There are 2 key elements in every explainer corporate animation: the script and the creative.
For the creative, you need to review the portfolios of many production companies and go with the one that feel is right for you. However, what’s much more difficult to assess is their script writing capabilities. And this is where most explainer videos fail: the production company doesn’t “get” your business, can’t get the message right, or is stuck to old-school approaches.
Gone are the days where you could waste your first 20-30 seconds with a cutesy introduction. Especially if you’re a B2B company. So what can you do? Two things: first – look for a production company that has produced videos for companies similar to yours, watch them and gauge their effectiveness; and two – get a solid script writing foundation yourself. As long as you know the fundamentals, you’ll be able to guide the production company.
So here are the basics around script writing:
Most explainers will follow the AIDA structure. AIDA stands for Attention -> Interest -> Desire -> Action. The first 5 seconds are critical, that’s where you’ll grab your audience’s attention. So they’ll grant you another 5-10 seconds of their time. You should think of every segment as building up your trust and credibility with your audience.
Attention – What’s a good opener? Start with your most powerful statement, your value proposition, something that will stop your audience in their tracks. It doesn’t have to be salesy or scammy like “Looking to become an instant millionaire?” Those won’t work (or at least shouldn’t). But how about “Is it fair that you have to pay your agency whether they deliver results or not?” Or “As a global supplier, you’re probably struggling to navigate the ever more complicated regulations and compliance requirements”. You need something that’s top-of-mind with your audience, and ideally elicit a “yes!”
Interest – Next comes the Interest, where you explain how you can solve your audience’s pain point and demonstrate how your solution works. The challenge here is to make sure that go into enough depth without overwhelming your viewers. They don’t care about all the minutiae and hundreds of awesome features that you have (yet). You’re still courting them, in a business relationship kind of way. And this is where a good script writer can distill your offering to its essentials, and explain it in layman’s terms. Your goal is to be effective, and give your audience what THEY need. You’re probably too close to the solution so you’ll have to rely if possible to an outsider.
Desire – Then comes the easier part: painting the picture of the benefits that your offering can deliver. How does it make users’ lives easier and their businesses more successful? As long as your targeting is accurate, your viewer should identify with this “promise” and get excited about working with you.
Action – And finally comes the Call to Action. Now that your viewer is primed, what’s the next step to move forward and work with you? The go-to here is “call us know” or “get in touch today!” but that’s a bit of a wasted opportunity. Why not offer something that will make the viewer email you right away? I’m not talking about a crazy bait-and-switch offer but something that can genuinely add value to them. And avoid the fake “limited time” or “act now” offers because we’re trained to see right through them. Be authentic: how do you typically start an engagement with a client? Maybe offer the first step for free, such as a consultation or free assessment. Yes, it may mean a bit more spec work on your side, but it’s more likely to attract the right people to your door.
With these fundamentals under your belt, you should feel more comfortable that you’ll get a video that’s right for you. It’s still a risk of course when you sign up with a production company because you can’t tell how good their script writing is, so try to gauge that when you interview them and meet with their script writer.
Don’t get stuck! The way we eliminate this hurdle is two-fold: our script writer has written over 1,000 scripts and can immediately share relevant experiences to your project; and we never invoice before you’ve signed off on the script. So if you’re not happy with our team, process, or script writing, we part our ways without any cost to you. And we recommend asking for a deal like that from other production companies, so you’re not stuck in a situation where you’re writing the script and can’t get the help you need from a real expert.