WHY FB AND YOUTUBE LOVE CLOSED CAPTIONS AND YOU SHOULD TOO

1st October 2016
1st October 2016 viren

closed captions with video

There’s been a lot of talk around the content industry that an increasing number of people are turning to visual media formats and therefore you should turn your attention away from written content and towards visual. This is true, but I feel like this is a bit of a “throwing the baby out with the bath water” situation. See, humans don’t care about flashiness of content, they care about what’s convenient and what entertaining. In a utilitarian nutshell, that’s the only reason why video is so important for getting exposure for your brand.

You’ve probably already realised based on the title and the intro what i’m about to say, and if you’ve done any content with us at all and you’ve told us you’re using it on FB or YouTube we’ve probably already told you this next part. I’ve broken it down to the two  most common platforms and why you should be using text on your videos.

Now, when you were on the tube/tram to work this morning, you looked around and there was someone watching a video on their phone. I’m willing to bet that video was a Facebook news feed video, much like the ones we’ve done for some of you. What you didn’t see or hear was that they were watching without any sound. In fact, 80 percent of videos on FB are actually watched on mute; you’ve probably done this too. So in the off chance that your customer is part of that 80 percent, you have to tell them a story without speaking and without them hearing anything. That means even if the visuals are absolutely stunning, the context of the content could be lost upon them without a guiding thread. The captions are a great way to entice them and let them know what the video is about before they invest that precious minute by opening up your video. Just in case you’ve had your head in a hole, Apple released their new iPhone 7 with one of these “caption only” videos of Facebook!

“You have to tell them a story without speaking…”

Now for the other behemoth video distribution service: YouTube. If you’re putting anything on YouTube, closed captions are a must and probably for a more important reason than anyone realises. By adding CC’s, Google can scan your video for the words, and place it according to relevance in the search engine results. That means your video can appear not only at the top of the YouTube search but also on the first page of Google. This is especially useful for webinars or educational ‘how to’ content, where customers commonly type “How to *insert relevant topic here*. It’s one of the fastest and most significant ways to boost your content organically without paying a penny for SEO. It’s also super important to make your content more accessible to a wider audience, that means people who are hard of hearing and also people in different countries. Try not to use the auto generate caption tool YouTube provides because it’s often riddled with mistakes and will just make you look bad…

This is also something you can look at doing very cost effectively for videos you’ve done in the past. We always include this with all our videos if we know it’s going to be used on YouTube or Facebook. If there’s a video we’ve done for you in the past that you’re now using on one of these platforms, please let us know and we’ll get a transcribed file over to you!

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