You’ve taken the time to put together a professional, high-quality explainer video for your company’s newest product. Each graphic has been carefully selected and the on-screen text hits all the big points. But is it enough? Will consumers actually understand your product features and, more importantly, will they be moved to purchase it?
Many companies, when faced with the problem described above, find a solution in voiceover services. Voiceovers allow companies to go into greater depth when explaining products than using just images and on-screen text alone. However, incorporating a voiceover means more initial overhead.
Should you invest in a voiceover for your next explainer video? Read on to learn when your explainer video would most benefit from a voiceover, as well as some instances where you might be able to forgo it. Plus, we’ve also included some tips to help you select the right voice talent for your product and company.
The Benefits of Voiceovers for Explainer Videos
When evaluating the benefits of adding a voiceover to your explainer video, consider these three major advantages:
1. Build Brand Trust
When you meet someone new, you form an instant, automatic, subconscious impression of that individual. Visual cues play largely into this impression including what the person is wearing and how they are standing/what their overall body language is.
The other big indicator that factors into your initial impression is their voice. If you’re introduced to someone who speaks in a very high falsetto that grates on your ears, you may instantly form a somewhat negative impression. Similarly, if that person speaks in a faltering, uncertain way you probably won’t put a lot of stock in what they’re saying.
Of course, on the flip side of this, if the person speaks confidently, in a clear assured manner, you’re first impression is likely to be far more affable and trusting.
These same subconscious triggers are at work when consumers view your explainer videos. By incorporating the right voiceover into your explainer video, you can have an immediate positive effect on your target market.
What do we mean when we say, “the right voiceover”? When it comes to explainer videos, you want a voice artist that exudes confidence and authoritativeness while still sounding friendly and approachable. This sort of friendly expert instills a sense of trust in your viewers, which in turn leads them to trust your company, thus building brand confidence.
2. Help Viewers Connect Emotionally
The right voiceover also has the power to help your viewers connect emotionally with the product. In essence, a voice artist humanizes your product and brand. It’s much easier to relate to another human who’s excited about a product than it is to connect to just an image of a product, even when that image is expertly composed.
By utilizing a human voiceover in your explainer video, you help your audience feel an emotional connection to your product, which ultimately helps pull them towards your CTA.
3. Easily Disperse Dense Information
Lastly, a voiceover can prove immensely valuable when you need to convey somewhat complicated or more involved information. If your explainer video focuses on how to use your product and there’s more involved to it than just clicking a button, a voiceover may be the perfect solution.
After all, you don’t want to bog your viewers down with lots of on-screen text. Or leave them scratching their heads in confusion. You want your video to be snappy, informative, and approachable. Here’s where your voice talent can save the day.
Incorporating a voiceover allows you to disperse dense information in a quick and easily digestible manner. What may seem intimidating or bewildering when conveyed only through images and small bits of text, can suddenly become engaging, exciting, and easy to understand, which — in the end — is the whole point of an explainer video.
When Your Explainer Video Might Be Able to Skip a Voiceover
There are some instances when adding a voiceover may add very little or no real value to your explainer video. The two most common are:
1. Your Explainer Video is Easily Understood
One of the big draws of utilizing voiceovers in explainer videos, is to assist the images and on-screen text in explaining what your product does. However, if your product is simple, or your video’s images accurately convey your message without the need for further explanation, than you can probably skip the voiceover.
But if you do go this route, it’s important that you compensate by having high quality graphics and/or animation. A professional voiceover lends quality to your video, so if you’re not incorporating one, you need to make sure your video is well-produced and fully expresses your message through visuals and on-screen text.
2. You Want to Reach a Global Audience
One of the advantageous of having an explainer video devoid of a voiceover is that, theoretically, any viewer around the world would be able to watch your video and understand your product. This is a great advantage if you’re looking to market your product globally. Even if your video features text, you can more easily translate those segments than record an entire voiceover.
That being said, if you’re really interested in selling your product abroad, investing in a voiceover may still be the most beneficial and cost-effective method. After all, to truly connect with an international audience, you need to speak their language. And while having a short explainer video that showcases your product’s features through images may be useful in the short-term, as you grow that market you’ll want to create more and more content that is effectively localized.
Plus, a lot of images that are widely known and accepted here in the US, don’t translate properly in another language. For instance, the thumbs up may have a positive meaning in the states, but if you give a New Zealander the thumbs up, they’re likely to be very insulted.
What to Consider When Deciding Whether to Use a Voiceover in Your Explainer Video
As you debate whether or not to invest in a voiceover for your explainer video, take these factors into consideration:
- Product: We’ve mentioned this above, but we want to emphasize it one last time as this is a key deciding factor when it comes to voiceovers. If you have a very simple product that requires limited explanation in order to be understood, then a voiceover may not be necessary. But if your product requires more than 3 short phrases or images to describe, you’d be better off enlisting the aid of a professional voice talent.
- Audience: Who are you marketing this video to? Is it intended for an individual consumer or is it more business orientated? Depending on your marketing demographic, you may find a voiceover more or less necessary. For instance, if you’re reaching out to a young consumer, a simple animation without a voiceover may suffice. But if a large business deal hangs in the balance, you’ll want to communicate your product details as effectively as possible, and that entails a voiceover.
- Message: What exactly is the message of your explainer video? Are you simply introducing consumers to a new product and trying to create hype around it? Or are you issuing a how-to video intended to demonstrate the uses of your product? As with the product itself, if the message of the video is simple and straightforward, a voiceover is probably not needed. But if you’re trying to demonstrate to consumers how to (and how not to) use your product, then a voiceover will prove pivotal in educating your audience and avoiding any possible confusion.
- Type of video: The last thing you’ll want to bear in mind is the type of explainer video you’re promoting. Is it a stop motion video? Or an animated clip? Maybe it’s a whiteboard. Whatever style of video your producing, consider how a voiceover will feature into it and whether that voiceover will prove a helpful addition or an unwelcome distraction.
At the end of the day, the key thing to remember is that the whole point in producing and promoting an explainer video is to improve your target market’s understanding of the product in a meaningful way. If a voiceover is going to help you succeed in this goal, then invest in one! It may be more overhead at the onset, however, the returns it will yield will far out weigh any initial costs.
Tips for Selecting a Voiceover Artist
If you’ve decided your explainer video deserves a voiceover and are ready to begin your search for the right voice talent, put these tips to good use:
Seek out a professional
The number one thing you should look for in a voice actor is professional experience. With nearly everyone having easy access to quality recording equipment these days, it’s never been easier to make a home demo and promote yourself as a voice artist. However, what sets a true professional apart is experience within the industry. Look for a talent that’s already dipped their toe in the explainer video pool, and ideally has some great recommendations to boot. Otherwise, you run the risk of cheapening the quality of your video and product, rather than increasing trust.
Consider voice type
As mentioned earlier, for an explainer video, you’ll want a professional talent with a voice that comes across as both approachable and knowledgeable. It should be a compelling, friendly voice that leads viewers to take action. Take the time to listen to different voice demos until you find the right tone for your video.
Think long term
When selecting a voice artist for your next explainer video, don’t just think of it as a one and done experience. After all, it’s more than likely that you’ll be producing more videos down the line and in order to retain consumer brand trust, you’ll want to keep your marketing consistent — and this includes your voiceover! Determine how you want your company voice to sound moving forward and select a voice artist that captures this. Remember, when it comes to marketing, consistency is key.
Remember your target market
Speaking of marketing, think closely about who exactly comprises your audience. If you’re targeting a teenage demographic, you might want to opt for a younger, more energetic voiceover. However, if you’re more interested in reaching senior citizens, than you’ll want a voice that’s much more mature and level. Keep asking yourself: what type of voice will most resonate with your target market?
Write engaging scripts
When all is said and done and you finally sit down in the recording studio with your talent, if your script falls flat so will the voiceover. Even the most seasoned voice artists can’t make an overly complex or extremely passive script engage audiences.
Look for multilingual providers
The last thing you’ll want to keep in mind as you search for the right voice talent, is whether you want to expand your marketing to multilingual audiences. Even if global marketing isn’t your top priority at the moment, if it’s something you’re going to want to explore (or even think you might want to explore) down the line, then it’s helpful to factor that into your initial search.
If possible, look for a voice talent that speaks multiple languages and is comfortable providing voiceover in more than just English. Again, this will help you maintain brand consistency.
Alternatively, another great option is to work with a voiceover company — like Accredited Language — who has experience providing multilingual voiceovers. Not only will you be able to work with the same company for every future video you produce — ensuring they already have a strong sense of your brand and marketing goals — but they’ll also be able to provide translation services when it comes to translating and localizing your voiceover script.
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