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Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Young woman sits in front of camera
Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Young woman sits in front of camera
Alex Mcomie 107x107
Mar 22, 2021

Explainer Videos: Why You Should Hire a Pro Voice Actor for Yours

Explainer videos are an increasingly popular way for brands to communicate information to their audience.

It’s easy to see why so many companies are starting to implement them.

With the simple combination of visual content and voice over, you can explain even complicated subjects while using videos, screen captures, and other forms of content to supplement the speaker.

It might be tempting to voice your next explainer video in-house, but pro voice actors offer a number of benefits that shouldn’t be underestimated.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the goals of a typical explainer video and how a professional can help take your content to the next level.

 

What Are Explainer Videos?

Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Animated image of man and laptop

In short, explainer videos tell potential customers what your product or service can do for them.

A good explainer video is both informative and promotional.

In other words, viewers should learn about your brand, but they should also be motivated to make a purchase.

In the video below, Dropbox gives viewers an idea of what their app can do without spending too much time on the details of particular features. It’s fairly old but still covers the key features of the app.

In just over a minute, they cover everything you need to know to understand how Dropbox can help you manage your files.

This is a great example of an explainer video that strikes the perfect balance between education and promotion.

It’s informative enough to be helpful, but it also moves quickly enough to avoid becoming dull or boring.

This video primarily uses animation to demonstrate key concepts, but brands often use screen sharing and live action video to illustrate concepts more vividly.

The right format depends on a variety of factors including the topic, your brand image, and the length of the video.

Explainer videos are sometimes shown on a company’s website or YouTube channel, but they can also be used as ads.

One tricky question is how much to focus on the details compared to the basic information.

An ideal explainer video will offer a general enough idea to get cold leads interested while also covering the relevant benefits and perks that will lead to conversions.

Still, you don’t want to take up too much of your audience’s time.

Most explainer videos are about two minutes or less — beyond that, you risk losing the viewer’s attention.

 

Three Types of Explainer Videos

Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Animated image of two professionals with graphs

First, you’ll have to come up with visual content for your explainer video.

This needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Consider your budget, topic, and audience to decide what makes the most sense for a particular project.

In this section, we’ll cover three common types of explainer videos and give you a general idea of when to use each one.

Your visuals will affect every other aspect of production, so this should be your first priority when you start developing a new explainer video.

 

1. Animated Videos

The AllTrails video below demonstrates the power of animation.

The visual and voice over combine to show what AllTrails does and how it makes life easier for users — all in 38 seconds.

The video quickly covers some key features such as offline maps, real-time overlays, and sharing maps with friends.

They could have explained the same concepts with live-action video, but the simple animated style makes it easier for viewers to visualize functionality and understand the main points.

Furthermore, it aligns with the tone of the voice over as well as AllTrails’ image as a convenient, easy-to-use hiking companion.

We’re also seeing more companies use whiteboard animation to convey information.

The visual indicator of someone “writing on the whiteboard” helps viewers follow the progression of the video.

Of course, this requires careful coordination between the script, voice over, and animation.

Here’s one example recorded by British voice actor Nicola B.

Keep in mind that animation may not work as well for complex subjects that need to be covered in-depth.

As these two examples show, animation is ideal for simple topics like the functionality of a mobile app.

Whether or not animation will be sufficient to get the point across depends on the content of your video.

 

2. Screen Sharing

Screen sharing is a strong alternative to animation, especially for software and other digital products.

This way, you can show exactly how your product works or how to perform particular tasks.

We used screen sharing ourselves in the explainer video below to help users understand how to use Voice Crafters.

While animation is more abstract and conceptual, screen sharing is perfect for going through individual steps.

Remember that you don’t have to commit to any individual style.

Our very own explainer video combines screen sharing, live action, and animation to go over big-picture points while also covering the details.

Simply sharing your screen for the entire video may not be particularly engaging, so don’t be afraid to spice things up with other visuals.

 

3. Live action

Finally, live action usually makes sense for physical products as opposed to digital ones.

You can show how a product works or looks in practice or demonstrate how to set it up.

Again, live action is often combined with other formats to create a more complete video.

Billy Mays’ Oxiclean ads are a classic example of live action explainer videos.

An animation will never be as effective as live action when it comes to cleaning products.

There are a few animations overlaid throughout the video, but the main focus is cleaning up real-life stains.

The same concept goes for most other physical products.

Billy Mays’ characteristic style is an ideal match for the results-focused nature of an infomercial.

Rather than simply droning on about features, he focuses on the core benefit: removing stains that other cleaning agents would miss.

This approach is far more likely to pull viewers in and get them more interested in the brand.

 

How Can Explainer Videos Help My Brand?

Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Animated image of young professional next to large video screen

Before you start working on an explainer video, you need to decide what you want it to do for your brand.

This will help you be more focused during the production process, and it will also make it easier to track results and see whether you met your goal.

In this section, we’ll cover some of the key benefits of explainer videos for different kinds of brands.

If you don’t have the resources or staff to develop the video, consider working with a company that focuses on producing explainer videos.

Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to pay an expert for a high-quality product than it would be to run the entire production in-house.

 

1. Generate More Sales

Explainer videos offer a variety of advantages, but the most concrete benefit is sales.

A strong explainer video can substantially increase revenue by providing concrete information and motivating viewers to order.

Furthermore, a well-crafted explainer video will appeal to users at different points in the customer journey.

A viewer who has never heard of your brand might be interested enough to visit your site to learn more.

On the other hand, someone who was already interested may finally make their first purchase.

While marketers often focus on features, consumers are generally more interested in benefits.

In other words, they want to know why the features are important.

With that in mind, it’s crucial to reference examples and use cases instead of simply providing information.

When you cover features, make sure to connect them to a concrete benefit or convenience.

Think back to the AllTrails example from earlier — they didn’t just mention that you can download maps

Instead, they pointed out the advantage of having access to your maps even when your phone isn’t getting service.

This is a critical use case for hikers who could easily find themselves in an unknown location without internet access.

Explainer videos are the perfect way to communicate those real-world applications in just a few minutes.

 

2. Express Your Brand’s Voice

It goes without saying that consumers are interested in good products & services for low prices.

That said, they’re also looking for brands with a unique perspective or value.

Contemporary digital marketing is about forging connections with your audience.

This is one of the most important elements of a good explainer video.

At the same time that you communicate product information, you should also be telling a story about your brand — what you stand for, who your audience is, and why it matters.

The right voice actor will perfectly match your brand image and align with other areas of your online presence.

That’s why it’s critical to compare multiple audition tapes when looking for a voice actor.

 

3. Explain New or Complicated Features

Every product has a different sales cycle.

If you’re selling a niche or technical item, your audience may not even know what the product does or why they need it.

In some cases, this knowledge gap is the most difficult aspect of marketing.

To bridge the gap, you’ll need to create an explainer video that covers both education and promotion.

This should help them overcome their doubts or uncertainty, eventually understanding why they need your products.

 

Why Not Use an Internal Employee?

Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Animated image of young professionals videoconferencing

Many companies simply ask someone on their staff to perform the voice over for an explainer video.

For example, product developers often take this on since they’re responsible for the product itself.

However, just because you’re knowledgeable about something doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the right person to explain it.

It’s usually better to have product teams contribute to the script and then have that script narrated by a professional voice actor.

It’s important to cultivate an engaging, positive tone that gets viewers more interested in your brand.

If you’ve ever watched an internal explainer video at work, you already know that clearly and calmly explaining something is a skill of its own.

The people who did the work to create a particular product might not be as good at connecting with an audience.

This is doubly true for explainer videos that double as promotional pieces rather than being distributed internally.

 

What Do Professional Voice Actors Bring to the Table?

Explainer Videos Why Hire a Pro Voice Actor - Animated image of professional voice actor

While your employees are dedicated to your product or service, professional voice actors are dedicated to the craft of voice acting.

They’ve honed their skills, purchased equipment, and built up experience working on different projects.

In short, they’re totally prepared to knock your script out of the park — even if they don’t know very much about the topic.

It’s easy to underestimate the advantage of a professional actor when it comes to recording quality and vocal control.

 

Equipment

That gap starts with their equipment, which ensures a clear recording that emphasizes the speaker’s voice while eliminating background noise and reverberation.

A professional voice actor will use a high-quality audio interface, a proper microphone and an acoustically treated recording environment, ensuring excellent audio quality.

Of course, most companies don’t want to invest in sound equipment for a single explainer video, so it’s typically more cost-effective to work with a professional.

When you hire a voice actor, you won’t have to worry about setting aside a room for recording or auditioning different staff members to see who has the best cadence.

You also won’t have to deal with any imperfections that could make the explainer video look less professional. In other words, professional voice actors remove the guesswork by giving you a reliably excellent product.

 

Clarity

Clarity isn’t the only skill voice actors have to develop, but clear speech and perfect enunciation is foundational to successful voice over work.

This is even more relevant for explainer videos in which actors often describe complicated products, features, or processes to an audience with less experience.

Every explainer video should be easy for viewers to follow regardless of how much they know about the topic.

Good voice actors have experience delivering clear and comprehensible content on a wide range of subjects.

Once they take a look at the script and familiarize themselves with the topic, they’ll be ready to communicate it in a way that makes the video easier for viewers to understand.

It will also be easier for your audience to relate to an actor who doesn’t have professional experience on the topic and is therefore speaking from a similar perspective.

 

Engagement

Clear speech can make a recording easier to understand, but it won’t make listeners more interested on its own.

Voice overs also need to have an engaging and charismatic tone that draws audiences in and makes them curious about the content of the video.

Someone with voice acting experience can match the style you’re looking for and effectively promote your brand while providing an explanation.

Just as internal communications often suffer from a lack of clarity, they can also appear boring and dry in comparison to a professionally recorded voice over.

Persuasively speaking about something is an entirely different skill from understanding its function in a professional setting.

Most viewers only give videos a few seconds before deciding whether to continue, so it’s vital to create a strong first impression that motivates the audience to learn more.

They’ll also help you give off a more unique image, generating positive associations and increasing trust in your brand.

The example below illustrates the importance of developing engaging explainer videos.

While it moves at a brisk pace and explains the key reasons to use the platform, it does so in a narrative format that makes the benefits seem more relatable. The voice actor’s unique cadence is crucial to the overall effect.

Versatility

Explainer videos are primarily informative, but that doesn’t mean they need to be dry or boring.

An effective speaker moves through complicated sections clearly and succinctly while injecting some personality and getting viewers more interested in the topic.

With that in mind, it isn’t always enough to simply understand the topic well or be able to explain it in a technical or professional sense.

Like the video above, the one below walks through the advantages of the service while telling a story.

The voice actor has to balance narrative momentum with the nuts and bolts of Docusign and how it can make life easier for individual users.

This is also done in a way that matches the company’s ideal tone and cultivates a positive brand image.

How to Create a Successful Explainer Video

Every company and every product is unique, so it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all blueprint for crafting the perfect explainer video.

On the other hand, there are a few reliable ways to develop more engaging content and build something that your audience will be interested in.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the best tips for optimizing your next explainer video.

1. Analyze your audience

If you’re thinking about working on an explainer video, the first question you need to ask yourself is what your audience actually needs to know.

Think about what information the average viewer would need before feeling confident enough to make a purchase.

The disconnect between audiences and product developers is a common sticking point for explainer videos and other forms of content.

Keep in mind that what your internal team wants to highlight about a given product could be completely different from what your viewers are looking for.

Understanding your audience is critical for developing content that responds to their unique desires and questions.

If you’re having trouble with this initial step, start by considering what you want viewers to take away from the video.

You should also develop a clear understanding of who your target audience is, what they’re looking for from your brand, and what questions they might have about your products or services..

Finally, come up with one or two quick selling points that demonstrate why your brand is a better option than any competitors they may be familiar with.

These basic ideas-key takeaways, audience questions and concerns, and competitive advantages-should be at the core of any explainer video.

2. Keep it concise

You might spend more time on dry information in an internal video for your employees, but your audience won’t wait around for you to get to the point.

Unless it’s absolutely necessary for a complete explanation, you should generally try to keep your video shorter than around two minutes.

That’s enough time to describe how a product or service works without boring viewers with too many details.

Regardless of the length of your video, the script should be short enough for your voice actors to read through their lines comfortably and leave plenty of room for pauses.

While an English voice actor may be able to get through 150 or even 160 words per minute, that kind of pace often makes the content less clear and accessible to new viewers.

Try to shoot for something closer to 130 or 140 words for each minute of video. Then make adjustments from there if that doesn’t work out.

After writing an initial script, take some time to revise what you came up with and look for areas that can be removed for the final video.

Anything that isn’t directly relevant to the main subject should be cut out whenever possible in order to keep your script on topic.

Viewers can always visit your site for a more comprehensive look at your products, so you don’t have to cover every single feature or function in your explainer video.

Remember that explainer videos are generally more about big-picture ideas-in fact, going into too much detail often backfires by making the explanation less clear to viewers who aren’t familiar with the content.

3. Use screen recording software

There are some great options for recording your screen activity that you can use for your explainer video.

Options like Camtasia (Mac and PC) and Screenflow (Mac only) are great not only for capturing your screen but also for easily editing your recordings in a way that helps highlight your workflow and give your video clips a professional look.

4. Hire the right voice actor

The best explainer videos utilize both visual and aural content to get their point across, and finding a great voice actor is one of the most important steps toward developing stronger content.

Your explainer video’s voice actor will be responsible for relaying information between your team and your audience, and they’ll also be acting as a literal voice for your brand.

Before searching for the ideal voice talent, consider what kind of tone you’re looking for and what you want the final product to look like.

Make sure to include some details about your ideas for the video so that applicants understand what they’ll be working on.

Working with a voiceover artist will help you create a more engaging video that will keep your audience interested in learning more.

One key decision for any voiceover project is whether to work with a female or male voice actor.

First, consider your target audience. If you sell products or services that are clearly gendered for example, your video will gain more credibility from a voice actor of the same gender.

If you decide on a gender and ideal vocal style in advance, you’ll have a much easier time narrowing down candidates during the hiring process.

While there’s relatively little information about gender in voice acting, one study found that listeners tend to put more trust in female voice actors and find their vocal style more attractive.

Of course, voice acting is more about the individual’s style and ability than it is about their gender.

The right voice artist for your explainer video comes down to your brand image and the nature of the products or services you’re selling.

4. Consider Localization

Localization isn’t right for every video, but explainer videos are often easy to localize for different audiences.

Translating your script, accounting for cultural differences, and recording audio in other languages may be enough to seamlessly localize your explainer video for a variety of markets.

The video below illustrates the ease of localizing an explainer video in order to penetrate foreign markets.

Since explainer videos tend to focus on a product’s basic functions or benefits, they’re usually a great way to introduce new audiences to unfamiliar brands.

The main vocal recording is a narration played over the visual content, so localization mainly involved producing and recording a script in various target languages.

Here’s the original:

And some of the localized versions by Voice Crafters:

If you’re considering localization for an upcoming explainer video, keep in mind that different types of content can require very different forms of localization.

Sticking to narration, screen sharing, and animation will make it much easier to localize your video without starting from scratch for each target market.

Of course, localization can be a complex process if you want to do it correctly.

As mentioned above, a one-to-one translation may not be enough to get customers in foreign markets interested if you fail to account for their preferences and desires, which may be very different from what you’re familiar with.

With that in mind, it’s critical to work with a translator who understands the target audience and how to tailor content to their unique habits and tendencies.

We have experience with explainer videos of all kinds as well as localization in a number of different markets.

Make sure to check out our video translation services page for more information about working together on your next video.

A few companies have developed incredible explainer videos using only in-house talent, but most successful explainers involve professional voice acting.

While you might save money by using an internal employee, a professional voice actor will add value to your video and help you generate even more audience interest.

Did you like this article? Have any questions? Please feel free to comment below.

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