Words Words Words: The Benefits of Adding Captions to Online Videos

Did you know that 93% of Canadian Internet users in 2019 consider video creation a priority?

The number continues to rise, with more users preferring the visual engagement that videos provide. Video marketing is a vital tool for digital marketers.

For video content creators, it’s important to create content that is engaging and that helps to drive significant traffic to your site. A good way to achieve this is by adding captions to the videos.

Is adding captions to videos important? Are there any benefits to it?

Well, knowing what type of captioning to use is just as important as knowing how to put captions on videos. Here are the major types:

  • Closed captioning
  • Open captioning
  • Live captioning

In this post, we will highlight some of the major benefits of captioning your videos. Keep reading to find out more.     

Adding Captions to Videos Helps Improve the SEO

As an online video content creator, the quality of your videos is an important factor to consider. But, if you are looking to appear on the first page of search engines, you need to focus on SEO for your videos as well.

Video captions help to boost SEO. Search engines, such as Google and Bing, can’t watch or listen to videos (at least not yet). For this reason, most of the videos on the Internet end up not indexed.

By adding captions to your videos, you will stay ahead of the competition. Search engine bots index the captions. As a result, captioned videos get ranked higher in the search results, leading to more views.

Another SEO benefit for adding captions to your videos is that it helps increase view time. Google uses view time as one way to rank relevant videos.

Most people tend to watch a video longer if it has a transcription of the audio. They also tend to engage more with such videos by sharing the content, which also has a positive impact on your rankings.

Captioning your videos as well as other SEO strategies for your video content will set you apart from your competition.

Improves the Accessibility of Your Content

The Survey of Income and Program Participation estimates that nearly 10,000 Canadians are hard of hearing and almost 1,000,000 are deaf. Speaking in business terms, this is a huge market you are not able to reach if your videos don’t have captions.

Most video content creators don’t take the fact that people with hearing disabilities also use the Internet and would love to enjoy video content as well into account.

Video content on the Internet rarely contains any captions. Because of this, most of the information conveyed through videos remains inaccessible to internet users who are hearing impaired.

Given that video content is on the rise, there is a huge market opportunity to help people who are hard of hearing get access to your content.

Makes Your Content Viewable in Different Environments

Thanks to smartphones, you can access the internet from almost anywhere. Whether you are in line at a take-out food joint or catching the last bus home, use the phone to access your favorite sites.

Ever been in a situation where you want to watch a certain video on the internet but couldn’t because you didn’t have your earphones?

Adding captions to your videos allows internet users to watch these videos wherever they are.

In fact, research has shown that around 80% of Internet users prefer to watch videos while on mute. Captions and transcriptions of the audio make this so much easier for them. You could be in a boring meeting and watch your favorite online videos as Sam from HR rambles on.

Captioning your online videos enhances the user’s experience. The result is a satisfied user who will keep coming back to watch your content.

Helps Widen Your Target Audience

Whether you are creating online videos for fun or want to make money from vlogging, you must identify the target audience for your content.

With a bigger audience, you get more views and engagement on your video content. Google, for one, will rank your videos higher in the search rankings if you have more views.

Now, what if there was a simple way of reaching an even bigger audience with your videos? Wouldn’t that be cool?

One simple way of making your audience larger is by adding captions to your videos. A lot of people who come across your video content don’t speak your language.

Picture this: you come across a video that looks interesting, but when you watch it, you realize that while you may be familiar with the language, you don’t understand everything. There’s a good chance that you won’t watch the video to the end.

Captioned videos allow users to watch them even if they are not familiar with the language. You can even make the captions translatable, allowing users from all over the world to engage with your content regardless of what language they speak. 

Helps Improve Comprehension

With the number of videos posted on the internet every day, those that are easily comprehensible stand out.

No matter how good the quality of your videos is, they are no good if your target audience doesn’t understand the message that you are trying to pass across.

While the comprehension will mainly depend on the visual effects used in the video, studies have shown that adding captions to videos can help improve comprehension.

Even for people who understand the language, captions to videos improve their comprehension. In fact, most people will turn on the captions even if they don’t need them out of preference.

The combination of sound and text is powerful. When more people understand your content, you will boost your views and engagement on the videos.

Improves the Video Social Reach

Every online video content creator dreams of the day his or her videos will go viral. One way to achieve this is by having more people share your videos on social media.

Did you know that captioned videos on Facebook have 5% more view time and 3% more viewers than other videos? This places the social reach of these videos at 16% higher than those without captions.

Without captions, call-to-action clicks drop by about 26%.

Adding captions to your videos has a positive impact on how people react to and engage with your videos. More people will watch and even share videos on different social media platforms.

Captioned video content performs better than videos that don’t have captions.

Legal Compliance

Did you know that the law requires you to provide captions for all your online video content?

In a bid to ensure that the deaf and hard of hearing are not left out, several laws protect the rights of persons living with disabilities.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), a public organization with mandate as a regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications, established two closed captioning working groups in 2007.

These two groups are responsible for setting standards for captioning videos across the Canadian broadcast. They require that 100% of the videos be captioned, with the broadcasters aiming for a 100% accuracy. These rules, although not as strict, also apply to online video content creators.

All benefits aside, avoiding jail time sounds like a good reason to add captions to all your online videos.

Allows You to Repurpose Your Content

A major benefit of adding captions to your videos is that you end up with a written version of your video; a transcript of all your content.

You are probably wondering how this would help you.

Having a transcript of your video allows you to repurpose the content and use it elsewhere. For example, you may turn the transcript into a blog post for your site or an email for your subscribers.

With the transcript of the video, repurposing becomes easier. You don’t have to work as hard to produce content for your audience. Who doesn’t like to have their work made easier for them?

Final Thoughts

You want to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to creating online video content. One of the best ways to do so is by adding captions to videos.

While it may seem like too much to handle, captioned videos come with so many other benefits. Besides, you don’t have anything to lose by providing captions for your videos.

The best part is that you don’t have to do it on your own.

Don’t know how to get started on improving your video content by adding captions? Don’t worry. Contact us today and let us take care of all your video-captioning needs. 

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