The question isn’t whether or not to use video as a marketing tool—86 percent of businesses do, and 93 percent of marketers call the channel “important” to their overall strategy. The question is: How do you make your videos more engaging than your competitor’s?
As anyone who’s ever tried to create an industry explainer video can tell you, narration—yes, the humble voiceover—is an indispensable tool for getting your messages across successfully. Used correctly, it can make your content that much more digestible than the competition’s.
But don’t start shopping for mics just yet. Text-to-speech (TTS) technology allows you to create quick video voiceovers directly from your script. Keep reading to learn how to add text to speech to video content—and all the ways it enhances the final product.
How to Add Text to Speech to Videos (and Why You Should)
Why use TTS when you could record narration yourself? Well, unless you’re a trained voice actor, it’s surprisingly difficult to create audio content that sounds anything but amateurish—and hiring a voice actor, plus studio time, is both expensive and time-consuming. Text-to-speech also has the advantage of being extremely flexible. If you need to update the content of your video, you can simply type out the new script and generate the audio from your own computer. That’s a lot faster—and infinitely more affordable—than tracking down your voice talent and booking another recording session.
Text-to-speech production tools let you swap out video narration on the fly. Contact ReadSpeaker to learn more about turning those scripts into speech without the hassle.
In addition to the ease of use and flexibility that TTS provides content creators, a TTS voiceover helps your content connect with broader audiences. Create a video with text to speech to:
- Make your video content more engaging. Viewers can’t absorb your message unless they’re paying attention. A blend of TTS spoken content and on-screen text gives viewers two ways to engage, drawing them in and conveying your ideas more effectively. Speech is more engaging than text for many consumers, and the combination of both will serve the broadest viewership possible—without anyone’s eyes glazing over. Clickable videos let viewers play TTS narration themselves, further improving engagement.
- Improve accessibility and usability. With TTS, you can add audio descriptions of your video’s content for people with vision impairments. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) recommend integrating these descriptions into the narration script. For a dramatic scene, WCAG suggests fitting visual descriptions into spaces in the main audio track of your video (and planning for those spaces if necessary). A TTS voiceover can also help viewers with dyslexia and other learning disabilities—and if someone has low literacy in your language, TTS is a powerful aid to comprehension.
- Emphasize your main points. Viewers pay attention to speech, especially if it’s used sparingly. Add TTS narration strategically to introduce new topics, hammer home your main point, and highlight the value of whatever you’re discussing. Introduce TTS narration at key points in your video, or create an interactive video experience by allowing users to click on-screen buttons to trigger speech.
- Localize your content with voiceovers in multiple languages. Text to speech won’t solve the translation challenge; you’ll still need to hire translators in all your markets. But with synthetic voices in more than 50 languages, ReadSpeaker TTS allows you to quickly generate audio files for each of these translations. That makes it faster and easier to localize your videos for audiences across the globe.
Most of all, TTS narration is easy. It really only takes six steps to add TTS to a video.
Text to Speech Video Integration in 6 Easy Steps
There are two schools of thought on when to introduce TTS into the video production process:
- TTS first: If you’re organizing your video entirely around TTS narration, generate the TTS content first, then edit to match. Similarly, if you can’t integrate your audio action descriptions into the narration, plan scenes with enough silences to add this accessibility feature later. That requires creating TTS files prior to shooting or assembling scenes.
- TTS last: Usually, adding TTS will be one of the last steps before launching your video. If you’re using voice to introduce a video course, emphasize a central idea, or provide a translation, don’t worry about TTS until you have at least a rough cut together.
Regardless of when you add TTS to a video, follow these six steps to get the job done.
1. Write your script.
If you’re creating information-heavy content that has a lot of text on the screen, you might not have to write a word; instead, remove some of the on-screen text and add it to your voiceover script instead. That’ll give you more room for images and create a more engaging experience. If you’re using TTS for emphasis, identify your key points and write them down. Whatever you have to say, you’ll need to write it down before converting it to speech.
2. Choose your TTS voice.
Choose a TTS voice like you would an actor: What tone, accent, or performance style best expresses your theme? Listen to a few of ReadSpeaker’s TTS voices here. To truly differentiate your brand, though, invest in a bespoke branded voice. The ReadSpeaker VoiceLab uses the latest AI technology to craft custom TTS voices, tailored to your brand traits. Use a unique branded voice to narrate your videos, smart speaker apps, digital assistants, interactive voice ads, and more: It’s like a brand logo for audio content.
3. Enter your text into a TTS production tool.
With your script in hand, generating audio voice files is as simple as pasting text into a ReadSpeaker production tool . SpeechMaker is robust, cloud-based TTS creation software. For offline TTS generation, choose SpeechMaker Desktop. To add audio effects and further customize performance, try SpeechMaker FX, a TTS tool designed for gaming and entertainment. For all options, batch processing makes it easy to produce conversations between multiple TTS characters, or simply produce a whole video’s worth of short clips with a single upload.
4. Adjust pronunciation.
ReadSpeaker’s production tools give you full control over pronunciation and performance. An integrated SSML editor (it’s like HTML, but for TTS) allows you to change emphasis at the word level with a point-and-click interface. Add pauses for dramatic effect or to simulate the breaths of a human speaker. Adjust speed, pitch, and volume. A custom speech dictionary allows you to specify pronunciation for acronyms, industry jargon, proper nouns, or regionalisms.
5. Download completed files.
Once the script sounds just right, download audio files in the format of your choice—MP3s are usually fine for text-to-speech video applications, but ReadSpeaker supports uncompressed and lossless file formats, too.
6. Import audio files into your video production software.
The end result of the top four steps will be a handful of audio speech files, ready for your editing timeline. Simply upload them to the video editor of your choice, mix with the existing soundtrack, and your narration is ready to go—without recording a word. That’s all it takes to add text to speech to video content.