An engaging explainer video is a powerful B2B marketing tool but everything needs to hang off that all important script. We can help you make sure it’s spot on.
There’s always a buzz in the studio whenever we get a brief for a new explainer video.
It’s a great chance for us to combine our creative talents, work with talented partners and explore new techniques.
But before getting stuck in to character styling, illustrations, music or animation we always make sure we get the foundation right – with a well-written, refined and punchy script.
After all, an eye-poppingly dazzling animation is no use if people switch off and miss the point because it doesn’t make sense.
So, how can you make sure your script is a real attention-grabber?
In the first part of our script writing guide, here are 5 tips to get you started on the right foot:
1. Think about your objectives
This one sounds obvious but it’s very easy to dive straight in and start writing everything you know about a product or service. But, is that what people want to hear?
To capture attention – and sustain it – you need to be talking about benefits and prove how your product or service will make lives better or improve a bottom line.
And the best way to write like that is to be clear in your own mind about your audience, key messages and calls to action from the very beginning.
2. Be honest and clear with your audience
Again, you’d think this would be a given but you’d be surprised how many videos we see that talk about ‘our customers can do this’ or ‘our clients can do that’.
You need to make anyone watching your video feel like you are talking one-on-one with them so make sure you use words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ and put real effort into getting the tone right.
Rather than trying to lecture your audience, write in a way that’s more conversational and be clear at all times. That way people are more likely to trust you and buy into what you have to say.
3. Write line by line
Rather than writing long paragraphs of text, write your script in single sentences of text with a break after each sentence.
Not only is this easier for any colleagues (or voiceover artist) to follow, but you’ll find it easier to keep an eye on the flow and rhythm of the copy.
In writing this way you can also include important details about any action that needs to happen at a particular point – which could be displaying text or statistics on screen when a phrase is read out.
4. Get your hook in early
If you’ve successfully completed point 1 above, then you should be able to write what your video is about in just one sentence.
Put this sentence to good use and make sure to include a version of it within the first 75 words of your script.
It will give your audience a clear reason to stick with the rest of your content if they know exactly why they are watching.
5. Be brief
Let’s face it, attention spans are short – especially when people are online. So you need to grab attention and then complete your pitch as soon as possible.
We’ve found recently that somewhere around two minutes is perfect for online explainer videos – shorter if possible but certainly no longer than four minutes.
As a rule of thumb work to 150 words for every minute of video. So if you can cover everything you need to say in 300 words or less you’re in business.
And there ends part one of our scriptwriting masterclass.
Hopefully that will help get the ball rolling with your next explainer video.
Next up: we’ll look at five more tips and tricks that will help you refine your work and ensure you can give the production team the prefect platform for success.