Text and video are an incredibly powerful duo. From powerful Nike ads to BuzzFeed’s Tasty cooking series, text overlays are changing the way we consume video online. Viewers have grown accustomed to seeing text and video together on social media, but beyond that, captions also serve another arguably even more important purpose: accessibility. Adding captions to your videos is a simple way to ensure that everyone who wants to consume your content can.
Accessibility is an important but often overlooked part of the video production process – but it doesn’t have to be! Let’s dive deeper into the world of captions, so that both the business and the viewer can succeed.
Making your content more accessible
Companies have an interest in making content accessible to everyone who wants to watch it. Captions open up your audience to hundreds of millions of people, including the over 350 million people worldwide who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as folks who are non-English speaking.
There is also high demand for captions among the hearing population. They’re using their smartphones on the bus, scrolling through social feeds, or watching videos at work.
The best ways to create high-quality captions are either to:
- Bake the captions into your creative process, from scripting to animated text.
- Order a transcript from a professional service.
Here’s an example of a video we made for social media, where the captions were actually factored into the creative direction of the video itself.
Benefitting from an SEO boost
Most video marketers know that without an audience, all the work that goes into producing and editing a video will be more or less for nothing. Captions boost SEO, making it easier for people to discover your videos online. Since most of online media is not captioned, there’s a huge potential for growth via keyword strategy.
SEO is especially important for video because Google currently favors informative videos for the top of its results pages.
When you implement a keyword strategy in your script, you can use the transcript to boost search traffic. For instance, if you are trying to target people searching for productivity software, you can work in relevant key terms such as “job performance,” “time management,” and “social media.”
3play also offers a few tips when it comes to captioning with SEO in mind:
- Putting the video on its own page, so it’s easier for Google to identify what the content’s all about
- Using specific, long tail keywords in addition to more obvious ones in order to stand out from other content
- Placing the full transcript either directly on the page, in the HTML header, or on a second, linked page
Of course, different search terms work better for different distribution channels, platforms, audiences, and goals. When you’re raking in the views or converting new organic search customers, it’ll all be worth it!
Keeping up with industry standards
Social media has helped make captioning your video an industry standard. If you’re not captioning your videos now, chances are you will be in the near future.
According to Digiday, Facebook users watch over 8 billion videos per day, and 85% of those videos are watched without sound. Some content creators have picked up on this trend early and have used it to their advantage. There’s a reason Tasty, NowThis, and The Dodo all have a similar look— and why all are viral successes.
For a user scrolling endlessly through a social media feed, it’s easy to skim over photos and auto-playing videos. Captions, however, can increase your chance of getting noticed and remembered.
Caption early and often
It’s written in the stars: Video captions are the way of the future. The process of editing transcripts, entering HTML tags, and testing keywords may seem time-consuming, but there are ways to ease the pain. When you customize your video in Wistia, we can order a transcript for you and install captions in several languages. When you make this a part of your pre-launch checklist, it will become routine in no time!
And captions don’t just have to be a perfunctory or legally required add-on; they can be a vital part of your creative strategy. Fun captions are visually dynamic and can help you emphasize certain terms or words. In turn, your captions will look great on social platforms, expose your brand to new audiences, and make your content more compelling. Captions for the win!