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Why You Should Be Captioning Your Videos (How-To Guide)

Closed Captioning Is a Must!

Videos are so much more powerful when they are accompanied by closed captions! Why? Just think about the last time you were watching a video on silent mode on Facebook or any other platform. Did it have captions? Would you have scrolled away if it didn't?

85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound and it makes complete sense. People don't want to bother and distract others while watching a video with sound in public or in a quiet space and we don't always carry headphones with us. So closed captions is a great way to still capture those views and make sure it's accessible for everyone!

Captions: Do-It-Yourself

There are different ways to caption a video, for example you can Do-It-Yourself and go through a lengthy process of transcribing everything that is being said and time it out to match the video. This option is available on platforms like YouTube and Facebook that have a "Subtitle and CC" option. You can not just upload a .doc or .pdf file and have that be your closed captions. Closed captions need to be in a specific format, SubRip also known as an .SRT file, to work properly which is why you need to use a specific software to create them.

Facebook gives you the option to write your own captions to a video you upload to their site. It also gives you the option to auto-generate or upload your own .SRT file.

Captioning on Facebook

While this is a free option, it can often be very time consuming, especially if you have a long video. The other downside is that depending on the platform that you use, like Facebook, it will not give you the option to download your captions to use on other platforms.On the upside, YouTube does give you the option to download the .SRT file if you were to write-out your captions there.

Auto-Generate Captions

Another option for captioning your videos is to choose Auto-Generate Captions. This is where automating systems decipher what is being said on video after you choose which language is being spoken.

Captioning on YouTube

Here is what the interface looks like on YouTube after it has auto-generated captions. You can choose to edit them and then publish it with your video.

This option offers a few pro's and con's as well. It is quicker than the do-it-yourself option, but it does require time to review the auto-generated captions because most of the time, the captions that are auto-generated can completely misinterpret sentences, especially from people who are not speaking clearly or have an accent.

The editing option on YouTube is very user-friendly. The layout, as shown above, let's you play the video as you read the captions and if you need to edit, it will pause as you type.

But, what if you just don't have the time or patience to deal with these options? Well there's a third option, have a pro do it!

Professional Captioning Services

If you're not making the video yourself, why would you want to caption it yourself? There are several services that offer captioning and while some of them still require reviewing and editing, they tend to be more on top of it.

When you request a video from The Bear's Den Video Services, you can also add on Captions and Transcripts and be assured that they will be correct every time, no editing required. It's hassle-free and extremely useful to get your message across to your entire audience!

We will deliver an .SRT file that will work for you on every platform, along with a .pdf or .doc transcript for just $50. No matter the length of your video, how many people are speaking, if it's scripted or not, it's a flat fee of $50!

How Can I Implement It?

Don't worry, it's easy to add to any platform you choose. Here is a quick breakdown on how to incorporate captions to your video on Facebook, YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo, and as a self-containing video.


Captioning on Facebook

After you've uploaded the video, go to Edit Video, on the right column select Subtitles & Captions (CC), Select the Language, and then upload the .SRT file, and click Save.


After you've uploaded your video, go to Creator Studio, select Videos, and choose the video you want to add captions to. On the top right, select Subtitles/CC. Then, select the language and upload your .SRT file. Don't forget to click Save.


After you've uploaded your video, go to Video Actions, select Customize, and at the bottom you will see the option to upload your captions. Then, select Save.


Vimeo Captions

After you've uploaded your video, go to Settings, select Advanced, and at the top you will see the option to upload your captions. Finally, click Save.


Lastly, if you want your video to have captions on a video player without streaming it online, here is a simple way to do it. Make a folder that contains your video file and your caption file (.srt file).

If you don't already have the VLC media player, you'll want to download it for free.

Open the VLC player with your video. Go to Subtitles on the top menu bar, and click on Add Subtitle File.

And just like that, your video will have subtitles! VLC also offers other options to change the subtitle text size and color if you wish to change that.

Thank you for reading this guide to subtitles! I hope it was useful and has given you the information you need to use closed captioning to further your reach with your video marketing!

If you're interested in getting captions made for your video and/or want a new video created for your company, let us know by clicking here!

We will be happy to give you a quote and help you get your next video project going!


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