How To Write An Animated Explainer Video Script

When you start making an animated explainer video, it is important to take the time to write a strong script for your video because it is the framework from which your animated visuals will be  created. Everything from the voiceover to the visual style will be informed by the decisions that are made during the script writing process. This explainer video guide will teach you Video Igniter’s tips, tricks and best practices for writing a script that will help deliver results for your sales and marketing.

Before you start writing

Before you even begin formulating the concept for your script, here are a few points we ask our clients to think through (and preferably write down!):

1). What is the goal for this video?
2). Who is this video for?
3). What is the core message you want to convey? Or what is the process to get to success?
4). Why should people care?

 

1). What is the goal for this video?

Start by being concrete about what action you want people to take when they’ve finished watching your video. Do you want them to sign up for a free account? Should they contact you for more information? Or download your app? Whatever that thing is you want your audience to do to move one step down the funnel towards a relationship with your company, be concrete about what that goal is and then use the whole video to illustrate why it’s in the best interest of your target audience to do that thing.

2). Who is this video for?

Being specific about who your target audience is very helpful because it informs what you say and how you should say it. If everyone is your target audience, you’re going to have a more challenging time creating a compelling message that applies to everyone. On the other hand, the more you can connect with the way your target audience talks, the more effective your video will be.

We’ve created hundreds of animated explainer videos for tech companies and we always want to know whether or not we’re creating a video for a ‘technical’ audience. If it is a technical audience, we’ll spend more time illustrating the process and the details for how a new system works. If the audience for that tech product/service is going to be purchased by someone who is less technologically savvy, then we’ll ease off the technical mumbo-jumbo and focus more on the value and benefits the service will bring about if it gets implemented.

Knowing who your specific audience is enables you to make informed decisions during the writing process because you’re able to speak directly to what resonates with them. If your company sells in multiple industries, you should consider creating different versions of your explainer video that specifically illustrate the ways you serve the problems of each industry.

3). What is the core message you want to say?

It sounds obvious that you should know what you want to say in your video – after all, it is about your company/product/service. But if you don’t take the time to consider what’s really important to say in your video, there’s going to be a temptation to want to cram in as many details as possible – and that is going to clutter and distract from the parts of your message that are important.

Before you start writing your script, be specific about what key talking points need to be conveyed in the video so that you can prioritize those messages when drafting your script. In fact, we recommend you actually write them down and not keep them in your head so that you can see what key details you actually committed to before you started writing your video script.

You only get about 150 words for a one minute long video which means every word counts. Focus the story of your script around these main points (2-3 are good for a 1 minute video). Anything that doesn’t support the narrative around these main talking points should be cut out so that you don’t detract from the main purpose of the video.

4). Why should people care?

So far, it’s all been about me in this creative exercise: how do I benefit. As you go through the script writing process, everything must be written from the perspective of your target audience – speak directly to what matters to them. You can make a good video that talks about how awesome you are, but your video will be more effective if you focus on your audience’s problems and how you can solve them to make their lives better.

Explainer Video Structure:

Now that you’ve documented the key details, here is how you should structure and organize your explainer video outline:

1). What is the problem
2). What is the solution
3). How does it help / what is the process to get success?
4). What should interested people do next?

Script Writing Time:

When you’re ready to write your explainer video script, don’t worry about getting it right the first time. Just follow this video script template, get your ideas on paper and come back later to refine them and make them more cohesive.

1). Introduce the problem

What is a real problem or pain point that your target audience experiences and how can you creatively illustrate that idea in a way that uniquely resonates with them? A lot of explainer video scripts start with the words, “Meet Bob…” and then go on to talk about how Bob works in <insert corporate department here> within a big company and he has this problem. This explainer video structure works because it’s simple and straightforward, but you have a bigger opportunity to connect with your target audience if you can create a unique visual scenario to illustrate their problem.

While you are writing the script for the introduction, think about how you can tell a visual story or create a visual metaphor that illustrates the nature of the problem your audience experiences, rather than just saying, “Bob hates importing contacts into his CRM.”

For a 60 second explainer video, introducing the problem typically takes about 10 seconds or roughly 25 words.

~# of Seconds Approximate Word Count
30 Second Video 5 13
60 Second Video 10 25
90 Second Video 15 37

2). Introduce the solution (your product or service)

Here’s the moment where your company/product/service gets to shine – but don’t come on too strong like you’re an advertisement. Your product or service gets introduced to the scenario from the introduction and is presented as a solution to improve the status quo. When your product/service gets introduced, magic happens and your target audience gets the first clue that the big pain in their life or their job can be remedied.

For a 60 second explainer video, the introduction of the solution typically lasts 10 seconds or about 25 words.

~# of Seconds Approximate Word Count
30 Second Video 5 13
60 Second Video 10 25
90 Second Video 15 37

 

3). How does it help / what is the process to get to success?

Remember when I said to be clear about what your main talking points are? Well this is the area to bring those details into your explainer video script. It’s now your job to paint a picture of how your solution improves the scenario through it’s unique value and benefits. Many companies say their product/service can “Save you time and money” – instead, you should use animation as a unique way to tell a visual story about the actual way you are enabling someone to save time and money.

 

Time-pending, we recommend you use this part of the video script to talk about your top 3 talking points. Don’t just tell people, show them 3 ways you make their life better. You get about 10 seconds for each talking point. In some cases, particularly for videos about tech products with a tech-savvy target audience, it makes more sense to spend this part of the video explaining the exact process that helps the target audience accomplish something new – how do they get from where they were to where they could be.

For a 60 second explainer video, the main section of your video typically lasts 30 seconds or about 75 words.

~# of Seconds Approximate Word Count
30 Second Video 10 25
60 Second Video 30 75
90 Second Video 45 37

 

4). What should interested people do next? Compelling CTA

Here’s where you take it all home. Summarize how life can be better for your target audience and how they take the first step to making that part of their life. Typical CTAs include signing up for a free account, contacting a sales rep, and downloading an app.

For a 60 second explainer video, the CTA section typically lasts 10 seconds or about 25 words.

~# of Seconds Approximate Word Count
30 second video 10 25
60 second video 10 25
90 second video 15 37

 

This is a tried and true animated video script template for crafting a narrative that gets people interested in learning more about your product/service/organization. For more tips and tricks to revise and improve your script, check out our article called: 7 Tips to Supercharge Your Explainer Video Script Writing.

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]

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