4 Reasons You Need to Caption Your Videos
Video content without closed captions (CC) is like a concert pianist playing to an empty room. You’ve put all the hard work into creating an amazing video, but you’re missing out on your full audience.
And in our extremely-online world, it’s no longer a viable option not to create captioned content. People across the world are engaging with content constantly, and they all have different needs, lifestyles and ways of accessing video and streams. By using captions, you can reach all of them! And that’s not the only benefit.
Here are our top reasons why captioning your videos is essential in this day and age.
1. Make your content easy to engage with (without sound)
In a time when we are always on-the-go, we don’t always want to be blaring sound from our devices. Captioning makes videos and streams easier for audiences to watch, wherever they are, and whatever they’re doing.
If they’re on public transport without earphones, if they’re in a quiet place where they can’t play the sound, or if they simply want to read along, captions help people engage easily.
We now know that 83 per cent of media consumers in the US watch video with the sound turned off. And not only that – 80 per cent of people are also more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available, instead of just watching the beginning or skipping through.
This is all because captions make viewing easier. It’s a clear reason to caption your content.
2. Boost audience attention and comprehension
Captions make it easier to catch and keep your audience’s attention, as demonstrated by the fact that videos with captions have a longer viewing time. These longer viewing times not only help you get your message across, but they can also make your content perform better on search engines.
Captions have also been found by numerous studies to improve the comprehension of video content, as well as create a positive learning response among students. In a study by the University of South Florida, 99 per cent of students reported that captions were helpful in learning about a topic.
Captions also improve reading skills by providing learning readers with more exposure to the written word – according to multiple studies.
And for viewers whose native language is not English, captions improve comprehension by supporting them to read along while they listen. This means you can broaden your audience to overseas markets and others who have English as a second language, just by using captions.
3. Improve the accessibility of your content
Over five per cent of the world’s population has significant hearing loss. That is a huge number of people – roughly 460 million – that don’t have access to your content if you don’t use captions.
Captions will support your audiences that are deaf or hard-of-hearing to follow your content. And the more accurate and detailed the captions are, the better.
While we’re on the subject, other important ways to improve the accessibility of your video content include transcription and audio description. These are important avenues to explore if you value accessible content.
4. Maximize your SEO and content with transcripts
Our last reason to caption is, in fact, a product of the captioning process: transcription. Transcripts are made available at the end of the captioning process if done professionally, and they can also be easily made into a transcript independently.
One great advantage of having a transcript of your content is that it enables a video or stream to be found by search engines, including Google, through Search Engine Optimization (or SEO).
Search engines can’t watch or listen to a video and index the content, but they do index text – transcripts. This is why, whenever you caption, you should make your video transcript or highlights available so you will rank higher, leading to more views and exposure for your content.
On top of this, you can use transcripts to repurpose your content into other forms, such as a blog article or an email to your desired audience. Having transcripts for your videos means making new content can be as simple as copy and paste.
Now, get them on your content
By now, you might have realized all the great ways that captioning can boost your content. A bigger audience, better engagement, more accessibility and more flexibility… This will all help your content to blossom in the online world.