When creating videos for your business, the voiceover talent that you choose can change the entire tone of your message.
So how do you go about selecting voiceover talent for your videos? There are quite a few things to take into consideration. These include what you want your brand to sound like, your target audience, the emotions you’d like to convey, and a few other details as well. In this article, we’ll go over all of them.
THE VOICE OF YOUR BRAND
Take a moment and think through some ads that stick in your mind. Chances are that rather than being just one ad, it will be an entire series of ads that have a consistent look, feel and sound about them.
When we create videos for any purpose, we’re creating something that will represent our brand, potentially for a long time into the future.
This means that the first thing we need to consider when selecting voice talent is how well their voice and way of speaking fits with the image we’d like project.
Think about how you’d like your brand to be perceived. Would you like to be perceived as an authority in your field? Do you prefer to be seen as fun and playful? Or is it something else entirely? What emotions do you want your audience to have when they experience your videos?
However you’d like for your brand to be perceived, take a few moments to become clear on it and write it down.
IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
After establishing how you’d like your brand to be perceived, next we need to identify your target audience.
This is important because when you know exactly who your target audience is, the entire video production process becomes easier.
There’s a huge difference between a video that explains a technical concept to engineers, and a video that explains the same concept to customers.
In the first case, the video probably needs to be oriented around how the thing works. In the second, it needs to be around the benefits for the customer. And as a result the voiceover actor may need to be different too.
When you’re identifying your target audience, things to consider include their genders, their ages, what accents they speak with, and what energy level might match them.
There is one simple rule that comes into play here. If you follow this rule, it greatly simplifies your selection process:
People tend to like people who are like themselves.
This is a strong subconscious bias, so even when we’re unaware of it, it still applies to just about everyone. As a result, people will tend to respond more favourably to someone who they perceive as being like them. With a voiceover artist, this means that you can often get a better result when the artist sounds like your target audience.
ESTABLISH THAT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE CAN UNDERSTAND THE VOICE TALENT
One of the realities of life is that we don’t all understand one another. Some of us have frequencies that we just can’t hear. Others have difficulty with certain accents.
This means that it’s important to determine whether your target audience will be able to understand your voice talent.
Choose a voiceover artist with an accent that can be clearly understood by your target audience. If your target audience has issues with hearing, be sure to choose a voiceover artist who speaks clearly. Consider whether they speak too fast, or too slow.
And if you have any doubt, choose someone with a neutral accent that’s likely to be understood by most listeners.
MATCH THE VOICE TALENT TO YOUR PROJECT
Different videos require different types of voice. Are you telling an emotion-laden story with your video? Or is it more of a formal presentation?
There’s a huge difference between the way a storyteller speaks, and the way a news presenter does.
Think through the various types of voices that you’ve heard. How does each style fit with what you’re looking for?
Then choose the one that’s right for your project.
IS THE VOICE ARTIST AVAILABLE LONG-TERM?
It’s not uncommon for brand voices to remain consistent for years or even decades.
The voice you choose will become the voice of your brand, so it’s important to make sure that you’re likely to be able to have them do more work for you in the future.
CAREFULLY REVIEW EACH VOICE ARTIST
Now that we’ve covered the voice of your brand, identification of your target audience, establishing that your target audience can understand your voice artist, matching the type of voice to your project, and ensuring that your voice artist is likely to be available long-term, it’s time to review each candidate.
Over on vidvoices.com, we’ve got a range of voices that you can review. You can filter by age, accent and gender, making it easy to match your target audience.
When you head on over to vidvoices.com/voices, you can find the voice best suited for your next project.
TEST THE VOICE ARTIST AGAINST YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
After selecting a voice artist for your project, the final step is to test their voice against your target audience. This step is critical for success, because ultimately it’s your target audience who will be listening to it.
If we choose a voice that we love, but our audience can’t understand, they won’t watch our video. Similarly, if we choose a loud and harsh voice, and our audience finds that offputting, we get the same result.
It may be necessary to test several voices before you find the one that resonates with your audience.
To do this, have your preferred voice artists create a short demo, play these demos to a focus group of your target audience, and ask them which ones they prefer.
Regardless of whether it’s telling a story, selling something, or teaching something, your video has a purpose. Ask your target audience to rank the voices in terms of that purpose.
WHERE TO FIND A WIDE RANGE OF VOICE ARTIST DEMOS
Now you may be wondering exactly where you can find a suitable voice artist and how to convince them to record a demo for you.
To help you with that, we’ve put together a wide range of voice artist demos. You can filter by age, gender and accent, making it easy to perfectly match your target audience.
Head over to vidvoices.com/voices and choose some voices that match your requirements.
Then test each of them on your focus group to decide which ones to use.
Once you’ve established the exact voices you’d like, go to Pricing / Get Quote and fill out the easy to follow form to get started right away.