If you are preparing to choose voice talent for your next campaign then look no further as this article sets out the 7 key points to consider when deciding how to choose that perfect voice talent. Choosing the right talent is essential, and if you pick wrong then you face the potential of causing long-lasting damage to your campaign. So take the time to thoroughly research and do not rush choosing your voice actor.
The saying ‘if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’ is quite apt in this context. Preparation is vital to the successful execution of your campaign. There are many things you need to consider before jumping and picking an actor. For instance, you need to know the purpose of the voice-over and how does this voice fits in with your target audience? Are you selling a product or telling a story? There are several ways that a voice-over can be used, so having a clear idea of what you are hoping to achieve is the first step.
Throughout the early decision-making process, you must keep in mind who your demographic is and how the campaign fits with your company brand. Additionally, at this stage of the process, there is no harm in asking around in your network for recommendations. Names will get thrown around and shared among similar campaigns, so you have nothing to lose by asking around.
2. Male VS Female
A common mistake to make is falling into stereotypes. Do not fall into the trap of assuming only men watch football, or only women care about fashion. If you go down the stereotypical route you can end up inadvertently damaging your campaign. Whether you go for a female or male voice, just make sure it is for the right reasons and that you aren’t making yourself vulnerable to possible complaints.
3. Know Where To Find Talent
Knowing where to find talent can be tricky if you don’t know where to start or if you haven’t done this type of thing before. There are a number of directories that showcase professional voice actors in a convenient and efficient way for potential employers. You can search through the talent, listen to samples and even invite voice actors to audition for your project. Being able to listen to several samples is great because you can work out exactly what it is you are looking for. These directories often allow you to message the talent directly and ask for quotes at no cost. Logistically, this process will save you a lot of time and hassle, while still giving you an abundance of options to choose from all in one place.
4. What Voice Represents Your Audience?
This is an important question to consider before deciding on your actor. You will need a voice that represents the target audience, something that sounds familiar and does not leave them feeling isolated. This can even be a matter of accent, for example, if you were targeting an older population who are perhaps harder of hearing, you then wouldn’t choose someone with a thick accent that could be hard to understand. On the same note, you also would not choose someone with a very soft and quiet voice as your chosen population might not understand them.
5. Conduct Tests With Your Audience
Similar to how you would test with any product, voice-over testing is a great way to see how well a voice resonates with a demographic. You can do this on a small scale or large scale depending on your budget, but the idea is that you have a sample of a voice-over artist that you are considering and then play the demo to the group. For instance, if you are advertising a social media messaging app directed to teenagers, you would then play the voice to a small group of teens and see their reaction. If they are not responding well or seem uninterested in the voice, then you know that is not the one for you. Sometimes you will go through multiple voices before finding the right one for your brand, but that is the purpose of the testing, to make sure you get it right.
6. Research Backgrounds Of Potential Actors
Most voice actors will be able to provide you with a portfolio that will showcase their previous work. If not, then at the very least you should request some samples from the voice-over artist. It’s important to take a look at their previous work and see if their prior jobs sync up with the same or similar demographics to what you are currently trying to reach. For instance, if your demographic is children, has this actor done voice-overs for children-based audiences previously? If not, then you have to ask yourself why?
Ideally, you want someone with range, and by exploring their previous work you will be able to find out a lot about their tones, expressions, and pronunciation. All of which are vital in the decision-making process. It’s important to choose wisely and patiently a voice that can create a special connection with your audience. You can also consult your business partners or friends before the final decision.
7. Consider Brand Image
People will associate the voice they hear with your brand, and so it is important that the voice causes a positive reaction in your audience. You have to consider your brand image, are you a formal and corporate business? Are you a fun new start-up? Or are you educational? Other key questions to consider are what company values do you have and how does the voice actor reflect those? Consistency is key in building trust between your campaign and the audience. Consequently, the bottom line here is that you must make sure your voice actor is consistent with the brand image and reputation.
Having the right voice actor can make a world of difference to how well your campaign does. So you ought to take the time to carefully consider your options before committing to something that might not be right for your brand.