more effective when they match the pace of the viewer and provide ample time for them to absorb what the explainer video is conveying. If you are speaking too fast, then viewers might quickly lose attention and watch something else.
Don’t skimp on producing a great script when creating an explainer video. Take your time and make sure to do it right! Ask some friends and co-workers to hear the finished script and get their feedback.
8. Voice Over & Visuals
Approximately 65 percent of the population are visual learners.
OK, this isn’t about the script itself but the voice over and visuals are important. The script is the single most important element but the other supporting elements need to be done properly so that they are all viewed harmoniously, to further bring home the key message. To put it another way, we all know the script is the foundation upon which everything is built, but you don’t build the foundations for the Great Pyramid of Giza, and then build a playground on top of it.
So, after spending hours on the script don’t go and throw it all away by having a poor quality voice over. A professional voice over is a must and you can pick one up on www.Voiceovers.co.uk, Voices.com, or even www.fiverr.com.
Also don’t scrimp on the visuals and animation. A poor quality overall look and feel can have a damaging effect on your brand image. Simple illustrations with clean transitions are perfect for animations like these because they’ll still be clear on smaller devices, like mobiles, ipads and tablets.
So to sum up –
- Key Message in 10 – 30 seconds – Start with a bang!
- Short and Simple – Cut back on benefits and use simple language.
- Make It Personal – Speak directly to the viewer (“you”, “your”) & show them things that they care about.
- Target And Tone – Sum up reasons why you are making the video and who you want to reach.
- Story Structure – Stick to a story structure (Problem, Solution, How It Works & Call To Action)
- Ha Ha Humour – A couple of subtle laughs tend to be more engaging.
- Go With The Flow – Optimally 120 to 150 words per minute of video.
- Voice Over & Visuals – Don’t go and throw it all away by having a poor quality voice over & visuals.
If you feel we have left something out, or if you have any other ideas and experiences for creating a script, then don’t hesitate to comment in the box below.
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