The Art of Storytelling in Explainer Videos

How to Do It Right

Powerful storytelling. The type of storytelling that hooks you in from the start and doesn't let you off that hook until the very end. The last great film, page-turner, or Netflix series that consumed the last dying embers of your Sunday evening did so through no more than the use of a clever narrative and a couple of burlap sacks.

But, stories aren’t just a strong tool for authors, filmmakers and Netflix wizards. If used correctly, they can also be a very powerful part of your marketing efforts – especially if you’re looking to make an explainer video. For an animated explainer video, you only have about a minute to connect with your audience. And what better way to do that than with a gripping story that lets your audience learn about your brand in a fresh and interesting way?

How To Tell a Compelling Story in Your Explainer Video

Now, your story doesn’t have to be a Stephen King novel. You won’t need clowns, monsters or 50 shades of anything. The plot won’t require Hobbits to chuck a ring in it.

But even without these things, there are still elements you can employ in your explainer video that most of these fictional stories do have. 

Here are the three of the most important ones:

1) The Hero of the Story (A.K.A. Who is this explainer video for?)

Right at the start of your explainer video, your script should make it obvious who this explainer video is for. And the best way to do that is by having a main character that your audience can identify with.

If you are targeting web developers you need a web developer as your protagonist. She’s the relatable connection your audience understands better than anyone. This also makes it easier to outline the problems your product or service solves. The same applies for any other industry - if your target audience is construction workers, create a character that works construction and experiences the same problems that you solve.

2) The Problem (A.K.A. Why is this product necessary for your audience?)

Every good story has a problem. This problem is something that the main character is struggling with. Because your audience has that same struggle, they will be able to identify with the main character that you’ve previously introduced. 

So the question you need to ask is: “What is the most pressing problem that my audience is facing right now?” This way you can connect with your audience on a deeper level. You can let them know that you understand their pains, and set up your product as the solution they need to alleviate them.

3) The Happily Ever After (A.K.A How does this product solve your audience’s problem?)

Now, we can all agree that happily ever afters are as cliche as it gets. But we still love them. We love seeing the protagonist save the world, get the girl, fall into a black hole, or any of the other hundred happy endings that have been a part of so many stories since the dawn of time. So naturally, your story needs to have one too. 

The simplest and most effective way you can provide this happily ever after for your audience is your product. You can show your audience all the ways your product can help them. You can tell them about all the unique features and benefits that this product has. This way you’ll solve the problem that they have… while also showing them why your solution is the best way to go. 

And Voila! That’s it. You can now write a compelling story for your explainer video… and who knows, maybe this story is your first step to becoming the next Shakespeare... But even if that’s not the case, the one thing you’ll definitely end up with is a compelling explainer video script that connects with your audience and shows them why your solution is the best one for them.