It’s clear that in this era of online digital content, businesses must have a presence on the internet. Everyone has the online world in their pockets — are you taking advantage of this?
One way to ensure you’re engaging with the right customers is by using video content. After all, 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television, so you need to ensure you’re reaching this audience!
And if you’re utilising video content, then you also need to make sure you’re using closed captioning. Closed captions offer a range of benefits for businesses and help reach wider audiences. In this article, we’ll go through 6 reasons why closed captioning is important in media and why you should be implementing it.
1. Improve accessibility
Closed captioning has always primarily been used as a means for improving the accessibility of your media content for those living with disabilities, mainly those viewers with any kind of hearing loss. Around 5% of the global population has some level of hearing loss, and not having closed captions on your media can reduce or rule out their ability to engage with your content.
You want all viewers to be able to enjoy your content, and investing in accurate, legible, and well synchronized captions for your videos with the help of transcription services can do just that.
Without investing in closed captioning, you could be neglecting a whole audience for your media. Not only could this have a very real impact on your marketing reach, but it could cast broader implications on the values that your market perceives from your brand.
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2. Make it easier for non-native English speakers to watch
The internet has connected audiences with media from all across the globe. Therefore, significant portions of audiences in your geographic location could be non-native English speakers. Wherever you’re targeting your marketing efforts, ensuring that non-native English speakers are accommodated for can ensure you’re not missing anyone out.
By using professional transcription and translation services, you can quickly and efficiently add closed captioning to your media. Not only can they help your brand access more customers and hit markets you might otherwise be missing, but it could help people who are learning English as a Second Language to improve their skills, too.
3. The use of online video is increasing
How audiences engage with and consume media is changing drastically. The online world is opening up new avenues to engage with content in ways that simply wasn’t possible before on traditional media platforms. This includes creating content and media that can be promoted using social media.
Social media is one of the biggest game-changers in the past decade. The stats back up how much social media is being increasingly used: 82% of Twitter users consume video content on the platform and 45% of all people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
Users of non-traditional media will often watch videos even when they’re not able to listen, such as when they’re on public transport or don’t have access to headphones. Closed captioning can ensure they still understand the content and can make it easier for content on marketing platforms to catch their attention.
4. Engage potential customers immediately
Since the media we use to consume content is changing, so are many of the conventions of how we broadcast on that media. For instance, when scrolling through social media, videos will autoplay on mute. As such, when you might not have the ability to catch the audience’s attention with audio, closed captions can ensure you still have a way in.
With closed captions, the audience can still become interested in seeing what is being said. They allow users to become engaged, quickly learning what the video is about without having to turn their audio on.
5. Improve average watch time
Catching an audience’s attention is one significant benefit to closed captioning, but media producers and marketers also have to ensure that they can keep that audience hooked on that content.
Closed captions are known to improve the average watch time and to ensure that viewers stay engaged with your content. Flashy visuals might engage their interest in the first place, but the captions describing the content offers more context and depth to that engagement, keeping them on-board.
With captions, you’re more likely to convince viewers to click on a video, to turn on the volume, and to watch it all the way to the end. For instance, when the silent autoplay begins on Youtube, closed captions fill a viewer in on what they’re currently missing from the content. Once a viewer’s attention is grabbed and their interest is established, they’re much more likely to watch the video until the end. As such, you have a greater chance of converting a viewer into a customer.
6. Improve SEO
Search engine optimisation plays a crucial role in growing the organic leads and visitors that can help you meet your online marketing goals. Videos benefit from SEO just as much as websites do. The better you optimise them, the more likely that viewers are to find your content organically.
Closed captions can improve your video SEO in the same way that content marketing helps website SEO. Search engines look through the written content on a website for the keywords, phrases, and written content that matches what the user is looking for. A video transcription offers that same written content for your video, which is crucial since otherwise search engines may not be able to figure out the content of the video from the audio alone. Search engines would instead only use the video description and metadata, which may miss out on some valuable optimisation points.
How can you implement closed captioning in media?
Now that we’ve highlighted why closed captioning is important, you might feel inspired to start adding them to all of your media, upcoming or already released. However, the captioning process is hard and time-consuming and, simply put, most business owners don’t have the time and resources to allocate to it, especially if you’re not experienced with the process.
Transcription services could be precisely the answer to this dilemma that you need. These services can help you create high-quality closed captions and translations for your media content. This allows you to save time while ensuring you’re engaging with customers by making your content more accessible and attention catching. Outsource your closed captioning to a trusted transcription service and see all the benefits without any of the demand on your time and effort.
You’ve been reading about why closed captioning is important in media and how transcription services can help you get them, but if you’d like to learn more about transcription, read our Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services.