How to Write a Company Explainer Video in 4 Steps
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
You name it - there's an explainer video for it.
Explainer videos are everywhere, whether they are introducing a brand to the market, explaining how a product works, or explaining ideas or methodologies; the list is endless.
According to marketing guru Andrew Angus, when using audio, audiences retain about 10% of what they are told, but when you add the visual and have both auditory and visual senses stimulated, that number increases up to 68%. (60 Seconds: How to tell your company's story and the brain science to make it stick).
This means, adding a video to your site will not only increase the time people spend on your site and, by default, SEO results, but it will actually help potential customers and clients understand and remember your brand.
With each type of explainer video, there is a slightly different approach. In this post, we will identify specifically how to write a Company Introduction Explainer Video, the video that introduces audiences to who you are and what you do.
Writing this type of explainer video can be similar to writing your “About” section – if you want it to be. Explainer videos give you the means to expand beyond just language, so it can be more than just your about section with some animation.
Whether you are creating this explainer on your own or with a team, keep in mind that explainers do best when they tell a story, rather than just giving the audience a series of facts.
With all this mind, here is how to write a company intro explainer in 4 steps.
1. Know Your Brand
As always, we start off with the brand. Who are you? What type of brand are you? How do you relate to your customers/clients? Answering those questions will help you decide what style of explainer video you want to create.
If you have a brand guide (extra points if you have vocal guide), have that on hand as you work.
There are an infinite number of styles for explainer videos, and animators and videographers are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to tell your story. With this being said, there are a few standard types that work pretty well for company intro videos.
I. Motion Graphics
This style of explainer video is created by manipulating images or illustrations and integrating them with others. They work like moving infographics and are a great to keep things slick and clean. They are also fairly cost effective, so that’s a plus.
II. Whiteboard Animation
A trending style of storytelling among Youtubers in the 2010s, whiteboard explainers are simple, yet effective. This explainer consists of a live drawing on a whiteboard, so the audience watches as the story builds in front of them.
III. Character Animation
Character animation explainers are a great choice for companies wanting to depict customer relations or internal company teams. It allows you to show the human aspect of your company and leaves plenty of room for brand personality.
IV. Motion Capture with Voiceover
This style of explainer video overlays captured footage with voiceover. The video can be excerpts of meetings, footage from company events, or even related stock footage.
These are just a few of the many styles of explainers. Take a look at your brand’s current visual assets and see which fits best.
It is easy to get excited and jump right into writing, but remember that the script will be working in conjunction with the visuals. Before jumping into exact phraseology, consider the whole story being told.
Create a rough storyboard of the video. This can be done on paper or digitally, depending on your preference. I’m old fashioned and always opt for paper, converting to digital later if needed.
This storyboard well help you flesh out the general flow of your video. Add ideas for language you want to use (family, modern, hip, etc.) and maybe some sample colors or images. If you know the music or style of music you want, add that too.
Good storytelling address a problem, so see if there is a way to introduce a problem that needs solving. Maybe there is a problem your company solves, or many your company has a problem it is working on solving but needs the audience’s help.
Let yourself get overly creative.
In this stage of creation, I often intentionally allow myself to get carried away. I throw budget and time constraints out the window and hold a space of pure creativity. Once I have that idea on paper, I can dial it back to whatever is within reason.
Once you have a rough idea of story on paper (or screen), it’s time to put it into words.
Not only are the best explainer videos good stories, they are also stories based in the present. Take a look at the beginning of a script for the fictitious estate agency, House and Home.
“Dave used to work for a big corporate estate agency, but with so many clients, he realized he couldn’t give them the attention they needed. He watched as clients fell through the cracks, and houses that should have sold in days fell off the market after a few months.”
A simple way to bring this story in the present is to introduce the audience to the protagonist.
“This is Dave. Dave used to work for a big corporate estate agency, but with so many clients, he realized…etc.”
Now the audience is experiencing these previous events alongside Dave, making the conflict current and bringing the action to the audience.
So as you write, find ways to consistently bring the audience into the story, making them players in the scene rather than observers of the action.
As you write, don’t forget that these words will be spoken, rather than read. Make sure to give it an oral proofread to see if there are verbal stumbling blocks that make the script awkward.
These stumbling blocks may take form as consonant clusters, excess use of certain consonants or vowel sounds, and even certain words.
Some words that appear great on paper can sound bulky to the ear. During your proofing, also make sure the language is matching the visuals and your overall brand tone.
Now the script is ready to pass on to your visual artist and a voiceover artist.
As well as the script, pass your storyboard notes on to your voiceover artist. Not only does this help your voiceover artist find the correct tone and pace, it can be especially helpful to the artist if the script needs to be timed with the video.
Let me know if you are working on an explainer, and you need advice on which style to choose, or you’re unsure on narrowing down storylines. I am always happy to help companies tell their stories and share experience in audio with fellow copywriters.