Why You Need to Use YouTube Video Captions and Transcripts

Recently, YouTube had to discontinue viewer-submitted captions, leaving creators to write their own captions or use YouTube’s automatic captioning. The latter tends to produce low-quality captions, senseless and sometimes offensive. Creators have the other option of adding video transcripts that can be read all in one document. You may be wondering whether or not to go ahead and add captions or transcripts to your YouTube videos. Here is how video captions and transcripts can help you grow your YouTube channel:

1. To Reach the Universal Standard for Accessibility

According to the World Health Organization, over 1.5 billion people across the globe are either deaf or have a hearing impairment. You should make your YouTube videos inclusive to reach this audience. Captions or transcripts will ensure every individual with a hearing disability can consume your content and contribute to your watch hours, subscriber count and overall engagement.

If you represent a public institution or your videos are meant for use by a public institution, you have no option but to include captions or transcripts in your YouTube videos. It is stipulated in the law of many countries that video content from public institutions should be captioned to reach the standard measure of accessibility. Even for viewers who do not have a challenge hearing, video captions are helpful when they want to watch muted videos. For example, when they are using public transportation and don’t want to disturb other passengers, or when they are in a volume-sensitive office and can’t use earphones. In such cases, your viewers will find captions really helpful.

2. For SEO Benefits And Future Improvements

Most highly successful YouTube channels use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for each video uploaded. Optimizing your videos will make them stand out from all other videos with similar content. Search engines like Google will go through your captions or transcript to understand what your video is about and recommend it to people searching for similar content. When you have generated a suitable video transcript, paste it on the video description field (if the video is less than 8 minutes).

If you have a long video, pick the best keywords and key phrases from your transcript, compile and paste them on the description field. The same keywords can be used as tags. Generating video transcriptions will save you time and effort that usually goes into keyword mining, which is essential for SEO. A transcript will also help you see where you can implement better wording in future videos. If a particular video performs well, you can use the transcript as a template for producing future videos. You can even decide to turn your transcript into a blog.

3. To Make Your Channel More Education-Friendly

Several times, it has been proven that captioning educational videos help students learn more. This is simply because some people retain information better if they read it rather than listen to it. If your channel caters to an audience comprised majorly of students, you should consider adding captions or a transcript to each video you upload.

Also, if your channel offers valuable, practical content with every video, adding captions will help your viewers keep up with all the knowledge you will pour on them. For example, if you are making a video on ‘Converting Fractions to Percentages,’ you should add captions or a transcript to ensure your viewers follow the explanation step by step. If you run a YouTube channel that talks about controversial topics like politics, civil rights, climate change, or mental health issues, you may want to make sure your message is communicated correctly.

Otherwise, anyone can incorrectly repeat the words you said and you may end up being misunderstood and ‘cancelled’ by the public over something you didn’t even say. When discussing sensitive issues or stating facts, video captions or transcripts will ensure you communicate only what you wish to say and someone can simply quote you directly if they want to repeat your message.

Overall, each video must have a good engagement for a successful YouTube channel. Adding captions will help you achieve this by increasing watch time and making your videos more accessible. Hiring a company that offers a reliable YouTube transcription service can save you a lot of time. You can use your free time to focus on making more videos and building your channel.

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