Your guide to video captions: The what, why, and how

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Trying to decide if video captions are worth the extra hassle? Don’t look any further: they definitely are. 

Embrace the accessible, attention-grabbing impact of video captions and discover easy, hassle-free tools for captioning your content. 

Let’s delve into the captivating world of closed captions and explore how they can make a significant difference in your video strategy.

What's the difference between captions and subtitles?

Before we jump into the benefits, let’s clarify the distinction between captions and subtitles. Captions and subtitles may seem similar, but there’s a subtle distinction between the two.

Captions offer a text version of any spoken dialogue, and often provide a text description of other audio elements like sound effects and music cues, making videos accessible to all. 

On the other hand, subtitles focus primarily on translating dialogue for viewers who may not understand the language being spoken.

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The benefits of video captions

There’s a lot more to video captions than first meets the eye. Find out why captions are a must-have for your video content. 

1. Accessibility for all

Closed captions break down barriers and make your videos inclusive. By adding captions, you ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can fully engage with your content.

2. Increased engagement

Captions don’t just benefit the hearing-impaired; they captivate all viewers. Research shows that videos with captions have higher engagement rates, longer watch times, and increased shares. By using closed captions, you keep your audience hooked and boost their interaction with your videos.

3. Enhanced SEO

Closed captions contribute to better search engine optimization. Search engines can’t watch videos, but they can read captions. By including captions, you provide valuable textual content that improves your video’s discoverability and ranking in search results.

4. Better comprehension

Even viewers who aren’t hearing-impaired may struggle to catch every word in a video, especially in noisy environments. Captions help ensure everyone fully understands your message, enhancing comprehension and minimizing misunderstandings.

5. Flexible viewing

Some viewers prefer to watch videos without sound, such as in public places or quiet environments. By offering captions, you cater to these preferences and allow viewers to enjoy your videos in any setting.

6. Learning and retention

Educational videos and training materials greatly benefit from closed captions. Captions help learners follow along, reinforce comprehension, and improve information retention.

7. Compliance with accessibility standards

Adding closed captions ensures compliance with accessibility laws and guidelines, making your content accessible to all viewers and avoiding potential legal issues.

8. Improved viewer experience

Captions provide a polished and professional touch to your videos. They enhance the overall user experience by providing clarity, context, and a visually engaging element.

9. Social media friendliness

Captions are a must-have for social media platforms. Many platforms autoplay videos without sound, so captions help grab attention and convey your message effectively, even without audio.

10. It's what the people want

Thanks to an uptick in the prevalence of captioned videos, audiences have come to expect and prefer captions when watching a video. Millennial and Gen Z audiences in particular are likely to request captions where there aren’t any.

How to add captions to your videos

There are a number of simple ways to elevate your videos with captions. The three main ways to add captions to your videos are:

Upload to a platform with automatic captions

Many social media platforms now offer auto-generated captions. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn will take your uploaded video and automatically generate captions. These auto-captions can be switched on or off by your audience. 

Use a captioning service

If you’d like a real person to type out your video’s captions, try a captioning service like Rev. Upload your video files and any information the captioner needs to know, such as the names of speakers, and you’ll receive a downloadable caption file a few hours later.

You can then upload these captions to social platforms and rest easy knowing your captions aren’t riddled with typos.

Generate captions with Biteable

If you’re creating a video with the Biteable video maker, Premium users can auto-generate captions for any video with dialogue. These captions will show up on your watch page, or can be downloaded as caption files to upload elsewhere.

This is a great option for sharing videos with your team internally, or where there’s no social platform involved. 

A must-have for modern-day videos

Captions are not just an add-on; they are a powerful tool that can transform your video content.

From accessibility and enhanced engagement to improved SEO, closed captions offer a wealth of benefits for video creators everywhere. By embracing closed captions, you ensure that your videos are accessible to a wider audience, maximizing the impact of your content. 

Unlock the power of closed captions with Biteable’s closed caption tool. Start your free 7-day trial today.


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