Why Subtitles Are Important for Videos

Subtitles on videos should be the norm when it comes to creating engaging online content, especially if it’s for business video marketing.

We all know that subtitles make videos more accessible for those that are hard of hearing.

Millions of people across the world are either deaf or struggle to hear audio clearly.

The addition of text allows them to follow along with greater ease and increases your audience. However, the potential benefits go much further than that.

Subtitles are important for the following reasons:

  • Convey your message to a wider audience.
  • Allow for comprehension in different languages.
  • Allow for greater comprehension of the message through multiple sources of information.
  • Engage with people that can’t play audio at that moment in time.
  • Allow for better viewer figures on platforms that automatically mute content.
  • Improve your website’s SEO via the use of text.
  • Persuade viewers to share the content or click through your website.
85 percent of video on Facebook are watched on mute.

That’s a lot of benefits in addition to helping those that are hard of hearing.

So, let’s look at some of those key points of why subtitles are important for videos in more detail.

Non English speakers can’t follow the audio

It is important that you are able to convey your message to as many different viewers as possible from the moment you post on social media.

A lack of subtitles doesn’t just alienate those with hearing difficulties. You may also lose out on a wider foreign viewership. Adding subtitles can make it much easier for those with English as a second-language to follow what is going on.

Remember that while everyone in your office may be fluent in English, it only represents the first language of around a quarter of the global population.

So, if you want to tap into that Asian market and get shares there, add subtitles.

Some people retain information better with text

Subtitles don’t just help with comprehension for those that have English as their second language.

There are also many people in the US, UK, or other English-speaking nations that prefer to be able to read along with a video. They find that they are able to better understand what is going on.

This could be down to issues with the audio or accents on some videos.

But, there is also the possibility that having the combination of audio and visual information at the same time makes it easier to retain that information.

The more that a viewer retains, the more likely they are to watch until the end, to act on what they learn, and to share it with other people.

A study by PLYMedia found that the percentage of videos watched to completion changes significantly with the addition of subtitles.

Those without are seen by an average of 66% of viewers while those with subtitles are seen by 91%. That remaining 9% may have just been bored or had to click out for some reason.

Videos don’t automatically play audio on social media

On the subject of people clicking out of videos or scrolling away before the end, we have the importance of optimizing your video for the platform.

Most social media platforms don’t play the audio of a video automatically. If they did, there would be a mess of sound as people scroll through.

There is also the fact that those watching at work or in public can’t allow the audio to play.

This leads to a lot of videos watched on mute as it is much easier than trying to get the audio to play.

In fact, as many as 85% of video on Facebook are watched on mute. Subtitles are the only way to follow the narrative.

Subtitles are great for SEO

Finally, the addition of subtitles to your video can make a big difference for your SEO.

The right keywords and descriptions can trigger search engines and place you hiring in the rankings.

The text of the video can also be reused in other text posts and blogs to complement the video.

All of this should lead to even more views and shares, especially now you also have accessibility for those with hearing issues and those in other countries.

So, as you can see, there are lots of reasons why subtitles are important for videos – especially on social media.

Your stats on viewer numbers and completed views are sure to grow and more people will appreciate your message.

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