A professional voice-over company is there to guide you and steer your project to success. There are many different factors when it comes down to localizing your content, or just giving your content a voice in different markets. Of course, you could go the bootstrapping route and do the voiceover in-house, hire a native speaker, and buy the equipment. Or, you can outsource the work. These days, there are so many options and voice-over studios available, that it can be somewhat overwhelming.
However, if you have chosen to go down the route of working with a voiceover company to localize your content, there are some things to consider when choosing a translation provider.
Before choosing a professional voiceover company
- Map out your goals
What are you trying to achieve by adding a voiceover to your work? Only you can map out your goals. By having some kind of a list- even if it’s bullet points, you have already started to narrow down exactly what you want and expect. By highlighting what you want to achieve, a localization company can guide you in the best direction to achieve these goals. For example:
- Goal 1: Reach a new audience in Brazil by translating content into Brazilian Portuguese.
- Goal 2: Increase sales in Brazil by 30% with translated adverts.
The example provided is the most basic form of writing down your project or company goals. However, it will make finding the right localization vendor easier by having a better idea of what you want.
- Do your research
If it’s your first time working with a professional voiceover company, do some research. Note down any questions you have. A good multimedia translation company should answer any questions you have with an initial phone call. Before contacting a provider, get yourself up to speed with some basics. Here are some examples:
- What is the standard translation method for your type of content/Industry?
- What languages and dialects do you need your content to be translated into?
- Are your target audience used to reading or listening to translations? Are you looking for voiceover and subtitling services?
- Set a Budget
Audiovisual translation can be expensive, depending on the technique and talent you end up choosing. If you know how much you are willing to spend, set a budget and stick to it. If you are unsure of how much you want to spend or would prefer to explore cheaper localization options, skip this step and speak to a provider to assess your options.
Contact a professional voiceover company
Once you have gathered all of your files, research and questions, find a professional voiceover company. Look at the following factors to help you find the best provider for your project:
- Voice-over services or other localization methods?
A localization vendor will likely ask you if you have considered alternative translation options- if they provide them. Depending on your budget, vision and goals. Look for a company that offers various solutions to explore your options. Professional voiceover services are cheaper than say, dubbing. But you might want to spend the extra money to dub your video, as your audience is used to this method. Maybe subtitles are the best option? Exploring these different options with an expert will ensure you select the best localization solution for your industry, content type, budget and audience.
- Languages and understanding the target market
If you have gone with the voiceover method, make sure your voiceover studio offers the languages you require. Most importantly, check that they understand the market you want to reach. Ask about their translation process and workflows. It’s really important that a voiceover has the key elements of native speakers, translators and talent.
- Familiar with your industry
When choosing a voiceover company, make sure you check the industries that they cater to. If you are translating an e-learning course, you probably won’t need the same services as the voiceover or narration for a blockbuster film.
- Voiceover studios
There’s a big difference between owning voiceover recording studios and setting up a microphone in a room. Professional recording studios and equipment provide a certain quality that you wouldn’t get when using a home setup. If the recording studios are owned by the provider, they’re accessible and available to be used. Meaning, there is no outsourcing, so there’s likely a faster turnaround time. Not to mention, the quality of the sound and the recording will be much better. Should it ever be an issue, if work has to be re-done or changed in some way an owned studio is one less hassle.
- Hiring voiceover talent
If you want to hire your own voiceover talent, that’s up to you. However, if holding a casting with 30 voice actors is something you don’t want to do, select a voiceover company that eliminates this step. Good quality providers should have a roster of talented voice actors at their fingertips.