Closed Captioning for Video

YouTubers all want one thing: more views on their videos. Whether they’re chasing advertising dollars or increased exposure for their brand, there is nothing a vlogger loves more than to see their YouTube views go up. If you’re a video producer on YouTube looking for a growth hack, don’t underestimate the power of adding closed captions.

How do closed captions win you more YouTube views?

1. Closed captions boost video SEO

A study by Discovery Digital Networks measured a distinct increase in SEO for YouTube videos with captions, compared to videos without captions. They concluded that Google indexes closed captions uploaded to YouTube videos, which makes them more likely to rank higher in searches for relevant keywords.

The study also found that captioned YouTube videos saw a 13.48% increase in views within the first 14 days they were published. They measured the lifetime benefit of closed captioning videos to be 7.32% more views on YouTube than uncaptioned videos.

Digital Discovery Networks graph of YouTube views for uncaptioned vs. captioned video

No guesswork here: closed captions measurably increase views and search rank for your video.

2. Captions make your video accessible to a wider audience

There are more than 36 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing. And about 5% of the global population has some degree of hearing loss. None of those people can fully enjoy your YouTube videos if they lack captions. Closed captions provide an “equivalent experience” to people who cannot hear audio, so long as your captions are accurate, legible, and synced with your video. Better video accessibility translates into more potential viewers.

You can increase your viewership even more by translating your captions into other languages. Multilingual subtitles expose your YouTube channel to a non-English-speaking audience. Your videos benefit doubly from SEO, getting indexed in each language you include.

3. Captions let viewers watch your video in more places

According to a study by the United Kingdom’s Ofcom, 80% of people who watch video with closed captions on are not deaf or hard of hearing. One major reason why people use captions is due to their environment.

With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, viewers can access YouTube from practically anywhere at any time. However, that doesn’t mean they can enjoy the video’s audio wherever they are. If your videos don’t have closed captions, then viewers may not be able to watch them if they’re:

  • Riding on a noisy train
  • Studying in a quiet library
  • With a sleeping baby
  • At the office
  • In line at the DMV
  • In a noisy crowd

If they can follow along with closed captions in environments where they can’t play audio, viewers have more opportunities to watch your videos. Don’t let their surroundings keep them from viewing your content—just add captions.

Distribution: Get your Content to the People!

Even though content is online, sites have different audiences, attention spans and expectations. Posting to Vimeo as opposed to Youtube can say a lot about your project before anyone even clicks the link! Here’s why it’s important to know these unwritten rules of distribution

Vimeo- Vimeo has an unparalleled a sense of community. You won’t find snarky comments here. There are also no ads that play before the videos. The Vimeo community expects high quality, and usually long form, video content. Accounts are leveled. Free accounts have a 500MB per week limit. Plus accounts can upload 5GB for a $59.95 annual fee. Pro accounts are $199 a year, with unlimited HD uploading. You can view the full pricing plans at vimeo.com/plus or vimeo.com/pro.

YouTube- YouTubers are used to looking at short videos. Most videos over four minutes will start to get lost in the shuffle. Accounts are free and it’s really easy to upload content. You can also upload unlimited 1080p video. There’s even an option to monetize a YouTube account by becoming a “YouTube Partner”. The YouTube team will place ads before your videos once your channel surpasses a certain number of views.

Facebook-A fan or community page on Facebook is the way to go, but don’t overpost! Posting every few hours on Facebook gets really annoying. You want to engage people, and that’s the key to having your posts show up in Facebook news feeds. Ask questions, ask for feedback and engage them as much as possible. Be warned, if you ask for feedback, it will be honest feedback.

Twitter- Post away! Users on twitter are used to constant updates. In fact, that’s where many people get their news, follow celebrities’, and inform the Internet of their everyday lives. Tweet every hour or even more frequently. The guys and gals of Twitter are used to it!

Book Trailer & Website – All But Normal

Recently we partnered with Shawn Thornton on his new book All But Normal. Take a look at the website and check out the trailer. It was recently featured on the 700 club among other places.

AllButNormal.com