Every man and his tech-savvy dog has a Facebook, a Twitter and a LinkedIn profile to keep up to date with the world. Videos are more and more prominent in the new age of digital media and marketing. In fact, by 2019 80% of all Internet traffic will be video and we need to keep up! Closed captioning has been around on broadcast television since the early 1970s.
Only recently have we seen video captions used on social media platforms. It’s become increasingly popular and in fact, many viewers get a little frustrated when there aren’t captions! It’s not a case of being lazy (we hope!) but a case of wanting all the information the easiest and fastest possible way.
According to Digiday, as much as 85% of video views on Facebook happen with the sound off. The audience are a busy bunch, they might be on a train or in a meeting or in a noisy environment when they pause on a video catches their eye. Don’t hinder their interest by making your video an audio-led experience. Ensure the visuals are engaging enough alongside the captioning and the video will sell itself.
Think about the videos you’ve viewed in the last week or so? How many did you watch with audio? Most people scroll through their mobile phone or tablet news feeds without ever turning up the volume. By captioning your content, you immediately increase your chances of the audience receiving some if not all of your message. Personally, I’m far more likely to watch a video with captions, whether it be a funny viral video, or a more serious news based clip.
Not only do you cater for those who don’t change their phone settings, but also a whole range of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, non native speakers and senior citizens. You never know who may be interested in your products, services or knowledge, so making sure it is accessible to everyone naturally increases your reach.
Your SEO will improve with captioned videos. Transcripts can be optimised with keywords. Search engines can crawl the entire transcript to index it fully, which will usually make it rank higher than a video without.
For those who do choose to listen to the video whilst watching, the combination of audio and visual content reinforces the messages. Generally, people will retain more of the message if it’s been received in multiple ways. It’s a sort of cognitive reinforcement.
Your website searches in general will be easier. The SEO indexing we talked about earlier will improving the visibility of the content. Not only that, you could search for a particular word or phrase you know to feature in a video and the transcript will be indexed so the search results will show text from captions.
You never know whose watching your videos, reading your blogs, considering your products and services. People from all countries could be tuning into your website, but they might not all speak and read English as their first language. Wouldn’t it be great if you could convert some consumers into clients with the power of translating your content? That’s easy enough for blog posts but videos are a little trickier.
Unless they have captions! Which some sites, like YouTube or Instagram, automatically translate for you based on where you are.
How to Caption
There are websites that offer transcribing and captioning services for you if that’s your preferred method.
Here are some recommendations:
We chose to keep our messages short and transcribe it ourselves for our first ever captioned video, as it was a bit of a spontaneous one! This is quite a time consuming to do however and this is why many choose to outsource the work to dedicated companies.
Have a look at our very first captioned video right here. And if you’ve seen that tree, let us know in the comments below your thoughts!
Until next time…