3 Very Convincing Reasons to Use Captions in Your Corporate Videos
You’ve got some great corporate videos. They’re well produced and beautifully shot, but they’re not having the impact that you want them to have on your employees.
One of the solutions to this problem is to add captions to your corporate videos. There are many reasons to do so, including higher engagement and better visibility. Today we’re going to break down three reasons to use captions on your video.
As you know, the name of the game is viewability, and captions go a long way towards helping your videos get viewed in their entirety, as well as helping employees to better understand your message.
These three reasons to use captions in your videos will show you what you’re missing out on by leaving them out, and will show you ways of implementing them to hold your audience’s attention.
1. You’ll reinforce your message when you caption video
Your video has a message. Whether it is a company communication or a training video, the goal of any video is to convey a message clearly and effectively. Using captions can help you to reinforce your message by having people hear and read at the same time.
Not everyone listens at the same rate, and attention spans vary from viewer to viewer. This in-depth paper by Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher demonstrates how captions help to reinforce your message. According to the paper:
MORE THAN 100 EMPIRICAL STUDIES DOCUMENT THAT CAPTIONING A VIDEO IMPROVES COMPREHENSION OF, ATTENTION TO, AND MEMORY FOR THE VIDEO.
The paper goes on to describe how viewers were better able to summarize the main ideas of a captioned video, were better able to remember facts, and were more adept at drawing inferences from the video.
Gernsbacher cites studies in which even highly literate adults who see TV commercials with captions are better able to remember brand names, and highly literate college students remember course content better when video lessons are captioned.
It’s a very small addition to your production that can have a massive impact.
2. You can use captions to hook your viewers in immediately
According to Matt Cutler of Visible Measures, 20% of your audience is lost in the first 10 seconds. Ouch. That hurts. These numbers actually decrease with time viewed, but what we want to look at here is holding the interest of the viewers that are most likely to abandon the video quickly. Here’s one way.
One of my biggest inspirations is a Hollywood director called Billy Wilder. He wrote and directed more than 80 movies in his day, and his 10 rules of writing still hold up as inspiration for many writers.
Number 2 of those rules is “Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.” How can you use captions to grab viewers’ attention? One of the ways is by presenting a question that they want answered in a caption as soon as the video starts.
The image below is of the first three seconds of a video by Mental Floss on Facebook. They’ve very cleverly asked a question, and they’re going to proceed to answer that question. This is a great way of motivating viewers to keep going.
Now that they’ve got your attention, they’ll have to keep going in order to hold it!
3. Captions improve overall engagement
Like any content, you want your audience to continue watching all the way through to the end. One of the ways that we enhance content to ensure that viewers get through to the end is by using visual cues.
Visual cues hold the attention of the viewer and propel them through the content.
In this context a visual cue could be an image placed in a timely manner in a video that is primarily of a person speaking. Adding this image breaks up the monotony of the video and keeps the viewers’ attention.
You might also use a fast edit style in an effort to make the content more entertaining, and to increase the energy of your video.
Captions are one more way of introducing visual cues, and an excellent method of increasing engagement. Not only does a captioned video allow users to view your videos without sound, but it will also aid in keeping them watching regardless of their access to sound.
As early as 2009, PLYmedia had conducted studies that show that 80% more people will watch a video all the way through if it contains captions. And more recently, Facebook found that view time for videos increased by a mouthwatering 12% when captions were included, with one client seeing an increase of 25% watch time.
It’s a simple thing to do, and a great way to make sure that your viewers see everything you need them to see by using well-placed captions as visual cues.
Get in on the caption!
There are more reasons than these to use captions, and we’ll save them for another day. The point we’re making above is that you’re missing out on a great opportunity to better engage your viewers if you’re not using captions.
They’re a simple way to make sure your message is on point, and a great method of making sure that your viewers are getting the most out of your video.