Subtitles are lines of text that provide a written translation of audio content. Adding them to your videos makes them easier to understand and can increase viewer engagement. It also allows people to watch content in sound-sensitive or noisy environments. Several studies show that subtitles can help improve literacy and reading comprehension.
They Make Your Content Accessible
Adding subtitles to your content ensures it is accessible for everyone, even if they don’t have a hearing impairment. If your video material doesn’t include subtitles, you are excluding the more than 28 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing. Using a service to transcribe your videos automatically will allow you to create captions for your content that can be used in various ways. For example, many schools are now archiving lectures and other educational content for students to watch at their convenience. They can look up words or phrases in the transcript if they need a reminder.
Subtitles also allow viewers to watch videos in sound-sensitive or noisy environments. Facebook has reported that 85% of their videos are observed on mute, and that video content with subtitles is viewed for 12% longer than those without. It translates to higher engagement, meaning more views and reach for your video content. If you add subtitles and captions, it will be simpler for viewers to interact with your videos, raising the possibility that they will share, comment, or subscribe.
They Increase Engagement
Subtitles are essential if you have a lot of video material to reach your audience and boost engagement. Subtitles help viewers understand your message, and they can be especially helpful when you have to explain technical language or industry jargon. Additionally, subtitles allow viewers to reread words if they don’t understand them, which can improve comprehension and retention of information. According to new research, watching films while reading along helps viewers retain the information they see.
Adding subtitles can also improve your SEO by helping search engines better interpret your content. It is particularly important for international audiences and languages that are not your primary content language. Subtitles are necessary for all types of video, including movies, TV shows, social media videos, and training. However, it’s important to remember that your subtitles should be accurate and consistent with the audio. The speed of the subtitles should match the spoken word. Otherwise, they can cause viewers a headache and be hard to read. Working with professional subtitlers is important to create clear, accurate captions for your video.
They Make Your Content More Searchable
Having subtitles on your video is important because it allows you to reach a wider audience. Text displayed on the screen to correspond with audio in a video is known as a subtitle. They are commonly used in movies, but they can also be added to videos on social media and websites. Many of the world’s population is hard of hearing or deaf, and if your content doesn’t have subtitles, these people will not be able to access it. That’s a huge audience that you could be missing out on!
In addition, subtitles can make your content more searchable. As long as the subtitles are accurate, Google will index them (although it doesn’t automatically generate closed captions like those you can add to YouTube videos). It implies that if your video contains subtitles, viewers are more likely to locate it when they search for a certain phrase within the content of your video. It is especially important for videos that need to rank high in search engine results.
They Make Your Content More Compelling
Whether on YouTube or the latest app, video content is about creating a compelling story that engages with its audience. Subtitles are one of the greatest methods to accomplish this.
While many marketers might think that subtitles are just for people who are hard of hearing, they do much more than that. They make videos more accessible and help to boost SEO. A study found that videos with captions had 26% more reach and 65% more reactions than those without.
You can easily expand your audience beyond national borders by incorporating subtitles into your videos. It is especially important for brands looking to grow their presence on international platforms, where most users are from overseas. And because viewers tend to enable subtitles anyway, this is a simple way to ensure that your content is understood by everyone who watches it. Aim for accurate, neatly-synched subtitles that complement your video footage and provide context to what’s being said.
They Make Your Content More Engaging
Using subtitles allows you to reach a global audience by providing video content in their native language. Translated subtitles are much faster and cheaper than recording different audio for each target language, making it the best way to scale a video for international audiences. Adding subtitles to your videos can also increase engagement, allowing viewers to keep up with the content without pausing and replaying. Research has found that people are likelier to watch a video to the end if it includes subtitles, which helps you achieve better results with your online visibility and search engine rankings.
Subtitles can also encourage better literacy by boosting reading speed and fluency, vocabulary acquisition, word knowledge and recognition, and listening comprehension. It becomes a fantastic approach to promote learning and provide your clients with value. Adding captions to your videos can make them more accessible, increase engagement, improve your search engine ranking, and help you reach a global audience. But it’s important to remember that subtitles are only effective if they’re well-written. They should be paced to the action, not overtake it; they should be accurate and convey the exact meaning of the words spoken in the video.
I’m a writer, artist, and designer working in the gaming and tech industries. I have held staff and freelance positions at large publications including Digital Trends, Lifehacker, Popular Science Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN, The Xplore Tech, and others, primarily covering gaming criticism, A/V and mobile tech reviews, and data security advocacy.