Explainer videos are without a doubt the simplest, fastest, most effective method for drawing people into where you want them to be, whether you’re selling a product or recruiting volunteers for a humanitarian project. But in order for your video to be effective, it must have a good script.
The script is the first and most crucial step in creating a short video. It’s true that the emotional message is conveyed by a combination of words and visuals, but without an awesome script the visuals are practically meaningless.
To craft a compelling and effective script, there are several things to keep in mind.
You’re not writing a novel or a screenplay. A short video script should give:
1) A high level view of a problem
2) The solution
3) Some benefits or steps in the solution (“how it works”)
4) A call to action
People’s attention spans are short in the internet age. Ideally, an explainer video script should stay under 2-3 minutes maximum, with around 150 words spoken per minute at most. This makes for a leisurely pace without reaching the level of lazy. Whenever in doubt, aim for less words and time, not more.
The video should have a specific audience in mind. That could be as narrow as 30-40 year old professional women who enjoy weekends of high adventure outdoors, or as broad as anyone who needs to lose weight. Either way it’s easy to visualize the person you are speaking to, and that’s vital.
Your target audience will determine the types of words you use, whether any lingo is called for, and whether the script will be strictly professional or more casual, filled with humor or very serious, or whatever tone is appropriate.
There are more than two ways to present a short video, but generally they will either be a storyline or a presentation. The story version usually introduces one or two characters that represent the intended audience and that they can relate to. “Meet Janet, a lawyer in a big city.”
In a presentation format, you are addressing the audience in one of two ways. Either speaking directly to them…
– “Is the never-ending stream of paperwork in your office killing your productivity?”
…or addressing them in a more formal, third-person format:
– “Paperwork can be the biggest productivity killer at work.”
In either of these settings, the first part of your script will be addressing the next point…
There is almost always a problem. A need to lose weight, increase productivity, learn new skills, or any number of issues. Your product, service, or organization is the solution for some problem, and the problem needs to be presented first to relate to and engage the viewer.
-“Janet needs a website to help her gain new clients, but she isn’t sure how to start.”
-“You’ve tried more diets than you can even remember, but none seem to get you to your weight-loss goal.”
Next comes the solution. The simplest example in story form would be:
-“This is Janet. Janet has a problem. But now Janet has found the solution to her problem. Don’t you want a solution too, like Janet?”
Stating the problem allows you to lead into the solution – the point of the video – but before you finish, you need to address several points at a high level to gain interest and make a connection with the audience.
This section can be presented a variety of different ways. For example, if you’re selling a product that solves an email overload problem, this could where you describe – again, at a high level – how your product does this.
1) Download and install NoMoreInboxMail
2) Click on the watchamacallit and follow the simple instructions
3) Just like that, no more mail in your inbox!
This section could also go over reasons that your solution is better than any other solutions that are available. Those reasons explain why it works, or the benefits of the solution. Whether you use a series of steps describing a process or a list of benefits depends on exactly what your product or service is.
Don’t get bogged down in details or statistics here. Keep it simple, as if you were explaining it to a child.
If you don’t have one, you just wasted their time and your money. What do you want them to do after watching?
–> Sign up for a free trial?
–> Fill out a form or call you?
–> Run to the store and buy a case of watchamacallit?
If you’ve done your job in the presentation of the problem and why your product or service is the right answer, this comes naturally.
“Click the box below to learn more” is a vague and simple call to action, but it might fit your needs just right. Your specific call to action line(s) will need to be crafted to meet your own goals.
Feel free to schedule a call with me here to find out how we’ll write an amazing script for your video, or call: (866)960-9778.
See what I did there?