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:

Subtitle Foresight

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 ‍

  1. None of our customers are deaf 
    Wow! You’d be surprised how many marketers say this and, besides being a highly litigious statement that a HR department could spend a seminar examining, it wreaks of ignorance when it comes to the versatility of subtitles and video marketing.
  2. All of our employees speak English 
    Without naming names, we’ve heard of a marketing manager of a Premier League football club – that publishes over three hours of video content a week – who felt that subtitles weren’t needed on their video content because all of their players could speak or ‘had a grasp’ of English. Where to begin…
  3. YouTube auto-captions suck!
    Yes, YouTube is the largest video hosting site in the world.
    Yes, YouTube is a pioneer in video content.
    Yes, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world – second only to its parent company, Google.
    And yes, YouTube’s auto-captions suck! Just ask Crystal Palace who had the distinct embarrassment of an ‘F-bomb’ turn up in a player interview video. In fact YouTube’s auto-captions are so terrible that any serious marketer or brand that publishes video content is being negligent, at best, if they opt to use auto-captions ahead of getting subtitles created properly. Don’t take our word for it, YouTube’s very own product manager, Matthew Glotzbach, said: “Although I think having auto caption(s) is better than nothing I fully admit and I fully recognise that it is by no means good enough yet.”
  4. Did you know that, by 2019, video content will account for roughly 80-90% of internet traffic? According to a Cisco study (‘Video Highlights’ section) user-generated video usage will increase exponentially. The explanation is quite simple: the World Wide Web is teeming with interesting and useful Information, from news articles to trending topics. But storytelling is evolving. Gone are the days when the Internet was exclusively text based. The same way magazines and newspapers started making room for television and radio, so will the Internet make room for video.
  5. image: https://goo.gl/sNamCA Image Source: Depositphotos
  6. This doesn’t mean that written content will disappear altogether. Not even close. In order to truly empower your online efforts you must strike the perfect balance between enticing videos and written content under the form of transcripts, translations or captions. There are a number of reasons why these forms of written content are important. First of all, they make it possible for deaf people or those who are hard of hearing to enjoy videos. Secondly, studies have demonstrated that transcripts appeal to students & learners.
  7. The third, and probably most important aspect of written content for videos, is related to SEO. Search engines such as Google cannot watch a video the way we do. They must crawl the text information provided through keywords, descriptions and tags. Although the fundamentals of traditional SEO also apply for video SEO, the strategies for the latter are inherently different.
  8. How Video Transcripts & Captions can Boost SEO
  9. According to Google, web-pages and content must be created with the user in mind. Videos accompanied by transcriptions or captions bring the human element back into an over-technologized world. Using transcripts on a video can help you increase the keyword diversity of your media content, thus making it possible to appear on SERPs for multiple terms. Granted, transcribing isn’t the easiest job in the world – it seems that a one-hour interview takes around 4-6 hours to transcribe – but seeing as videos are becoming increasingly popular, it appears to be one of the best ways to move forward in an ever-changing digital landscape.
  10. image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/TAL_results-750x573.jpg
  11. Image Source: ReelSEO
  12. Discovery Digital Networks tested this theory out by adding captions to YouTube videos and reported a 7.32% life-time increase in views and a growth of 13.48% in only two weeks (*). In addition to this, they also started ranking for search terms that weren’t included in their tags, descriptions or titles. There are plenty of case studies that prove the effectiveness of using transcripts, captions and translations for SEO. With these things in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few Video SEO strategies that maximize the potential of transcript and caption usage.
  13. #1 Maximize your Keyword Strategy with Transcriptions
  14. Let’s say that you’re trying to build a video landing page around the keyword “whirlpool refrigerators”, but your video is actually about “whirlpool refrigerator water filters”. Naturally, the long-tail version of the keyword will be repeated in the video a lot. You can adjust your meta-description, titles tag and other tags to match this key-phrase.
  15. This will add more relevancy to your video and attract targeted traffic that is more likely to convert or take action. The general rules would be to keep titles shorter than 66 characters (point at which they get truncated), meta-descriptions under 166 characters, and tags under 120 characters.
  16. image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/longtail-keywords-876x600.png
  17. Image Sourceergonotes
  18. Needless to say, keyword phrases that are not aligned with the content on your page might result in confusion and dissatisfaction on the visitor’s behalf. The strategy of building from the bottom up by focusing on long-tail keywords that are relevant for a specific industry or topic (like refrigerator) will send positive signals to Google. In addition to this, Internet users rarely search for something that they are genuinely interested with short tail keywords.
  19. They will generally use at least 3 to 4 words for their searches. Having a page that answers their specific problem represents a huge plus. Transcriptions and videos can be created to naturally include long tail keywords.

  20. Read more at https://www.business2community.com/video-marketing/8-ways-use-transcripts-captions-subtitles-empower-video-seo-01284093
  21. http://vuchunhyo.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/01/17/Recastly-Review---Turning-Any-Video-Into-A-Traffic-Sales-Machine

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/recastly-review-turning-any-video-traffic-sales-machine-david-vu/

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