Hand Drawn Whiteboard and 2D Explainer Animation

A Guide to Writing an Explainer Animation Script for Your Business


This is a short business explainer animation script writing guide for anyone struggling with such for the front page of their business website. It is only one of a number of approaches one might take but is one we use with struggling clients. This is because it quickly allows us to establish the core benefits of their offer and therefore the focus for their animation script.

The merits of using a video on the front page of your website are numerous. They include the fact that new visitors are more likely to click the play arrow on an image and watch a video, than read volumes of text to find out about what it is you do.

People like to be entertained while being informed. Any video you place on your website had better do both or you risk your new viewers swiftly clicking away in search of something more engaging.

The key to retaining your viewers’ interest is to respect the time they are giving you. You therefore need to keep your “front of house” videos short and to the point. The only way you will achieve this is to first sit down and write, a well structured, purposeful script.

Your approach to writing any animation script will differ according to the purpose of the animated video. In the case of a website front page or splash page explainer video, these should be as short as possible without leaving anything significant out. Writing it as a story should be your ultimate objective.

In our experience, many business owners and marketing professionals have difficulty in keeping these “first touch” scripts short. There is a tendency to want to tell the audience everything one can think of about your products or services.

Logic suggests that if one is spending a significant amount of time and money to explain something this important then why miss anything out? – Wrong!

Any website front page or splash page video needs to say enough to elicit interest and encourage any visitor to want to find out more without boring the pants off them.

Much like any elevator pitch, it should quickly summarise your core proposition and explain your point of difference. The place for long detailed explanations of your products or services is in a series of more dedicated and detailed pages within your website. Here you can validate your expertise using longer videos, happy in the knowledge that your viewer has opted to explore your offer in more detail.

Every script should be based on a plan and one method we use for any first touch / website front page video is to take an elevator pitch approach.

Explainer Animation Script Writing Method

Just like any elevator pitch your first task in writing your script should be to write down who you are. What you do, followed by what makes you different, and how you add value for your customers through what you do.

Writing these down in a list, as a series of factual statements, will help keep this short and succinct. You may need to rework each to make them as short and precise as possible.

Once completed, take the same statements, double space them on a fresh page or a new document before adding the word BECAUSE in the line below after each.

Now write a second short statement after each BECAUSE which states and clarifies the benefit each of your statements provide. ( I like to use a different text colour for these to help keep both clearly separate when I read them back. )

This list of benefits can now be edited or rearranged and perhaps improved, with further consideration, to make your list read more like a story. ( It’s a good idea to produce this as a new document that one might title “Draft Script”.)

This process will also highlight where anything originally listed as a separate feature, actually provides the same benefit as another feature in your list. There is no need to be state these twice within your script.

Rearranging the order in which some of your benefits are stated may also improve the flow of your story. It should also provide opportunities to refine the wording to further shorten the overall length of your final version.

We strongly recommend trying to finish up with a script which flows and doesn’t sound clipped or stilted of around 180 to 230 words long for this kind of “hello, we are” explainer video.

This will provide a finished animated video of between 60 to 90 seconds, or sometimes a little more, depending on how quickly it is spoken and the number / duration of any pauses left for emphasis or effect.

Your original list of features can now be used as a written guide for some of the visual support needed to illustrate your script.

We have used this method to successfully help a number of clients produce a succinct and relevant script but it is only one method among many. A good creative copywriter will help you explore more options for your animation script.

If you are struggling to identify where you might start writing your explainer animation script then I would thoroughly recommend reading Jim O’Connor’s little book available on Amazon.

The book is titled, “The Authority Guide to Creating Brand Stories That Sell” and will provide you with some invaluable insights or reminders on how you might approach the task of making your brand stand out before you start.

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