Voiceovers and Business

Introduction

 Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you find the information contained in this hub interesting and informative. 

This hub is a collection of my articles to show how business use professional voiceover artists.  Any business - from sole traders to multinationals - employ the services of professional VO everyday! 

I am a professional female voice artist with a British accent.  I have provided voiceover recordings for companies worldwide.

Ten things to Consider when Choosing A Voiceover Artist

1. Quick Delivery : Many Voiceover Artists can record and deliver your voiceover within 24 hours. Longer scripts, such as Audio Books and E-Learning Modules, will take more time.  If you can email the script or an estimate on the number or words, this will give the voiceover enough information to provide you with a turnaround time.  Do let them know if you are working towards a particular deadline and usually they will be able to re-organise their workload to work within your time constraints.

2. Competitive Pricing - Don't always choose the cheapest Voiceover you find.  Pricing policies usually reflect the quality of recordings, and expertise of the voiceover artist.  If your budget is limited its still worth contacting your preferred Voiceover Artist to discuss your project and budget restrictions.

3. Does your Voiceover Artist accept payment in the currency of your choice.  Many Voiceover artists are happy to receive payment in US dollars, UK Pounds or Euros.

4. What is your voiceover artists policy on re-records if these become necessary. If you're not completely satisfied with your recording, are they happy to re-record as necessary, or are additional fees payable? 

5. Is your Voiceover artist easy to work with? Do they create good working relationships and aim to have happy customers who become repeat clients!

6. A voiceover artist who works from their own home studio can offer greater flexibility when working with overseas clients on a tight schedule.

7. Is your Voiceover artist a member of SAVOA - the Society of Accredited Voice Over Artists (SM)-, which only admits members who attain a high level of professionalism and technical expertise.

8. Does your Voiceover artist have an accent suitable for your recording?  Why not consider a native British accent to add a touch of class and elegance to your narration.

9. If you have a longer script that needs a voiceover, will your voiceover artist provide a short custom demo from your script free of charge?

10. Reliable, conscientious and trustworthy - and someone who loves their job!!!  Does your voiceover artist tick all these boxes?  

Give your products a voice - 5 benefits to using a Product Tour.

If you sell your products online why not create a multi-media product tour to promote your product. Online video and audio can engage your website visitors and help them learn more about your products. A product tour can demonstrate the postive benefits of your products increasing your customers willingness to make a purchase. Research show that interactive rich media is five times as effective as standard online marketing techniques.Rich media is also significantly better at increasing brand awareness and favorability, helps getting your message across and increases their interest in purchasing your product. An online product tour is also available to your visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

An interactive product tour can increase your sales by: 1.  Grabing Attention - a product tour uses video, voice over narration and music. 2. Building Interest - consider a product tour as an infomercial.  Extolling the benefits of your product through the use of visual, audio and a persuasive sales script.  Much more interesting and eye catching then straight-forward static text. 3. Creating Desire - . Once you've show your customers see all the benefits your product has to offer, they start to imagine themselves owning one. 4. Stimulate Action - By grabing attention, building interest and creating the desire, a product tour can convince your potential customer to make that purchase!

As more and more consumers have broadband internet access at home, and the vast majority of internet-enabled computers have a Flash player installed this means the time is right for rich media. People are spending more time than ever online and making more purchasing decisions and purchases online. And according to research, people with broadband earn more – and spend more when shopping online – than dial-up users.   Why don't you consider using a product tour to promote your business.

6 Ways Everyday Companies use Professional Voiceover Talent

1. Website Audio - including website greetings, speaking characters, audio testimonials, audio naviagation buttons.

2. Podcasts - Some companies employ voiceover artists to record and produce full podcasts, others prefer a Voiceover artist to record an intro and outro to use on their company podcasts.   Other companies use voiceover artists to edit down their podcasts and their interviews into manageable audio files and clean up the audio file - removing ums and ahhs etc.

3. Telephone System Recordings - A professional voiceover artist can be used to record telephone welcome greetings, IVR, phone prompts and voicemail messages.  Many companies employ voiceover artists to record on-hold messages to promote thier products and services.

4. Radio and TV commercials - The choice of voiceover artist is critical in a radio campaign.  Carefully choose a voice that matches your companies image and products and services.  After all on radio it is the Voice thats doing the selling.  TV commercials have the benefit of reinforcing the message with visuals, but the Voice and music are still an important component.

5. ELearning narrations - Many companies are turning to the benefit of electronic learning to train their staff or product users.  Students can learn at their own pace and be guided by the audio narration and on-screen animations and text.

6. Product Tour Narrations - Online retailers can use the benefits of product tour video and audio to help sell their products. A product tour can show website visitors the benefits and applications of a particular product.

 

How to get a Quote from a Voiceover Artist.

1.  Include the script.  This may sound obvious, but it does help the voiceover artist to have the script in front of them when creating a quote and proposal.  Even if its just a working script at this stage, it will give the voiceover artist an idea of the final script length to work out a quote.  It also gives the voiceover artist an understanding of the nature of the script. Particularly if its of a medical or technical nature.  Will the voiceover need to spend time researching pronunciations of highly technical or foreign language words and phrases.  This will have to be factored into the time and cost of the final recording. 

If no script is available, do send an estimate of the number of words.  Some clients send a page count, but a word count is often preferred as font size and style, margins and page layout will heavily influence the number of words on a particular page.  A word count can give the voiceover artist a good indication of the final length in minutes or hours of the final recording.

2. Describe your preferred voice style and tone.  Let the voiceover artist know the type of feel and pace you are hoping to get from the read.  If you can refer them to one of their audio samples from their own website this is often helpful.  Let them know if you want a serious, authoritative read, or a light, conversational tone for your script.  Its important to offer this voice direction before the recording takes place so the voiceover artist is clear how the client would like the script to be read and hopefully avoiding the need for any re-records.

3. Specify the audio file format .  There are many different audio file formats available and most voiceover artists are able to supply you with the recording in the format you require.  If you can specify the format when you send the script, this would be most helpful.  File formats can be critical , especially if the recordings are to be used for telephony systems.  Its worth checking in your telephone handbook which audio format your system requires - some systems have very specific and rigid requirements and will only accept a certain bit rate, file format, mono recordings. 

4. Background music or special effects.  If you plan on using these with the narration, do let the voiceover talent know as this can affect the project quote and whether the artist is able to provide and/or edit in the additional sounds. 

5. Let the voiceover know how you intend to use the audio recording.  The usage will affect the quote and the licensing options for the final voiceover.  For example, a 30 second tv commercial recording will have a different cost depending on whether it is to be used on a local tv station or national tv campaign. 

 

  

What Is a Voiceover ?

The dictionary definition of a voiceover is: a piece of narration in a movie or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the speaker.

There seems to be no standard way of writing the word/phrase voiceover.  It can be written as voice over, voice-over, voiceover.

The term voice-over can also refer to the actual voice actor who performed the recording. The terms voice actor, narrator, voice artist, announcer are all similarly used.

Types and uses of voice-over

1. As a character and creative device - In feature films, directors may add a voiceover to clarify a characters motivation or intentions.  Critics are divided as to their value.  A voiceover can also narrate the story and comment on the action.  In works of fiction, the voice-over is often by a character reflecting back on his or her past, or by a person external to the story who usually has a more complete knowledge of the events in the film than the other characters.Voice-overs are often used to create the effect of storytelling by a character/omniscient narrator. Voice over is also used to give a voice and personality to animated characters and cartoons.  For examples, Nancy Cartwright is the well-know voiceover artist who brought Bart Simpson to life

2. As an educational or descriptive device - News reporters often use voiceover for their news reports.  A voiceover is often used between television programmes to announce the next programme or provide further information on the last programme.

3. Live sports broadcasts are usually shown as extensive voice-overs by expert announcers over video of the sporting event.

4. In previous years it was popular for game shows to use voice-overs to introduce contestants and describe available or awarded prizes.

5. Voice-over commentary by a leading critic, actor or by the production personnel themselves is often a prominent feature of the release of feature films or documentaries on DVDs.

6.As a commercial device - The commercial use of voice-over in advertising has been popular since the beginning of radio broadcasting.  Voiceovers ae now prominent on the internet being used on podcasts, product tours, youtube video narrations, online training programs and infomercials.

 

How To Find A Voiceover Artist for Your Project

1. "Google" it - By conducting an online search you can really target the type of voiceover you're looking for.  Choose your search terms to reflect the characteristics of the voice you would like to hear.  For example, "British Accent Voiceover", "Elearning voice-over".  Most voice talents now have their own websites which will give you the opportunity to listen to their online demos and find out more information about them and their experience.  Importantly, voice talents who do have their own websites tend to also work from their own home studios.  This can prove more flexible than using a recording studio in their nearest town or asking them to travel to a studio near you and your office.

2. Voiceover Agencies - A quick look through your telephone listing directory will through up a number of local casting agencies who have voiceover artists on their books, including the more well-known, celebrity voices. They will be more than happy to mail you a CD of their voice talent and make suggestions to who would be most suitable for your project and your budget.  Expect to pay a higher fee as an agency fee may be included in a quote.

3. Online casting sites - More and more of these online voiceover search sites are springing up everyday.  The benefits are that you can usually post your project for free and receive auditions and quotes from a vast selection of voice talents.  The downsides, are that anyone can list themselves as a voiceover talent so the quality of talent and recording expertise isn't always of the highest standard.  Saying that, there are some top notch voiceover artists who do list themselves on these sites.

4. Word of mouth - Have you recently heard a good voice-over?  Did you like the voice on a particular companies on hold message?  Maybe you heard a suitable voice on a website product tour narration, or a local radio commercial.  Why not contact the company in question and ask them who their voice talent is?.  Most business's will be more than happy to pass on their recommendations and will be flattered by your interest and see it as a signifier of their good taste !

5. Local Studios - local recording studios will probably hold a list of local voice talent that they use on a regular basis.  They would be able to recommend particular artists who would be suitable for your recording project.  However, they may not be aware of the local talent who work exclusively from their home studios. 

Another 6 Ways How Everyday Businesses Use A Professional Voiceover Artist

1. Tradeshow presentation narrations - If your company attend corporate events and tradeshows, its worth considering creating a multi-media presentation to attract passers-by to your trade stand.  Use a narration to describe your products and services and the benefits customers can expect to receive once they've purchased your product.

2. Youtube Video narrations - More companies are using social media marketing as part of their promotional activities.  Uploading company videos with an audio narration is one popular way to increasing your companies exposure and generating more website traffic.

3. Property Tours - An audio narration that accompanies a video of a property can help promote the features of a particular property and venue. These are no longer exclusive to estate and letting agents.  Companies who have properties that are the focus of their business are using property tours more and more as part of their marketing strategy.  Hotels, conference centres, wedding venues are just a few of the type of businesses who are considering  the advantages of a video and audio property tour.

4. Powerpoint and Flash Narrations - Enliven and interest your audience by using a narration on your company powerpoint or flash presentations.  An audio narration can impart further information than text alone. 

5. Training narrations - Companies who train their staff in-house, look to audio narration to help increase the learning experience of their staff.  Whether its health and safety training, procedure and process training, or equipment training, a voiceover narration can help improve the success of any training program. 

6. Audio books - why not put your company handbook into audio form as an audio book?

  

How A Voiceover Can Help To Enhance Your Online Brand Image

Before the advent of television and the internet, radio was the main medium to advertise products and services.  Voiceover artists were in demand to record advertisments to engage and persuade customers to purchase.  Now that a large amount of advertising spend has moved from radio and tv to the internet, voiceovers are now working online using their voice on podcasts, product tours, and online videos.

Companies seeking a competitive edge have used the power of the internet to increase their exposure and promote their brand.  Web audio and video are key to getting their message across.  These days marketing budgets not only include the traditional radio and television media, but also include, blogs, pods, vodcasts and multi-media.  Therefore businesses need a marketing strategy to include voiceover artists, videos and photography.

Voice actors play as big a part in presenting your businesses marketing message, slogan and promoting your brand online, as they did on the radio all those years ago.  Hiring the best voice over artist is a simple approach to creating a high impact that attract new customers.

For companies that want a competitive edge on the web - voiceover are becoming more and more important to their success.  Submitting voice overs into your advertising messages helps to enhance your brand, create an identity and even build a strong relationship with potential customers.

Choosing a voice over artist who can represent and reflect your company brand is as important as ever,  as the marketing channels that they can be heard are more varied and more accessible as ever. 

 

 

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