Business World

Video Subtitles: No Longer an Option for Marketers and Businesses

Woman Touching a Play ButtonBillions upon billions of online users are watching videos on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular social media and video hosting websites.

With such huge potential for a wide audience, video is opening up a number of opportunities. Unfortunately, subtitles or closed captions are often thought of as an extra — if they are even thought of at all. Unless your video makes perfect sense without sound, you must add captions, especially if you are using videos as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Automatic transcriptions are a start, but it pays to hire a professional transcriptionist.

Quality Entertainment

Subtitles help us understand characters whose lips we cannot see. Lip reading is already exhausting, but characters like Darth Vader, Spiderman, and Jason Voorhees have mouth-covering, lip-concealing masks that make listening even more difficult. Sometimes the masked characters have bizarre accents as well.

Accessibility for All

Adding subtitles is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to get your video content in front of more people.

It provides accessibility for all. For the roughly 360 million people suffering from hearing loss worldwide, for instance, subtitles are especially important. It allows them to enjoy the same things most people take for granted.

This also applies to some foreign language speakers. Some people need English subtitles to understand dialogue; they find English easier to read than hear.

Major Role in Education

Subtitles play an important role in education as well. About 94% of teachers use videos as teaching aids. But the videos do not have subtitles.

According to research, there is a link between subtitle use and improved literacy and reading skills. In another study, children who watched movies with subtitles showed an increase in reading age in a period of as short as six weeks.

Videos are only a visual aid, so why bother adding subtitles? Without subs, you are losing a huge opportunity to provide good education and quality entertainment that is accessible to all.