With dancing ads, endless slideshows, and more than 8.2 million blog posts published daily, online visual content has reached an explosive limit. Voice over trends in 2023 are headed in the same direction. It’s enough to make anyone’s head hurt, especially since the average consumer spends about six hours and 37 minutes online daily.
Rather than shutting down their electronics altogether, people are giving their brains a visual break by turning to audio – which is the star of two of the three most popular trends for 2023. Those trends are:
- Audio Ads
- Short-Form Video
In addition to giving the eyes some much-needed rest, audio content comes with another big benefit. Since audio only requires listening, people can perform other tasks instead of staying glued to their screens.
That means they listen to their favorite audio content while they walk, run, exercise, do household chores, drive, or even unwind at night without the screen’s blue light.
But people are only apt to listen to your audio if the quality is of the highest caliber. Audiences refuse to sit through scratchy, grainy, harsh, or distorted recordings. Nor do they have to. Even though audio has not reached the same saturation point as visual content, people have plenty of options.
Unless your audio is proverbial music to their ears, people will simply go somewhere else for a listen. One way to ensure top-notch quality is to hire a professional voice over artist, a surefire way to give your brand a boost and your audience something worth listening to. Here’s how.
Voice Over Trends and Audiobooks
Audiobooks have come a long way since their debut in 1932. That’s the year The American Foundation for the Blind established a recording studio to produce recordings of books on vinyl records. Each side of the record only had about 15 minutes of speech.
“Books on Tape,” which delivered unabridged versions of books recorded on cassette tapes, increased audiobook popularity in the mid-1970s. The 1997 release of Amazon’s Audible portable audiobook player helped spread the word even further, contributing to the popularity audiobooks enjoy today.
Audiobooks give you a prime opportunity to:
- Add specific nuances to the story that are tough to relay in straight-up text.
- Reach a massive and ever-growing audience.
- Get people hooked on your book and, in turn, your brand.
Why You Want It
Audiobooks are one of the strongest ways to distribute your story to the world, and the market is poised to keep growing.
- Audiobooks have seen a double-digit increase in sales every year for the past ten years.
- Nearly 74,000 titles were recorded in 2021.
- Sales are expected to escalate into a $19 billion industry by 2027.
How Voice Over Contributes to Audiobook Success
Even the greatest story in the world can bomb as an audiobook if paired with an annoying voice. Because audiobooks can be rather lengthy, selecting a pleasant voice that can keep a high level of energy, add just the right nuances, maintain a consistent pace, and retain listener interest for the long haul is imperative.
The voice over artist you select must also match the tone, style, and audience of your book. You don’t want to pair a peppy, casual voice for a dark mystery series – nor do you want to select a deep, authoritative voice for a happy little children’s book.
While AI narration is hitting the audiobook scene, you will not get the same precision or exacting emotion you can get from a real human being.
The main goal of an audiobook is to share your story so that the listener becomes hooked – or maybe even slightly addicted – to find out what happens next. An experienced voice over actor will bring high levels of quality, professionalism, and intrigue to your project to achieve exactly that.
Don’t forget to book extra time with your voice over pro to record any launch promotions you want to create for your audiobook. Having the same voice record your book and related ads reinforce consistency while giving listeners a preview of the delightful narration that’s in store.
Audiobooks aren’t the only audio content enjoying a surge in popularity. Podcasts have become the market’s darlings, and even audio articles are on the rise. If more people turn to audio, you can bet more brands are turning to audio ads right along with them.
Unlike obtrusive pop-ups or other visual ads that rudely interrupt – or downright block – the information people are trying to obtain; audio ads can be blended more seamlessly into the audio tracts. Because audio advertising is familiar, listeners seem less adverse to their existence.
Nearly 50% of people who stream audio said audio ads are less disruptive than other types of advertising. And 43% said audio ads are more likely to capture their attention. Audio ads allow you to:
- Tap into the expansive audience that enjoys podcasts, video games, music streaming, and other content that supports audio advertising.
- Connect with your specific audience using high-precision targeting.
- Reach listeners through the most personal and intimate form of media.
Why You Want It
Whether you’re aiming to create brand awareness, increase engagement, prompt direct response, or support a specific promotion, audio ads are a versatile and effective option that can reach a phenomenal amount of listeners.
- Audio ads have a 91% completion rate, meaning nearly all audience members listen to the ads in their entirety
- 74% of internet users in the U.S. listened to digital audio in 2022, which is more than 222 million people, or two-thirds of the population
- Audio remains one of the last forms of communication without ad blockers, as listeners are more accepting of audio ads than other forms.
How Voice Over Contributes to Audio Ad Success
The most effective audio ads are those that grab attention, are memorable, and can stir up emotion – three things that professional voice over actors are easily able to achieve.
Grabbing attention doesn’t simply mean being the loudest or most obnoxious. It means presenting a surprising, unique, or clever hook – in a voice that makes listeners’ ears instantly perk up. That voice needs to align with your brand’s personality and style, and it also needs to be one that listeners can easily remember.
Because audio advertising is often done with a series of ads rather than a single ad spot, you need ads that are both consistent and different. They need to be consistent with your brand yet varied enough, so the audience doesn’t think they’re listening to the same ad again and again.
A versatile voice over pro can maintain a consistent brand vibe while changing up any scenario or character. Select an artist with acting experience, and they’ll also be able to achieve the most important feat of all: making an emotional connection with your audience.
People remember any strong feelings they get while listening to an ad and are apt to remember the brand that elicited those feelings.
With a length that ranges from 10 seconds to 3 minutes, short-form video is the perfect pick for people’s declining attention spans. Most short-form videos hit about 2 minutes in length, which requires a concise, engaging, and memorable message without the fluff.
Social media platforms are a natural fit for short-form videos, although their versatility makes them work on other platforms and websites. Their versatility also gives you various options regarding the type of short-form video you want to create.
Types of short-form videos include:
- Short video ads, which typically run 10 seconds or less
- A single-feature video highlighting a single feature of your service or product
- Product demos focusing on the benefits and features of your services or products
- Educational and how-to videos, delivering knowledge or instructions
- FAQs, with a short video created for each of the top questions customers ask
- Behind-the-scenes videos giving a quick snapshot of the inner workings of your company
- Teasers for long-form videos, upcoming events, or new products or services
- Highlights of past events, with a quick recap showcasing the most memorable moments
Why You Want It
The short-form video has become less of a trend and more of a marketing staple. It’s not only become the most popular marketing tool, but it’s the most effective and known for delivering the highest ROI.
- 90% of marketers use short-form video plans to maintain or increase their use moving forward.
- 20% of marketers who have never used short-form videos are going to give it a try in 2023.
- 58% of audience members will watch the entire video if it’s less than a minute long, but only 24% make it to the end of videos that are more than 20 minutes long.
How Voice Over Contributes to Short-Form Video Success
With less than 3 minutes to relay your entire message, a short-form video has to be extremely precise. Precision is what professional voice over acting is all about. Voice actors are highly trained to deliver precise timing, precise pronunciation, and just the right style and tone that aligns with your message and brand.
You also need video narration that matches the type of video you’re creating. A 10-second ad requires a highly captivating and energetic voice, while an event recap needs a voice that can relay the emotion of the memorable moments.
Educational videos need voices that give an air of authority without losing the personable feel. Teasers require high levels of authentic excitement, while product demos need to mingle that excitement with a professional edge. You could spice up your FAQ videos by having the voice actor take on different characters for every question.
As noted, the short-form video doesn’t have room for any fluff. An experienced voice over artist knows how to get straight to the point, delivering narration that connects with the audience to present the message and help the video meet its goals.
Find a versatile and seasoned voice actor, and they may be able to nail the narration for all your short-form videos, regardless of the type.
A versatile, seasoned voice actor can nail the narration for short-form videos and any other project you have in your lineup. This particularly holds true if you plan to move forward with the 2023 trends of audiobooks and audio ads. Both audiobooks and audio ads rely heavily on engaging narration for the best results, and hiring a voice over pro is an excellent way to help ensure those best results unfold.