So, you already have a fantastic script for your upcoming corporate video. Now all you need is the ideal voice talent to read your lines. While we say ‘all’, selecting the ideal voice actor to represent your company can actually make or break a video.
It can feel a little bit like a minefield to select the ideal voice-over. It’s not any simpler when you consider how each of us interprets voices differently due to our subjective nature – what is silky smooth to one person may be like nails on a chalkboard to another. But it’s hard to please everyone in the line of marketing.
In the end, the type of product you’re promoting and the audience you’re aiming for will have a significant impact on your voice-over. To build enduring relationships that will pay off in the future, you need a voice-over that will communicate directly to your audience.
For this reason, we’ve put together these useful tips and guidelines to assist you in selecting the ideal voice talent for your video project. Here are the top six (6) crucial aspects to consider when selecting a voice actor for your corporate video:
1. Voice gender
Some items tailored to a particular gender naturally benefit from a voiceover that is reflective of that market. In that situation, making a selection is simple for you. For instance, the HarbourFront Centre video uses a female voice-over to tell its story, appealing to its female customers.
For a technical brand like Infineon, it’s only apt for the brand’s corporate video to be led by a male voice-over that gives an aura of authority and expertise.
Of course, choosing the gender of your voice-over artist is more difficult when your product, business, or service is neutral. Fortunately, research has been done in this area to help you make an informed decision.
A large-scale AdWeek survey found that 48 per cent of participants thought a male voice was more authoritative. An additional 28 per cent said a male voice was ‘more likely to sell me a car’, while 46 per cent of respondents said they prefer the calming tones of female voices. Depending on the nature of your business and the product(s) you’re selling, you can pick the gender of your voice talent accordingly.
Accents can significantly influence how well your voice-over connects with your audience. The game’s goal is to try to be relatable once more. For instance, if your company is local, you should look for a voice-over performer with a regional Singaporean accent to appeal to your local clientele.
Additionally, if you’re launching an international campaign, it makes sense to choose a voice actor that best reflects the nation to which your business aims to cater. Therefore, if you are targeting the UK audience, you should probably choose a British voice actor, or if you’re targeting the US market, an American accent will sound more enticing.
In the video example below for Lacy’s Zip Bag, we utilise a voice-over talent with a local accent that appeals to the target audience, who are local Singaporean homemakers.
3. Voice tone
It’s often not what you say, but rather how you say it, as the saying goes. Even if you have a brilliant marketing message, if your delivery tone is incorrect, your message could easily be ignored.
According to a well-known rule of thumb devised by Albert Mehrabian, a renowned professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA, just 7 per cent of meaning is included in the words themselves and a staggering 38 per cent is contained in the tone of voice (the other 55 per cent comes from body language, which is less of a concern for a voice-over).
To put it another way, you must provide your voice actor with clear instructions regarding the tone of voice you want them to use. You want the tone of their delivery to reflect that of your brand and positively affect the listener.
Give your voice-over artist the flexibility to have some fun if your brand is informal and laid back. However, if your company takes itself seriously corporately, it would be preferable to convey your point in a direct, authoritative manner.
In this video that we created for Esther Network Singapore, the serious tone of voice used by the voice-over talent clearly emphasises the importance of healthcare access for people in the local community.
4. Speaking pace
It’s important to gauge the speed and cadence of your voice-over for several reasons. Giving your audience enough time to process what you’re saying is essential if you want them to comprehend your message. However, you also want to keep your story progressing at a pace that would keep people interested and engrossed. That balance takes a lot of skill to achieve!
It all comes down to the screenplay you give your voice-over artist to get this right. For instance, a 90-second video requires an extremely concise script that isn’t overly informational. A 60-second animated video should have 130–140 words of voiceover text, according to industry standards.
Naturally, your on-screen action must correspond with the voiceover. The purpose of your voice-over artist is to explain or give more context to your pictures. This explainer video we did for A*STAR BioTrans has a voice-over explanation that corresponds with the video progression, giving the audience a clear picture of what A*STAR BioTrans is all about.
5. Your target audience
Will your audience agree with your choice of voice actor? If your target market is women between the ages of 35 and 55, you probably want a voice actor who can connect with that particular demographic. Demographic testing is quite helpful in this situation.
That doesn’t necessarily entail investing a lot of time and resources in research, either. The size and breadth of your video will determine this. Small sample size will do if you only expect to reach a small audience, but it’s worthwhile to spend money on a more in-depth audience survey if you’re planning a long-term, nationwide campaign.
In this promo video we did for Texas Chicken, we utilised the voice of a young and enthusiastic male talent – similar to that of fried chicken-loving young adult males in their 20s to 30s, who are the main target audience of this promo video.
6. Long-term suitability
Nobody can foretell your video’s overall success and longevity. But if you can, it’s worthwhile to consider the larger picture right away. Is the voice actor you’ve picked, for example, the ideal voice and personality to carry your brand’s message for years to come?
As consumers, we develop emotional bonds with voices, and it may be very challenging to sever those bonds after a brand has been associated with them. If people have come to trust you in that regard, you wouldn’t necessarily want to depart from what they already know.
That is, of course, presuming that your voice actor will continue to produce work in the future. These kinds of interactions with your voice-over artist should be had from the beginning if you want to create a long-term partnership.
Now that you’re close to finding the ideal voice actor for your corporate video, the next step is to find royalty-free background music to accompany your video delivery. Need more info on how to select the right voice-over talent for your corporate video? Get in touch with us and we’ll equip you with useful suggestions!