Yes, you should be using captioned copy in your video content
Let’s start with the benefits: 100+ studies say that video captions boost comprehension and recall of video content.
Captions are especially relevant in social media, where the default “Mute” setting for most videos has helped captioned videos earn 40% more views than non-captioned ones.
Need more reasons?
People are more likely to watch a video to the end if it is captioned (Newton Tech). Deaf and hearing-impaired consumers need captions to comprehend a video’s message. And captions boost SEO.
Gens Y and Z are the biggest fans of captions. But viewers in all age groups cite poor audio quality (especially in dialogue) as a main reason for wanting the on-screen text option.
Assuming you’re sold on captions, here are a few techniques of the trade.
7 rules for readability
As you draft captioned copy for video, keep these rules of the road in mind.
1. The rate at which captioned copy appears needs to be in sync with whatever the spoken words are, whether it’s a person speaking or a voiceover.
2. The reading speed should not require anyone to process more than 3 words/second. So be prepared to edit captioned text.
3. Captions should be stacked no higher than two lines.
4. Captions should use upper and lower case letters (aka sentence case copy). Title case, which capitalizes the first letter of each word, can impair readability.
5. Captions should be in a box with a black background
6. Use a white sans serif font
7. When multiple voices are part of the video, identify the speaker with their name in parentheses before the captioned text.
The last word: Use ASR
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) has come a long way and current ASR tools can transcribe many forms of audio content into written language. Just be prepared to proofread the text.
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