Admit it – we have all at some stage been asked to sit down in front of a computer and watch an extremely boring e-learning module. Whether it was a training course, a new product or instruction video or an internal company induction, it nearly sent us to sleep.
A very common and easily rectifiable mistake was probably made producing the e-learning module – audio was not considered a priority and came as an afterthought. A lot of time, money and effort had most certainly been put into producing the visuals, but the audio was considered of minor importance. “We’ll record something ourselves at the end!”
Think about when you are watching a movie on Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Video (or any other movie-streaming service) and it encounters a download speed problem. How does the movie-streaming service adapt to cope? What does it sacrify first, sound or picture? It may surprise you to learn that the picture is sacrificed – we’ve all seen the picture turn pixelated and blocky, whilst the internet connection-speed catches up, and allows the movie’s picture to buffer back to HD again. The quality of the picture is actually not that important!
When was the last time you heard a movie with poor audio? Never. Audio is always streamed in high quality, because movie studios understand its primal importance. Sound is always more important than picture!
But back to our e-learning…So to recap; the marketing department had undoubtedly worked hard on making the script of your e-learning module or video perfect, except no-one had thought about something as important as the voice of your brand!
What should your brand sound like? Warm, friendly, engaging? Professional and concise? Should it be voiced by a female or a male voiceover artist, and should they be young or old? Is a regional accent acceptable / better? Would your customers, whether internal or external, engage better with a regional accent or would that be off-putting to them? But then again, if you are plumbing company, you might not want your brand to be voiced by the butler from Downton Abbey as a posh accent can likewise work against you and irritate your customers!
Also, just a small reminder to use humour with caution when choosing a voice for your brand…the voice of Homer Simpson might sound hilarious to you, but is that really the impression you want to convey to potential customers?
How can audio be an afterthought when you have so many things to consider that impact how your brand is being perceived?
So, you have finally decided on the age, gender, tone and accent but now there are more things to consider when choosing your brand voice and voice over artist. Are they a professional voice talent and what is their availability? What you want to know is ultimately, are they available long term? You do not want to be in a position where you have chosen a voice for your brand, only to find out you must change it every time you need something recorded! Ideally, you want to build a rapport with your voice talent, not having to go through explaining the same things over and over again (remember that you might have to clarify how to pronounce correctly the company name and key product names) and you need to have full confidence that your chosen voice talent delivers high quality audio for your brand every time.
To give your brand a voice really is an ongoing thing. As any marketing manager would attest to, marketing is never done. You don’t say: “Hey, we’ve finished with our marketing stuff” and that’s it. So, when you choose your voice over artist, you really need to consider your entire marketing mix. It might not just be your e-learning or company videos that need narrating but also your IVR telephone system will need a voice. And looking into the future, will there possibly be any changes or additions to the script? Are you introducing a new product or service?? Making future changes to your IVR telephone system, maybe inform callers of a new number, changes to your opening hours, or add a new employee? By ensuring you have access to the same voice talent, you can seamlessly update all your recordings and secure continuity.
So, to summarise, when choosing a voice for your brand, you need to consider both the internal and external customer. If you are putting together an e-learning module for staff training, professional audio will augment the user experience and increase engagement. And who wouldn’t want more motivated staff? It is a well-known fact that productivity increases with motivated staff and the customer interaction improves.
And finally, with your external customer in mind, choose the voice for your brand wisely. Ensure you have the right tone, accent and character for your brand. Ensure you have continuous access to the same voice over artist and most importantly, make sure you have chosen a voice that represents your brand perfectly and your customers are finding engaging rather than alienating!
If you want to find out more about audio recording and voice overs, please get in touch with us. You can listen to voice recordings in over 90 languages on our website and pick your favourite voice over artists. Or should you prefer to, we can recommend voice talents for you, pick a handful and do the casting for you. We have over 16 years of experience of audio, always keeping the customer at the forefront.