Why Video Subtitles Matter And How To Make The Most Of Them

It’s no surprise that social media platforms have started to push video content more and more to users over the past few years. In fact, studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. But do you know how often these videos are watched without any sound?


Subtitles support ‘sound off’ preferences

During a study carried out by Verizon, it was discovered that 50% of participants tend to watch videos without sound – rising to 69% when watching in public places – and that 80% are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available. 

It has also been widely reported for years that Facebook users watch up to 85% of videos on the platform with the sound off. These studies strengthen the idea that in order to portray your message successfully, whether sharing content from your personal account or brand, it’s worth adding subtitles in order to keep viewers engaged.


Subtitles make your content more accessible

If the reason above hasn’t sold you on the idea of using subtitles on all video content you are sharing, this one should do the trick. More than 5% of the world’s population require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss. If you take inclusivity and accessibility seriously as a brand, you will have acknowledged the importance of subtitles for video content in this context.

Whilst we are on the topic of accessibility, subtitles can also be a great way of expanding your audience to a global level. Perhaps the best-recognised use of subtitles is to make video content available in different languages. Translated subtitles are usually faster and more cost-effective to create than recording a different soundtrack for each language you’re targeting.


Subtitles improve video SEO

Lastly, subtitling can also help improve SEO! As long as your subtitles aren’t embedded directly into the video image, search engine crawlers and algorithms will be able to pick them up…and who doesn’t want to improve their SEO so that their videos are easier to find?


So, how can you make the most of subtitling?

  1. Make sure there is a high contrast between the text and background
  2. Ensure your guidelines meet industry guidelines and are large enough to read
  3. Spend time perfecting the subtitles when translating into another language
  4. Avoid presenting too much text on-screen at a time
  5. Offer an additional option to display closed captions
  6. Use a clear, legible typeface
  7. Allow enough time for each subtitle to be read
  8. Position subtitles at centre/bottom and avoid clashes with other UI elements
  9. Distinguish between speakers
  10. Ensure subtitles cover all important dialogue and can be turned on before any need to be displayed


Need some inspiration for your social media marketing? To get a free audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at [email protected].

3 Tips for Using Social Media as a Small Business

Hey there, Rachel here! Last month I joined the wonderful PFM team as a creative content producer. As you may have guessed from the job title, I am obsessed with almost everything to do with design. Although graphic design has my heart, I love experimenting in other creative areas such as rug tufting, painting, sewing…the list goes on. This love developed into a small business last year which is where the real learning process began!


Social media is something we all use and are comfortable with in our day-to-day lives. When you’re starting out as a small business, social media can be a key step to ensure success is around the corner…but only if you’re using it correctly. As well as being completely free to use, there are almost double the amount of active social media users browsing different social channels each day compared to just five years ago. So why should small businesses let this opportunity go to waste? 


On average, each user spends around 2.5 hours scrolling per day, although the screen time feature on my iPhone has let me know on numerous occasions that my scrolling time is much higher than this – oops. These few hours offer an incredible opportunity for you to grow your business by building brand awareness, connecting with your audience or even making direct sales through different channels.


Having some experience running a small business, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way on how best to utilise social media for your business!


1. Choose your platforms


To ensure you’re using social media effectively for business, I cannot emphasise how important it is to do some research! It can be easy to assume which social platforms your target market is using regularly, but you may be shocked when you get down to the nitty gritty figures.


For example, you may assume that the average age of Facebook users is between 35-55. With this thought in mind, you may be inclined to skip over this platform when trying to reach a younger demographic and jump straight into both Instagram and TikTok. However, according to Digital 2021, surprisingly almost a quarter of Facebook users are aged 18-24. 


It’s always great to start on the platform(s) your desired audience are using and build from there. That’s not to say you cannot and should not use other social platforms as well! Trialling new platforms and different channels can be great for expanding your audience and meeting different business goals. The beauty of social media is that you don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach: experimenting can be fun, insightful and is all part of the process.


2. Consistency is key


No matter what you may be selling or what service your business is offering, posting consistently will help build strong relationships with your target audience. This doesn’t mean you’ll constantly need to bring out new products and offer new services every other day: posts can simply be about keeping your audience in the loop. Sharing what’s going on behind the scenes, resharing products and services you already offer or even having some fun and jumping on board with current trends can help create a buzz and build excitement.


Basically, don’t go radio silent and disappear completely! With all this being said, I believe it’s also necessary to touch on the importance of keeping your audience’s current needs in mind. Making sure you are up-to-date with what is going on in the world (especially within your target audience) is key as social media is constantly changing. What might have worked last year or even last month may not work today!


3. Have fun and be creative!


In my opinion, coming from a background and love for all things design, this is arguably the most important tip when it comes to posting on social media as a small business. You’ve got to be loving the content you’re creating and putting out into the world for everybody to see. 


Now more than ever with how many posts we see per day, it’s clear to users when a brand hasn’t put thought into their content. These posts will be met with a quick swipe of the finger and likely never to be viewed again! If you’re not enjoying creating your content then you can’t expect viewers to engage. 


As I mentioned before, it’s not a secret that social media is constantly evolving. With this comes each individual platform adding new features for us to creatively play about with. Even switching between static imagery, video, carousels or interactive polls can do wonders and keep the creative juices flowing…just have some fun with it!

Need some inspiration for your social media marketing? To get a complimentary audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at [email protected].

In Other News: What will the future Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest look like?

Welcome back to another weekly round-up where you can catch up on what’s going on in the digital space! This week we’re sharing what our world of social media could look like going forward, featuring Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 


Instagram’s new ‘Montage’ feature


It’s no secret that TikTok is killing it in the social space at the moment, taking the top place for most downloaded app for over a year now. According to Instagram, due to their reels continuing to grow in popularity, they are now keen to keep up momentum with users using reels to compete with TikTok, while also aligning with rising usage trends. 


Their latest development comes in the form of a ‘Montage’ option which is currently being tested internally. This feature allows users to convert Instagram Stories frames into short Reels video clips which will all be automatically generated by the app. This will then be followed with the option to add suggested music, similar to TikTok. 


Although there is no date for if and when this will be rolled out, this tool seems straightforward and a logical next step for Instagram to promote video content on their app, which currently generates the most engagement. 


LinkedIn has hopped on board


Joining all of the other major social media platforms on the market right now, LinkedIn has finally launched ‘Dark Mode’ which allows users to choose from an alternate display option on both desktop and mobile.


Originally dark mode tools were released to limit exposure to blue light and to be easier on the eye for users when using devices in low light. Research has shown that “blue light can cause your brain to stop producing melatonin, which can then lead to disrupted sleep cycles, making it harder to fall asleep”.


As well as this LinkedIn hopes in ‘Dark Mode’ will allow it’s platform to become more inclusive and accessible to its users, helping reduce eye strain and keeping in mind light sensitivities. 


Pinterest introduce ‘Watch Mode


Another platform following in the footsteps of TikTok is Pinterest. They are the newest app looking to release ‘Watch’ mode, which is a scrolling, vertical feed of content currently being tested for pin discovery.


Although this feature has not yet launched (currently there is no information on how many users can access this test), it seems you will be able to switch from ‘Browse’ mode which is what you currently know as the traditional Pinterest search field, to ‘Watch’ mode. Unlike TikTok, it seems you will be able to flick through both video and still image pins. 


After releasing ‘Story Pins’ in September of last year, this next step of launching ‘Watch’ mode fits in well with the app’s progressive approach to development and we’re excited to see if this takes off in the near future!


Need some inspiration for your social media marketing? To get a free audit of your current social strategy, get in touch at [email protected]