Since the world shifted online over the last year or so, a little-tapped resource became available to small market ad agencies. Great, professional online voice over talent. Rather than being limited to local talent to voice their ads, those with greater experience can be accessed with a simple google search. Fairly full of great quality talent before the pandemic, since then actors all over the country scrambled to set up home studios and that means a rich selection for the small market agency. And this resource is not limited to small markets.
Anyone looking to employ niche marketing or micro marketing can benefit from this greater availability of online talent too. What to look for in an online professional voiceover who can speak well to a local or small market?
- Years of experience
- Understanding of the market
- Availability, reliability
Targeted Online Voice Over for Local Markets
Local marketing generally refers to a geographic region, typically within a 50-mile radius of a business. Larger companies with a broader reach or multiple locations can still benefit from a targeted voice over approach. As local advertising tends to deal in geography rather than the population it can still be incredibly large and far reaching.
New York City for example has a population density of 27000 people per square mile. And The City of London is just over a square mile (which is why it’s sometimes called The Square Mile), with a population of less than 10 000. That’s a lot of people inside even a small companies’ local reach.
When looking for voice over or narration for these markets it is important to find an artist that can relate to the market they’re talking to. There is often a geographical boundary that can block a business or brand from communicating at the direct, homegrown level they want to. Often the difference can be covered by dialect, a slight variation in an accent, and local slang. It can also be seen in how stories are told, the rhythm, the music, and the pattern of speech.
Online Voice Over that Connects with Local Markets and Small-Town Markets
When thinking of how best to engage in that casual, conversational and most of all relatable voice over with small and local markets it’s important to consider what’s meaningful to the target community. Is it fishing, or arts, or politics? Is this a farming community or a manufacturing town? What are the local pastimes, goals, pain points? You need to speak directly to the local community, feel like you’re one of them by engaging directly on their level, with their rhythm and cadence.
Some more top tips for connecting with a local market:
- Get to know your customer, understand their chief beefs, vernacular, and vocal tics and flavors
- Hire a professional voice over artist with experience with local demographics and in-depth script analysis and reads. Someone who ‘gets’ your customer – (i.e. I spent my formative years in a farming community. As a kid I corn detasseled, hoed beans and picked cherries. I get the agricultural Midwest because I was raised in it)
- Don’t be afraid to get creative, and fully realize your audiences niche characteristic, wants, and needs
- Let your customer know that you understand them, not by telling, but through showing
Slang, Patter, and Local Dialect are Important Engagement Tools for a Professional Voice Talent
Slang and local dialect can play a massive factor in targeted voice over, it can make adults feel like kids again, communicating in a secret code that only they and the speaker understand. The right words, with the right rhythm, can make your audience feel understood and valued by your brand. During lockdown some of the best adverts targeted local problems and pain points, keeping us laughing during a stressful time.
When it comes to small town radio and TV marketing, I think it’s best to find a voice over artist who has lived or grown up in a small town. It helps to realize the connection, to fully grasp that real, conversational voice over. The neighbors-talking-to-neighbors vocal delivery. A kind of down-home feel.
Talking Directly to Smaller Target Demographics Through Online Voice Over
A target demographic can refer to any grouping factor within a business customer base. Larger demographics include things like gender, age, income, etc. but a more precision campaign can target smaller local groupings. Perhaps a segment of your customer likes to make their own kombucha, they love blues, or playing bridge. A kind of profile can be built around those nuggets of information, something that can help a voice over artist relate to your audience.
Smaller businesses can effectively compete with larger ones by tailoring their messages in a way that reflects and solves problems, specific to their niche. That doesn’t mean ostracising broader demographics, but rather focusing on the customer your product or service can best serve. Local markets really appreciate advertising that speaks right to them, in their language about the things they care about.
Casually injecting some of their interests and background through the right voice over is an effective way of hitting them where they live. A professional voice over artist, with an acting background and years in the industry, is going to know how to do this successfully, without sounding awkward or forced.
Social Media and the Downfall of Catch-All Marketing and Generic Voice Over
Currently, everyone and their dog (or cat or ferret) is online, with their own Instagram and Twitter handle – the non-humans get pages as well. On the one hand, it’s amazing, it has opened and democratized advertising. Anyone can do it! I can hire someone in New York and buy stuff from a local London business with just a few clicks. I get to do voice over work from Canada for people the world over.
On the other hand, “catch-all marketing” isn’t all it cracked up to be. Broad, generic advertising and voice over that blindly targets as many people as possible doesn’t give a great ROI. It’s the vocal equivalent of spam, quickly deleted and fast forgotten. Tailored voice over, recorded by a skilled professional who understands the customer they’re talking to and knows how to deliver great voice over for that customer is a better business proposition. One more likely to deliver.