When working on your first explainer video, you might be focused on the look, style, and attitude of the animated video. Should the characters be male or female? Do we want to try a whiteboard animation style or stick with cute cartoon characters? You’re wondering, “What will do the most to convert visitors?”
Creating an explainer video is one of the best ways to tell you company’s story online. But without a great script, one that captures the attention of your audience and speaks directly to them, your video will be nothing more than an entertaining 90-second clip. You need to find the words to make your video truly work for your business.
The Words Matter
The script is where the story is told. It’s where pain points are emphasized, solutions are presented, and the direction for the video is provided. These six tips can help you write a script that will ultimately meet your goals.
# 1. Identify success
Start by identifying what you’re trying to accomplish with the video. Goals establish the right tone and theme for the video. To do this, we use a standard survey with clients to help discover, design, and deliver their value proposition.
Know exactly where the video will appear (homepage, landing page, social media, etc.) and how visitors will view it. Use this as your steering mechanism throughout the entire video production process.
# 2. Determine the audience
If you can identify your target audience, you can identify what content to use and how to present it. If the video is intended for investors, it will have one message. But if it’s intended for customers, it will carry another. If you have a specific, targeted purpose for the video, you’ll need to narrow your messaging to reach a smaller audience. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide whether you’re trying to reach a smaller audience in a more effective way or a larger audience in a more general way.
# 3. Don’t focus on facts and figures
Explainer videos are not the time to be fact-heavy; the viewer’s eyes will glaze over. Instead, the video should present a value proposition. This is the difference your product will make in the viewer’s life. If facts are a must, use an interesting analogy or infographic, and keep it short.
Also, numbers and product functionality change over time. Creating videos that focus on benefits and solutions is not only better for the viewer, but it also extends the shelf life of your video by keeping the message on a higher level.
# 4. Tell a resonating story
People listen and respond well to stories. However, don’t introduce a character and then list product features. Identify the problems of the viewer, and tell a story that presents a viable solution. Explain the problem you’re solving on an emotional level. This convinces the viewer that he should care about your solution.
# 5. Make sure the story flows
Not only do you need to tell a story, but you also need to structure the script so the visual story will flow. The visuals don’t need to follow the script in a literal way, but the visual and verbal messaging need to work together. You can follow a basic formula to set up a fluid, cohesive structure. Here it is:
- Identify the problem in the first two-thirds of the script.
- Include a transition — typically one to two sentences.
- Provide the solution in the balance of the script.
- End with a call to action.
# 6. Use common language and keep it short
The voiceover language should be simple and easy to understand. Use key terms that will resonate with your audience, but refrain from including too much industry jargon.
A study by Wistia shows that videos perform best when the messaging is between 60 and 90 seconds long. If you apply the aforementioned principles, you should be able to convince viewers they need what you have to offer!
Simply knowing that explainer videos are one of the best ways to reach your audience will put you ahead of other companies. Focus on your script, your delivery, and your message to successfully reach your audience. If you use great storytelling in your short explainer video, then the next story you tell might be that of your company’s success.
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