How to caption videos

β€œMoral of the whole story: accessibility is a great way to increase conversions, both for your own business and for your clients’.”

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    Piccia Neri's face looking up to the left, with a smile and the sunlight behind her

    By Piccia Neri

    Why I won’t watch your videos

    I have a confession to make.

    If you or your clients post videos without captions – I won’t watch them πŸ™ˆ.

    πŸ₯Ί I’m sorry if that hurts, I really am.

    I do wish I had the time to drop everything, put the headphones in & devote my undivided attention to your piece of insightful content.

    The reality is that more often than not I don’t have the time, or my environment doesn’t make it possible.

    How to make me watch a video

    πŸ’ͺ🏼 On the other hand, if a video has captions, chances are that I’ll watch.

    Firstly, as a reward because someone took the time to make the video accessible.

    More importantly, because the presence of captions allows me to skim through the content and work out in advance whether I’ll find it interesting or not.

    And of course, because with captions the environment I’m in ceases to matter.

    In a word: I don’t identify as disabled. And yet captions are essential to me.

    Imagine if I were disabled: a video without captions would be excluding me entirely by default.

    Good side effects to captioning a video

    Captioning videos means that:

    βœ… You’re earning heaps of good karma by being a decent human being to disabled people

    βœ… You’re also catering to temporarily disabled people (i.e. someone who’s holding a child, a commuter on a train, someone with an arm in a cast… etc)

    βœ… You’re adding SEO juice: Google is deaf and blind and can’t crawl videos

    βœ… You’re widening your audience & creating more conversion opportunities (see the two examples below)

    βœ… You’re increasing engagement, views & completion

    βœ… You’re giving people one more reason to buy your products

    βœ… You can re-purpose your own content

    βœ… You’re helping learners of your language who use captions to aid comprehension

    All of this, of course, applies to your clients, too. If you are working with clients who often produce video or audio content, have you thought about making sure they use captions and transcriptions?

    My friend Jan Koch secured more sales for his summit all-access pass, thanks to the fact that every talk was captioned and transcribed.

    In another real-life conversion example: one of my LinkedIn contacts posted a video the other day to promote her participation to a contest. She captioned it. I watched it – & donated the fee (which goes to a deserving charity) to vote for her to win.

    I can 100% guarantee that without the captions I would not have bothered watching at all, let alone to the end.

    Moreover, if you’re working with a certain type of organisation, it would be a good idea to make sure that your client complies with legal requirements.

    Learn how to create captions

    Want to find out how I easily & quickly create captions? Watch the video at the bottom of this post.

    I was inspired to make it after the conversation on accessibility hosted by Cloudways on Tuesday 13 April. My colleagues Jan Koch, Lee Matthew Jackson and I interviewed Rian Rietveld who explained to us how businesses can actually be more profitable and successful just by being accessible.

    Oh and come to think of it: of course, this is also another service that you could offer to your clients, thus adding one further revenue stream.

    Moral of the whole story: accessibility is a great way to increase conversions, both for your own business and for your clients’.

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