B2B Explainer Video Script Template

3 mins Read
#Story Board
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Quick n' dirty B2B explainer video template you can hit the ground running with now!

We love B2B companies.

We created thousands of videos, scripts & storyboards over the last 13 years.

We know they are complex. Weird.

With quirks like having 25+ features/value propositions.

Before you read further. Here are the best takeaways from this article according to our editor.

1. The fastest way to create a video script is to "think visually" - meaning write words in one column and your visuals + sound effects in the next.

2. Take messaging that works and turn it into a video. You don't need to pioneer something completely new for your script.

3. Research says that ideal length for most explainer videos is either 30 seconds or between 2 to 3 minutes. There's more to this, but worth considering this guideline.

4. Always do an animatic (storyboard + voiceover) as soon as possible. It's the only way to judge the outcome of your script and visual narrative.

Our experience comes from 13 years of producing all types of videos from screencast to explainer to 3D to behind the camera filming.

We're going to share what works for us - simplified. Since the actual process we use for scripting takes around .5 to 1.5 weeks to complete.

That being said,

Quick outline about what you will learn:

  • Below there's a template, it's very basic, but it's EXACTLY what we use on every single project. If you're itching to start, start. It's got instructions at the top.
  • How to write visually for storyboards to maximize your scripts clarity.
  • Advice on how to come up with ideas. How to boil it down. How to write something that matters. Find visual associations etc.
  • What's the perfect length? Well, there's more than one. You'll learn.
  • What softwares do we use? To script, storyboard, animatic? We'll share.

There's more, but it's a short article. So let's dive into it.

But - before you spend time on this. Is it really worth it? We suggest doing an ROI calculation on your app explainer video first.

Don't feel like reading?

Start writing with our free explainer video script template here

Video Scripts Simplified

You script something, so that you don't have to improvise it.

The advantage this gives you is: time.

Time to re-iterate, or as writers call it: edit.

Yup. You sit there.

You edit, you continuously come up with better ideas.

This is the secret to a lot of at, and especially script writing. If time is on your side (i.e less deadline) - who's to say you can't just "perfect" or "edit to perfection".

Well. You can! 

While you contemplate where perfection lies, keep this in mind.

You have 140 to 170 words per minute in an explainer video script depending on the read speed. So while editing focus on cutting it down.

To do this, you will want to interplay the visuals with words. Saving time where you can with the old adage of "show, don't tell".

So that being said, we'll need a template that allows us to organize our thoughts correctly.

...And it doesn't need to be sophisticated, a simple table in Google docs could do.

After all it's the quality of ideas, creativity of visual narrative and execution of production that will make the REAL difference in the end.

What An Explainer Video Script Template Allows You To Do

Graphic for 3 benefits of using an explainer video template
The 3 benefits are: faster, better, smarter videos.

Visualize your video before committing: see it play out with voiceover & visuals

Yup. You have to think about 3 things when you are writing scripts.

Because you are not just writing a novel. No, remember? This is an article on becoming a certified explainer video script master.

The point is pretty simple: think visually. See the scene.

What will you want to show?

The best producers can plan their entire sequence on a napkin, and you can immediately SEE the power of the visuals, narrative combined. So it doesn't have to be fancy.

The benefit of course, is you save TONS of time when you plan and visualize what you will create with care.

Don't be guilty of these.

You need a plan. So, let's make one.

This is everything you should do before actually writing.

Let's call it pre-writing.

  1. Download OneNote or something similar, create a swipefile.
  2. Research. Source materials, facts, figures, niche/product understanding. Dig deep. Use tools. Be clever.
  3. 3-5 content examples that you LOVE. Explain why.
  4. Your persona. Be detailed and specific, go beyond demographics.
  5. Product. Figure out the main value & two secondary benefits.
  6. Key lines: from comments, customers, marketing etc.
  7. Any visuals which you often see in the niche (symbolism) take note.
  8. Create constraints. Don't say 'anything goes', limits are good.
  9. Stakeholder level: budget, deadline, etc.

By this point, what you have is a lot of unconnected thoughts, but this is the first step to letting your ideas ferment.

Be loose about this plan. It's not set in stone how long each step takes, but it's well documented that specificity leads to better results.

But... take it with a grain of salt. Like Mike says,

Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.
-Mike Tyson

Next in the plan. We examine the visual side of it. What will your video look like? Let's get more specific about that.

Moodboards, a creative secret to designing scripts

Itching to write? Not yet.

The next part of pre-writing is looking for more examples of content you love.

We're going to moodboard. Which means copy/paste images of things you like to show a visual direction. It helps "see" your world.

We use tools like Miro. Google docs or slides. Milanote. Figma. Pinterest.

Everyone has their preference, and in the end it doesn't matter. Just compile all the things that you like, and want inspiration from.

In the end moodboards end up looking like a collage.

Square images displayed beside each other
This didn't get used. But we had to see it to say "nahhh".
We were searching for rectangles. This helped us identify some shapes/configurations that would have taken a while to explore.

How to make a strong pitch / sales deck / write an explainer video script

Let's call it a pitch. A sales deck. An explainer video.

All aim to accomplish the same thing: bring a new narrative. We love the Andy Raskin approach, old way/new way.

That being said.

Here's a list of explainer video tips from our in-house copywriters.

  1. Hear the voiceover tone in your mind. Define it.
  2. Starting out? Use frameworks like problem, aspiration, solution.
  3. Lead with value. The best comes first. Think journalist model.
  4. Questions are powerful for contextualizing what will come next.
  5. Your intro, logo reveal and outro are KEY moments. Plan as such.
  6. Relevant & obvious metaphors only. Nothing complex.
  7. Grab reference images. Screenshots. Everything helps.
  8. Don't try to fit in everything - 1 main theme or narrative.
  9. Lead with emotion. Start with something spicey.
  10. Avoid adjectives, explain with verbs/actions your point.
  11. Sound effects & music can change the tone.
  12. Be meta. Think about the systems at play. Not just tactics.
  13. Know where this fits in + why. Too many assets unused.
Making an explainer video brief in 9 steps
Take these 9 steps and you'll have a killer explainer video in no time

Don't feel like writing a script? Then, create a solid brief.

Won't that be helpful?

Of course. Whoever ends up writing the script will appreciate a well thought out and crafted brief because it minimizes the rounds of revisions from the get go.

NOTE: Not every studio can write a script for you, but all will need as much information as possible. Some will only work on production or from the storyboard phase.

Here's a quick list of helpful information which can save you time vetting vendors:

  1. The scope: What is the style, length, any other constraints, budget, deadline.
  2. The emotion: What are we trying to evoke?
  3. The market: Who, what, where, when, why, and how the product solves the problem
  4. Tone: How should it be said? What are the messaging guidelines?
  5. Visual: The branding, fonts, colors, all files necessary
  6. Illustration: A few references, moodboards if necessary, some general guidelines
  7. Animation: Understanding of what the end result will look like
  8. Sound + music: What's the feeling/ambience?
  9. Final renders: What you need, any social media edits, formats, sizes etc
  10. Any links: show what you want, try to send 3-5 for variety

It might seem silly to add this much detail to a brief, but it will give you much more accurate responses/quotes.

And there's nothing worse than not using a vendor because the project was misunderstood.

Using Your Brief To Create Your Outline

Good trick to use, the outline. It's under-rated. Quick way to get thoughts out.

Instead of writing it bit by bit, bullet point it out.

Start with your main points and indent with Tab as necessary.
-The problem is ____

This way you can get an idea of the flow. You can group your intro, middle, outro.

Main point, secondary points, words to use, scenes to use... and kind of reverse fill your video.

Slowly you will start to see where things fit in.

Your explainer video script length should be?

Black Text on Gray Background
Now it's time to get creative, put pen to paper, and stare down that blank sheet!

We're getting close, but length is pretty important.

I mean, what if you can do something in 30 seconds instead of 90... wouldn't that be useful in time, energy and money saved?

Sure... and to achieve that, it may take dozens of revisions.

Some of our projects will get done in 1-2 rounds. Others in 20. And in some instances, the script shrinks significantly over time.

Is that the best thing to do?

What About The Ideal Video Length?

According to Wistia there's 3 drop off points. And note, these are not eternally true to every niche/industry - just an interesting set of stats to consider.

ideal video length - average engagement vs video length wistia study
30 seconds. 2-3 minutes. After 12 minutes.
These are your "drop off" points to be wary of.

-30 seconds
-2-3 minutes
-6-12 minutes

These were seen as the general sweet spots. However as people have pointed out in the comments, this is to be taken as a general idea - not gospel.

It will depend on video context, niche and other factors.

Here's a quick example to illustrate this point:

VIDEO A: 15 seconds "Win a free iPhone by entering your email" - could be very effective and very short.

VIDEO B: 60 minutes "Saving 10% on your mortgage payments tomorrow" - likely fewer people will finish the video, but conversions could still be high.

So the best advice on length? "As long as it needs to be".

Moving on, to something overlooked but understated.

What is your brand tone, do you have it in mind?

It's subtle. The feeling, nature, character of your brand.

This is what writers usually work with.

Different words, have different feelings, different meanings. Did you know English is the language (or one of) with the most words?

Some are redundant, but others are synonyms - and simply choosing the right one is a task all on it's own.

Finding the words, which reflect the brand. For example:

Pool could use words like splash, dive in, immerse, things which associate with water.

That's what tone is about. Phrasing & the words you use.

Not just what's being said, but how it's being said.

There's a lot of opportunity for expression there.

Storyboarding your explainer video script using software

Filmmakers, Youtuber, Script, Screenwriter, Writing
Use storyboards to help bring your vision to life.

We're almost there. It's time to storyboard your script.

You or someone you know, need to be able to draw and upload some ideas to the computer. You can also grab images online - this can substitute but leads to a lower quality result.

We recommend using a service such as https://boords.com to get you started

It is a free to try service, but it helps you with two things:

First, organizing your script, audio and visual ideas.

Second, creating a play by play with your voiceover known as an animatic.

And it's extremely easy to move slides around + collaborate with your team, it's a versatile software for people starting out.

But. There is a free way. ;)

The free explainer video template that anyone can make within Google docs

Remember that template we linked to at the top?

That is what we use. Day in and day out.

Because it's not really about anything except: can you visualize the whole sequence, the entire animation in your minds eye?

If not, that's okay, but be prepared for more editing / iteration.

The more you know, the easier the script will flow.

Video Search Engine Optimization - or vSEO, and your video transcript

For best effect it's important if you're uploading to Youtube to are other website to include closed captions. This can greatly increase your videos ranking.

Even the experts at Moz highly suggest it for improving your SEO.

There's more to be said about writing scripts, how to get better use templates, and we'll get around to that. But for now, i part ways. You have a script to write.

And if ever, you need that video produced. Check us out. We're a San Francisco video agency that produces around the globe.

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