Home Digital Marketing How to Benefit from Your Video Subtitles

How to Benefit from Your Video Subtitles

It’s no secret that videos are the number one form of content being shared online today. In fact, 82% of internet data is taken up by video (2022[1]), and this number is only expected to rise. The opportunities within video making are almost endless – whether it is for entertainment, marketing, or educational purposes – only imagination and creativity are setting the limits.

In line with a bigger audience and request for videos and more people getting into the business of video making, the focus on specific video features and video editing tools to help you succeed has increased.

How to Benefit from Your Video Subtitles

Subtitles are one of these game-changing video features that can add more value than you might think. That is why we have made a quick list of the benefits of adding subtitles to videos, explained how an auto subtitle generator utilizes AI to do the tedious job of subtitling for you, and shared a few tips on how to make the most out of your subtitles.

Engagement Metrics

First of all, subtitles are here to support the comprehension of the spoken words in videos, and thereby also the storyline – which as a matter of fact was the purpose they originated for back in the 1900s before movies with audio became possible.

Later on, when movies with audio were made subtitles were used to support those deaf or hard of hearing, and this is still and will continuously be an important purpose since around 1 in 20 people are suffering from hearing difficulties[2].

However, this is far from the only case where subtitles are considered an obligatory feature. In our digital time age most videos are actually and maybe surprisingly watched on mute or with the audio volume decreased[3]. Whether it is for the purpose of being discreet or to be respectful to those around you, muted videos have become a phenomenon nowadays.

Although headphones can help us a long way they are not always handy to put on. As you might already have already guessed this is where subtitles really come in handy and secure the understanding of your video even when viewers can’t actually hear what is being said.

Studies have shown that by adding subtitles to videos, the attention to, comprehension, and memory of videos are significantly improved. AND engagement rates are increased by up to 80%[4].

SEO Value

SEO, short for search engine optimization, is something you need to understand and consider in order to achieve a better ranking in search queries. This is important especially if you are operating in a competitive field.

Search engine robots are used to detect and index content all over the internet to decide each webpage’s ranking in specified search inquiries. The ranking is based on factors such as relevant keywords and engagement metrics (views, likes, shares, comments, etc.).

Not only can subtitles help you with better engagement metrics – they can also add SEO value to your content by containing those all-important keywords the robots like to find and index to rank your page.

Unfortunately, the visual and audible parts of videos don’t really have any SEO value, because the robots can’t detect or index the content. They also can’t index hardcoded subtitles that are burned onto videos, as they have become one entity with the visual part of the video.

However, the robots CAN index closed caption subtitles that are added as a subtitle file together with the video, and this is your secret accessory to better SEO! Include many more keywords in your subtitles than only the ones that can fit in your title and tags, to increase your keyword profile significantly.

Reach a Global Audience

Translated subtitles have been commonly used for many years in non-native movies – at least where audio dubbing isn’t used instead. Translated subtitles have and are continuously contributing to cultural experiences through movies and videos because you get the real feeling when you are watching a movie in its original language.

Translating subtitles for social media videos is a new way of overcoming language barriers and reaching a bigger, more global audience – and thereby increasing the opportunity to grow. You can make a selection of translated subtitles and add them to your videos as subtitle files (closed caption subtitles) for your audience to choose between.

How to Streamline the Process of Adding Subtitles

Luckily along with the development of modern technology and not least artificial intelligence (AI) you don’t have to type in subtitles manually anymore – software can do this task for you in a matter of minutes.

With the use of speech recognition and neural network algorithms, AI can transcribe speech into subtitle text automatically, and even with an impressive accuracy of up to 98% – depending on the quality of the audio.

You might still have to edit here and there when you read it through, and you might want to style your subtitles differently by changing the font, size, position, colour, and so on, but the otherwise time-consuming process of typing every word has been done for you already.

How to Translate Subtitles Quickly

So now you know that adding subtitles can be an easy task, but how do you get them translated? What if you can’t speak the languages you want to translate your subtitles into? Do you need a professional translator to help you out? Well, hiring professional translators definitely is a good solution if you have the resources and time. For the rest of us (with a budget) AI can help us out.

To our convenience, many subtitle software can also translate the subtitles into multiple languages, and especially for the purpose of translating subtitles for social media videos this can be very helpful.

Bonus Tips

#1 – Make a script out of your subtitle text

Save your subtitles separately as a text file and use them in the video description, or post them separately as a blog. This way you can recycle your material and make the most out of it.

#2 – Add a few extra keywords when no one is speaking

To increase your keyword profile you can try adding a few extra keywords in your subtitles when no one is speaking.

#3 – A transcript and subtitles are not necessarily the same length

Often subtitles are shortened in comparison with the actual transcript – especially if there is a lot of speech. Simply to make the subtitles easier to read, and due to the fact that people tend to speak faster than what they read. Just remember not to take out important keywords!

[1] Cisco, Cisco Visual Networking, Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022, p. 13

[2] Deafness and hearing loss, April 2021, World health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss

[3] Verizon Media and Publicis Media – Relationship of Video, Sound and Captions Insights Study, April 2019

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214590/