How to write an explainer video script?

What is an explainer video and why use it? In this post a short guide on how to write a script for an explainer video.

explainer video script
Marketing Team
Video Marketing How to write an explainer video script?


What is an explainer video? Why is it useful to include it in your marketing strategy? But above all, what are the points to consider when writing a script for an explainer video? In this post you will find tips and a short guide on how to make it happen.

The qualities of an explainer video script

Before talking about how to write an explainer video script, it is important to reiterate that an explainer video is a clip that strives to explain how a product or service works or how to solve a problem in a short and concise way. There are different styles and types of videos you can use, from videos that are animated or live action.  

One reason to use video explainers in your strategy is to educate and orient prospects and customers within a brand, and more specifically within a product. The characteristics that a explainer video must possess are: 

  • Brevity: explainer videos should only last about 90 seconds. 
  • Simplicity: their structure should not be complex but only answer “what”, “how”, and “why” questions. 
  • Voiceover: the images must be accompanied by a voice that guides the viewer.  
  • Music: a light melody can accompany the video in order to make it more dynamic. 
  • Brand colors: incorporate your brand colors to increase brand recognition within the explainer video. 

Now that we’ve identified the essential points on which an explainer video should be built, let’s move on to the topic of our post! We’ll start by explaining the steps you need to follow in order to write an explainer video script that is effective and can easily be incorporated into your marketing strategy.  

Step 1. Choose the story you want to tell  

Sometimes we find ourselves watching videos that contain confusing and unintelligible messages or that wait until the very end to tell the story. Often, such content doesn’t have the intended effect, but the opposite: we tend to abandon it. That’s why the first step to writing a good explainer video script is to choose the story you want to tell, in a way that is precise, clear, and concise.  

Product-related explainer videos tell two kinds of stories: they provide a solution to a problem, or they show the detailed procedure for using a product or service. Regardless of which format you follow, you’ll want to create a script that is strong and direct. But let’s go into detail:  

  • The solution to the problem: this is a classic way to present your product/service as the tool that will simplify the viewer’s life. The problem must be clear and recognizable, and then you can move on to the resolution. We recommend spending more time on the solution than on the problem. What you’re proposing must become something that is undeniable.  
  • Process: This choice can be used as a kind of short tutorial, a guide to the service or product. It’s a story in itself, and should have clear rhythms and clean point-to-point movement so that it’s as usable as possible. 

The questions that are important to ask, as we’ve already mentioned, are several: what kind of story do we want to tell and why? Can we help the audience and how? How can we make sure that the conclusion of the video has an impact on the viewer? Given a clear answer to each of these questions and with the goal identified, create your story, then break it down and make it as simple and straightforward as possible. A good structure that doesn’t leak a sales-related purpose into the video will lead to better results.  

Step 2.  Your story must have a protagonist 

A story always has a protagonist, and even if there are other characters in your video, it’s always better to focus on one character. This choice makes it easier to enjoy and more focused on the viewer. 

Make yourself and your brand recognizable, create an emotional connection with your viewers. Once you’ve chosen your character, reuse it in your other videos and, in the case of a live-action video, we recommend using the same person to act as a spokesperson. This aspect, which may seem unimportant, actually creates continuity and familiarity in your video content.  

Step 3.  Let’s get down to business! 

Once you’ve chosen the goal of your video and its protagonist, we can now move on to actually writing the script for your explainer video.  

Summarize the message  

It’s important that the message is short and direct. Try to condense it into the first 30 seconds of your video. This will be the introduction of the explainer video. The purpose of an introductory sentence is to help the target audience understand what to focus on.

A relevant and recognizable narrative 

A relevant and recognizable narrative will make it much easier to capture viewers’ attention and engage them:  

  • Speak directly to the viewer: use the second person, give your audience a way to empathize with the main character. 
  • Use their language: adapt your language according to your business and your audience. Avoid unfamiliar terms and convoluted phrases.

Provide answers  

To build trust, you need to provide reliable answers and information about your organization and the product. A friendly, conversational tone can help, and you’ll always want to take into account the target audience you’re trying to reach and try to understand what they want to hear and in what way.   

Choose the right tone  

This next point follows right on the heels of what we just wrote: having a clear picture of your customer in mind while choosing the tone of voice for your video makes the process easier. Imagine your ideal audience: how old are they? Where does he or she live? What job does he or she do? Then imagine the tone you would use, perhaps summarize it in written form – this will help you identify it faster. 

Tell a story    

Creativity is key in explainer videos, and adding some around your story can be a great move. Showing your audience the positive effects of products and services on other people is also key. Presenting a real-life story that potential customers can identify with will help you create a more interesting script that will speak to your audience.  

Don’t forget humor  

Explainer videos often offer a humorous look at situations. Presenting problematic situations in a humorous and ironic way and offering helpful solutions can be a very effective way if you want to make the narrative enticing. Be careful, however, to use humor in the right way and not overdo it. Misplaced humor could achieve the opposite effect. Animations can be of great help in this regard! 

Don’t be afraid of mistakes  

When first drafting, you’ll surely make mistakes  But don’t be afraid! Let the script settle and check it several times until it’s almost perfect. Start by writing a one-page draft (which is the recommended length for this kind of video) to edit later. Once you’ve developed the idea and corrected the draft, then you can get to a clean script.  

Read aloud 

Some explainer videos have dialog while others don’t, and some may even utilize voice overs. If your video needs a voice over, you may want to read the text out loud several times to see if it works. Consider the fact that what works in written form may not render the same when spoken aloud.  

So, it’s important to be aware of how the voiceover will resonate. Below some tips to test yourself: 

  • Don’t limit yourself to just reading; record your voice several times as you read the text and listen back to see how it works. 
  • Try to read your script all at once and not in stages: pay attention to consistency with the images you’re going to show and any phrases that don’t sound right. Read it over and over until you’re satisfied.  
  • Use tools to help you manage your reading time, and when you’re familiar with the text, try reading at a faster pace to give a sense of a steady, pressing rhythm, without ever losing fluidity.  
  • Ask for feedback: not only is it helpful to listen to yourself, it’s also helpful to have other people listen to you. What may sound right and coherent to us may be out of tune to outside ears. 

Insert a call to action 

When the explainer video is meant to promote a product, it’s likely that if a viewer reaches the end of the video they may be interested in purchasing. The way to convert a viewer into a customer is to provide an effective call to action (CTA) that facilitates the transition to a purchase. Don’t forget to include the website URL and email address, and you’re done! 

With this short guide, you can write a great explainer video script. 

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