Video content is a key aspect of modern marketing. It can help you stand out from the competition and keep your audience engaged with what’s happening in an ever-changing world, so it would be wise for any business to invest time into producing high-quality videos!
Audio adds the finishing touch to a video, and with almost 85% of viewers consuming media without sound, it’s important for you as a marketer or creator (or both!) to ensure that your content is being seen.
Adding captions will increase engagement time even if people do not have their speakers on to make some noise themselves! The text that appears on the screen while the video is playing, boosts the engagement capability of the video, which improves its marketing capacity, in turn.
Reasons for adding captions to your videos
- Drive SEO: Captions can be very helpful in improving the search ranking of your video. Search engines can easily index the transcript of the video. That will eventually result in a higher search ranking for your video.
- Boost Engagement: Your audience can watch the videos with the sound turned off because of the captions. Captions improve the watch time and the engagement of your videos.
- Increase Accessibility: Captions make your content more accessible and inclusive. Your content can be consumed by people suffering from hearing impairment and non-native audiences.
What is the difference Between Open and Closed Captions?
Open captions are hardcoded in video and always visible. On the other hand, the user can turn off the closed caption while watching the video. While captions help you boost your marketing efforts and improve the engagement of your video content, you must choose the right type of captions for the best results.
Let’s dive deeper and understand the difference between open captions vs closed captions.
What is an open Caption?
The open captions are permanently visible on the video and cannot be turned off. In technical terms, they are burnt into the videos, and the viewers don’t have to press a button or choose an option to see them.
When should you use Open Captions?
- The video hosting services don’t support the closed caption option.
- You wish to market your products in a new geographical region where people speak a different language.
- You don’t want to depend on the technical abilities of your audiences to display the captions.
- You want to show facts, numbers, places, and other such hard-to-remember or understand data.
Benefits of using Open Captions
- Open captions are extremely easy to use, as the viewers do not have to enable them. They are visible by default.
- The open captions also do not rely on the functionalities of media players or hosting websites to get displayed.
- They are perfect for hosting websites and countries where the closed caption option is not available.
- Finally, you “yourself” can decide the text size, color, style, and ratio to the screen size.
It allows you to test various options before finalizing the one that offers the best viewing experience.
However, the open captions have some limitations – the viewers cannot switch them off if they do not wish to see them.
Also, the quality of the text displayed in the captions varies with the streaming quality of the video.
- Choosing the right text color is important.
- Opt for a reasonable font size that is visible without straining the eyes.
- Keep them as precise as possible.
- Do not make too wordy captions that consume a lot of display space and make it hard for the viewers to see the video.
- Use simple and precise language to make them as effective and comprehensible as possible.
What is a Closed Caption?
Closed captions are subtitles intended for people who are hearing impaired or deaf. The captions can be opened up at any time, depending on your preference, and they will stay hidden until the user needs them!
Closed captions are more popular as compared to open captions and are used by major broadcasters and video hosting websites, such as Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook.
Usually, the [CC] symbol is used to represent them, and it comes as a toggle input option, where pressing it once will turn the captions ON, and pressing it again will turn them OFF.
When should you use Closed Captions?
- You want to provide your viewers with an option to see the videos with captions
- You are focusing on regional content marketing
- You are planning to give an option to the far-flung users to understand your videos in a better manner
- Specific types of videos, such as cooking videos, movies, entertainment videos, etc
Benefits of using Closed Captions
- These captions offer flexibility as the viewers can turn them ON or OFF as per their wishes
- They can be edited easily as they are uploaded as a separate file
- The text quality is always crisp and clear
- You can create them for a large group by creating them in a range of file formats
Limitations of Closed Caption
- YouTube, Facebook have subtitles but Some platforms, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and IGTV, don’t have closed caption support.
- By default, closed captions are off. The user requires to enable the feature to view the caption on the screen.
- You cannot control the styling & the position of your closed captions. It looks different depending on the platform.
- Their visibility and accessibility depend on the technical expertise of the viewers.
Open Captions vs Closed Captions: How to Make the Right Choice?
If you are planning to make your video content accessible as well as flexible, you have to make the captions available to your viewers.
While both types of captions can help you to achieve the goal, the final decision depends on various factors such as:
- The type of media player or streaming platform you are using
- The technological expertise of your targeted audience
- Caption editing requirements
So we recommend considering these factors while choosing to get the best results from each one of your video marketing efforts.