Video marketing is blisteringly hot in 2018, and it’s not hard to see why. Research shows that the moving image boosts traffic, conversions, and sales like nothing else – and this is a finding that’s backed up by cold, hard commercial experience.
But if you’ve tested the video water and were disappointed with the results, you may be wondering what all the excitement is about.
It could be that you’ve overlooked a simple, yet vital, piece of the video marketing jigsaw. Adding subtitles or captions can increase a campaign’s success by a surprising amount, and here’s why.
A straightforward reason why your videos need subtitles is that around 20% of people have some degree of hearing impairment. Adding subtitles for these users isn’t just good manners, it’s sound commercial sense too. Why alienate a fifth of your potential customers for no good reason?
Many people choose to spend their time online in silence. Maybe they’re covertly browsing while at work, or maybe they don’t wish to disturb family. Most likely, they’ve been ambushed by auto-playing audio once too often.
But whatever the reason, with up to 80% of people avoiding sound for at least some of their browsing, subtitles help your video engage a far wider audience.
Strengthens the Message
Even if the sound is turned on, adding subtitles will give your message more strength and clarity. Casual viewers may only half-listen and half-watch to begin with, but add the two together, and the content will have a stronger impact.
Better at Holding Attention
Research has shown that videos with subtitles hold the viewer’s attention for longer, and are on average 50% more likely to be watched through to the end.
Increased Share Rates
This combination of stronger messages and increased attention gives a significant boost to social media engagement. Specifically, captioning a video typically increases sharing rates by around 15%, giving wider exposure for hardly any extra effort or expense.
You can’t rely on all your video viewers being native speakers of your language. Even if you’re not aiming for an international audience, today’s society is increasingly multilingual. Adding subtitles makes it much easier for people who aren’t 100% fluent to follow your content.
Lastly, subtitles and captions act as meta data for your video, allowing search engines to better understand its content. This can result in higher rankings for web pages featuring the video, as well as greater prominence for the video itself on YouTube and other dedicated video sites.
There’s no doubt that a well-implemented video marketing campaign can show incredible results. But if your video experience is so far underwhelming, subtitles could come to the rescue.