You’ve finished your company video, and it’s flawless. The sound syncs up perfectly with the picture, and the scenes flow smoothly from one to another. You’ve captured the essence of your company’s message, and thanks to this video, it only takes 2-3 minutes to communicate it.
Have you thought about adding subtitles?
In the past, subtitles were seen as an intrusion that disrupted the flow of your carefully crafted video. With the rise in video over the last several years – driven by social media and, more recently, the pandemic – subtitles are no longer an option. They’re a must if you want your video to attract viewers.
How do subtitles increase the visibility of your videos? Here’s how.
SEO and Subtitles Go Hand in Hand
Google and other search engines can’t read sound the way they read written text (at least, not yet). As a result, they’re not able to rank videos. Adding descriptions, tags and titles can help, but adding subtitles increases the visibility of your videos even more.
One French video reportedly reached 8 million views when subtitles were added, versus the few hundred views it received without them. There may have been other factors involved, but there’s no doubt that subtitling played a role in making the video easier to find.
Another reason to add subtitles is to improve web accessibility. Video viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on subtitles and captions to know what’s going on in a video, so they’ll be more likely to watch your video if it contains them.
As it turns out, subtitles aren’t just a useful tool for the deaf or hard of hearing. Recent studies show a preference by younger viewers for subtitles, even if they don’t need them. This means subtitles are an essential strategy to attract attention by search engines and people alike.
Subtitles Improve Communication
Subtitles haven’t traditionally been seen as a form of communication, but recent trends have changed that perception. Studies show that 85% of Facebook users watch videos without the sound. This is because we watch videos differently than we used to.
People used to watch videos at home, on TVs or desktops, in a quiet room. Now, they’re watching them at work, or while traveling, or in crowded areas like gyms or bars… in other words, in places where audio is difficult to hear or, conversely, where it would disturb other people. A muted video is easier to follow with subtitles.
There’s another, less obvious benefit to subtitles: they improve learning. According to numerous studies, the more ways information is presented to you, the more memorable it is. Videos are already set up to improve retention because most of them present information via spoken narration and visual content. By adding subtitles, information is presented in the written word, making it even easier to retain over a longer period.
Whether your video is intended to educate viewers or promote to them, subtitles make them more memorable.
Subtitles are no longer an afterthought in a video strategy – they’re an essential element in the video production process. Subtitles increase the visibility of your videos, so make them a part of your video strategy going forward.