Making A Video – Should You Use Voice-Overs Or Animated Text With Music?

If you are in the process of making a video for one of your products or service, one question that keeps popping up – should you use a voice-over or just have animated text with music? One of the reasons this question has become popular, over the past 5 years, videos on mobile devices have become more viewable than in the past due to fast data connections.  Also, more people are viewing videos on their phones.  When viewing these videos, approximately 92% have the sound turned off.  If a narrated video loses its sound, the narration is lost but animated text can still be read.


That does not mean that if you create a video with a voice-over, your message will be lost.  You can easily add captions to the narrated video so viewers can read your video even if they cannot hear it.


Even though options can be turned on and offer by the viewer, most mobile audiences do not have the desire or technical inclination to take advantage of this option.


You might consider creating a video that is a narrative and a separate mobile version of your page.  It’s a good idea to create a video with burnt-in subtitles for mobile versions that will appear for mobile viewers that will automatically run without their having to opt-in.


Why are many viewers turning from animated text? There are several considerations that could make voice-overs a more effective option.


Here are some important reasons to consider when deciding between narration and text:


The Amount Of Information

When you are creating a narrated video, you are using two channels to deliver information, audio and visual.  Narration is necessary to cut through a large amount of information and communicate to many, many viewers.


A Trade Show Video

Outside of mobile, there are other places where pictures have an advantage over audio.  If you want to use your video on a trade show floor, chances are, it will be very loud making it very difficult for a video to be heard.  On top of that, some trade shows restrict or bar using audios on the exhibition floor.


There are many video creators that prefer to use Facebook as their platform.  Videos on Facebook will often start playing without sound.  If your Facebook does not get clicked, which happens approximately 99% of the time, visitors will be able to view and read your animated text.  This can be a huge advantage for your awareness or brand efforts.


That said, B2B decisions are often made at a desk whether in an office environment or at home during this distancing period of time. This means most views will probably be seen on desktops.


Enticing Emotions

There’s no doubt, pictures seem to entice emotions better than words but music has an even bigger advantage to draw on emotions.  If that is your goal, you might want to set the voice-overs aside and bring in music instead.



There are times when a voice-over is more important to a story.  A voice-over does not have to be an action that commands everything, it could be a character’s perspective on the story you are telling.  Using narration in this fashion can add a human touch along with a personality to a video in a manner that animated text cannot deliver.


For Branding

We have been asked on several occasions regarding a video for an app that is used for outdoor concerts.  We highly recommend getting rid of the voice-over and use text and music instead. The reason, you want to entice your product to people who love music.  You must highlight the music by getting the voice-over out of the way. In many cases, there are brands focusing on younger people or a specific lifestyle.  These products need music before you can read their reactions to the products.


Going Back To Mobile Or Desktop

Going back to the beginning of this article, One of the most important things to take into consideration will be your video and whether its on Mobile or on Desktop.  You should consult with your analytics and find out what devices your pages are most frequently viewed on. That said, don’t place all your cards on one decision. There are many desktop users that sound is being wasted on. A product geared for the bond salesmen is going to be viewed on a noisy trading floor where audio will probably not be heard and bond people are rarely off the floor.  Also, if the product is geared to a retired or work-at-home audience is usually seen on mobile and more likely people will turn the audio up on their phones in their homes than while commuting home.


Choosing to use a voice-over or animated text with music can be a very difficult decision to make.  You will probably need someone to throw your opinions off and we are only a phone call away!
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