When we tell our clients that their explainer video script will be 2 minutes or less, which translates to under 300 words, the response is rarely dissimilar. There is usually some silence on the other end of the phone while they do the math. Yes, fewer than 300 words looks like about half a page of text. The vocal group will usually spout sentiments like, “Are you crazy? Our boilerplate is longer than that!” or “Uhhh… We sent you 50 pages of corporate collateral – how in the world is that going to condense into a half page of script?!”
It’s understandable, and it’s something we have to explain every day. So, let’s take a moment to talk about some tricks of the trade – here are a few ways that our brilliant scriptwriters can take a million words of material, and boil it down into a short and sweet script with serious impact.
The art of the “brief”: Before the script is written, our scriptwriters sit in on the project brief. Scriptwriters need to be incredible wordsmiths, but they also need some serious listening skills. They are acutely listening to the conversation, and picking out things like: tone, lingo, unique selling points and story queues. This project brief empowers the scriptwriter because whether or not you notice it or not, you CAN tell the story of your company in a compelling, and clear way. It’s often hidden under a pile of collateral.
On screen text: Eliminate words from the voice over, and put them on screen. The beauty of a video is that it combines what you hear and what you see. If you need to explain the price of a product, put it on the screen instead. A simple price tag on screen will save you a sentence of text! Every word counts.
Rely on the visual: Often times, elements of your story don’t need to be spoken or included in the word count of your script. An image is far more powerful and effective at explaining tricky concepts – that’s why it’s such an incredible story-telling tool! With video marketing content, it’s more SHOW than TELL.
Be selective: Unless you have a 3-step process from manufacturing to market – you will quite simply not be able to say everything about your company/product/service in 2 minutes or less. Get over it now. But you CAN say everything you NEED to in that time. What do you do/how does it work? Why does that benefit the buyer? What problem does it solve? That’s the DNA of a great explainer video. Pick out the most important points to cover – you can do it.
If you’re still an unbeliever, take a browse of our video library. The majority of these clients had the same concerns at first, but none of them walked away with a video that didn’t do a great job of explaining their company. Short n’ sweet is the winning one-two punch.