Video marketing has become the preferred method for connecting with potential and existing customers. Many brands use videos to share information, highlight offerings and build a rapport with their audience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are worth a million.

Including subtitles and closed captioning is becoming more popular in video marketing. If you haven’t already started including subtitles in your video content, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Here’s why adding subtitles to your videos is important and necessary. 

Improves Search and Feed Rankings

Hashtags are falling out of fashion in social media. Tags are no longer considered the best way to extend your reach and connect with others. Instead, many platforms are taking an approach more closely related to that of Google by prioritizing SEO.

Search engine optimization (SEO) was traditionally used for long-form content like blog posts and product pages. While it’s a complex algorithm, the gist of SEO is that crawlers read content for relevant keywords and information and then prioritize content based on how relevant it is to certain search terms. SEO has evolved tremendously over the past decade to take a more human-centric approach to prioritize content.

Adding subtitles helps extend your reach in two overarching ways. One, it embeds keywords into your videos’ metadata for crawlers to review, as the crawler is incapable of “watching” the video and translating audio. Second, including subtitles improves the ease of consumption for a human audience, which algorithms prioritize. 

In summary, adding subtitles makes the robots happy and makes your content more visible

Affordable and Easy

Adding subtitles and captions to video content used to be an ordeal. Producing videos was more cost-prohibitive in the past, and captioning had to be completed manually. I.e., someone would transcribe the audio into text. 

Now, AI-driven software makes adding subtitles easy. Tools like Movavi Video Editor do it automatically with high rates of accuracy. Many business owners think that adding subtitles will be tedious and expensive, so they don’t look into the process. In reality, it’s never been easier. Adding subtitles to your content could help you outrank the competition.

Ideal for Audiences in Public Spaces

A study by Verizon Media showed that 69% of mobile video viewers watch videos on mute. Many viewers watch videos in public spaces on their phones and keep the volume off. As your target audience will likely be watching your content when they’re at work, on public transit, or waiting in line at Starbucks, you need subtitles. If you don’t have subtitles and your target audience discovers your content, they’ll scroll past.

It’s important to understand that even people in private settings may consume your content on mute. Many people keep their phones on silent throughout the day, which means that sound doesn’t automatically turn on when a video starts playing. Parents who are scrolling while relaxing after work might not turn the sound on while in the room with their children.

In essence, failing to add subtitles could reduce your audience by 70%. 

Creates Accessibility 

Subtitles also create accessibility for people with hearing troubles or those who don’t speak English as their first language. Text is easier to understand than spoken words for many people who take English as a second language, as the brain processes the information differently.

20% of the global population suffers from hearing loss, with 430 million people experiencing a hearing-related disability worldwide. Beyond reaching those individuals, adding subtitles shows conscientious audience members that accessibility is important to your brand. 

Improves Understanding and Retention

People process different types of information in different ways. While strong visuals can improve engagement and retention, adding subtitles adds another hook for your audience’s brains to process. Having both visual and text components can improve retention, so your audience remembers your brand.

There’s no excuse for failing to include subtitles in your video content. Doing so limits your access to an engaged audience and puts your business at risk.