Making an animated explainer video is exciting. You can just picture those colorful images going across the screen, drawing people in and convincing them to do whatever it is you want them to do.
But, before you get to the the cool visuals you need to have a solid foundation to build the video on and that means script writing. One of our talented script writers has already gone over what you should bring to the table when you decide to get an animated explainer video made, but if you want to try your hand at script writing, here are seven tips on how to write video scripts that sell.
Before you write your script, heed these basics:
- Know your audience.
- Know your message.
- Have a call to action.
Once you’ve got the preliminary stuff covered, it’s time to put pen to paper.
1. Remember to K.I.S.S.
No, this has nothing to do with puckering up, but it has everything to do with keeping things … short. We know this acronym has traditionally been “Keep it simple, stupid,” and the simple still applies, but we’re switching it up to “Keep it Super Short.”
Use as much time as you need to use to explain your concept clearly and not a second more. People’s attention drifts if you’re not engaging them or you’re using more time than necessary. Even the most interesting of subjects will fail to keep people’s attention if you take too long to get to your point.
Speaking of getting to your point …
2. Put the Crux of Your Message in the Opening 30 Seconds
“Crux” is a great word, isn’t it?
And it’s important because it means the pivotal point of something. Boil your entire video’s message down to one single sentence and try to get that sentence into the first 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be the very first sentence, but it should be within that first half-minute so your audience has an early and clear indication of what this video is about.
3. Be Direct
To quote some old movie we’ve seen snippets of: “Are you talkin’ to me?”
Your audience shouldn’t have to ask this question. They should know that you’re talking directly to them. Just like we’re talking directly to you with this blog post, you should use second-person pronouns like “you,” “your” and “thou.” (Maybe skip the “thou,” though.)
Thou will also want to speak directly to them in terms of what you can do for them. Your product or service may have some fancy features, but people don’t care about features unless those features help them in some way. So, tell your audience how the features of your product or service make their lives easier. (Also, definitely skip the “thou.”)
Don’t get overly technical, don’t get preachy, get friendly and trustworthy. It’s that bond of trust that will lead to sales.
4. Set the Tone
That whole “know your audience” thing will help you here because you have to envision who exactly you’re making this video for and what exactly you want them to do at the end of it. You can opt for serious or zany. Perhaps you want to scare them into doing something by showing them something bad happening and then how your product prevents that?
If you have story driven characters in your video that you have to write dialogue for, imagine real people from you life as placeholders. The dialogue will be more natural if you can imagine real people you know saying it.
The tone of your video will help you set everything else up because it will all be to serve that tone, including the setting, the narrator, the tempo of the video and what is said and presented.
5. Use Storytelling
Dry facts and figures aren’t good to use when you’re trying to convince people to take an action that ultimately results in them giving you money. Instead, give them a story they can follow and a character they can identify with. Put that character into a problem-solution situation where they have a problem they need solved and your product or service provides the solution.
For example, Jenny has been asked to the big dance by Dennis, but she has an acne outbreak that has really put a damper on her self confidence (problem), but your product, Acne Crusher, clears up acne outbreaks quickly (solution) and now Jenny’s face is acne free. Anyone who suffers from acne outbreaks like Jenny should order some Acne Crusher online (call to action).
People love stories, even simple ones, with characters they can identify with.
6. Humor You Audience
Humor in a business video is a great tool for storytelling, but you have to use it carefully since it’s so subjective and the wrong kind of humor or poorly timed humor can even cost you leads and get you in trouble.
The humor you’re using should fit with the story you’re telling and you shouldn’t have to ask if it’s appropriate. (If you have to ask yourself whether it’s appropriate, it’s not.) Whether you script humor right into your video or you rely more on the animation to get a sight gag across, something that makes your audience smile or laugh will stick with them.
7. Use Pacing
You may have a lot to say and you may physically be able to say it quickly, but you should refrain from trying to stick too much spoken information into your explainer video. The voiceover needs space so the viewers can really absorb what is being said. Too much information or information that is spoken too quickly will cause roadblocks to comprehension and will likely cause people to abandon your video.
A good rule of thumb is to keep voiceovers to 125-150 words per minute, but the best way to judge whether your pacing is good is to read your script aloud to someone unfamiliar with the subject matter to see if they can follow it. Really complex subjects can always be explained with a series of videos.
It’s important to remember that an explainer video script isn’t something to rush through to get to the good stuff. It’s the foundation for the whole video, so take as much time as you need to get it right. Ask for feedback on it and make the adjustments you need to get your message across as clearly as possible in as little time as possible.
You know what kind of animation really sells? 2D. Click here to get started on planning and pricing your very own 2D animation video. We can even help you with the script if you need it.