Whether you are part of team Twitter, a Facebook fanatic or you are insatiable about Recastly Review, if you’ve been scrolling through your respective social media timeline lately you will have been hard pressed not to have noticed that social media subtitles are on the rise – but why?
Engagement, Engagement, Engagement
With video content accounting for 74% of all consumer based web-traffic in 2017, there’s little wonder why brands are investing so many resources into video publishing. But, for the smart brands and marketeers, merely publishing video content is only half of the journey as it’s by adding social media subtitles, to increase video engagement, that video content grasps viewers attention and stands out from the video-saturated social media timelines.
The Rock (@TheRock), regularly publishes subtitled video content across social media to increase engagement with his 100m+ followers.
How Much More Engagement?
In an era where all social media videos are muted by default and 85% of all Facebook videos are watched with no sound, subtitles are essential to catch social media users’ eyes and increase video engagement.
Facebook recently published a report which found that videos which included subtitles enjoyed a 12% boost in engagement.
Captions are essential to Facebook video because most Facebook users watch video without sound. Captions are ideal if someone watches on a crowded train or in a quiet area. Additionally, many viewers will digest content more accurately by reading than hearing. – Via Social Media Examiner
Nissan’s 2016 Olympics’s ad campaign featured open caption subtitles across social media:
The surge of subtitled social media content has also seen some publishers, like Business Insider, take proactive steps to maximise their video engagement by planning the inclusion of subtitles from the outset of video production.
As you can see in the example below, the video subject’s placement is right aligned to allow for the burned in open captions to take up the majority of the screen’s real estate:
A recent Twitter report revealed that 82% of users watch video content on the platform.
Subtitle Rules? What Subtitle Rules?
It’s worth reminding yourself that, though social media subtitles are great at catching users’ eyes, captions were initially created for accessibility obligations and, at least in terms of broadcast requirements, had some pretty officious standards to be met (Netflix were infamously sued for their lack of subtitled content).
However, when it comes to social media subtitles – and no accessibility ‘rules’ being enforced – this has allowed content publishers to experiment with their subtitles.
Which Social Media Subtitles Are Right For You?
There are three different types of subtitle services – closed captions, open captions and SDH subtitles – so it’s important to chose the right option for your video content. Depending on what you want to achieve, each subtitle format has their purpose.
When it comes to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, open captions – burned-in always on subtitles – are the best for increasing video views and viewer engagement.
With YouTube, closed captions – subtitles which can be turned on and off – are what you’ll be looking for. Easy to upload via YouTube’s dashboard, the beauty of closed captions are that you can offer multiple language subtitles to engage different demographics on one video. Check out the work we carried out for Ted Baker >>
Our work with Ted Baker saw us create closed captions in eight different languages.
3 Subtitle Face Palms and Faux Pas
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