A Beginner’s Guide to Script Writing for Animated videos
So your boss has finally woken up to the power of online video and instructed you to get an animated video for your website.
Great! You have also found an excellent Animated video making tool to create your Explainer video
But before keeping your hand on the mouse, prepare a rock-solid script for the animated video.The animated video on your mind may be of various genres like instructional, educational, promotional or informative.
It’s very hard to make a bad script look good in video. If you have a well-written script, then there is a very good chance that the final outcome-your animated video is good.
In fact, if you are very particular about the outcome and have decided to spend a good amount of time in creating the animated video, then it is wise to allocate half of your time in developing an interesting script.
Are you going to write an animation video script on your own? Then you should know;
what a Script is
According to the dictionaries,
A Script is nothing but “The written text of a play.”
In other words,
What is finally seen and heard is written on the page.
Script writing for animated video:
Animated video is a fantastic medium for selling the message, as there is no better way of communicating specific information, training staff, or telling the world about your business.
A video will become authentic, when it doesn’t feel scripted. The way we learned to write in college won’t work for writing an animation video script. Therefore, it must be absolutely word perfect in every aspect.
Every detail, every line of a creative script will come back to the main theme. Your approach exactly should be in a way to present your core message to your audience successfully.
Even when your script is just for three or five minutes of animated video. Take hours or if possible, days to write, rewrite and fine-tune the script to perfection.
Some points to remember when script writing for an animated video,
- Forget what you are good at, focus on what the customer wants
- Consider the length, keep it short
- Do the unexpected, surprise your audience
- Communicate effectively, grab attention
- Connect emotionally
- Tell stories
- Be conversational
- Simplify your core message
- Make it personal
- Add humour
- Wrap up tightly
Keys to write an animated video script:
There are three main keys that can be kept in mind when writing a script for animated video:
1) Structure of the script:
The narrative structure of a script must flow in a logical pattern to make it meaningful so that it is very compelling for the audience to listen. The script structure is the platform on which we can build the call to action. The common and effective structure for writing a script is by introducing a problem that your audience usually face and explaining how your product becomes the suitable solution.
2) Animated characters used:
Defining solid impressive animated characters will be the starting point of a compelling script. Fewer characters with more dialogue will build an emotional connection with the viewers. This makes the animated video look more realistic and keeps your script integrated with the central message.
3) Call to action:
When closing an animation video, the viewer will see himself/herself in your characters and this emotional connection allows the message to take hold. Placing the call to action on the top of this emotional connection prepares the script for success. The best script aims at communicating a message that directly leaves your viewers to act immediately.
Kick start your script-writing mission:
The first thing to think when preparing a script is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes. Your viewers will always have a special filter like “what’s in it for me?”
Your script needs to cater exactly for that question. Throughout the script, try answering questions which your audience might have.
The process of writing a script outline can be both challenging and frustrating for anyone who isn’t a writer by trade. Here are some simple steps to follow when writing scripts for animated videos.
1. Brief your concept first:
The first thing you need to know is what is the purpose of the video? Why you need animated videos
? And what to cover?
Creating a brief allows you to document the answers to your really important project questions. It does not have to be fancy and need not to follow a specific formula.
Even if it seems like an easy step to skip, it’s really worth the effort. There are many key questions that you need to ask yourself before crafting an effective video script.
- Who is your target audience?
- What is that one big problem your product could solve?
- What is the goal of the video?
- Why are we making the animated video and to whom?
- What is the core theme upon which your video is built?
- What is the key learning expected from the video?
- What are all the call to actions?
2. Limit your word count:
When writing a video script while making your own animated video, there is always a constraint with respect to the number of words you use in your script..
The optimal length for an animated video is 90 seconds. You should always aim to hook your audience to the video within the first 7 seconds, as this is when they decide whether to continue listening or not.
You might say, “My product is so awesome and I will not be able to explain it in a few words”
The script is the first chance to work on animated video length and you can do that with word count. You can notice that some movie trailers are more exciting than the movie itself. That’s because a trailer is limited by a time constraint.
Also, do not try to dump a whole bunch of information about your business within those few seconds of your video. Then the audience will not be able to decipher the information shown in the animated video. As you know your business better than anybody else, you are the one who would know the kind of information you want your audience to know. Deliver the same in the way they would like.
We can figure out how to outline an effective demo script by considering the word count:
- 45 seconds - 90-110 words
- 60 seconds - 120-170 words
- 90 seconds - 200-250 words
- 2 minutes - 250-300 words
3. Adopt a consistent script writing methodology:
By now, you would have understood the effect of an animated video on your audience. Your animated video will be created around your primary objective. You understand your product since you have already demoed your product a hundred times. So, whatever you write about your product must project it the way you always wanted, right?
Script Writing for a training video is different from writing for sales and marketing purposes. The result of every video is different from the other as our creativity also varies from project to project.
You started writing only because of the fact that you know a lot about the subject in hand. Adopting a pattern will help you to write effectively and your viewers absorb your content quickly as they move from one video to the other.
So, how would you like your video to start?, “This is Bob, and he has so and so problem” or “Are you facing so and so problem?” or “I bet you have this problem and we have the solution”. All of the above three perspectives can be equally effective. But whatever you choose, stick with it.
Don’t switch mid-stream like this: “Bob has this problem. See how this solution helps him?” Instead, “Bob has this problem. This is how the solution helped Bob to solve it.” Notice, in example the point of view is consistent. Keeping the point of view consistent prevents your viewers from getting confused.
A) The Problem-Solution method:
An effective and familiar method is to explain your solution for a particular problem of viewers. Start by identifying the pain point of your audience and tap into their emotions. Make sure the audience should feel their pain and follow you to know how you can solve their problem. Next, provide your solution for their problem and make sure to give the solution in a short time.
Describe the benefits; explain why they should choose yours among the competition. Connect with your audience by a simple and well-known example or case study. Explain in detail how your product/service provides the solution and include the benefits of the features. Lead them to develop a liking towards your product and make them to act immediately.
B) Historical Method:
Are you offering an innovative and a better modern alternative? Find out what came before the service or product you are offering? Then use the story to really show off the benefits you are offering and take the viewers on an emotional journey through the way that things used to be done, unlike the problem solving method. It may not be an obvious choice, but can be a great way to explain your business.
C) Direct Explanatory Method:
Typically, with a background voice-over this can be a simple start-to-end run-through of your business that you are explaining. Start by introducing your core message, then break it down into three to four easy points and introduce these at the start of video. Then spend a particular duration of time to explain each point in detail. At the end of the video, reinforce those key points that you wanted to get across. It’s a way to get positive reinforcement.
No matter what method you follow, the part, which makes your script most valuable is the call to action. In a creative and memorable way, introduce your company, logo, and tagline. Add the necessary call to actions naturally. Make the viewers get to know what you want them to do. Make them to react immediately!
4. Draft your script:
As you’re writing your own animated video script, keep that age-old saying in mind, “A picture is worth than a thousand words”
Remember, you’re going to create an animated video, so it can have many possible visuals and audible elements to reach your audience for sure.
Script every word and do lots of re-dos to get a message as clearly and concisely as possible and make it through.
Write in plain, conversational English; make sure you use the language that your target audience will understand. By necessity if you use industry terms, make sure to explain appropriately.
For a short animated video, your script can be written using any word processor. Google docs and Ever note are also recommended. You may require script revision history and later your teammates also can use the comments feature.
However, if you’re creating a more elaborate script and want to format it the way professional scriptwriters do, acquire a special script-writing software to help you format the script. Some of the examples are Final Draft 8, Movie magic Screenwriter 6 etc.
On an ending note,
Animated video is definitely the right tool to sell your product. Before using some great DIY video making tools like Animaker
, you need to prepare a well thought out script which reflects how you want the animated video subject to speak. By focusing on writing a clear script with a good story line, you can deliver your business message successfully to the audience. Then probably the next script you will write might be that of your company’s success story.