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5 Expert Clues for Writing an Awesome Explainer Video Script

Originally published June 1, 2015  ·  Updated March 13, 2023
5 Expert Clues for Writing an Awesome Explainer Video Script

An explainer video script is a narrative read by a voice actor for an animated explainer video. The script is a quality explainer video’s cornerstone.

Writing an explainer video script is a tricky matter. A good explainer video must have a uniquely written script instead of a templated script. Diction, phrasing, and references in an explainer video script must reflect the company’s character or persona.

A voiceover is the other half of the video’s visual aspect. They work in harmony: the voiceover explains what might be overlooked in the visual, and the visual shows what the voiceover can’t quite deliver with words alone.

That said, writing an explainer video script is a handful–but you can do it yourself, assuming you have the time.

Having written over 2,000 explainer video scripts, our writing team has passed on some of their wisdom about explainer video scripts.

Based on what they’ve told me, I want to make sure their legacy doesn’t end there, so I’ve written down their tips for writing an explainer video script and I’m sharing them with you. Here are insiders tips for writing an excellent explainer video script:

Write with illustratable words.

In order for the video to represent your script well, you need to use words that can be easily visualized. An easy example: instead of writing “lots of documents,” use “a stack of paperwork.”

Writing a script that can be represented visually means conveying a better message to your audience about your product.

An explainer video is a great marketing tool because of the availability of both visual and audio information, which adds up to an incredible information transfer process.

Show your sense of humor.

Two purposes drive people to watch a video: to gather information or to be entertained.

Bettina Hein, the co-author of Video Marketing for Dummies, says that the most successful marketing videos have both humor and information, which is why humor in video marketing is such an important and popular tool.

Check out this hilarious video by Dollar Shave Club. Their catchphrase “Our blades are f***kin great!” is what had me in awe.

An explainer video is a marketing tool, and sometimes it’s hard to get people’s attention when a video is exclusively about you trying to sell a product. In Dollar Shave Club’s case, though, they handled everything like a pro.

There is enough humor to make you (or at least me) burst out a laugh that was audible to the entire office. I don’t mean to say that humor is the only way to write an explainer video script, but it definitely helps.

In a nutshell, if you put your sense of humor into your explainer video script, your audience will feel amused throughout the video.

Emphasize your words and tone.

Write your script in a way that can be easily read by the voiceover. That means including the pace and tone as well as the words or phrases that you want to highlight.

These things matter for your explainer video because the tone is what brings your brand to life: It helps shape your brand’s persona in the eyes of your audience.

When you’re thinking about using an explainer video as part of your video marketing, your first thought might be about the amazing and creative visuals your viewers will see.

That’s the most common mistake in video marketing. You must not forget that the tone of voice is more important for branding your business than anything else. Essentially, the tone of voice should reflect the brand’s personality and value.

Don’t forget that in an explainer video, you can be more playful with words. Your viewers will be able to hear how the words are pronounced, so there will be context.

Write as you talk.

Writing like the way you talk isn’t an excuse to write poorly or provide content that doesn’t have any real value.

Write as you talk, technically known as ‘conversational tone’ describes a way of writing that is free of big words and technical mumbo-jumbo that is not reader-friendly.

Good writing is like a conversation between the writer and the reader. So, when you’re writing your explainer video script, imagine yourself trying to explain your products to a close friend.

However, writing with a conversational tone is not an excuse to blurt out a bad script. Write as you talk means you write like how you speak to your friends, but it should be the things you say to impress your boss.

If you were having an actual conversation about your business with a friend, what kind of words would you use? What tone would you speak with?

And if you were pitching an idea to your boss, you would put an effort to impress him with that idea, right?

Apply those to your explainer video script and you’re off to an incredible start in making an awesome explainer video.

Write just enough.

An explainer video script should only be as long as it needs to be. There’s a reason you have all of those characters and objects moving around: to make you talk less. Based on our data, an average 60-second explainer video script has 160-180 words in it.

That number may vary mainly due to:

  • Language
  • Tone
  • Pauses and stresses

As a matter of fact, it is possible for a voice actor to read up to 240 words per minute. Read more about the explainer video length in my in-depth analysis here.

Closing Thought

By using these script writing tips, you will able to build an emotional story to motivate viewers to buy your products or use your services.

Still worried about your explainer video script? Leave a comment below so I can help you out!

One of our best explainer videos was made for Pinterest, and it has been viewed more than 160,000 times.

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