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.

Explainer Videos: 5 Reasons Every StartUp Needs One

One of the most important aspects of any startup’s launch is their marketing plan.A smoothly executed communications plan can lead to almost instant success (see Dollar Shave Club’s meteoric launch). On the flip side, a poorly thought out or executed plan will result in slow sales growth and small market traction. Every chance a startup gets to describe their product or service, is an opportunity to capture a new lead or user. One of the easiest ways to maximize any website view is to use an explainer video on your homepage. Here are 5 reasons why!

Introduce people to your product/service

As a startup you’ve come up with a great idea, have a great team, and work in a great location. Upon your launch, it’s time to introduce your company to your target audience! An explainer video accomplishes this in a quick and memorable way. Video generates business by explaining your product or service to a potential user easily. Your company only has one opportunity to create a first impression, a video will grab your customer’s attention, and keep it.

Awareness/Organic SEO

Sites can double their organic search traffic by including a video thumbnail in search rankings. An explainer video gives you the potential to expose your company to a larger audience base. On top of this, videos are 53 times more likely than text pages to show up on the first page of search results. To maximize your SEO you should be including video as a core element of your marketing strategy.

Videos will introduce your product, service, and culture to your target audience. It simplifies messages and conveys them in a memorable way. Most importantly, it delivers fantastic results and should be a key part of any startup’s marketing strategy. As you plan for your startup’s launch, make video a key part of your communication plans.


Produce a Simplified Message

As a startup, you have spent an incredible amount of time working on your product or service. You are an expert in relation to all your product’s features and benefits. Yet, at times this knowledge can create a negative impact. You can lose track of being able to articulate the most valid ‘What’s in it for you?’ statement.

Video can help refine your pitch to a simplified message. Writing your script forces you to highlight the core features that relate to your customers. If you’re working with a video professional, they will have experience with refining a message down to its most resonant elements. Your end video creates a message that is actionable for your target customer.

Be Memorable

People remember only 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see. Yet, we remember an incredible 70% of what we hear and see. Video captures this power and allows you to stand out in potential customer’s minds long after they’ve left your website.

On top of this, a video allows you to pair a simple message to an emotion (humor, hope, trust, etc.) through the use of imagery, motion, music, scene setting, etc., making it stick with viewers. Purchase decisions are still made based on emotions, video allows you to create a memorable, emotional tie to customers.

Your Culture

The internet is an opportunity to extend your customer’s connections beyond your current locale. Consumers still make purchase decisions based on emotions and loyalty. As well as learning about your product and service, customers want to know about the culture of your new business and you.

A video gives you a chance to showcase far more personality and a human approach than text. Within your video you can use music, animation, or even interesting characters, to say a lot about what makes your company unique.


Bonus Stat:

A recent study suggests that 85% of people are more likely to purchase a product after watching an explainer video. Explainer videos increase the understanding level of potential customers because a video clearly shows the product benefits and features. Often you display how the product can solve a particular problem or fill a distinctive need.

Video playback data can illuminate which product features potential customers find confusing (they’ll repeat that section of video) or which features are not interesting (you’ll see a drop in viewership). That data allows you to refine your message and win more sales.

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 or

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!

Why Video can be your #1 Marketing Tool – Video length: Attention Spans (or lack thereof)

The average attention span is eight seconds, so it’s important to know when enough is enough. Stretching out a production happens more frequently than most people would like to admit. Your script could easily be two pages, but it ends up as a six-minute video that, quite frankly, no one is going to watch. You’ve been careful with your budget, planning and distribution, and now you’re left wondering why your video only has 20 views.

The facts- According to a 2010 New York Times article, 19.4 percent of viewers abandon an online video after 10 seconds and 44.1 percent will abandon a video after 60 seconds. You don’ t have much time to reel in your viewer. You have to say it, and say it fast. There are a few things you can do to keep your video length in check.

Your babies have to grow up- We all claim portions of our projects as our own. Just like babies, they have to grow up. We eventually have to let go of the control we had in their lives and let them live out their own experiences. The same goes for your video production. The 20-second shot or the ten-page script you’re trying to squeeze into four minutes just isn’t possible. You have to decide what is essential to the production and what can be tossed out. Trust us, it’s harder than it looks.

Ask the experts- Your producer wants you to succeed. Ask for their advice. They want the same thing you do, and that’s bringing your rocking production to life. A producer will help you trim the unnecessary bits of your script.

Answer: shorter- If you’re on the fence about a shorter or longer video, shorter is always better for video.