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Facebook have caught on.

With over 1 billion users they know how we consume content better than anyone.

And video matters.

Video matters so much that Facebook want it in your stream more than any other form of content.

The push towards video marketing is so prevalent that it’s created a fork in the road for all marketers.

Are you in or out?

You have a choice, just like everyone else. Create video content, or miss out on a bunch of clicks, shares and new customers.

Today I want to help you create an explainer video script – one form of video marketing that is trending at the moment.

Making a good explainer video is not easy.

That’s why the very first step is to write a video script, the backbone of your entire video.

Today you’ll learn the basics of explainer video scriptwriting and how to write a great one yourself.

Let’s go.

What should your video script be about?

If you think your explainer video should just talk about your brand and promote your products, then you’re wrong.

People who bump into your video would be looking for a solution to their problems. Therefore, your video should deal with those and hand over a solution. In other words, your explainer video script should always focus on your potential customers’ problems and not on your brand’s features.

Only after your audience learns that you care for them and their problem, can you showcase your product or service features as a real solution to it.

Look at how the first 40 seconds of this animated explainer video focuses just on the potential customer’s problems and questions. Only then, (after the problem is mentioned) the brand appears to save the day:

How do you structure your script?

Hollywood classic film has a 3-act script structure: the beginning, where the characters are introduced along with the main conflict; the middle, where the character struggles to find a solution to that conflict; and the end, where things get solved for good.

This same structure can be adapted to your explainer video script with a few adjustments, making your video as engaging as a Hollywood film!

Let’s find out how:

The 3-act explainer video script structure would look like this:

a. The “What” act: first you need to bring up what the problem is that your business solves (remember: always focus on your audience’s problem). In this act, you introduce the main character and his/her problem, which stands as the “conflict” of the classic film script structure.

b. The “How” act: then you show how your company solves that problem. Here’s when your brand appears to save the day and deal with the character’s problem.

c. The “Why” act: finally, you explain to your audience why they should choose your company among others to solve their problem. In this final act, you can describe your product or service’s features, explain your brand’s advantages and add all the “salesy” information.

Can you spot the 3 acts of the explainer video script in this one?

Is targeting important?

Targeting is essential in explainer video scriptwriting because it allows you to write a message specifically tailored to your customers, and grow immediate trust and identification within them.

What you need to do is find the right approach and mood in order to reach your audience with your script; you know it’s not the same making an explainer video for a 40-year-old IT manager as it is for a 21-year-old law student.

For example, this fun explainer video was made to promote a brand-new app and suit 15-to-25 young music buffs:

This whiteboard explainer video, on the other hand, was tailored to fit 30-to-40 year old marketers, so the technical business pitch, the suit-and-tie animated characters, the use of metaphors (such as vintage sci-fi movies and retro video games) and overall approach had to be totally different:

The great thing about custom-made explainer videos is that they have the perfect pitch for the right audience every time!

How long should your video script be?

There’s an open debate around this matter, because the shorter your explainer video is, the more chance you have of getting your viewers to watch it all the way through. However, if it’s too short you can’t disclose your business proposition.

The truth is that explainer video length depends on your target audience, the type of product or service you’re promoting and your marketing objectives. But there’s a middle ground given by experience: 90 seconds are enough for you to explain your business idea without much viewership drop off.

But wait a minute: how could you know how long the video is going to be if you’re just at the scriptwriting stage?

Well, there’s a bulletproof formula on that: 160 scripted words in English equals one minute of video. So for a 90-second video, you’ll need around 240 words.

Here’s a perfect example of a neat 90-second animated explainer video:

How do you create a call-to-action?

If people don’t browse your website, visit your blog, download your eBook, subscribe to your newsletter or share your video on social media after watching your animated explainer video, your scriptwriting efforts might have been worthless.

In order to avoid that, you need to establish exactly what you want your audience to do after watching your explainer video, and write it down at the very end of your script. That would be your call-to-action (CTA) and you have to make sure it’s straightforward and clear, so don’t hesitate on using the words “download”, “buy” or “subscribe” if you need to.

Bear in mind that the CTA is the salesy part of your video.

Spot the CTA on this colorful animated explainer video:

3 Scriptwriting mistakes to avoid

You’ve learned the basics on how to write an great explainer video script. Now, as the icing on the cake, let’s go through the most common explainer video scriptwriting mistakes so that you can spot and avoid them when writing your own:

1. Your script is too long

If your script happens to be too long it will be boring and people will simply stop watching it. This could lead you to missing lots of potential customers. Remember to keep it outright but keep it brief!

2. You haven’t defined your target audience

If your target audience is not well-defined in your script, the explainer video will not represent them correctly. Hence, you’ll miss the chance to engage and spoil the overall effect you’re looking for.

3. You sell too much

People tend to lose interest in cocky or “buy-me” explainer videos right away. Remember to focus on your target audience and their problems, not just on your brand.

If you want to make your script as neat as possible (and if your budget can afford it), it’s always better to hire a professional scriptwriter or an explainer video production company that can provide one; they’ll know exactly how to write an explainer video script and avoid all the mistakes listed above!