A 3-Step Guide to Writing an Explainer Video Script

Karina Kasparova
Updated:
December 2, 2022

In this blog post, we won't be telling you how to write a killer explainer video script (yes, we've also seen countless blog posts with that title). 🚫

We also won't be providing you with a script you can copy/paste. Because why be unoriginal, when you can produce a uniquely written script using our framework?

Lastly, we won't dive into how to actually make a stunning explainer video. We covered that in a detailed separate post, which you can find here.

Instead, here's what we will do. ✅

We will show you how to write your own explainer video script that:

  • Aligns with your goals
  • Hooks in your target audience
  • Solves a problem

We will also introduce you to our own STORY framework, which makes explainer video script writing straightforward, fast, and purposeful. We'll include our own examples along the way to make the concepts easy to understand.

We'll finish this post with 7 tips & tricks on how to turn a good video script into a great one.

Bonus: We have also included a free printable explainer video script template with the STORY framework which you can use as a guide.

But enough talking about what we will do - let's dive into the actual process.

Introducing the STORY Framework

The STORY Framework for writing explainer video scripts was developed in-house by our Learning & Development experts Kevin and Elly.

The acronym outlines the structure of the scriptwriting process:

Setting the emotional tone

Target audience: Who is affected most by this emotion?

Obstacle: You want to _, but you can't because _ .

Resolution: You could solve this problem by _ .

Yes! It works: This works because _ .

You can use this handy template to fill in the blanks every time you're writing a script. It's that easy.

Step 1: Define the purpose of your explainer video

No video script writing can start without defining the purpose and goal of the video.

You might say, "But I know that already! I want to make an explainer video to introduce my product or service to my target audience."

Sure, that is the general idea behind explainer videos. But it's not unique, not specific enough. This is what every other explainer video on the web does, but not every one of those videos is remembered or recognized by viewers.

Here's how you can easily define a more in-depth purpose for your explainer videos 👇

#1 Think of the concrete goals you want to achieve with your explainer video

Why do you want to create this explainer video? Do you want to motivate viewers? Provide a better overview of your product or service? Drive more brand exposure or higher conversions?

Ideally, the explainer video is meant to become an actionable part of your marketing strategy, so aligning your video goals with your overall marketing goals is a good idea.

To show you a concrete example, here are the goals of this article:

  • to introduce you to our STORY video script template
  • to leave you more equipped to create marketing videos on your own, without the need for outsourcing to an explainer video company

#2 Identify your target audience

Making sure you're targeting the right audience is essential to the success of your explainer video. A different target market has its own unique preferences and will require its own unique approach, so don't use the cookie-cutter technique!

Once you figured out the key demographic for your explainer video script, think about why that audience should care about what you have to say.

For example, we assume the target audience for this post is a digital marketing specialist or small business owner looking to create their first explainer video to expand their video marketing efforts, but not knowing where to start.

Did we guess correctly? 🤓

#3 List 3 key takeaways

What do you want your audience to remember after watching your explainer video? Think of at least 3 key takeaways.

For example, the 3 key points we want you to take away after reading this post are:

  • Writing an explainer video script is a whole lot easier than you thought
  • The foundation of any great explainer video script is a concrete goal
  • You can use the STORY framework for creating fool-proof video scripts every time

Step 2: Write your explainer script outline in 5 sentences

The next stage is to write a sentence for each of the following steps in the STORY framework.

Set the emotional tone for the explainer video

How am I setting the stage? Am I telling them something new or building off of existing knowledge? What is the emotional tone?

Target audience: who is most affected by this emotion?

With this sentence, identify who is most affected by the emotion. And what is a proof point to add to the feeling?

This is also a good place to add a hook to capture that emotion. This could be anything from a rhetorical question to a tagline. Use this sentence to hook your audience in, grasp their attention, and engage them right off the bat.

A great hook at the beginning of the video is a sure way to decrease bounce rate and increase engagement, so make it count!

Obstacle: acknowledge & identify

What is the problem for your target demographic? What is preventing them from solving that problem?

Fill out the blanks in this sentence to structure the obstacle statement:

You want to _, but you can't because_.

Pin-point the exact pain points (try saying that 10 times 😰), and let the audience know you understand and share their pain.

For example, we presume the main obstacle for you is not knowing how to write an explainer video script, most likely due to a lack of previous experience. Or you just can't find a good free explainer video template in the sea of 'meh' templates.

Resolution

Explain how your product or service solves this problem. Why is that the best solution to their problem?

Identify the exact selling points and explain how your solution is better than any existing solution out there.

You might have noticed we've done that right at the beginning of this post. 🔝

Yes! It works

How does the solution work? Now that your potential customers know that it works, what's the next step?

This is where you include a powerful call-to-action (CTA) to convince viewers to take the next step. Tell them what they should do: should they sign up, contact your sales department, go to your website, or try your free demo?

To see what our CTA for this post is, you will have to keep reading until the end 😉

Step 3: Write out your explainer video script

The time has come to write an explainer video script in full.

Use the above STORY framework to expand on the 5 sentences for your problem/solution explainer video.

Writing amazing scripts for explainer videos: 7 tips & tricks

Equipped with the above STORY framework, you should now be able to write a good explainer video script.

The next step is to turn your explainer video scripts from good to great with these 7 simple tips & tricks. 👇

#1 Your first script shouldn't be the last one

What's that idiom... "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs"? Well, that doesn't only apply to eggs and omelettes.

When writing explainer video scripts, or when writing anything for that matter, your first script draft is likely going to be lack-luster. And that's okay.

The key is to keep re-reading and re-writing until it sounds just right. It's may take 2 drafts or 15 drafts, but eventually, you will end up with a script you're proud of. In fact, this blog post has been re-written (at least) 3 times. 🙈

It can also help to get a pair of fresh eyes to proof-read your script. They might see something you missed, or come up with a better suggestion.

#2 Make your tagline memorable

A tagline is a phrase your customers will associate with the brand, product, or service, so make it a memorable one.

We bet Nike's 'Just Do It' or McDonalds' 'I'm lovin' it' immediately came to mind when you read this section's subheading.

While coming up with taglines this iconic is difficult at best, they teach us an important lesson: keep it simple.

So ditch the complicated words and capture the essence of your brand/product/service in as few words as possible.

Add humor, if applicable. Dollar Shave Club's video is a great example, in our opinion. 👏

DollarShaveClub.com - Our Blades Are F***ing Great

#3 Short sentences, always.

Imagine a sentence that starts out strong, making important points here and there, but as time passes it just seems to drag on and on, all while using complicated words to convince you to make an action, and next thing you know - you've lost track of what's happening, what it is you're looking at, and you don't care anymore, you just want to make it stop. 🙉

We just managed to write 66 words in a single sentence without actually saying anything of value. And this will happen to you if you Don't. Break. Up. Your. Script.

Okay, maybe not that much, but you get the point. Shorter sentences are easier to comprehend, easier to remember, and easier to pronounce.

Writing shorter sentences will force you to make each sentence in your explainer video script impactful, memorable, and to the point.

#4 Speak directly to your viewers

Write your video script like you speak. Most people don't use passive voice and complicated words in everyday life, so why would you write in a way that sounds unnatural?

So drop the felicitous grammar and ostentatious lingo in favor of simpler sentence structures and understandable words. If you have to google the word's meaning (like we just did) - your readers will have to as well.

Tip 💡

Use personal pronouns like 'you', 'I', 'we' in your explainer videos to connect with your audience on a more personal level. Have you noticed we've been doing that throughout this article? 😇

#5 Provide value to your users

It can be challenging to stand out with video marketing. If your video script sounds too sales-y or dry, it will immediately put people off.

Instead, try focusing on providing value to your users. Write a video script that shows viewers how your product can solve their problem, and base your entire video script on that - the value.

Tip 💡

Tie in an emotional story, if applicable. Targeting and addressing people's emotions is a proven way to elicit a response and stand out.

#6 Use a real or AI voice actor

Writing a good explainer video script is just one part of the equation. Making the delivery perfect is just as important.

Choosing the right tone, making appropriate pauses and sound effects doesn't come naturally to many of us. Unless you've been trained in voice acting, hiring a professional is a good idea.

If you're a small business owner, it might be a bit over your budget. In that case, we suggest looking into AI text-to-speech technology. You'd be surprised at how good machines are at talking. Almost as if they've been trained to do exactly that. 🤔

#7 Call to action

Never leave your viewers thinking 'What's next?' after they've watched your explainer video. Get ahead of the curve, and answer that question with a compelling call to action.

Tell them exactly what they should do next.

Here's our call to action for you:

Ready to turn your new explainer video script into an explainer video in just 10 minutes? Learn how to do that here 👇

Or, you can already try a free demo of Synthesia to get started. 😉

Frequently Asked Questions