Without a strong script, an explainer video might as well be any other advertisement. It will feel amateur, may not deliver the message you were hoping to get across, or worse, a poor explainer video may make the consumer aware of your product, but turn them off it!
In this article, we look at what makes a good script, as well as offering some tips on how to make your video, and message, stand out.
In the first 15 seconds of your script, something exciting should happen. You need to dangle something in front of viewers eyes, that will attract and keep their attention. This is known as the ‘hook.’ Hooks should be entertaining, or provocative. They should challenge, amuse, or engage the viewer with a question. If a hook is the beginning of your script, the rod – is your product, and the fishing line connects the two in a clear and tangible way.
Though they can be longer than traditional advertisements, an explainer video should be kept brief. The longer it is, the more complex your script needs to be, and that means you need to spend more time keeping your viewers interested. As an advertisement on social media, up to 90 seconds is an acceptable length, though some try to keep it under a minute. On a companies’ home page, longer videos, up to 8 minutes are often risked. But… if this is your first time seeing a site or product, would you want to watch an eight-minute film about it, when you could be trying it out for yourself? Didn’t think so.
This may seem counter-intuitive: on a general scale, no one cares about the features of a product, statistics, or numbers. Consumers don’t care about an extra gigabyte of ram. What they do care about, is how that gigabyte of ram will change the way they use their device. The best way to show benefits? Direct comparisons. For Example:
“FTP is protocol to transfer files across networks and the internet
Cloud servers let you store files on the internet, and transfer them.”
By this, you may be led to believe that Cloud servers may use FTP, or that there’s no advantage to either of them.
“FTP servers use an old protocol, are limited to your networks upstream, require fidgeting with routers, and for you to ensure your server is visible to the internet. Cloud servers are a new, browser-based way of storing data on the internet. Accessible from anywhere with no setup or configuration, the transfer speeds are unlimited.”
See the difference?
Make frequent use of engaging words like “you.” Remember, you are talking to someone. Ask them questions, and ensure that they are engaged. Did you know that an engaged reader or viewer is more likely to absorb information than one idly passing the time?
A script is a story. So why not use it to tell a story as well? Stories are relatable, stir emotions, are engaging, and if told properly, will become just as memorable as a brand. Of course, with stories, you can implement humour, tone, and other tricks to keep the viewers’ attention.
While you may choose to hire a company to create your video, you should never use them to write your script. You are the one who knows your product best, so it may be best to write it yourself. Not a laureate? Consider hiring a scriptwriter, and going over your project with them in detail, so they have the same vision as you.