What if there was a way to get your videos watched by potentially an extra 11 million people?
What if you knew that 85% of Facebook users couldn’t get your content, but there was a really simple fix for the problem?
Subtitles, also sometimes known as closed captions, offer a text version of speech on videos. It’s not as tricky as you might think to create, and offers some serious benefits to your business:
1. Subtitles improve SEO. A study of 125 videos uploaded to YouTube found that those with subtitles had a 13% increase in views after 14 days. Part of the reason is that YouTube indexes captions, and factors caption files in its ranking algorithms.
2. Subtitles allow your video to be watched by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. One in 6 people in the UK – 11 million people – have some form of hearing loss, according to Action on Hearing Loss. By 2035, that figure will rise to 15.6 million people. Of course not all 11 million are going to suddenly watch your videos as soon as you put subtitles on them, but at least now they have the opportunity to watch and understand.
3. It’s not just for those who can’t hear. There are plenty of times when it’s not appropriate to play sound out of a computer or a phone. Quiet offices, public transport, late at night; subtitles give more options to people who want to watch your content.
4. Non-native speakers often find it easier to follow videos if they can read the text while listening to it being spoken. This is particularly true with accents that they might not be familiar with. If your business is trying to compete on a global scale, subtitles could be a quick win to communicating better with more people.
5. Facebook and Twitter auto-play videos without sound, but that doesn’t need to mean lost content if you use subtitles. A word of caution on this point: on-screen text is a useful technique and does solve some of the problems of soundless video, but it’s not a replacement for subtitles. If you’re using this approach in your video production, be aware of where the on-screen text appears, to ensure it doesn’t appear in the same place as the subtitles.