5 Tips to Write an Awesome Explainer Video Script

Animated explainer videos are an increasingly popular tool to inform customers about your products and services in an entertaining and informative way. Here's how to make the most effective use of this medium.

three cartoon people

Animated explainer videos are all the rage, and it’s not hard to understand why: they’re a powerful way to project your brand, convey complex business models simply, and immediately engage your audience.

After partnering with video production and animation studios that specialize in explainer videos, and writing scripts for our own clients, MarketSmiths was so taken with the idea that we decided to get one for ourselves.

We’re proud to share MarketSmiths’ very own explainer video:

Big thanks to Bravo Media, who beautifully animated and produced the explainer.

If you’re looking to commission your own, don’t leave the explainer video script as an afterthought: it’s the skeletal structure that holds the animation together while the visuals take off into flights of fancy.

Writing Your Explainer Video Script

You’ll have a few options when it comes to the script: you can leave it up to the animation studio and take a hands-off approach—Bravo has their own great scriptwriters, and many animators partner with copywriters like us. If you’d like more control, you can try to write it yourself, but you might quickly find you’re out of your depths.

A third option (and one that we’d obviously endorse) is working with a dedicated copywriting company like MarketSmiths to develop the script. An expert copywriter can crystallize your value, deliver an outside perspective, and bring your brand’s language to life.

5 Tips to Enhance Your Animated Explainer Script

No matter what path you choose, keep these five tips top of mind.

1. Respect Your Existing Brand

Just because animated videos are a new media channel for your company doesn’t mean you need to reinvent your brand.

It shouldn’t be a total departure—if your brand’s techie and sharp, you don’t need to be over-the-top silly.

Nota bene: animations are not cartoons. They can be as professional or playful as you’d like. Your script should channel your brand, augmenting it rather than compromising it.

2. Don’t Fall Into the Storytelling Trap

Narrative storytelling can be a wonderful way to structure your script and get your viewers emotionally invested—but it’s not the only way.

Traditional storytelling (character encounters conflict and overcomes it) is but one of the many tools in a scriptwriter’s bag of tricks.

You can absolutely voice your value without introducing stock characters and even dive right into the way your solution works—so long as you do it in an engaging, strategic manner.

3. Embrace the Freedom of Animation

Animated videos allow you to do almost anything you can imagine—you’re not constrained by the confines live actors, special effect budgets, or even the laws of physics.

That means you’re free to cover complex concepts with visual metaphors, hop between varied ideas, and indulge in a nonstop stream of creativity and freshness.
If you can dream it, the amazing animators out there can do it.

4. Give the Animator Room to Create

Drafting an animated script is always a collaboration. While you can certainly include your ideas for visuals, give the artists enough room to do what they do best.

When we wrote the MarketSmiths script, we purposely avoided being too prescriptive. For example, we didn’t know how exactly to showcase the line, “Our content strategy sessions go deeper than most”—but we trusted that the animator did.

She delighted us with a two-second scene of a piano plunging into the depths of the fish-filled ocean, keeping things fun and captivating as our script chugged along.

5. Remember That Sometimes, Less Is More

Animations are inherently extremely visual. Your script doesn’t need to do all the legwork of explaining your business.

You can keep things short and simple while the visual elements explore the deeper meanings and messages of your brand.

However your video script gets written, it never hurts to have an extra set of expert eyes.

Want to learn more about writing the script for your next animated explainer video? Complete the contact form on the bottom of this page to get in touch.

Gregory Lewis

Gregory Lewis

A winsome wordsmith, Gregory M. Lewis loves nothing better than absorbing new information and crystallizing it into clear, captivating copy. Greg brings his incisive insight and easy-going approach to every project. In his free time, the Chicago native can be spotted at Nets games, art galleries, and local concerts in Brooklyn.

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