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].

How To Add Festive Cheer To Your Social Media

As the festive period gets into full swing, we’ve put together some tips on how you can infuse your brand with holiday cheer and drive engagement.


Write what you know 

Your customers/clients appreciate your specific expertise –  ask yourself how you can leverage this more at Christmas. Find ways to target elements of your brand, driving engagement and informing your audience e.g. Can you offer tips on decorating? Do you have a festive cocktail recipe you could share? Can you talk-up festive sales? What about your employees?…


Let your employees speak

Everyone celebrates differently and the festive period offers you an opportunity to highlight how your employees and coworkers mark the occasion and the stories they have to tell. Do they go about singing carols? Do they eat mince pies and stick on the Beach Boys Christmas Album on the 1st of November? Or are they a bit bah-humbug?


Be specific

It can be tempting to hit every aspect of the festive season, but it’ll serve you better to think about what parts of Christmas fit your brand. e.g. Are you more family oriented? Maybe you can talk about gifting, or complain about the atrocious (and/or wonderfully festive) weather.


Don’t repurpose assets

Make sure your festive assets are bespoke for the season as much as you possibly can. Your audience will often recognise repurposed assets from previous years and content can age very rapidly (particularly from the 2020 festive period). So it’ll always serve you better to book some time to create new assets, take new photography, refresh your menus etc…


Think about your tone of voice

Consider your brand’s tone of voice and how you can leverage this element during the festive season. Do you load your copy with emojis? Consider this a time to change up your usual tone of voice a little and emphasise warmth and humour. There’s a-million-and-one holiday puns and this is a tree-mendous opportunity to absolutely sleigh it, and that’s a snow joke. Believe in your ‘elf, you won’t get a frosty reception.


Would you like a consultation on how to upgrade your organic social media this festive season? Contact me at [email protected], I would love to chat!