Closed captions have been used since the early 1970s on TV, but we’ve only recently seen it used more heavily across websites and on social media, where video is quickly becoming a giant factor in its success.
Make Your Videos Accessible with Captions
Closed captioning was first and foremost developed to assist the hearing impaired while watching films and television. With the proliferation of smartphones however, captions can serve to get your message across while scrolling through social media, without requiring the viewer to reach for their earphones.
According to Digiday, up to 85% of video views on Facebook happen with the sound off. With captions, viewers are able to watch and understand your video in public places where they would otherwise just keep scrolling.
Boost Your SEO
SEO, for those not familiar with it, stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is the art of using keywords and phrases identified with your business to get your name at the top of search engine results. Captions also serve a dual purpose, they input the entire text of your video into a format that search engines can read and index. If someone is looking for something specific that is not in the title or description of your video, they can still discover the video has what they need through the full text of the video being known to search engines. Captioning is great for this as Google doesn’t have the ability to index video content as well as it does for text, this just allows Google to know exactly what your video contains so people can find what they are looking for.
If you are planning on doing a video for social media, especially Facebook, whether it be a demonstration, recipe, procedure etc, start with the captions and work backwards.
Boil your video concept down to simple headlines that can be overlaid on top of the video without losing any important information. You can still have a voiceover if you wish, but if you can get the same information across with just visuals and a handful of titles over the imagery, this might be a good idea for your social media campaign.
News sites like NowThis and Mashable have perfected this art, where a video may still contain some audio, but you’re not missing out on audio, but your not missing out on anything due to the captions covering all bases.
Have Some Fun With It
If you decide to forgo a voiceover, it can be quite liberating with how you show your product. Apple are masters of the visual teaser, showing off their new products or features with snappy videos with good music choices. This allows you to quickly show the audience the simplicity and ease of use of your product, all without saying a word.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience by using video.