And He said to them,“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

You have been called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and it’s important that you use the tools available to you to do that in the most effective way possible. One simple, highly effective, and often overlooked tool at your disposal is using closed captions in your video content. Your website and social media are platforms to serve and by carefully considering your visitors’ needs you create the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

But What Are Closed Captions?

Simply put, it’s the text on the bottom of your video that includes the speaker dialogue. Why closed? Because it can be toggled on and off as desired whereas open captions are permanently fixed to the video.

Another term users often confuse with closed captions is subtitling. What’s the difference? Closed captions are transcripted dialogue and subtitles are translated content for those who speak a different language than the speaker in the video.

Why You Should Use Closed Captions And What’s in it For You?

Access for People with Hearing Disabilities

More than 5% of people worldwide suffer from hearing loss – that is approximately 360 million people you have the ability to serve. Due to inaccurate or missing captions most people with hearing disabilities are severely limited in watching online content.

Law requires that public and private businesses ensure that people with hearing loss are not left out or denied any services due to the absence of auxiliary aids. Since The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 the use of closed captions has greatly increased. The accurate captioning of content can have a profound impact on such a great portion of the population for the sake of the Gospel.

A Higher SEO Ranking

Captions cause your video content to rank higher in search results. Google’s spiders also known as Googlebots constantly index pages. Unfortunately, these crawlers can’t understand video or image content. The good news is that with captions Google crawls your content, determines its context and ranks it higher in search results.

The higher you rank, the more your page traffic increases and the more clicks you get to landing pages and other content which increases your conversion rate.

An Enjoyable User Experience

Although 80% of people who use captions are not even deaf or hard of hearing, they prefer captions due to the different environments they’re in. Whether they’re at work, in a busy coffee shop or just not able to listen to the audio, captions provide users the flexibility to watch content whenever and wherever they choose without any limitations.

With more and more video taking over our social media feeds, it’s becoming impossible to stay in touch and up to date without watching video. But it’s not always convenient to play sound aloud. Captions make this possible wherever your viewers are.

Easier For Non-Native Speakers to Understand

Captioning is an excellent resource for non-natives to sharpen their language skills. Watching captioned videos over the spoken audio of native speakers enables users to learn the correct pronunciation, use of words, idioms and slang terms of the English language. Indirectly you’re helping thousands of people sharpen their vocabulary, spelling, syntax as well as other linguistic features.

Average Time Users Spend Online Increases

An unmistakable strategy is to engage your audience’s sense of hearing, listening and seeing to ensure that you stay at the back of their mind. Captioning allows users to both watch, listen and read video content which increases the time spent on your website and lowers your bounce rate.

If you reinforce your content with both audio and text your audience is much more likely to remember your message.

In conclusion captioning video content not only helps you provide easier accessibility to those with hearing loss, it increases your SEO ranking, makes for a greater user experience, helps non-natives learn English, and increases the time your users engage and interact online.

How Do I Add Captions to My Videos?

Type Them Yourself

One option is to type them yourself. As you upload videos to sites like Facebook and YouTube, you can use their built in tools to add captions. They aren’t always the most accurate, so you’ll need to spend some time editing them.

Or you can use editing software like Movavi to type in the captions yourself. You’ll watch the video and type what you hear, which can be tedious and very time consuming… but free.

Have Them Done for You for $1 a Minute

The best option is to use a service like Rev.com. That’s what I use, and it’s simple, extremely accurate, and very affordable. For $1 a minute they’ll transcribe any video or audio file and return the file to you usually within an hour.

For shorter videos you’ll be posting to social media, it’s a no brainer as it will only cost you a few bucks. For longer content, like sermons, it’s still very affordable and completely worth it in my opinion. You’ll not only have the captions to add to the video, but you’ll have a transcription which you can turn into blog posts.

They also do translations into other languages if you need it. Definitely worth the investment.

Want to try Rev out? Grab a $10 coupon here.