How the top 10 explainer videos write their voiceovers
The number one explainer video according to Video Brewery, is this:
And let’s face it, it’s hard to argue.
They make something incredibly boring, incredibly fun.
This video was made on a very low budget by a startup and immediately went viral. They are still very successful today, and it all got jumpstarted by this one little video.
You’ll now be thinking…wow, I really want one of those for my business.
I’ve got some bad news for you: this probably won’t happen.
Unless you’re a comedic genius, it’s very hard to go down the pure comedy route and not end up being just painfully awkward.
It’s also pretty unlikely to go viral (because a lot of that is just being in the right place at the right time, as the Chewbacca Mask Lady has proved).
So for us mere mortals, let me break down an easy formula you can use to create your video.
The first thing you do when creating a video for your business is to write a script.
The music and animation is fancy and all that, but it won’t mean a lot if you don’t tell a good story.
If the viewer is still like…meh…at the end, or even worse, doesn’t understand your business clearly enough…..you have failed.
So how do you do it? Let’s turn to the masters and see exactly what they do.
Rule 1. Get your target audience’s attention in the first sentence.
All of the other top 9 videos according to Video Brewery do this. Let’s take a look at the first couple of sentences:
“Running a small business shouldn’t include running down clients who don’t pay on time.” – small business owners
“This is IT man. He uses his awesome powers to solve your everyday IT problems.” – IT workers
“This is Spotify. It will change the way you use music.” – Music users
“Groupon is an easy way to get huge discounts on discovering fun, local activities in over 50 cities across the US and Canada.”
- Litmus Email Previews:
“You might be a ninja when it comes to designing great-looking email campaigns.”
“So you’re looking for a bigger apartment to move in with your honey next month.”
They don’t mess you around. You immediately know if the video is relevant to you or not.
Rule 2. Squish that elevator pitch.
We’ve all heard of the elevator pitch – sum up your business in 30 seconds.
Well, in your video you don’t have 30 seconds. That’s like half your video.
You need to sum it up one sentence.
One clear, simple sentence.
- “Groupon is an easy way to get huge discounts on discovering fun, local activities in over 50 cities across the US and Canada.”
- ZenCash manages the entire receivables and collections process for you
- Mint is a free, easy way to manage your money
- The heatmap tool that shows why your visitors aren’t converting
Rule 3. Identify their pain points
Your business is solving a problem (Heads up…if not you should probably quit now). And you need to explain that problem in your video, before going onto how you solve it for your customers.
- Mint: How do you keep track of your financial life? Statements? Spreadsheets? Scribbles? It’s time for something better. Something easier. Something smarter.
- PadMapper: So you’re searching for an apartment to move in with your honey next month…but searching for the best possible apartment is a pain, because there are a zillion apartment listings, and they are all slow, ugly, and don’t make any sense.
- Litmus email previews: You may be a ninja when it comes to designing great-looking email campaigns. But hang on! There are tonnes of email clients, browsers, and operating systems out there. Not to mention mobile devices. How can you be sure that email will still look snappy when everyone on your list opens it?
Bonus points if you can insult the competition:
- Crazy Egg: The big problem that keeps small web business..well…small…is that they don’t know why their visitors aren’t converting. I mean sure..your web analytics tool will give you loads of information about what happens with your visitors..but it doesn’t give you any clue about why all those visitors leave your site without subscribing..without buying..without calling! Sorry Google Analytics.
Rule 4. Tell a story
Don’t just explain what you do, but tell a story about it.
Everyone loves a good story, and video is the perfect medium for this.
For example, the Air BnB ad uses a real example of a woman who’s using the airbnb service, and she just sits there and tells her story – perfect. You instantly relate to her.
If you can’t use a real example, use a fake one. Pretend you have one customer. Bob. What exactly would you do for Bob? Tell the story, from start to finish.
For example, when I first start watching Zencash my brain registers that it’s ‘some financial thing’. But then they say:
“Alright, here’s how it might go down…you send out an invoice to your customer for a big design project. 10 days later, we send a thank you note. When payment’s just about due we, on your behalf, send them a heads up text message. Then, 45 days out, time for a nice reminder note? Great! We just sent one for you. Still not paid and it’s 60 days out? Now it’s time for our dedicated collections team to make some friendly phone calls for ya. All this while you get back to shooting, or lawyering, or designing, or whatever!
Now I actually understand what they could do for me.
Rule 5. Keep it casual
Have you noticed the one thing all these videos have in common? They keep the tone very casual. Almost as if they were having a conversation with you, rather than reciting the dry tomes of a school textbook.
And it works.
Would you rather read a textbook or talk to a friend?
So don’t get all formal and business-like, or use loads of technical terms and buzzwords.
Just imagine you were talking directly to one of your customers in person, and keep things light and conversational.
So in conclusion, when writing your next explainer video script, copy the greats and do what they do:
1. Get your target audience’s attention in the first sentence
Address your target audience in the very first sentence, e.g. “You might be a ninja when it comes to designing great-looking email campaigns”
2. Squish that elevator pitch
Sum up your business in one clear, easy-to-read sentence so people definitely understand what you do in a nutshell, e.g. “Groupon is an easy way to get huge discounts on discovering fun, local activities in over 50 cities across the US and Canada.”
3. Identify their pain points
Describe the problems that your customers currently have without your product, e.g. “So you’re searching for an apartment to move in with your honey next month…but searching for the best possible apartment is a pain, because there are a zillion apartment listings, and they are all slow, ugly, and don’t make any sense.”
4. Tell a story
Pretend you have one customer, Bob. Tell the story of how you would help him.
5. Keep it casual
Imagine you were talking directly to one of your customers in person, and keep your script light and conversational.
Follow these five simple rules and your voiceover should be up there with the best of them.
See Briteweb Video page for more information