Some concepts, products, and services are a bit too complicated to explain with just words alone. Or, maybe you’ve got a promotion you’d like to get the word out about. Either way, an animated explainer video could be just what you need to efficiently deliver your message. Great, but with the message at the core, where do you start? How do you write a script for a short video that resonates with your audience? Not to worry, Explainify has you covered with a thorough breakdown of the process.
Animated Explainer Video Script – Start With an Outline
The first step to learning how to write a script for a short video is to write down an outline. You know you want to create an animated explainer video, but that’s just a broad stroke. You need to decide how to best break that down to truly ensure your audience receives your full message, not just a slice of it.
There are several factors to consider for your outline:
- How will your video be seen? Social media, your company website or via another channel?
- What is the maximum length that your video needs to be?
- What specific audience need are you meeting? Why should they bother watching your video from start to finish?
- Are you aiming for a specific segment of your target audience or your entire audience?
- What online habits does your target audience have?
- Is there a single, specific action you would like for viewers to take after they watch your video?
Try to get into the minds of your target viewers as you break down your outline. Ask yourself what kind of video would be the most effective in connecting with them. You know your solution is great but if you don’t put it in terms of their interest, why should they listen? A measure of empathy and understanding goes a long way when it comes to promotional, training and animated explainer videos.
Remember That You’re Using More Than Just Words
Since this isn’t a brochure or a mountain of white papers. You won’t have to rely only on the words of your script to tell every detail of your message. So, it’s important to bear in mind that you will have sound effects, motion graphics, voice-over and images to aid your message. These tools will help elevate your message and keep your viewers engaged.
In your script, note where you want to add an infographic, a sound effect, a product/character or anything similar. To make this easier, you can use a two-column approach to write your script: one column for the script itself, and the second for audio and visual aspects.
Harness the Power of the Story
Something else to think about as you start to write a script for a video is the core message you want viewers to walk away with. Rather than stating this message outright in the video, think of how you can use a story to deliver that message. Consider the type of narrative your audience will connect with the most. For instance, does it make more sense to introduce your brand/product/service in response to their pain points? Or, is there a more educational approach and letting the viewer know the ease of working with you? Maybe there’s little focus on their pain points and more focus on what you offer; it all depends.
No matter what kind of story you feel is the most appropriate, your main objective is to keep things simple and uncluttered. Start with where the viewer is now, and end where you want them to be currently.
Speak in Terms Your Audience Will Understand
Another key aspect of learning how to write a training video script is using language and terms your audience will latch onto and immediately comprehend. This is one reason it’s vital that you try to get into your target viewer’s mind. Generally, you cannot go wrong with simplistic language that you’d use in general conversation. Try to think back to the language your teachers used and how they’d break down concepts. As long as your script doesn’t sound like it was churned out by a robot, you’re headed in the right direction.
As you think of language your audience will connect with, be sure you infuse the script with your brand voice. You want viewers to easily understand your specific message, but you also want to make it obvious that the message is coming from you. Think of your company culture and values to better figure out how to make the message truly yours.
Trim the Fat
Once you’re done with the first draft of your script, take a close and careful look at it. Is anything redundant? Does every line move the story forward, or do some words bring things to a sputtering halt?
Today’s viewers have more distractions than ever, which means their attention spans aren’t what they used to be. For that reason, you’ve got to use clear and concise language; your every word has to serve your core message. If it doesn’t, either cut it from the script completely or tweak it until it fits. This may take a couple drafts and revisions to really nail down your message.
Here are a few tips to help keep your script as lean and effective as possible:
- Get comfortable with the fact that you will have to make cuts to your first draft. Write out everything you need (or think you need) to say. That way, there’s less chance of you feeling as if something is missing.
- Make sure you don’t unnecessarily use the same words.
- Eliminate wordiness as much as possible.
- Keep your script at a reading level no higher than middle or high school.
- Opt for unique language rather than clichés.
Read the Script Out Loud
Remember that your audience is going to be hearing the script and not reading it. So, once you’ve got a final script draft, you’ll want to hear how it’s going to sound for your audience.
Sit down and read your script out loud, get a sense for how it “tastes” in your ears. Every word should flow like silk, rather than stutter and stumble like a car in the wrong gear. Additionally, the script should sound 100% natural rather than forced. Listen to where you should add a bit of inflection and time yourself to see how long your video will be.
As you read, ask yourself if you’ve successfully delivered your initial message and if your viewers are likely to connect to your words and visuals. Is your call to action unmistakably clear?
Do you feel you’ve got a decent grasp of scriptwriting for an animated explainer, promotional or training video? For more tips, or if you’d like an experienced professional to look over your work, feel free to reach out to us here at Explainify.