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How to Get Ahead of the Competition

Based on an Article written by Al Black – reposted with the permission of

Challenging times mean those organisations that survive and prosper are those who use all the available tools to project a clear professional message.

Frequently, clients invest a lot of time and money in a project destined only to be seen by a very small and exclusive audience. They do so because they know for certain that when you want to make an impression, using a professional voice actor to set the tone and entertain the audience is extremely effective. A professional voice over makes your script come alive, and your organisation reflects quality, professionalism and believability

Here are some really effective ways to use voice-over in your marketing, internal communications, customer service and more.    It may be that you already use some of the methods described,  but then again,………At the very least I hope it gives you some inspiration!

1. Not just an out of hours message, something that makes you want to call back.

You might think Mable on reception has a nice voice, but thats just your opinion. Ask yourself this: what do my customers want to hear?
When customers call your business and get an out of hours greeting, they want to be reassured that their call is important and that someone really will return their call as soon as they can.  When you choose a professional voice over to provide this message in a clear, nurturing tone you immediately tell customers your service is of high quality, and this builds trust.

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2. Directing callers to the right place

IVR.  When customers call in, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are a common way to route a caller to the correct person or department. it’s easier than ever for a small business to set-up an IVR system using VoIP software. Long gone are the days where you needed a dedicated server box and a qualified IT technician!

Using a professional voice artist on your IVR system is extremely important because you don’t want customers to get frustrated and hang up. Make it delicious and they will make it through the system, happier and more engaged with your business.
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3. When you have to put callers on-hold, keep them informed and entertained

On-hold marketing. Everyone has experienced the dread of being put on hold. The awful music choice, only made worse by the occasional interruption to tell you that “your call is important to us”. Lies.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. If you have to put a customer on hold then at least make it fun. Give them an experience. Relaxing music, interspersed with genuinely useful information about other products or services your business has to offer will go a long way to improve their impression of your company. You may even have a new sale on your hands! An on-hold marketing track that is at least 2 minutes long is recommended (so it doesn’t drain you customers of the will to live).

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4. “You’re avin a laugh you are.”

Go viral with a funny video. The TikTok and Instagram audiences are constantly on the lookout for good content to share with their family, friends and followers. Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that 63% of people mostly share news about funny videos. Posting a funny video which is loosely related to your product or service with a comedic voice over is a great way to show that your brand doesn’t always take itself too seriously.

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5. Tell a niche audience something they don’t know.

podcast advert. If you dont already advertise on podcasts, you’re missing out. Podcasts are nearly always about one subject, which makes them brilliant for speaking to an audience interested in your businesss

Think of a topic, any topic, there’s a podcast for that!  Sponsoring a podcast that appeals to your audience is cost-effective advertising. Podcasts with a big following will have a prescribed set of ad packages, but smaller niche podcasts may offer you more flexibility, and more bang for your buck. What does your audience listen to already, do some research and then tailor your message for the audience. Whatever podcasts you choose to advertise on, get the commercial professionally narrated and produced for maximum return on your investment.

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6. Create a promo for a micro audience

Videomaker tool for a promo. In recent years, TV advertising has undergone a lot of change thanks to increased broadband speeds and the proliferation of on-demand services (like Netflix). In the past, only big business could afford TV advertising but with online competition from the likes of Facebook and YouTube, it is becoming legitimately affordable option now, because you can target micro-regions (one city, one state or county).

What if I am already online?   The location may not be as important but your micro-audience will have specific interests and be of a certain age and gender. You can target your micro-audience using platforms like Facebook / Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora and more.

On a budget?   Create simple 6-15 second ads. Facebook has it’s own inbuilt video maker for this, but if  you’ve  got that creative itch, there are loads of great tools to make it yourself, such as Adobe Spark which allow you to add your audio. Make the post on your preferred platform and then boost it to your micro-audience. It can all be done the same day!

If you offer a solution which solves a micro audiences problems, you’ll build an army of loyal customers too.

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7. Inspire people to take action

Taking action is simply about doing something to achieve the desired outcome. If your product or service helps people to achieve more, that’s  the story you want to focus on. Here’s an example:

Imagine you sell an admin software product which gives your customers an easy way to generate invoices and pay suppliers. Whilst the features and benefits of admin software are important, inspiring customers to take action starts by telling them a story of how things can be better with your product. This is how you influence their decision.

A comparison video which shows one stressed out business owner, drowning in paperwork, versus a smiling business owner with time on his hands to do something awesome, will immediately grab the interest of your target audience because it solves real problems, and people will want that solution for themselves.

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8. Sell your ideas.

Pitch and sell your ideas. Selling your ideas to key staff, investors or partners is at the heart of growing any business. Most business owners will use PowerPoint slides to tell their story with key images or metrics. It’s a bit dull though.
We’re emotional animals and to take your pitch up a level you need to engage our emotions“ get them excited!

A video opener can be a powerful way to achieve this. The music and the voice can take people into your world, whetting their appetite for more.

Done right, an opener can be used in almost any pitch setting. Whether at bigger conferences to motivate an entire workforce; or at private investor meetings  “ the pitch video is always about their needs and wants “ your business’s offering is the solution.

Choosing the right voiceover for your investment pitch video could be worth millions. Choose wisely.

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9. Educate staff to improve to supercharge your business.   fast!

Educating staff is one of the most effective ways to improve your businesses strength and create a truly professional image.

It’s often overlooked by small and medium businesses.

Yes, of course it takes time and effort and yes, it will need updating regularly as technology or processes change, but it’s worth it.
Consider this:  How much time does it take to get one member of staff up to speed on all your systems, health & safety, compliance, processes etc? Do you know?

If you don’t know,  you should.  My guess is probably weeks, maybe even months. But it’s not just the time it takes for the new staff to learn everything they need to know; it’s also the time it takes for the manager to teach and oversee their progress. Onboarding and training new staff is one of the biggest hurdles of any growing business.

Speed up your training by investing in eLearning courses and walkthrough videos. You can easily create eLearning courses by starting in PowerPoint and then importing your slide deck to authoring tools like Articulate to add multimedia and testing. You can also use tools such as Adobe Captivate to screen capture software and processes which will serve as a go-to reference.

Adding a neutral voice-over to the eLearning courses will make it easier for new starters to understand everything. If you plan to expand into other countries then courses can, of course, be localised.

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10. Explain how it works

Voice-overs for explainer videos are one of the most common types of projects we get to do.

They come in all shapes and sizes. From bespoke animations with sizeable budgets; to whiteboard animation products like Sparkols VideoScribe, which offers a library of illustrations for a relatively low monthly fee.

Any explainer is essentially an animated presentation and the voice-over is extremely important to getting the message across. If your  “how it works video is going to be seen by thousands of potential customers It’s worth investing in a voice that fits your brand and gets the messaging on point.

A cheap voice-over could end up costing you more.

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11. Make the content more accessible

Make content accessible to l2.2 billion people globally who are visually impaired or blind. The majority of people with vision impairment are over the age of 50 years, so if your business targets this demographic, a larger percentage of them will be vision-impaired.

But I’m not just talking here about the blind and visually impaired. Making content accessible to all is about providing more ways to interact with your content. More channels.

An effective way to create a new channel is to convert your blogs into audio-blogs. To do this, get a professional narrator to read and record the blog and then embed the audio into your blog post. What I LOVE about this is when I’m reading a blog and need to go out, I can just download the audio to my phone and listen to it in the car.

You can also turn your blogs into videos using a combination of voice-over and images for your YouTube channel, or even break down the blog into several short video posts for Instagram. Repurposing your blog content into other channels will broaden your reach and help to grow your business.

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12. Convert e-mail newsletters into audio or video

Newsletter in audio or video format. An e-mail newsletter is still an effective way to reach customers both new and old, but most newsletters suck. Crammed with boring text stories about things that are important to the business, not the customer.

Instead, as well as creating a more eye-catching newsletter in MailChimp (or similar), also convert it into an audio story, or even create individual stories for each piece of news you want to share. Linking to an engaging piece of audio or video content which has something to benefit the customer will see your engagement soar.

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13. Speak to the world!

Go global and localise your messaging. Out of the worlds population of 7.5 billion people, 1.5 billion speak English but only around 360 million speak English natively. For the rest, its a 2nd or 3rd language.

If you want your business to reach a global audience (and who doesn’t?), translating your content is critical. After all, most people will search in their native tongue first.

This isn’t just about targeting countries, it’s about people. For example, did you know, that in New York, the Japanese language is the 2nd highest language used in a search? That means if you’re advertising your business in New York it’s worth considering localising the ads and funnel (landing page/video content) to Japanese too!

Going global is about speaking to everyone in your neighbourhood too.

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Article by Al Black (Co-Founder)

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