June 20, 2017 By Ben Kalb

Get the Highest Social Media Engagement with Captions

If you want to reap the full benefit of online video content, your videos need to have captions.

Accessible video is the key to better social media engagement.

Have you noticed the trend lately? Social media feeds are no longer showing just simple text or images. Now we’re seeing social media platforms shift quickly and favorably toward video. So why is this shift happening? Because the social giants know users are engaging with video more often than plain text or images.

As trends peak and valley, we must adapt. If users are engaging most with video, it’s up to marketers and business owners to evolve and adapt their strategies in order to stay relevant. It’s not just about creating and posting more videos—that would be too easy. If you want to reap the full benefit of online video content, your videos need to have captions.

Consider some stats from the industry:

Facebook, for example, now favors longer videos with higher completion rates. Such videos are now receiving a boost and ranking higher in the news feed, whereas short videos are being favored less and less. This is unfortunate news for marketers who have long been told that quick, short content is the best content.

In addition, several reports will tell you that users are engaging with video content more often than anything else. Thus, major social media platforms have been wise to shift their attention to publishing video. Ad Week tells us that “Facebook videos are generating more than eight billion views per month, yet videos are the least-posted type of content among marketers.” If video is to lead the way in user engagement, more companies will have to compete for screen time.

It’s also been reported that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it—and one in four consumers actually loses interest in a company if it doesn’t have video. These are some serious numbers that require our attention.

Did you know Google and YouTube use captions for searching and SEO? Studies have shown that you can search keywords that appear in a video’s captions, but are not listed in the video’s tags, title, or description, and the video will appear on the first page of results—sometimes even third in line!

We can’t forget about our sister video production company, Media Images, proving that there are seven major reasons to use video on your organization’s website. Among the most notable reasons were the fact that “video eliminates the ambiguity often found in plain text” and “if your content is good, your viewers will practically do the advertising for you.”


Now that we know video is necessary to your brand’s online presence, let’s dig into the best practices for creating videos with captions.

1. Make sure the first 10 seconds of your video are highly engaging. Attention spans are short so hook them early!

2. Adding captions to your videos will increase view time. Facebook reports that captioning your videos increases the average view time by 12 percent!

3. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram employ an auto-play feature, however, marketers often forget that these videos, while playing, begin muted and stay muted until the user decides to unmute. While good for the user, this feature can be crippling for a marketer, whose uncaptioned video content is skimmed right over. Add captions to your videos and you’ll capture the attention of users who would usually scroll by.

4. Don’t use YouTube’s auto-caption feature. It sounds like a brilliant, time-saving idea, but quick-and-dirty methods rarely produce high-quality results. Just watch some YouTube caption fails and you’ll see what we mean. We’ve said it before—automation needs much more refinement before it can be a reliable source for captions.

5. Finally, we know closed captions increase SEO. Ten years ago, SEO was all about keyword stuffing. Now, it’s about the quality of your content. In addition to helping you reach a hearing-impaired audience, captions supply keywords for SEO. Adding closed captions to your video content can increase ROI and drive your site to the top of the search results.

Ready to give your videos the caption treatment? We can help. Contact us today and let’s get started.

As we said, four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it. Do you agree? Tell us below!

Ben Kalb

Ben is a broadcast engineer and creator of StationDrop. With a longevity in the broadcast industry, over 20 years, Ben has experience with everything from 1” tape reels to completely file-based workflows. Recently, Ben has broken into the world of coffee. Ask him about his latest brew.

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