HOW DOES THAT SOUND? A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL VOICEOVER NARRATION FOR YOUR VIDEO MARKETING

Young woman narrates a script for a video content production.
Larry Lubin May 08 ,2019

Choosing a voiceover artist whose tone and personality jives with your message is key to an engaging video.

A study by research analytics company Quantified Impressions showed that the quality of a voiceover was twice as influential as the message itself. People don’t listen to a script, they listen to people, and the right voice adds an element of authority that a script alone is unable to do.

Do you want a voice that is kind and nurturing, authoritative and knowledgable, or high-energy and enthusiastic? To fully connect with your audience, a voiceover should be an extension of your brand.

This post breaks down how to ensure your script reads naturally, how to choose your voiceover artist, and some best practices for recording in-house.

DE-JARGONIZE YOUR SCRIPT

Mark Twain famously said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

Before you give your script to a professional voice actor, it should be simplified and scrubbed of jargon.

When we write, we have a tendency to use fancy words that you would never hear anybody say in conversation. Listening to content that only reads well on paper will immediately break the intimacy of your video.

Unless a complex term is absolutely necessary, simplicity should be a focus when editing your script.

CONSTANTLY READ OUT LOUD WHILE EDITING

Every time you finish an edit of your script, read it out loud to someone. Preferably someone who isn’t in the marketing department.

This practice will make sure that you catch any sentences that are needlessly wordy, awkward, or hard to pronounce. The flow of the script should be able to stand alone without the context of the visuals.

If your “proof listener” doesn’t understand what you are trying to say or thinks you can be more conciser, then it might be time for another edit.

MALE VS. FEMALE, PROFESSIONAL VS. AMATEUR: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

You have your million dollar script proofed and polished – now, who should read it?

It might be someone from the accounting department, or maybe you will look to the vast pool of professional voice actors selling services online. The most important thing is to choose a voiceover artist whose voice would resonate with your target audience.

ConversionXL ran a study of male voices vs. female voices for their own explainer video. For each gender, they also recorded the script with both an amateur and a professional voice actor. They randomly distributed the four versions of the video to 202 participants and polled them on how trustworthy and how visually appealing the video was.

Their study showed that:

  • Female voices were viewed as more trustworthy, regardless of being a professional or amateur.
  • The male voiceover versions were deemed least visually appealing, and the professional male recording scored lower than the amateur.

Does this mean that you should use a female voice? Not necessarily. But you need to be very careful in who you bring on to represent your brand.

Be sure to listen to a lot of different options before making a choice. Ask yourself:

  • What is the tone of my video?
  • When you read your script, who do you imagine narrating it?
  • Will the emotion of this voice encourage the viewer to learn more?

BEST PRACTICES FOR RECORDING VOICE

If you do decide to record in-house, you need to follow these best practices. After all, would you want to sit and listen to a video with poor audio quality and no personality?

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Time is money, so have your voiceover artist practice the script as much as possible to cut down on recording and editing time. Make sure the reading has the right cadence and energy, and strikes the emotional chords that resonate with your messaging.

If they keep making mistakes while recording or get a fit of the giggles, take a short walk and regroup!

FINDING THE RIGHT LOCATION

It is important to find a space to record in which there is no echo, reverb or background noise. Noisy air conditioners will absolutely kill the mood.

Read your script out loud in several locations to find the sweet spot for recording. For some cost-effective DIY soundproofing, invest in a few sound-reducing curtains to hang over windows or doors while recording.

BUY A DECENT MICROPHONE

Recording voiceover through your laptop microphone simply won’t cut it.

Thankfully you can get a half-decent directional microphone for under $200. Investing in a “pop filter” will also make sure the capture doesn’t pick up mouth noises that come from saying words beginning with “P” or “S”.

AVOID STICKY MOUTH!

Talking consistently will dry out the mouth quickly, but drinking lots of water results in frequent bathroom breaks.

The pros will tell you this tried and true secret – green apples. Eating a tart apple during recording breaks will keep the moisture flowing without holding up the recording for constant bathroom breaks.

TAKE YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE FARTHER WITH PERSONALIZED VIDEO

Recording a voiceover that resonates with your audience will dramatically increase the impact of your video. When you hit this sweet spot, the viewer will feel as if they are being spoken to directly.

So why not take that personal touch even farther by personalizing your marketing videos for each person who watches it?

If you want to learn more about how our IndiVideo platform can take your video marketing to the next level, click here.

About the author: Larry Lubin

Larry Lubin

As original founder, Chairman and CEO of Fitech, now part of CGI, Larry began innovating in sales, software development, and financial services. Many leading applications for Financial Institutions including the Reality Check™ series for Scotia Bank were developed by Larry and his Fitech team.

His vision of an optimized and fully integrated sales and customer experience that leverages the power of technology is at the heart of every solution today.

In September of 2003, BlueRush was created with the mission to create the ultimate customer experience. BlueRush currently works with many of North America’s leading financial services, healthcare and consumer packaged goods companies.

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