Crafting the Perfect Explainer Video Script
At Ripple Animation, we know all the right ingredients to throw into the pot for cooking up engaging, informative, and ultimately effective explainer videos for your business. Crafting the perfect explainer video for your unique goals involves managing a lot of moving parts all at once. Creators have to contend with writing the explainer video script, arranging the voice over, background music, sound effects, and doing the actual animation. Finally, we have to ensure we showcase your brand as prominently as possible and clearly communicate what we want audiences to do after viewing your video.
Doing all of this successfully requires not only time and effort but also an ordered process to ensure that all parts come together seamlessly. When the research and conceptualizing stage is complete, the first step in creating your video is generating a memorable explainer video script.
In this pilot entry of our “What Makes a Great Explainer Video” series, we’re focusing on the words and animated stories of explainer videos, and why the script is one of the most important aspects of such projects. We’ll detail the relationship between verbal and nonverbal cues in videos and how they can be used to relay messages about your business that viewers will remember. Let’s get into it!
The Psychology of Learning
Before we start discussing the ins and outs of writing an awesome explainer video script, we’ll first talk briefly about Canadian psychologist Allan Paivio (1925-2016) and his dual-coding theory. Why? Because understanding how the human brain is likely to interpret your explainer video will help you write a script that the brain can easily process.
Paivio hypothesized in 1971 that words and images are the two major categories of information that people “code” in their brains when they are learning. The brain separates word and image memories, but the two storage areas routinely interact with each other and work in tandem. Thus, if presented with the right set of separate cues—say, a word and image together, at the same time—the brain comes to associate them. We can use the dual-coding theory to explain why humans have assigned words to nearly every object and idea in the universe: it makes things easier to remember!
Digging into the Scripts
Now, what does any of this have to do with writing an effective explainer video script for your business? The simple fact is that, without a script that combines words and images in exactly the right ways, viewers of your explainer videos might not come away knowing what exactly you’re trying to communicate and what they should be doing from this point. And as you know, audience confusion generally does not lead to brand engagement or conversions!
The first thing to remember when writing your script is, strangely enough, not to make it too wordy! People probably aren’t going to respond positively to a lot of words thrown at them at once, and they certainly won’t want to read a mass of on-screen text when animations are available.
Keep your explainer video script simple and straightforward if you want your video to engage people. Try this experiment when conceptualizing your story: see if you can summarize the video you want to create in about five sentences, and write those sentences like a first-grade essay.
If you don’t want viewers overthinking what your explainer is trying to tell them, don’t overthink the writing of the script. A strong explainer script should acknowledge viewers’ questions or problems quickly and then clearly detail how your business can help.
Explainer Video Script Components
Once we determine the objectives of your explainer video, we can look at how your script could help attain those goals. Here are some pointers that we at Ripple Animation consistently use to keep our script flowing smoothly:
- Define the problem. An explainer video script should be clear in its intentions. Allow it to draw viewers in by identifying their problem in the first few seconds of the video. An audience that believes your company is truly aware of their struggles will want to watch the entire video, hoping to be shown a solution.
- Present the solution. The logical next step is to lay out that solution. Your video should communicate in no uncertain terms exactly how your product or service can help alleviate the issue your viewers are facing. Again, keep it Refer to Paivio’s dual-coding theory when pairing voice over with visuals. Let people hear about your business’s solutions while watching an eye-catching animation that illustrates how it works. Remember, this is partly about psychology!
- Why you? The last major component of your explainer video script should demonstrate how your business is best suited to solve your audience’s challengs. Cracking this part is important because many competitors are likely offering your prospects a similar solution. Don’t be afraid to enter the land of sales and promotion here. You want audiences to know why you took them on this animated journey in the first place. Continue to drive home why you are uniquely qualified to help your audience, and if your script has communicated your value proposition clearly enough, your explainer video will have done its job.
The Story Matters, Too
Now that we’ve talked about the big ideas behind an explainer video script, let’s have a look at the animated stories themselves. We know the animations in your videos are most effective when paired with certain buzzwords in your voice over or on-screen text. Maybe you’ve found it easy to detail your products or services and set yourself apart from your competitors but are struggling with the visual side of the video. This part is just as, if not, more important. Remember, your viewers chose to watch a quick animated video instead of reading an intimidating wall of text. With that in mind, let’s learn a bit about your videos’ stories.
We’ve spoken about keeping the flow of your video going by quickly showcasing why your audience should choose your company. The same concepts of brevity and clarity apply to the animations. Don’t make your video too long; inevitably, the longer the video is, the more viewers are going to drop off. If you can tell your story effectively in 60 seconds, go for it. Three minutes is a safe upper limit.
When writing the scenes of your animation, don’t necessarily avoid going for entertainment alongside the vital information. Elements such as emotion and humor can be powerful hooks for your audience! Make sure that you choose an art-style that will resonate with your audience. You can see examples of Art Styles on Ripple Animation’s ‘Portfolio’ page.
If your video is explaining why viewers should choose your insurance company over another, consider taking a friendly-looking animated insurance shopper on a journey, as he or she reads brochures, compares companies online, and speaks with customer service representatives on the phone. The story arc relates the struggle of seeking out a reliable insurance provider and the relief of finally finding the right one. Believe it or not, many of your viewers will relate to that animated shopper! That’s because the story is a very human one. Throw in one or two instances of good-natured humor, and you will have aced your video’s narrative.
And as a side note: Wherever possible, show rather than tell. Use visual cues to connect with your viewer.. People enjoy seeing examples on the screen instead of being talked at. Use your animated story to its maximum potential.
That’s a lot of information to take in on writing an explainer video script that works. Boiled down to essentials, these important points are worth remembering:
- Keep your video simple and concise to attract and hold viewers.
- Quickly address your audience’s problem, detail how you can help, and present yourself as the best-positioned company to do so.
- Keep your video short, less than three minutes if possible.
- Use engaging, interesting, and occasionally humorous animations to illustrate important points.
If you adhere to the guidelines in this article, you’ll be well on your way to composing an explainer video script to impress your audience, showcase your product or service, and boost your business’s conversions.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about writing an explainer video script! Future entries in this “What Makes a Great Explainer Video” series will cover in more detail the three major components of an explainer video, pointers on the animations, and wrapping up your videos with clear calls to action.
Keep on reading with Ripple Animation to learn more about our explainer video services! Contact our team today to learn how we can create animated videos for your business. We look forward to working with you!