Make them read your videos
A while back, we wrote about why audio is the most important part of a video. Well now, we’re doubling down on that notion and taking it one step further. Not only do your viewers need and want to hear your clips, but they also want to read it. Yes, read it.
First of all, If you’re like us, just about any time you create a video, you write a blog post about it. Which is awesome. It’s pretty much a check-the-box scenario for us but we’ve recently started taking it one step further, using the transcript itself from the video to actually write the post. Obviously there is some word-smithing involved, but in some cases, we’ve actually seen the blogs preform even better than the video itself. We’ve distributed the posts on sites like the LinkedIn Pulse and Medium.
The next trend that we’re noticing is bringing back the old fashioned subtitles. You don’t have to go create the a Charlie Chaplin silent film but if you are filming a talking head video and are planning on posting it to Facebook, transcribe it and use the subtitles. Because so many people are watching videos when they are at work, in the waiting room of the Dr.’s office, or (cough, cough) in the bathroom while hiding from a toddler, (go ahead, judge me) they are actually watching the videos “in stream” and not physically turning on the audio. This means that if you have a talking head video, I can almost guarantee they are scrolling past it. That is unless you are using subtitles. Here is an example of a video that we recently posted that used subtitles.
Now it might seem strange seeing it in this format, but when viewed within the Facebook app, it preforms extremely well by comparison to posts without it.
Adding subtitles and transcribing definitely takes a little time and patience if you are doing it by hand, but if you are using a 3rd party or a piece of software like Dragon, it can be incredibly efficient. Just be sure to read it yourself first. You can only imagine some of the auto-correct-like mistakes it comes up with. They might be hilarious, but not if you’re putting together a serious video or post.
The last piece of advice when it comes to transcribing, is to test. When it comes to subtitles on video, try different sizes and fonts to see what people respond to best. With the blog post, natural language can be tricky but extremely powerful so don’t be afraid to leave in some of the grammatically incorrect sections, you have no idea how much that will help with search.