We’ve already covered how to figure out what you’re going to say in your explainer video script and how you should structure the content. In this article, you’re going to learn 7 tips and tricks to improve your writing and the overall effectiveness of your explainer video.
The 7 things we’re going to dive into are:
1). Overwrite, then condense
2). Target word count
3). How long should your video be?
4). Use Active Language
5). Write with the visuals in mind
6). Test your script
7). A/B Testing
1). Over write your first draft and then condense it down.
Don’t be too concerned about making your explainer video script perfect or the right length on the first draft. Start by getting all of your ideas written down as fast as you can. Don’t judge or edit or worry about getting the perfect word choice, just focus on documenting all of your ideas.
Once you’ve gotten everything out of your head and written down, go through your script and start cutting it down, editing and consolidating your ideas. Be specific and concise with your language because every word counts.
Before you even started writing, in the previous article, I recommended that you write down what key details you need to include in your script. Did you do that? If so, it should be easier to know which parts of the script should stay in and what extra details can be cut out.
2). Word count
Aim for 125-150 words for each minute of animation. 150 words per minute (or 2.5 per second) is the comfortable average we recommend people aim for. Yes, you could cram 180 words into a one minute long animation. However, the more words you cram in there, the harder it will be for your audience to follow.
Additionally, good videos have tension and release with the voiceover. There should be varying energy and pauses throughout to highlight specific points. If you are trying to squeeze in as many words as possible into 60 seconds, there isn’t going to be enough time to allow for these important moments to happen in your video.
3). Overall length:
60 seconds really is the sweet spot for explainer videos. 30 second videos and 90 second videos also perform well. 2 minute videos can be done well but the retention rates are lower. If your video is longer, consider splitting it up into 2 or more parts.
4). Use active language (don’t sound passive)
“Use specific and active language in your script” sounds more effective than, “You should be specific and think about the words you want to use in your script.” Positive, affirmative words deliver your message in a more pleasant fashion. Using the past tense or negative words detracts from your viewer’s cognitive experience of watching and taking in your message.
Which of these lines do you think converts better?
“We’re not very expensive”
“We’re affordably priced.”
5). Write with the visuals in mind
As you draft the script for the voiceover for your video, bear in mind that the visual story is meant to enhance the things you are trying to communicate. So, if you can show something instead of directly saying it, do so! It’s also a great opportunity to cut down on your word count.
One of our clients wanted the voiceover to list all the countries where heart disease is prevalent. We didn’t want to make the viewer to listen to a long list of countries. Instead, we suggested they show a map during that part of the video and visually highlighted the countries where heart disease is prevalent. This helped them shave a lot of words (and time) off of their explainer video script.
6). Test your animated video explainer script
Read your script to people. Actually check with people outside the sales and marketing team to make sure you’re not over-engineering it or putting in too much marketing speak. Speak to your target audience the way they talk. Use their language/vernacular and slang. For tech products, make sure you’re speaking at the level of technical sophistication as the person making purchasing decisions.
Ensure your message works for your audience before all the time and love is spent creating beautiful custom visuals for your animated video. Changing your script and storyboard after the design phase has already begun can lead to extra costs added to the final production budget for your explainer video.
7). A/B Testing
If time and budget permits, we recommend people create variations for the intro and the end of your animated explainer video script. Testing different introductions means you might come up with one version that gets more people’s attention and holds it longer. Testing different endings is important because that’s where you deliver the call to action – the real driving metric of success, getting people to take action.
To learn more about script writing for explainer videos, check out this companion article: How to write an animated video explainer script
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about writing your script or if you want to speak with us about having one of our writers develop your script for you. This video provides additional tips about how to write your script and shows how to get production started on your video once your script is ready. To connect with us about improving your script or having our writers help you create your explainer video script, write to: [email protected]