If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Especially when it comes to social media.
These days video is king, and on nearly every platform, even the image-heavy Instagram, people are taking in video content like there’s no tomorrow.
Due to their ease of consumption, and their ability to engage and retain a viewers attention, video is simply the best way to connect with your audience (need help with this? Check out this blog) But if you’re going to the trouble of making video, there’s one last step you must never forget to ensure they leave a lasting impact: captions.
Video captions are text overlays that translate the audio and deliver the video’s message without having to turn on the sound. And with many platforms like TikTok, Youtube and Facebook offering built in caption creation, there is no reason not to be using them.
Here are 4 reasons why you should be using captions on your videos:
1. Captions give viewers a seamless experience.
In the crowded and overstimulating social media landscape, captions are the secret to creating scroll-stopping videos that hook the views attention. They also allow people grasp your video content when their phone is on silent, which for many people, it often is.
The statistics on this are very clear. Videos with captions tend to perform better on every engagement metric—impressions, views, and likes. In fact, captioned videos receive at least 40% more views than those without captions. That’s because social media users want to silently scroll through their feeds between their work or studies (or let’s be honest, during bathroom breaks). And a muted video will not make sense if there are no captions to convey the text.
Believe it or not, up to 85% of users watch Facebook videos on mute. So rather than expect your audience to pause your video, put in headphones and turn the volume on, captions help seamlessly grab their attention while they are scrolling, without any additional work.
When a considerable proportion of your audience is watching videos on mute, subtitles can turn your silent film into engaging video that your viewers will actually watch.
2. Captions make your video content more inclusive
Accessibility has been a hot topic these days with regard to online content. With new regulations in place and shifting expectations, websites and social media are increasingly becoming accessible places where anyone can take in information.
Captions and subtitles make your videos accessible to all kinds of social media users, and this helps you reach people with hearing disabilities or deafness.
As well, for people with English as a second language, reading can be easier than listening, which allows you to communicate to a wider audience.
3. Captions help optimize your videos for those who multi-task
When planning and creating social media, you always have to take into consideration user behaviour. And, as mentioned above, we take in social media at all times of the day and in various settings.
For many social media users, time spent on a phone involves a dizzying and overlapping number of actions, from listening to music, to chatting with friends while scrolling social media feeds. Social media users are constantly jumping from one app to another, and phones are designed to do this.
Naturally, they don’t want intrusive sound interrupting their conversations, music, or whatever else they are listening to. Captions allow them to still take in your video content while using their phone in other ways.
4. Captions help the algorithm understand your content
Search Engines can’t read your video content, so captions do a lot of heavy lifting for you when it comes to helping your video content get found.
Closed captions come in readable text files that crawlers can read and evaluate, so captions help search engines and algorithms on social media understand what your video is about; allowing it to share your videos with the right audiences.
Think of captions as search engine optimization super heroes for your videos.
5. Captions help you deal with muted auto-play.
Because of the way people take in content, most social media platforms now automatically mute their videos, even when they are on auto-play. So if your videos don't have captions, they will simply be scrolled or swiped past, without a chance of catching a second glance.
Have a question about how to caption your social media videos? We'd love to help. Shoot us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you liked this article, you might be interested in this one: Creating and Advertising on TikTok