You’ve just spent weeks filming and editing your latest video masterpiece. It’s time to share it with the world. The hard work is over. There is nothing left to do.

Right?

Wrong! Categorically the opposite.

In today’s global, social-media driven world, adding subtitles to your work is perhaps the most important step towards increasing your viewership. In fact, internal tests by Facebook show that captioned video ads increase viewing time by an average of 12%. But why?

Let’s look at the 4 reasons why creating subtitles increase viewership and why you should add them to every video you make and wish to share.

SILENT WATCHING IS THE MOBILE-FEED NORM

A whopping 85% percent of videos on Facebook are viewed without sound. Hands up! You’re guilty too, right?

And this is just one social media platform.

Whilst other networks, such as Snapchat and YouTube, claim to have a much lower percentage of silent viewerships, research still reveals that in mobile-feed environments, people prefer to have the choice of opting out of sound. In fact, according to Facebook research, 80% of people reacted negatively to videos playing loudly when they weren’t expecting it.

Ensuring your video story doesn’t require sound to communicate your message is therefore essential if you expect it to ever appear on Facebook and other social media platforms.

With over 100 million hours of video being watched on Facebook each day, it is essential to create videos that work with or without sound. Giving your viewers choice about how they interact with your message, whether they can actually hear it or not, is essential to driving up your audience numbers.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE SPEAKERS ARE WATCHING TOO

There is no doubt that we are living in an increasingly globalized world. It is highly probable that your English language video is being consumed by individuals from as many as 119 different languages. Or more.

Take YouTube as one platform example. A surprising 60% of YouTube’s 1 billion monthly viewers are from non-native English speakers.

If you want to increase your viewership, you need to include secondary language subtitles to your videos. Doing so optimizes your content for a global audience.

Adding secondary language YouTube subtitles also improves your discoverability as they are indexed. A double win for increasing viewership.

CAPTIONS IMPROVE SEO

Search engines need text to crawl through. They can’t view a video.

So, if your video just has a title and description, key word searches can only hone in on those few words. However, if you add a variety of subtitle types, like transcripts and closed captioning, it will have vastly more content to draw from and index accordingly.

This not only increases search traffic, but will give you higher rankings due to more diverse keywords.

Both will ultimately increase viewership.

OVER 50 MILLION EUROPEANS ARE DEAF OR HEARING IMPAIRED

The European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) estimates that 1 in 10 individuals are either hard of hearing or deaf within the European Union.

That’s close to 51 million people. A huge target audience. Too huge to ignore.

Adding subtitles to your video content helps ensure that you can at least engage with this important market. It just makes smart business sense.

CREATING SUBTITLES IS ESSENTIAL FOR VIDEO VIEWERSHIP

With some estimates suggesting that over 24,000 days worth of videos are uploaded to the internet daily, getting yours to the top of the viewing pile is an increasingly difficult challenge.

However, by adding subtitles to your work, you will at least increase your chance of viewership.

Next week, we will discuss the different ways to generate subtitles from audio and help you choose the option that’s best suited to your audience and needs.