If video content is part of your multimedia communication strategy, you can’t afford to skip the subtitles. (And if video content ISN’T part of your multimedia communication strategy, read our post to find out why it needs to be.)
Whether you’re filming interviews, promotional videos, product ads and more, and no matter if you’re posting them on your website or sharing them on your social media channels, your video content is simply weaker without subtitles. It’s sad but true. Adding subtitles can expand your video’s audience, make your content more searchable with Google, improve literacy and much more.
As always, wordinc is here to help create, translate and optimize your subtitles for maximum reach and readability. If you’re still on the fence, here are nine reasons you need to subtitle your videos today.
Subtitles are essential because they …
- … help viewers who have trouble hearing. Millions of people worldwide live with some form of hearing loss. Whether that loss is partial or complete, they rely on subtitles and specifically closed captions when watching their favorite programs. Like subtitles, closed captions include the text of the spoken dialogue but go a step further to describe all other sounds on the audio track, from music cues and slamming doors to crickets and off-screen car crashes. Closed captions are a tool of barrier-free media and open the door to an inclusive viewing experience for all people regardless of their hearing abilities.
- … make up for mumbling, background noise and other audio issues. You work for an international company that just got a new CEO, and she has posted a short video introducing herself on the intranet. She recorded the video in the company’s official language, English, but she is not a native speaker; others in the company are not yet used to her accent and struggle to understand her. Time for a new CEO? Hardly. Here again, subtitles save the day. Heavy accents, mumbling, background noise and other complications that can make audio hard to understand can all be easily resolved with subtitles.
- … hold the viewer’s attention. Stunning visuals can transport viewers to new worlds of wonder and magic. They can also distract from what’s being said. When the message matters most, giving viewers text to read along with keeps their eyes and minds on the content and reduces distraction.
- … let viewers enjoy videos anywhere. Anyone who takes public transportation to work probably knows this image: a fellow passenger, head bent down, staring intently at their phone or tablet. Are they reading a text message? Scrolling through social media updates? No: they’re watching TV. And headphones aren’t necessary as long as subtitles are available. Subtitles free up your choice of where you can view your favorite content, whether that’s on the bus, at a café, in the airport or even on the plane … all without headphones and, more importantly, without annoying people in your immediate surroundings.
- … spell out brand names and tricky terminology. Subtitles can introduce viewers to product names, jargon and terminology that follow unusual spelling conventions or are not widely used. You can test this yourself: how would you have spelled the word “iPhone” if you had only heard it in conversation? What capitalization and spacing would you have used? In a financial context, the acronyms EBIT and EBITDA might sound similar when spoken as words, but viewers new to the subject might need to see them spelled out so they can do their research later. This is another way in which subtitles improve comprehension. They also …
- … improve literacy and support language learning. This is a matter we hold close to our hearts at wordinc. Our business is connecting the world through language. We have all learned a second language ourselves (or even a third and fourth) and know from experience that the more resources we use, the more holistic the learning process is. Subtitles are one such invaluable resource. Reading along with spoken text trains the ear to the rhythms of natural conversation and can accelerate comprehension in reading and listening. By adding subtitles to your video, you are doing your part to support language learning and intercultural communication.
- … can be translated into any language. Your message is worth sharing, and not just with people who speak your language. Translating your subtitles instantly multiplies your viewer base and will make your content accessible in virtually every corner of the world (or, in every virtual corner of the world). Expand your reach and connect with more people with high-quality subtitles translated by wordinc and optimized using the Subtitle Edit software. As with any content, translating your subtitles is a small investment with a huge return.
- … improve SEO ranking. When search engines like Google are scanning websites to find relevant information, they can only identify keywords in text, not in audio tracks. So if you record a podcast, interview, Q&A or other video message on a trending topic, it will be nearly impossible to find online without text such as subtitles or a transcription attached to it. Here, adding subtitles prevents your video content from being buried down on the tenth page of search results. Get it up among the first few links with subtitles.
- … multiply your content. Subtitles aren’t just subtitles. You can turn them into tweets by adding a few hashtags. Or break them up to make a series of blog posts for your company’s website. Or turn the main takeaways into an interactive slideshow your LinkedIn community can click through. Or pull an interesting quote, post it on social media and ask your followers to share their opinion on it. Or … you see where we’re going? Once you have the subtitle text, you can turn it into 101 other pieces of content, like a single fruit tree that feeds you all summer long. Working “smarter, not harder” starts with subtitles.
Sure, these are nine reasons why you need subtitles today. But really, they’re nine reasons you already needed subtitles yesterday. And they’re nine reasons not to put it off until tomorrow. So give us a call, shoot us an email or schedule a time that works for you to learn how wordinc can create and even translate your subtitles for you.