6 reasons closed captioning is important in media
In this era of online digital content, businesses must have a presence on the internet. Everyone has the online world in their pockets — but are you maximizing your efforts?
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 utilizing video content, 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. Here are 6 reasons why closed captioning is important in media and why you should be implementing it.
1. Improve accessibility
Closed captioning has 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 professional 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.
2. Make it easier for non-native English speakers to watch video content
The internet has connected audiences with media from all across the globe. Therefore, significant portions of your audience could be non-native English speakers. Wherever you’re targeting your marketing efforts, accommodating non-native English speakers can ensure no one is missing out.
By using professional transcription, you can quickly and efficiently add accurate closed captions to your media. Not only can captions help your brand access more customers and hit markets you might otherwise be missing, but they could help people who are learning English as a second language to improve their skills, too.
3. The popularity of online video shows no sign of slowing down
How audiences engage with and consume media has changed drastically. The online world has opened up new avenues to engage with content that simply wasn’t possible before using traditional media. This includes creating content and media that can be promoted using the vast range of social media platforms.
Social media is one of the biggest game changers in the past decade. The stats back up how much video content is consumed on social media: YouTube Shorts get 30 billion global views daily and 51% of people are more likely to share videos over any other content type.
Advancements in technology and the ease of creating videos in-house have also meant that more marketers have introduced video into their strategy – 46% of marketers started using video marketing for the first time in 2021.
Users of digital media will often watch videos even when they’re not able to listen, such as when they’re on public transport, when they’re out and about without access to headphones, or even when they’re watching TV! Closed captioning can ensure they still understand the content and can make it easier for content to catch and keep 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 by seeing what’s being said. Captions 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 of 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 can help to catch someone’s eye, but the captions offer more context and depth to that engagement, keeping their interest.
With captions, you’re more likely to convince viewers to click on a video, turn on the volume, and watch it to the end. For instance, when the silent autoplay begins on YouTube, closed captions fill a viewer in on what they’re currently missing. Once a viewer’s attention is grabbed and their interest is established, they’re much more likely to watch the video in full end. As such, you have a greater chance of achieving the marketing goals of your content.
6. Improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization plays a crucial role in growing organic leads and visitors that can help you meet your online marketing goals. Videos benefit from SEO just as much as websites do. Optimizing your video content for search increases the chances of viewers being able 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 other signals that indicate the content matches what the user is looking for. A video transcription offers the same written content for your video, which is crucial for search engines to establish what the content is about. If search engines only had the audio available, they would need to rely on the video description and metadata, which may miss out on some valuable optimization points.
How can you implement closed captioning in media?
Now that you’re aware of the importance of closed captioning, you might feel inspired to start adding them to all of your media, upcoming or already released. However, the captioning process can be 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. Although many social media channels and video hosting sites have free integrated transcription, captioning and subtitling tools, the accuracy levels are often not good enough for business use.
Transcription services could be precisely the answer to this dilemma that you need. These services can help you create high-quality closed captions and subtitles for your media content. Outsourcing transcription allows you to save time while ensuring you’re engaging with customers by making your content more accessible and attention-grabbing. Outsource your closed captioning to a trusted transcription service and see all the benefits without any of the demands on your time and effort.