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Why should you give your videos captions?

Posted on March 7, 2018

 

If you’ve seen any of our Technical Director Darren’s videos, you may have noticed that, in case his words aren’t memorable and emphatic enough, they also come with subtitles.

But why should you do this? Aren’t you just repeating the same words twice – once in visual form and again in audible?

Before we look at why adding captions to your video is such a great idea, let’s briefly discuss how to do it. One tool that makes it pretty easy is Facebook. Once you’ve uploaded the video you want to edit to your business Facebook page, just go to Videos – Video Library and select the ‘Edit Video’ icon on the video in question. Then choose ‘Captions’, and you’ll be presented with the below screen.

If you click the ‘Generate’ button, the software will use a speech-to-text facility to auto-generate subtitles for your video. Not surprisingly, the words it comes up with are not always perfect and you’ll almost certainly need to do a bit of tidying up, but it gives you something to start with and makes the task less daunting.

So that’s one relatively easy way to do it, but why should you bother?

Helps make a statement without sound

Think how often you use a computer or mobile device with the sound off. In many offices, the sound is off automatically to stop the noises of on-screen alerts and emails driving colleagues round the bend. Perhaps you want to watch a video on the bus or train, but don’t want to be that unpopular person who blares out noise for the whole carriage to hear.

Subtitles can allow someone to understand the video even with the sound off. If they like what they see and read, they’re more likely to go back and listen to it later and enjoy it in full stereo.

Clarifies what’s being said

Sometimes, a video shot in a large conference room might lose some of the acoustics it offered to those actually in the venue at the time. If you find that the sound is a little muffled or unclear, adding captions can help people understand the words spoken without them putting their ear right up to the speaker or, worse still, losing interest.

Reinforce your words

Opinions vary as to whether the written or spoken word is more powerful. This can be debated, but what’s certainly true is that if you back up your speech with writing, it helps commit what you’re saying to memory.

It’s often said that when we listen to people talking, we don’t actually take in every word being said – much of it is inferred through tone, pitch, facial expressions and body language. Written words, on the other hand, have to be digested and can give a powerful message when accompanied by the visuals of a speaker.

If you would like more advice on how to put an eye-catching video together, why not talk to the Engage Web team?

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