Why you need subtitles to boost your video strategy


Expert James Jameson from CaptionHub tells us why subtitles play a crucial role in a video strategy...The decision to use subtitles has always, until recent years, been one of practicality or necessity. For example, foreign language films that are being distributed globally, programming for the hard of hearing, and even documentary style programmes where the speech is muffled or difficult to understand.

However, with everything now viewed ‘on the go’, people are more readily choosing to add subtitles to their moving images. You can guarantee at least 70% of people sat around you on a bus or train will have a tablet or phone, and that their right thumb is sliding down the screen. It’s at times like this when people are killing time looking for content - short films, news and even commercials are all being shared and watched across social media platforms. It’s become more and more relevant to be talking to people, be it friends or potential customers, through moving images.


Here are 4 reasons why you should be adding subtitles: 

1. 85% of social video is watched in silent mode. Reach those 85%.

People are on the move. You are not sure when or how they are going receive it. If they are sat on a packed commuter train with no headphones you don’t want to miss your single opportunity to talk to them. Subtitles mean that people will get your message, even if it is on mute.

2. Reach a global audience!

 It’s not just about staying native, look outwards to other markets. Why not make your message reach out across the globe to a broader crowd and make your content accessible to foreign audiences? By subtitling your content for other markets you are creating a global message and expanding your potential customer base. Subtitles are so much quicker than voiceovers, which can be a costly and time consuming process.

3. Be legal

No one wants to be running that department. It’s hard enough getting budget for your video content and systems in the first place; the last thing you need is your legal department asking whether you are accessibility compliant, and you might be breaking some pretty serious rules around this if you haven’t subtitled your media, particularly stringent in the US. Unlike the US, there is no legal obligation for non-broadcast videos such as corporate training videos to be subtitle compliant in the UK. 

4. Search: Be seen

 For video search, discovery, and engagement, captions are incredibly powerful data. With a text-based internet, video content stays hidden from search engines. With a closed caption file, you can deliver a text-based transcript of the video to search engines, opening all of the video’s content to search, not just the title and description.

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