Social media marketing is gradually and steadily overtaking traditional marketing media in terms of relevance, particularly due to its unbeatable appeal to youthful smartphone users. At the center of this new marketing trend is video marketing; today’s consumer wants to see more visual content and lesser static text from brands.
Video marketing has, indeed, cemented itself as an integral part of any modern company’s overall marketing strategy. Because video is able to tell your brand story in a way that words alone cannot sufficiently tell, this marketing strategy can potentially increase your conversion rates by up to 80 percent.
It is a very effective tool to use when you want to build strong customer relations, deliver educational content, send product installation/application demos, and create product awareness in a new market.
But including videos in your web content or creating a YouTube channel for your company isn’t enough to appeal to today’s consumer. You need to optimize your videos for your target viewers in order to keep them engaged, convince them to subscribe to your channel/social media account and to prompt them to make purchases.
One way of optimizing your video is ensuring that the message they carry is clear to as many viewers as possible.
That is why video captioning is invaluable in video marketing.
If you are reading this article, then you most probably have come across the terms “open caption” and “closed caption”. The two are often used interchangeably to refer to the transcription of the audio in a video; it’s the text used to explain or elaborate on the message in a video.
But there is a small difference between the two.
Bottom line: The most important thing is that you transcribe audio regardless of the captioning option you choose.
Is video captioning really necessary? If you are one of the content owners/developers who believe that all you need to succeed in video marketing is great, terrific content, then you may need to reconsider your position!
Failure to add video captions means that you are and will continue losing out on tons of potential audiences. Here are seven reasons why:
When you caption your videos, they become accessible to both the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. This is a very significant demographic because according to multiple market studies, at least 1 in every 6 people across the world has some form of hearing problem. And even if you were to ignore these people, then you cannot ignore the fact that over 80% of your prospective audience will watch your video with the sound switched off.
You are wondering why so many people would want to watch a video with the sound off, right? Well, this is very sensible if you think about it. For starters, some of your audiences will watch the video in open offices or cubicles, a library, a noisy café, on public transport, at the bar, or in any other public place where silence is highly needed and privacy critically threatened. In such situations, you can only rely on captions to convey your message.
Sometimes the quality of the audio in your video can be bad and incomprehensible, particularly if the video was shot in a noisy recording environment. Think of a video you took while attending a conference, in a windy location, or during a crowded marketing event: The viewer may need a little more than the audio in order to get your message. Besides, can you completely rule out the possibilities of your audio-recording equipment failing you? Of course, you cannot.
If you are targeting a global audience, of which you should, then you can bet that not every viewer will be comfortable with the audio’s accent. Captioning is the surest way of ensuring that everyone derives the meaning of the words in the audio. Viewers whose native language is not English will have the option of reading along while they listen, checking out the meaning of the boneshakers and heavy jargons from the dictionary.
Almost every content creator out there is leveraging the popularity of captions to create and retain huge online audiences, and so should you. The general rule of thumb in any competition is that you must keep up with industry standards at all times if you are to compete effectively. If you’re not captioning your videos already, you will have a lot of catching up to do in the near future.
Research shows that YouTube and Facebook videos with subtitles have a 91% chance of being watched from the start to completion, which is 25% more than those without captions. Also, according to Instapage, captioned videos are shared on social media 16% more times than the rest, they get 26% more clickthroughs, and have a 17% more chance of getting positive reactions (likes and positive comments).
The more the users’ dwell time and reactions on your videos, the more discoverable the videos become. And because increased video engagement is among the factors that Google and YouTube consider when ranking search results, you can be assured that video captioning will easily take your content up the SEO ranks.
Speaking of search engines, their ranking algorithms can’t watch or listen to a video; the best they can do is index the text in the caption. These engines consider captions to be the most accurate representation of the video, so they index the text to understand the relevance of your video for different searchers’ queries.
The idea behind working so hard to create a top-quality video is to reach out to and engage as many people as possible. If there is one potential customer out there who cannot access your video because of a language barrier or because the platforms on which the video is posted and/shared aren’t accessible to that person, then your primary objective is defeated. Video captioning enables you to put your video out on as many platforms as you wish and reach that extra person.
If you can broaden your potential audience by a single viewer and then he/she turns into one of your biggest customers, then the dollars you spent on video transcription were totally worth it.
Think of those viewers who cannot read English- or whichever language your video is in. Such viewers can easily type in the caption in a translation tool and get a reliable idea of what you’re saying. And if your budget allows, you can always take your captioning a notch higher and translate the captions in multiple languages.
Bottom line: There isn’t a language barrier that video captioning cannot solve.
An accurate, complete transcript of your videos will give you endless monetization options.
Assuming that you run a YouTube channel that teaches DIY tutorials, your viewers are highly likely to shop
for the tools that you use in the tutorials. Of course, many people believe that that is the only way to successfully recreate whatever items you create in the videos. You can always leverage this situation by enrolling into affiliate marketing programs that promoting the tools you use.
With an affiliate link, you can always link different items from a seller into your YouTube videos through closed captioning. When viewers click your affiliate link to the seller’s site and make any purchases, you get a small commission. That is a reliable way of making money from your videos, particularly if you don’t have your own goods to sell.
Also, captioning your video helps you to repurpose your content into another money-making venture such as converting it to a guest blog post in a high-authority site or into an eBook and then selling it on Amazon.
You can also present the information in the video as an infographic and share it on platforms like Pinterest.
Video publishers are required by accessibility laws and internal policies to caption their videos
appropriately. In the US, video publishers are guided by three governing bodies- CVAA, FCC, and ADA- in matters of video accessibility. You can easily find yourself in trouble with these authorities- sometimes to the point of being fined or prosecuted- for failing to comply with the accessibility laws. Of course, this is the last thing you want.
Having seen the 7 convincing reasons why video captioning is relevant, you probably are now wondering how you can create video captions effectively.
Well, there are multiple steps and methods of transcription that you can employ when captioning your videos. If you are tight on cash, you can use the free YouTube and Facebook automated captioning tools. You should, however, be ready for inaccurate and clunky captions… free things are expensive in the long run. As a matter of fact, both Google and YouTube do not index automated captions because of their consistent inaccuracy.
Instead of using automated captions for your videos, you would rather spend a few dollars on a more reliable online transcription service.
A professional service like transwriter.com brings together a team of highly-qualified professional transcribers who are committed to giving you the most accurate video captions. What’s more, our service frees your time and energy so that you can focus all your attention on the core aspects of your business.