Your Only Recipe For Writing Killer Explainer Video Scripts
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How To Write Killer Explainer Video Scripts

Over the last few weeks, I have been collating my experiences on how to write an explainer video script or how your brand story can stand out in the form of a video. I work on the end-to-end video creation life cycle, right from briefing to broadcasting and ideation to implementation. One thing I’ve learned is, even before thinking about the cutesy illustration and animation, all you need is a killer video script. It doesn’t matter whether you are creating an animated video, infographic, or a 3D video—the foundation is only laid with a well-written engaging script.

This parody can be explained better, with the movie business. It’s all about convenience vs. experience: Millennials love streaming, and they need the flight of engagement, right from the word go. For example, the leading shows streaming on Netflix currently: Sacred Games, YOU, or even Bollywood movies like Andhadhun.

They all have the perfect script with perfect direction, blended with perfect storytelling. Comparing web series and video scripts, the basic elements are the same: memorable characters, satisfying stories, and an intriguing conflict.

So what is the secret mantra, to make sure your video is a killer one and not a baby rattle for grabbing attention?

Like preparing a pizza, you need to have all the secret spices ready. It starts with proper preparation: knowing your audience, your message, and your call-to-action.

Here are my secret sauces for the perfect video pizza:

1. Decide The Crust Knowing Your Key Message

Start with the right audience coating. Your preparation bowl of flour and salt should have the right ingredients in the first 30-seconds of the script. This preparation will tell the audience what to pay attention to.

2. Keep The Right Ingredients

Your interaction with the audience should be direct. Pronouns like 'you' and 'your' are your salt and flour. Stir them perfectly with dried yeast, which is your keywords. Don’t waste time in reinventing the wheel and unnecessary marketing jargons. Jump to the point quickly and ensure your content is relevant and actionable.

3. Knead The Dough Of Your Message By Telling A Story

Every explainer video content that we see on YouTube presents a common problem where Bob’s company is facing XYZ issues, and then how the company has the solution for the XYZ issue. Summarizing with the Bob theory is fine, but viewers need something new every time.

We, humans, create stories every day, every moment. So, use your content dough that can serve a story and promote your brand message at the same time. Always, push your dough down and create a story based on the problems viewers have. This sets the tone that puts your viewer inside the DNA of your story.

More than just the base of the pizza, the dough is what gives the pizza its texture and holds together the flavors. One of the flavors is the metaphorical approach. I try to use this technique to engage an emotional connection and then weave a story. My favorite examples include using sharks to depict risks, a compass to depict directions, organizations to building and much more.

4. Choose The Right Toppings

For any impactful video, you need to have the right toppings for that wonderful flavor and a gourmet touch to your content. Here are a few toppings that you can pick:

  • Powerful opening in the form of facts or FAQ’s or introducing a character
  • A conversational tone in the active voice
  • Alliterations when required
  • Wordplay
  • Metaphors (I could relate this one personally)

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  • Acronyming words to create a wow effect (e.g. Generation C (Connection Creation Curation Community)
  • Clean and crisp sentences

5. Bake The Pizza With The Perfect Word-Count Temperature

Now, as your video is about to get baked into the oven of production, you need to set the temperature dialogue between 100 to 120 words a minute. Your content pizza will get tasty if served hot with crisp words. Remember the word count should not exceed more than 300 words for a 2-minute video. Keep in mind, the voice-over needs time to breathe and allow viewers to absorb what you’re saying.

However, don’t skim your script once completed. To make your pizza from limp to crisp, you need to get feedback from friends and co-workers and make sure it’s engaging and easy to digest in every revision. Baking with right editing is not just about cutting word count; it’s about condensing to preserve what really matters. The more you write, the stronger your script becomes and eventually, your creative production team zero in on what really matters. In case you need more pointers, connect with your SME.

6. Calculate The Serving Size Based On The Style

Once your video pizza has become fluffy; use the style knife to divide it. Pick your style based on the audience you want to serve. Here are some of the common styles with the target content for your reference:

  • Whiteboard
    Perfect to cater to B2B or B2C segments. This style is conventional as it applies an educational approach. I also think when you need more time than an average video length, this is an ideal way.

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  • Infographic
    This style is ideal for companies that either have a complicated product or service to explain or to bring trust and buzz to their brand. I love this style because you can use the morphing technique that really creates magic to the animations. Examples of morphing: envelope to document, document to calendar, calendar to credit card, credit card to mobile. All are defined by shape morphing. Some examples of this style, which I personally like:

(isometric view)

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(morphing)

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(Newton plugin to create awesome stuff)

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  • Stock-footage
    To depict the generic concept of your company brand. The bonus: it is plug & play and time efficient!
  • Image-based
    This technique of visual storytelling is a good way for social media content and is cost-effective! Instant purchase from Shutterstock or iStock and boom! Your video is ready with some powerful keywords.
  • Character
    When you want to position your brand in the form of an avatar; the character-driven approach is the best one. It triggers emotions and empathy for the viewers.
  • Kinetic typography
    This approach is an alternative way to give a fresh feel compared to the clipart type animations. Typography can be used to convey ideas with the stylized use of typography and motion graphics. I find the following one relevant.

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Word of advice: Never mix two different styles in one video. For example, whiteboard scribble style with flat design infographic elements. You will end up making a half-cooked message.

So, the whole “video is like pizza - even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good”!

Thanks for watching!

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