Video content is more popular now than it has ever been. While it is irrefutable that the digital age has garnered many more opportunities for video content to thrive, whether for entertainment, education, or commercial purposes – we all watch video online and want more.
With the growth of rich video media, how video content is put together has also grown. Attributing video content with outstanding voice-over talents offers a wealth of benefits to any project with an audio-visual element.
One of the critical difficulties in video marketing and eLearning is retention; how can your message stick with your viewer after the video is complete? Well, a quality narrator can improve the remembrance of a video, as well as minimizing cognitive overload for viewership, helping to illustrate key points in the video.
Okay, so there are great advantages to adding voice-over in your video. That much is clear. But how do you know which voice talent is suited to your content? There is nothing more awkward than mismatching your voice-over with the subject matter; who wants to be screamed medical advice over the best explainer video?
So, let's look at how you can define and cast voice-over artists to enhance your video content.
How to define voice-over artists?
The traits that define a voice's specialty are essential to consider when casting a voice-over performance for your video.
Thinking long and hard about how you wish the video to sound can help clarify the steps you should consider to take to reach this goal.
Matching Style and Speaker
Ensuring that everything works together is of paramount importance. A voice-over can elevate your video project to new heights when it is included in a suitable manner.
A speaker that doesn't match the messaging being promoted will take away from the quality of the content, no matter how excellent the performance may be. Some things just don't belong together.
While rules can be broken or bent to great results, the best bet is sticking to what works. For example, an animated explainer video can be a fantastic method for conveying complicated information to an amateur audience.
As this type of video content is mainly concerned with breaking down concepts to be more palatable, the voice-over must reflect the persona of a teacher.
Kurzgesagt is the most popular YouTube channel to come from Germany, and it is dedicated wholly to explainer video content. The channel focuses on exploring socio-scientific content to be disseminated among its viewership.
While there is a slant of entertainment to this content, the primary objective is educational. The voice-over works in tandem with the animation in the video – explaining studies, ideas, and concepts with the added visual aspect to ensure that learning is unintimidating and relaxing.
This description captures what the voice-over for the content of this type should sound like. It should be authoritative yet calming; a viewer wants to learn from an expert but is never talked down to or intimidated.
Fashioning the voice-over chosen around the soft, rounded graphics in the video is a good bet – the narration should sound like the animation style looks.
On the other hand, matching a voice with a more bombastic set of traits can be a boon, too, depending on the type of video.
A commercial aimed at men may benefit from a masculine voice-over talent as male speakers are typically seen as more forceful, authoritative and factual. While stereotypes can be too generalizing, it's the established norm to link a male voice with products that aim to empower men.
This Budweiser commercial utilizes a deep, dark male voice-over talent to drive its message: that Budweiser is "The King of Beers". While this is not strictly a fact, it is not the King of Beers – It does seem factual enough to sell its message as believable by the viewer and, in turn, sell more beer.
The voice-over on this ad is the central element that distinguishes the visuals from any other beer – when you watch the video without the narration, you just see beer; when you watch it with the vocals – you understand you are watching THE beer.
Language and Accent
While it may seem evident at first, this is one of the trickiest parts to get right when it comes to voice-over. There are many reasons that your project may use a specific language or accent for voice content, mainly where localization of pre-existing video content exists.
However, ensuring you have the right speaker for your audience and your subject is a delicate balance. So, when casting voices understanding what to look for is vital.
Authenticity in Localization
Foremost, it's most obvious to adapt your voice-over's language to match the target market. If you aim your commercial content to a Spanish audience, it is likely a good idea to use Spanish talent in your video.
Adapting your script, graphics, and more are also important – as a well-localized piece of content will appeal to foreign audiences on every frontier.
While it can be tempting to utilize second-hand speakers for this job, this is worth remaining cautious about as it may seem too generalized for a native. Accents come into play here, as authenticity is key to connecting with local demographics.
Using a native speaker is helping you access the guarantee that they know what they are talking about – literally.
A Northern English accent may better connect with viewership in the North of England, as they feel particularly tailored to your video. This regionally catered advertising is increasingly popular too – so it's important to keep this in mind.
Furthermore, using a voice-over accent that carries connotations of excellence in a certain field can improve your impact.
A B2B car manufacturing promo may find that utilizing a German accent for their voice-over will help sell the concept of authentic perfection due to the fantastic reputation built by German manufacturing in vehicles.
How to cast voice-over talents?
There are various avenues to explore as there are things to consider when it comes to voice-over casting. Understanding and learning about the top voice-over websites is key to finding the right professional for your video.
Places like Fiverr and Upwork can offer you an assortment of voice talents to work with. These platforms provide some talented professionals from around the world and are never worth discounting.
The advantage of this method is that it cuts out the middleman, agencies, from the equation and allows you to work straight with voice actors – of whom you can learn about on their dedicated profiles.
However, the offerings of these sites are especially generalized, with broad communities. Additionally, it can be tricky to know what you are looking out for here.
Casting is just one step in the process, and projects with specific requirements like physical studios, multiple languages, or many talents will struggle to operate here.
Overall, these sites are suitable for casting for gigs but not bigger/full-scale productions.
P2P directories are websites that require sign-ups and subscriptions from voices to join. These sites are supposedly designed to offer casting for voice actors for any job. It's easy to use and find professionals with significant talent on these casting sites.
Although there are other sites with similar descriptions, the subscription element to these P2P sites is central, as it stands for "Pay-to-pay".
The core premise here is that the voice talents have to pay to participate in this eco-system, under the concept that this offers exclusivity. However, in current times, there has been some controversy regarding rates in these P2P industries.
It is likely best to think twice about these sites for casting, as the potential for exploiting talents is hard to navigate.
A classic method is for hiring actors of all sorts. If you are looking for high-profile actors for games, anime, movies, etc., this is the place to go – as they are all represented by someone. These can be very pricey to work with, but they are involved with a lot of major production companies and know where to go for what.
If you are looking for a big and famous actor, go here. Otherwise, there may be a more accessible and cheaper solution.
Free Talent Platforms
These platforms offer a nice intersection between full-blown agents and P2P. Where you aren't left behind with just a voice-over, nor do you hand everything off to an agent.
These are free-to-join voice-over communities that control the production of the video too, working with the client to tailor the experience to the exact preferences. These are always worth a shot unless it is a specifically named voice talent you are looking for.
The Final Say
Hopefully, casting a voice-over is less daunting after reading this article. It can be tricky, but if you remember exactly what you want from a voice and why you want it. You should be able to define your options ready for casting.