The script is the most important part of any explainer video, which means it has to be great. You’re not making an action movie; no amount of flashy visuals will save a video with a rubbish script.
The most effective explainer videos are around 60-90 seconds. That gives you 130-247ish words to work with and those words need to be chosen with purpose.
Once you’ve typed up your script, how do you know if it’s any good? Ask yourself these questions.
Question 1: Does my video script include a problem my target audience is having?
Businesses exist to provide a product or service that customers need or at least really want. Most people won’t buy something if they don’t see any value in it. You need to target the deep reasons why people buy.
And ultimately a customer will decide the value. Think of gag gifts or those silly items on people’s Amazon wishlist.
Value to a customer means filling a need or a desire, even if it isn’t practical. Wrapping paper is a great example of this. People buy paper to rip, but we don’t think of it that way. We buy this paper because we value the aesthetics and the thought that goes into wrapping a gift.
So the problem doesn’t need to be a life or death situation, just an obstacle or desire people might experience.
When someone watches your explainer video, they want to see the value you provide in terms of how you meet their needs.
The harsh truth is that no one really cares about your business’s mission statement or values unless they need something from you. And even then, I doubt most people care about your values as a business because what business isn’t committed to satisfaction or progress these days?
“Can you solve the issue, how quick, and how expensive will it be?” are the main concerns a potential customer has.
Although the occasional person might care, they probably don’t give you any business until they have a problem that they need fixed.
Think about going to the doctor. You know doctors are committed to helping people, but do you pay a doctor when you aren’t sick? Most people only go when they have a problem.
The same is true for your business. Potential customers have a problem and they are seeking a solution. Your script needs to address their problem first so viewers know that you will fix their issue.
Even if they don’t have an issue now, your script can still increase your brand awareness. When the problem you solve does come up, people will know who to go to. You.
Question 2: Does the script give a clear picture of the value I offer to my viewers?
You told us about an issue you can solve. Great. Now, have you told us the value you offer in regards to solving it?
There are a ton of businesses that do the same thing. What makes your business the best fit for your target audience?
In my own business, there are plenty of explainer video agencies. But, the average start cost is 1000USD. I offer my clients an all-in-one solution for any stage their business is at, and that’s valuable. And I offer a viable option for businesses that don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars on training videos.
Think of your script as an elevator pitch; it should showcase your business clearly and concisely. Most businesses can fit a problem, their value and a call to action into a 60-90 second script.
There are times where you may need a longer script. For example, more abstract problems and solutions may need about 2-3 minutes. And if your business serves a very narrow niche, you might also need more time.
But, the script should still give a clear idea of what you can do for a potential customer and why that is valuable to them.
Everything in your script should be for the benefit of the viewer. Make your value clear to them.
Question 3: Does the script sound like something you’d hear in a conversation?
The biggest mistake, after not writing for the target audience, is writing a script like it’s a piece of writing. A video is supposed to be watched and heard, not read like a blog post.
Blog posts are a bit informal, but there are clear differences in written and spoken language because they have different rules. That’s why a conversation and a written article don’t sound the same. This is also why it’s so easy to tell when someone is reading a speech instead of actually speaking to you.
People can tell the difference between written and spoken language. So, keep written language where it belongs because you’ll lose engagement if people feel like the video is reading something at them.
Your explainer video script should be similar to a friendly, professional chat. If you aren’t sure whether the script could be part of a conversation or not, try reading it out-loud or to someone else. That is the easiest way to tell whether you got the tone and language right.
What are signs of a bad video script?
There are some definitive signs that your explainer video script has problems.
1. It’s Not Short and Simple
The fist tell-tale sign of a bad script is that it’s too long. Unless you have a complex, abstract or very niche product or service, you probably don’t need more than 2 minutes to explain yourself in an explainer video. Look at your script and see if your words have purpose. There is no room for fluff here.
Chances are, there is a lot you can cut without losing meaning.
Why are some video scripts so long?
A lot of new scriptwriters put everything into an explainer video script because they worry people won’t see how great the business is.
When a friend makes a recommendation, they generally start with introducing the business and then they elaborate on why it’s a good option. But, they don’t need 10 minutes to do this and neither do you.
The best video scripts are short and simple. Concise is actually a better word here because you want to use as many words as are necessary. Don’t shorten your script for the sake of having a short script if it’s going to compromise your message.
Instead, recognize that you don’t need to give us an in-depth look at your business plan. Just tell us what we want to know: “Can you solve my problem, how, how quickly and how much will it cost me?”
On that note…
2. It Doesn’t Lead with the Problem or Doesn’t Have One
Video scripts that have this issue generally focus on the business rather than the target audience. Again, everything you do for this video should be for the benefit of the consumer, not you. Because you need viewers to engage with your content for you to see any benefits for business.
And your script should lead with the issue because it makes the rest of the script relevant. You can only present yourself as a solution if you’ve established a problem.
3. The Call to Action is Missing
If you don’t have a call to action, why even make an explainer video? Do you want people to convert and become your customers? I’m going to assume that you said yes.
Then have a call to action. ALWAYS. People won’t take action if you don’t ask them to. So, prompt them with a reasonable request like “visit your website” “schedule a consultation” or “download this..”.
Not everyone will do this; however, people will feel more persuaded to take action if you ask them to and tell them how to do this as opposed to not asking at all.
Knowing whether you have a good explainer video script or not comes down to knowing what to look for. If you lead with a problem, give a concise overview of how you’ll solve that problem, and present it like a friendly, professional chat, you likely have a good script. And always keep your viewer in mind when you write the script. They don’t want an overly detailed description of your work; they want to know the value you will give them. Also, remember to ask the viewer to take some kind of action otherwise you’re missing out on an opportunity to increase your conversion rate.
Check out my comprehensive guide on how to write a video script for a detailed walk through.