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4 Reasons Why you Should Always Add Subtitles to your Videos

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

It’s no secret that video content is an extremely effective part of every marketing strategy. It has the unique ability to emotionally impact viewers by delivering information in a digestible way that is difficult to achieve with words alone.

Uploading video isn’t enough, though. It’s imperative that you add subtitles to every piece of video content if you don’t want to miss out on your full audience. With people around the world engaging in video content, it’s crucial to meet all of their needs if you want your video strategy to be successful. Having further reach isn’t the only benefit of having subtitles in all of your video content.

5 reasons why you should always add subtitles to your videos

In this blog post, we'll discuss what subtitles are, how they differ from captions, how to add subtitles to your video, and most importantly, why you need subtitles in your videos.

What are Subtitles

Subtitles are the entire audio from a video in text form. Subtitles have come a long way since they were first introduced in the early days of cinema. Originally, subtitles were used to translate languages so viewers could follow along in their native language or to create accessibility for people with different abilities and learning styles.

Today, subtitles are increasingly being used as a tool to reach more people, provide a better user experience, and assist SEO, along with continuing to sustain accessibility.

The Difference Between Subtitles and Captions

Captions take this one step further by including relevant background noises, music, and anything else that may be helpful to the user. They are created specifically for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.

There are two types of captions: closed captions, which can be turned off, and open captions, which cannot and are embedded directly into the video.

With the rise of social media and the growing popularity of short-form content, more and more people are watching videos with the sound off. As a result, subtitles have become an essential way to deliver key information and ensure that your content is seen and understood by the widest possible audience. Both subtitles and captions can be very helpful for localizing your content for global users.

4 Reasons Your Videos Need Subtitles

There are several reasons why you might want to add subtitles to your videos.

1. Subtitles are Simply Easier to Engage with

Did you know that 85% of the 8 billion videos streamed every day on Facebook are watched with the sound turned off?

With most people constantly on the go, watching videos on mute has become the common preference of consumers, making it crucial to meet their needs. This means that people are actively seeking out subtitled content to engage with.

The reason for this isn’t super complex. Some viewers simply prefer to read along as they watch, as it can make the viewing experience more enjoyable and comprehensible. Perhaps the viewers are sitting in a public area and don’t wish to disturb the people around them - who wants to be the person on the bus or at the dinner table listening to a video on full blast?!

According to a study by PLY Media, “66% of videos without captions are watched until the end, compared to 91% of videos with captions. Facebook statistics show that adding subtitles may increase view time by 12%.”

The fact remains that the more your content caters to the needs of your audience, so does its reach and engagement.

Man watching video on train

2. Subtitles Improve Accessibility and Reach

“Great marketing should reflect everyone, including the 1 billion people worldwide who identify as disabled and control $8 trillion in spending.” - Think with Google

A few important statistics

  • 61 million people in the United States alone reported living with a disability. That is almost 20% of the population

  • 28 million Americans are hearing-impaired

  • 71% of Americans with a disability reported leaving a website if it isn’t accessible enough

That is a very large audience you exclude if you don't include subtitles in your videos. With strong subtitles, you can open your videos to a wider net, enabling them to surpass language barriers and reach your target market. It’s vital for any successful business to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, so having subtitles just for this reason is crucial for your brand.

Girl watching video on phone

3. Subtitles Boost Audience Attention and Comprehension

Not only does having subtitles catch the attention of viewers, but it also makes your videos easier to understand. Don’t forget that not everyone speaks the same language.

For non-native speakers, subtitles can make it easier to understand the video content. It is estimated that “80% of people who use captions do not have a hearing impairment.”

Even if your viewers are English speakers, not everyone absorbs information visually. Combining video and text appeals to more people, making it a strong and effective part of your video strategy.

In addition, subtitles highlight important words and concepts in your video. The combination of text and video makes it easier for viewers to follow along without needing to listen, making subtitles an essential feature for many. Highlighting specific words in your video, just like you can do with Peech content visualization, helps capture people's attention and makes it stand out in the video.

Women watching video with subtitles

Highlighting keywords and phrases within your subtitles can greatly enhance specific points being talked about. For example, Nas Daily not only has subtitles in each video he creates, but he also highlights certain words of importance. Like in the below video, he has highlighted the word ‘back’ to emphasize his excitement.

Nas Daily

Source: Nas Daily

4. Subtitles Improve SEO

Subtitles can help improve your video ranking in search engines as it provides the algorithm with more information about the contents of your video. For example, it makes it easier for algorithms to detect keywords and categorize them properly. As a result, your videos are more likely to be put in front of the right people.

If your video has subtitles that are bold and easily seen, viewers will know immediately if it is relevant to them, making sure your video is reaching a larger, more appropriate audience. You want your brand and message to be as visible and easy to find as possible.

According to Wyzowl, “86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website,” and “94% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.”

Subtitles better optimize the content for both the user in their understanding of the contents of the video and the search engine in SERPs. The higher up you rank, the more likely people will be able to find and engage with what you have to offer online.

Man searching for a video online

How to Add Subtitles to Your Videos

In an increasingly competitive online landscape, subtitles can give your content the boost it needs to stand out from the crowd. That's why Peech makes video transcribing and editing easy!

Simply upload your video to Peech, and our AI-powered platform will automatically generate a full transcription and add subtitles to your video. Peech understands the context of the video, takes its audio track, and animates it into text and visual imagery. This way, you can be sure that your subtitles are accurate and add an extra layer of interest for your viewers. So if you're looking to give your content a competitive edge, be sure to sign up for our free trail today!

Final Thoughts

As more and more people turn to video for information and entertainment, subtitles will continue to play an important role in making sure that your video content is seen by as many people as possible.

From watching videos on the bus to the dinner table - subtitles provide a way for people to watch in a variety of different circumstances, and they can be more accessible for people with different abilities and learning styles.

If you're looking for an easy and accurate way to do so, using an automatic video editing and transcribing platform Like Peech is the way to go.


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