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