In order to attract the most fitting voice actors to audition for your project, it’s important that you provide a concise description of your target market. This includes demographic information, and is incorporated into your voice over job posting so that auditioning talent will know who your project’s ideal listener is.
When you really think about it, the adage ‘know your audience’ isn’t merely a cardinal rule in the spheres of advertising and marketing. Knowing one’s audience is of utmost importance for performers as well.
Voice actors are tasked with the job of communicating in such a way that they can educate, inform, or entertain. This is most effectively achieved when a voice actor has sufficient information to form a picture of who they’re addressing and how their character relates to the audience.
Typically, voice over is intended to engage audiences for very specific purposes, ranging from helping to increase brand and information recall, to adding personality and emotional impact. However, the best way to ensure that your voice over achieves a meaningful connection with your target audience starts with a fulsome understanding and a good description of who your target audience is.
Here are some examples of how to describe target audience in a detailed manner that will enable a voice actor to deliver a stellar performance. We’ll look at some of North America’s (if not the world’s) most well-known brands, and provide a sample description of what their target audience might be:
- Consumers with discerning taste
- Artists and romantics
- City dwellers and people living in condensed urban centres
- Age: Ranges from post-secondary students to sophisticated seniors
- Technophiles and freelance workers who want to work in a welcoming space that feels like home
- Casual to serious athletes: from the periodic jogger to the top players of the NFL
- Consumers who simultaneously want to look sporty and fashionable
- Inspired dreamers who are driven to stay fit, improve their lives, and overcome obstacles
- Age: 15-45, with an equal male/female split
- Young athletes who will remain loyal to the brand as they grow older
- Age: Millennials to Gen Xers
- Viewers who embrace nostalgia and diverse storytelling
- Binge-watchers who have the downtime to stream several hours of content a week
- Young people who are active on social media and enjoy being part of the mainstream cultural conversation
- Consumers living in urban/suburban areas
To write an effective target audience description, try identifying some of the following traits of your ideal consumer:
Are you targeting adolescents, seniors, or any specific demographic cohort?
Is your target audience generally focused in urban centres, spread out across rural areas, or in the suburbs? Are you trying to engage a global, national, or regional audience?
Are members of your target demographic high-earners, middle-income, or those in lower earning brackets?
What does your target audience value in their lives and how does your product or offering fit in? For example, perhaps your target audience is made up of consumers who value affordability, or consists of individuals with vast disposable income.
How does your target value live and how does this impact their desire or ability to purchase your product/service? For example, does your target audience have a lot of spare time on their hands, or are they perpetually on the go?
What influences and moves your target audience? For instance, will your message be more effective if you inspire or intimidate your target audience?
Note that it is not a requirement to outline all of the aforementioned qualities, nor are you limited to those categories. You only need to focus on the most pertinent elements for your specific brand or project in order to enable prospective voice actors to gain the strongest sense of your project objectives, and who to target in their vocal delivery.
The best way to familiarize yourself with effective target audience descriptions is to read through as many job listings as you can on Voices.com.
This library of sample scripts is another great resource, because the scripts adhere to the same format as job postings on Voices.com, and they cover a broad range of voice over script categories.
Here’s an example of how the target audience description is incorporated into the artistic direction for a fictional voice over job for a Google Home voice app.
“We need an approachable and entertaining male voice for our Google Home Action. This is a voice that our target demographic (males aged 20-45) needs to trust and want to interact with, time and time again.
This is a cool and conversational voice that sports lovers would instantly connect with, no matter where they live in the U.S.”
You’ll notice that the direction highlights the fact that they’re seeking voice talent who will appeal to a demographic composed primarily of male sports enthusiasts, aged 20-45.
See how a comprehensive target audience description can serve as a critical piece of information by reading the full Google Home Actions Voice Over script.
In other cases, the target audience description may not single out a cohort of people within a similar age range, but instead describe a broader group of people with shared values or interests.
“70% of Minsurance’s customer base is families, and we understand our families’ needs. They want affordable rates, and a friendly conversation from an insurance company that understands the average Minnesota household. Our ads will be playing on some common stresses of our classic customer profiles, while using humor to anchor our services and cement our brand recall with our target demographic: busy families of four or more.”
In the job description for this sample radio spot, applicable voice actors are instructed that their delivery of the script will ideally cause the insurance company to come across as friendly and relatable to the average mid- to large-sized Minnesotan family.
Check out the full Insurance Advertisement Voice Over script and learn how a creative director describes the ideal voice actor and performance, and connects them to the needs of the target demographic.
While some ads are purposefully constructed to stand out to certain demographics when they air on the radio or TV, others are oriented around tapping into an existing listenership.
“Charlie ’The Cheese Factory’ Torino, ’Slick’ Nick Brown and their producer Dave ‘The Recluse’ Baker will need a strong TV promo campaign to keep listeners locked into Charlie and Nick in the Morning, and not tune in elsewhere.
Our main demographic is men aged 30-55 years old. 85% of our listener base is male.”
This demographic data is helpful to auditioning voice actors, because it informs them about exactly the kind of platform they’re speaking from and about the audience they’re addressing, so they can adjust the read accordingly.
Acquaint yourself with the format of a Radio Morning Show TV Promo script.
The more voice over job listings that you read, the better you’ll be able to develop a grasp on how clients seek out voice actors to hire and how to write your own. Peruse our archive of sample scripts for glimpses into different methods for spelling out your target audience.
Along with target audience description, you should also provide any extra notes that place the voice over into context.
For instance, if there are multiple roles in a production, talent appreciate knowing how their character relates to other characters. If you don’t provide details of this nature, the voice talent will do it for you, according to the knowledge of your project that they have at the present time.
For you, this may mean how a given athlete performed over the last season, knowing their strengths, and why they were selected to be included in the game.