Voice is a core component of identity.
People will conjure up an image of you in the milliseconds they hear the voice in your content. It’s an immediate connection to your brand, and that’s how your customers will remember you. The right voice can build a fantastic connection with your audience, but a wrong choice can burn the bridge before it’s even built.
4 most important things to consider when choosing a voice
We’ve all been there. You’ve finished writing your next content piece, but aren’t sure what kind of voice you want narrating your script. You can either trust your luck that whatever voice your gut chooses works magic, or you can opt for a more systematic approach.
1. Who is Your Audience?
It doesn’t matter whether your video is for marketing, e-learning, or a personal YouTube channel; the first and most important thing to consider when choosing a voice is, “who’s going to watch this video?”
Assess your target demographic with a few broad strokes:
- Cultural Background
While studies show how certain traits aid in the performance of the delivery, call-to-action, or recalling of content (i.e.; a child asking parents to not drink-and-drive worked better compared to a mature adult chiding the viewers), there are no definitive answers that blanket all scenarios. One exemption would be language – use the language that your audience understands, both in terms of the actual language (e.g.; English vs. Spanish) and the vernacular (e.g.; slang and acronyms).
You know your audience the best, so choose the characteristics that your audience will most associate with.
2. What is Your Content About?
Once you have decided on your gender, age-group, language, etc, you have certainly narrowed down your choices. The next step is to choose the right voice for your content type.
While not a guideline that’s set in stone, certain categories of voices are known to be better for different use cases. For instance, a spirited, energetic, and persuasive voice fits a marketing video, but a calm yet friendly, professional tone is better-suited for an e-learning or a corporate training material. Voice styles are not black-and-white, with a lot of options throughout the spectrum, so make sure to listen and try them out to find the right balance of characters.
3. What is The Purpose of Your Content?
After you’ve decided on the general use case, it’s time to get more into the nitty-gritty:
- What is the emotion you are looking to evoke?
- What do you want people to do after consuming your content?
We all build connections through emotions. In fact, it is the single-most powerful foundation to build a strong perception of your brand or message. It’s also a very tricky lever to pull, and one that could have serious consequences. You might also have a varying tone you want to convey to external consumers (i.e.; sales ads for clients) versus internal consumers (i.e.; onboarding materials for employees).
In general, organizations want to be associated with lighter, more positive feelings, but ask yourself, what is the brand image we want to inspire, what do you want people to walk away from after having watched your video?
Most voices portray a specific emotion very well, although there are few which are versatile. It’s also important to note that attempting to convey too many emotions or call-to-actions at once could backfire.
4. Short-term vs. Long-term
This is often buried in the list of priorities when you are in a rush to source the voice for a project at hand. However, if you are a business trying to sell a product or an individual trying to teach something online, or even producing corporate training and onboarding materials, it’s imperative to consider if you would need to create similar videos in the future.
This is especially important if you are a brand building the very identity and persona for your customers to remember you by. The voice you choose should be consistent across campaigns and any material you put out – if you had a friend who sounded different every time they spoke, wouldn’t you become very estranged, let alone trust them? This is where utilizing an AI voiceover or Text-to-Speech (TTS) platform like Genny can come in very handy, because no matter the weather (or their schedule), AI voices will always be there for you 24/7.
We said it in the beginning, but we’ll say it again: voice is identity.
For a business, it’s the brand that customers will come to listen, trust, and recognize. While we boiled down the checklist to just 4 things, it is in no way exhaustive nor conclusive: what is YOUR process of determining which voice to use for your content? Let us know!
Check out other interesting topics:
– 7 Essential Qualities of a Good Text to Speech Platform
– LOVO Makes Base10’s Trend Map: Generative AI!