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Making Video Captioning a Must for SEO, Mobile, and Brand Inclusion

Social media levels the playing field. I have grown immensely fond of its inclusionary elements. However, there is a sexy trend that hasn’t quite lined up with the concept of accessibility.

Video became an emerging force and I made it my mission to incorporate videos in my content output and since I use sign language, I ensure my videos have subtitles, with the special exception I make one spontaneously on my phone (in that case I provide a supplementary transcript). I use iMovies to create subtitles but there are plenty other ways to provide them. YouTube allows you to upload a transcript or caption file in its video manager. Please refrain from using their automated speech to text service unless you want to have some laughs at caption fails. There are companies – Koemei has caught my eye – that will help you with captioning and subtitles. Note: subtitles focus solely on words and closed captioning gives the user a choice to turn it on or off. It describes all the relevant audio in the video.

Koemei and others have sprouted in this industry marketplace for valid reasons. It’s a critical feature and not enough are maximizing its potential. Slowly but surely.

There are three major benefits.

Improve Search Engine Optimization
The rumor is true – text within video is a tremendous factor when Google and YouTube index your videos. It increases accuracy in content indexing. The words you speak and transcribe become rich in keywords. So, your videos become more discoverable? Yeah, that is a wicked cool benefit.

Ideal for Mobile
Text within video aligns with industry trends. It’s mobile friendly! More people in the US are predicted to access the internet via mobile devices than their desktops by 2015. My educated guess is people have experienced difficulty listening to videos on the phone or have found themselves in quiet spaces and avoid watching videos especially in groups. Perhaps you want to watch a video at work in secret!

We recognize mobile is a game changer in social, commerce and marketing. Therefore we should continue to seek creative, unique and efficient ways to leverage it. Right now, including subtitles or closed captions gives you a slight edge in the competition and great potential to make an impact and enhance the user experience.

Brand Inclusion
Whether if you’re a business, organization or individual publishing videos you are creating a kind of brand. There are approximately 36 million Americans with hearing problems. Foreigners have told me that reading the text has proven helpful and that’s another opportunity for global reach. We want to be able to catch the latest trends in the industry, watch our favorite bloggers venture into video or perhaps even a demonstration of homemade beer. We want it just as much as you. As a Deaf person, constructive inclusion makes an imprint in my memory but there are many others. It ramps up loyalty. Creating brand inclusion and accessibility is something to take pride in.

With leaders like Youtube and Hulu making headway, it is certain the future has complete access to closed captioning. Position yourself as a riveting participant in this trend optimizing your videos for search engines, mobile and most importantly… access.


Author Bio: Bringing new definitions to communication on social media, Anne Reuss is a social media business development consultant and community manager for 360Connext, a customer experience consulting firm. She’s got a penchant for tech, startups, adrenaline, slurpees and Illini football. Find her on @AnneReuss and personal blog. She is originator of the ongoing ‘Signs of Startups’ challenge, a collaborative project positioning startups to ramp up brand inclusion by creative communication.

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