Ever wondered how to write an explainer video script that REALLY engages your audience? Read on...
One of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock,once said:
“To make a great film explainer video, you need three things: the script, the script, and the script.”*
And, as a writer, I very humbly agree.
*quote may have been slightly amended!
Writing an explainer video that sells is a lot harder than it sounds – and that’s exactly the point! The best explainer videos out there are effortless to understand, with the script bouncing from one relevant point to the next and harmonising perfectly with the action on screen, whether it be live action, animation, or otherwise.
In this article, we’re going to give you 7 essential tips for writing an explainer video that sells…
1. Make it Jovial
Jovial is not a word you hear a lot these days…and that’s sad.
You don’t need to be advertising Happy Meals or Disney World to have a bit of fun with your explainer video script. Even the most corporate brands can afford to loosen their straight laces a little when it comes to creating a video. Take a look at this super-jovial video from General Electric:
The truth is, telling it “how it is” won’t grab the attention of viewers. People watch explainer videos in their own time, so make it a fun experience for them by keeping it light! Instead of bulletpointed facts lining up on screen, create a jovial coloured graph that illustrates your point. Instead of showing a typical human contractor building a house, show a jovial penguin building an igloo.
Getting the idea yet?
The point you’re making remains the same, it just makes it easier for audiences to remember you if you’re a little more…jovial.
2. Keep it Short
Did you know that the average attention span of a dog is 2 minutes?
And the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.
And the average attention span of a human is…
Yes, that’s right! Our attention spans are officially shorter than goldfish. So it’s very important to keep your explainer video script short if you want people to watch it to the end, and ultimately purchase your product or service.
Studies have found that the ideal length for an explainer video is 1-2 minutes. This is enough time to cover your key features without losing the interest of your audience. Here’s a handy graph by Wistia showing average engagement vs. video length:
As you can see, engagement is quite steady for up to 2 minutes.
*Quick Tip*: To give you a better idea of exactly how you can keep your video script short – a standard industry voiceover recording is equal to approximately 140 words of text.
3. Don’t Forget the Call to Action!
This is possibly the most essential part of your video. Without a call to action, viewers won’t know what to do next. Your call to action will appear at the end of your video and remain on screen for a few seconds so that users can take in the important information.
You can sum up your product in one line:
List your contact details:
And include an offer code to further entice viewers to buy your product or service:
It helps to have a verbal call to action to match the visual. Here are a few that you can’t go wrong with:
- “Visit our website to find out more!”
- “Contact us today!”
- “Interested? Get in touch to learn more.
If you’re a tech-whizz, you can even add a clickable call to action to your video! I won’t go into that here, but there are lots of articles online that explain how to add clickable CTA buttons on different video hosting platforms.
4. Speak to your Audience
Do you want to create a viral video?
Of course you do! But – and I hate to be the one to break this to you – no one really knows what will go viral and what will simply get lost in the treacherous ocean that is YouTube. So, as tempting as it can be to try and hit a wide audience, it’s safer to focus your efforts directly towards the people in your niche.
This means highlighting the specific problems that they have, and counteracting that with points explaining how your brand can solve those problems. You also need to speak their language, aka cut the buzzwords! Talk to your customers in a tone that they understand and feel comfortable with, and compliment this by referring to situations that they will relate to.
5. Tell a Story
While it’s important to present viewers with a problem-solution scenario, and the odd statistic here and there, it’s equally as important to make sure your script tells a story.
Stories connect with our emotions, they can make us laugh or tug at our heartstrings. And this makes them engaging and memorable.
Below is an amazing video that explains the true power of story:
6. Stick to a few Key Points
At Wyzowl, we often meet clients who are very passionate about their business – which is great! After all, it’s your pride, joy, and livelihood!
The problem is that this same passion can often lead to a very bad script that definitely won’t sell! We talked about length above, so we already know that an ideal explainer video is around 1-2 minutes, or 140-280 words. That’s not a lot of words when you have so many amazing features to tell your customers about. So what do you do?
You stick to Key Points.
To avoid creating scripts that are far too long and far too…disorganized, we often ask our clients to mention 3 or 4 one line points that they want to include in their video. This helps to draw out the main benefits of the product or service and entice the user to learn more.
*Quick Tip*: Always remember, your explainer video is the hook, not the manual!
If you’re not a writer or a creative-type, how do you write an explainer video that sells?
You don’t. At least, you don’t have to.
Hire a scriptwriter instead.
Scriptwriters know how to create video scripts that sell – they make a living from it! If you would feel more comfortable putting your script in the hands of a professional, then head to Google and search for writers. There are tons of freelancers out there, all with different price points.
Alternatively, if you want help with the entire creation of your video, from script, to storyboard, to finished product, get in touch with an agency. As with freelancers, agencies also have lots of different price points, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that suits you and your business.
Creating an explainer video is an exciting process! Luckily for us Wyzowls, we get to do it every day!
Hopefully, the tips in this article have given you some positive inspiration for writing an explainer video script that sells. But if you ever need any help, we’re always here.