Closed Captions are, in layman terms, subtitles which can be turned on and off. Usually facilitated through a .srt file, Closed Captions are used across broadcast television, DVDs/Blu-rays and can be uploaded to video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Closed Captions appeal to many content creators as a cost effective way to localise their video content. Additionally, Closed Captions, particularly SDH (hard of hearing subtitles) are an excellent means of accessibility to multimedia content. Indeed, in an age of corporate social responsibility awareness, adding closed captions to video content is essential for all video content creators.
Back in 2011, Netflix infamously found out that alienating their hard of hearing audience was a big mistake. The National Association of the Deaf sued Netflix for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Video SEO | Closed Captions Secret Weapon
In recent years, Closed Captions have been lauded by marketing and production agencies for their video SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits.
As advanced as search engines such as Google are at indexing content, they’re still unable to effectively ‘listen’ to video and audio content. Thus, ultimately, Google et al. will only rank and index video content based on its text attributes – chiefly a video’s title and description.
Step forward Closed Captions, which allow the spoken word of video content to be ‘read’ by search engines and boost the video’s SEO.
Make your Videos Stand Out
With conservative predictions estimating that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, and video-on-demand traffic set to treble, it’s fair to say that getting your video noticed is going to be a considerable challenge.
However, by adding closed captions as a standard procedure to all of your video content, your videos will be optimised to stand out from the crowd, and gain Google’s favour, in a soon to be saturated video marketplace.
What’s more, with Facebook recently reporting that their subtitled content received 12% more engagement when compared to non-subtitled content, it’s plain to see that subtitles are an essential part of any video content creator’s toolkit.