We use explainer videos to tell viewers “who you are,” and “why you matter,” in 90 seconds or less. But the first step to creating a successful video is developing a solid script. The script will develop the theme, tone, and effectiveness of your explainer video.
But don’t worry if you’re not Shakespeare or Seinfeld. You can make sure your video script is on point by keeping in mind some important guidelines.
Know Your Audience
In creative writing, they teach you to write like you’re writing a love letter to one specific person. Okay, so maybe its hard to write a love letter about your particular niche, or maybe your script is more on the funny than sentimental side, but the idea is to make your writing personal. Think about who your demographic is—then think about what makes them tick: what do they do in their spare time? what are their pet peeves? their passions? and why do you matter in their every day life? When you can narrow your audience down to a specific kind of person, its much easier to write in a way that resonates.
Keep it Short
In the third grade, I was so proud of myself for turning in a story that was seven pages long. My teacher smiled and encouraged me, but I can guarantee she never read my whole story. Statistics say that 99.99% of the human race has short attention spans, and hate being bored. The .01% might include your High School Algebra teacher.
The point is that even the best scripts need to be brief when it comes to explainer videos. That’s right, 90 seconds at the tippy tops, which is equivalent to around 225 words. But the thing is, that short is not always easy. Sometimes you need to start with a longer script to get the idea on paper and then edit, and edit again, then edit again and again.
A funny, but true Dr Seuss quote goes like this, “the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
Make a list of the features and facts about your business that MUST be included in the script, and then the things that WOULD BE NICE to be included. This will help you feel confident when it comes to slicing and dicing your script for brevity. Get an outsider perspective to help you make edits—sometimes its harder for a writer to make the cuts that are necessary. Getting a second opinion can help you gain a better vantage point for editing.
Make The Most of the First 15 Seconds
Not only should the first couple lines introduce who you are, but you should also create an intriguing hook that compels viewers to watch more. You can do this by posing a problem, or a question, or by making a bold statement. Unroll.Me is the perfect example of a video that poses a problem that everyone can relate to: Email Doesn’t Have to Suck. With over 125k views, their hook is clearly resonating with thousands of people.
“Nobody likes marketing that smacks of a sales pitch.”
Nobody likes marketing that smacks of a sales pitch. The key to an explainer video isn’t to get viewers to buy your product, at first. Of course you’re ultimate goal includes sales. You can even add a call to action or link to your sales page at the end. But using your video to sell yourself isn’t going to compel people to buy. Rather, your goal is to become the viewer’s new friend. In a world where we collect friends as easily as a button on Facebook, brands are challenged to do more than sell; they need to relate and resonate.
In a world where we collect friends as easily as a button on Facebook, brands are challenged to do more than sell; they need to relate.
So if you have a script that has salesy language or seems like spam, toss it. Instead, try a script that is real and honest. People now shop brands that have the same qualities that they look for in a friend— sometimes even if it means spending more.
Tell a story that carries through.
If you want an awesome explainer video, then developing a well-written script is worth sinking some time into. We’d love to help out (link to portfolio or contact page). Forget the phrase “business is business,” if you’re like us, then you put some heart into your work. Do your business justice with a script for your explainer video that tells more than just what you do, but why you love what you do.