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Should I Add Subtitles To My Videos?

Should I Add Subtitles To My Videos?

This is a hot topic right now and for good reason. Should you add subtitles or captions as they are also known to your videos? The answer is hell yes!

Not got time to read? Simply click the video image below to watch the summed up video version and make sure you visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can find a link to it here.

Read time approximately 5 minutes.

But wait, I hear you cry, I thought captions where just so people who are hard of hearing can watch your videos? Wrong. They are much more than that!

When people are scrolling on their phones, the video gets them to slow their scroll but captions get them to engage.

And that’s the important part ‘engagement’!

Beyond your nice visuals, captions let your viewer know what your video is about, giving them a reason to tap and turn on the sound and listen.

Social media commute subtitles

A viewer in an office or on public transport can get the meaning without reaching for their headphones. Let’s face it we’ve all had a sneaky look at our phones during work time so just think about all those prospects you are losing because they can’t have the sound on their devices switched on!

Think of the frustration you have had when you’re on the bus and you forget your headphones. That frustration is only going to grow when you can’t watch a video on a topic that you are interested in because it doesn’t have subtitles.

They may be foreign language speakers so subtitles will help them to better understand your accent and dialect. They may also be deaf or hard of hearing.

I have mentioned both subtitles and captions in this blog so what’s the difference?

Both have their own unique properties. You may be familiar with Closed Captions. These are the kind you see on Youtube.com and you have the ability to switch them on and off. Open captions are permanently burnt into the actual video. Captions are better for deaf or hard of hearing viewers as they describe sound effects and background music.

Subtitles are used not only to translate words into your native language they also act as a fantastic way to keep your viewer engaged in your content.

So how do you add subtitles? Rather than spend ages sitting there typing out what you are saying, I like to use a website called Rev.com. It costs about $1USD a minute but it’s fast and accurate. They give you a range of export options that you can then add to your editing timeline. Personally I like to have my subtitles burnt into the actual video as this ensures it will play on all platforms.

Video Editor subtitles

There are different ways to add the subtitles to your footage depending on the editing suite you use.  I use Da Vinci Resolve. So I export what’s called a SubRip file, or a .srt as it’s known. I can then just drag that into my timeline and it will line up nicely, all in time with the spoken words on the video. It’s a good idea to check for spelling mistakes as the software is not 100% accurate but it gets bloody close.

There are so many export options available to you including a Facebook ready SubRip file that you can upload to facebook at the same time as your video. Transcript (.txt), Quicktime Timed Text (qt.txt), DFXP (.dxfp), Scenarist (.scc) to name but a few. See what works best for your needs and export accordingly.

The social platforms all act differently. For instance, Facebook auto-plays on mute so your subtitles need to grab the viewer’s attention before they go scrolling on past.

Another bonus to having your video transcribed into text is that you now have a ready-made blog to accompany your video. The keywords you use throughout will help to boost your site’s SEO. Make sure you post this text under your Youtube video too. The more keywords you can get out there, the more prospects will be drawn in to you and your content.

So to conclude. Subtitles and captions are a winner! You are broadening your viewers and getting more engagement. Video marketing is about talking to the right people at the right time along their buyer’s journey so you want as many eyes on your content as possible. So remember to add captions to all your social videos from now on.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. […] What about filming them on an iPhone? Filming video testimonials on an iPhone can give you a very natural feel. The downside is you have a lack of engagement due to the poor lighting and audio. If you have a slick and professional-looking website then wouldn’t you want your content to look the same. You also need to ensure you have subtitles on your video testimonials! This is so important! More about that here. […]

  2. […] Keep your videos short and snappy and get the message across quickly. Facebook auto-plays videos on mute so make sure the content is clear and engaging. Most importantly, don’t forget the subtitles! More on that here. […]

  3. […] My favorite time to post is either in the morning or in the afternoon. Always around the commuting time so when people are on trains and buses. You are going to get a lot more views on your video rather than when people are already in work. Don’t forget about the all-important subtitles on your video. These are essential to pull in the commuters and also potential clients who may be browsing in work when they should be working! More on this here. […]

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