How Video Captioning Tools Benefit Sales and Marketing Teams

By Josh Miller, Co-CEO and Co-founder, 3Play Media

Content is undoubtedly king in today’s marketing world and video has emerged as a leg in every content marketing strategy. As popular as video was as a marketing channel before the pandemic, idle time at home during quarantines greatly accelerated the amount of video people watch.

And, even with budgets shrinking in some instances, marketing and sales have benefited from the explosive growth of video by using it to engage people and create a more personal connection during difficult times.. According to Wyzowl Research, more than nine out of 10 marketers say video is an important part of their marketing strategy and nearly 80 percent feel that video has a direct – and positive – impact on sales.

Now that the genie is out of the bottle, don’t expect video to take a backseat as a strategic tool to reach buyers anytime soon. Before the pandemic, buyers were already moving away from the high-volume sales activities and becoming increasingly reliant on digital content: online reviews, customer testimonials, and, of course, video.

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As video becomes even more pervasive, accessibility has become a hot button topic for companies – and a differentiator for those that do it well. Legislation is forcing the hand of every company that uses video to make it accessible to those with hearing or vision loss; however, the post-pandemic working world has become more aware and inclusive, and many companies are looking for opportunities to make a social impact.

As marketers and sales leaders embrace accessibility, here are five ways it supports revenue-generating efforts:

  1. Transcription and captioning boosts SEO. Transcripts reveal a number of new keywords, improve user’s ability to navigate topics within the video, and are a great starting point for creating derivative content such as blogs and white papers. But not all captions are created equal, and inaccurate, low-quality captions – which often don’t meet the stringent legislation policing companies – can significantly damage video SEO. By making video accessible to broader audiences, companies can boost traffic to their site. The radio show This American Life (TAL) saw this first hand when they transcribed their entire audio archive and posted transcripts online. They found that 6.26% of all unique visitors who came from search traffic landed on a transcript page. Thus, adding audio transcripts increased overall inbound traffic.
  1. Making accessibility a priority improves personalization efforts. With personalization emerging as a critical strategy to reach and engage audiences, why would companies want to sacrifice effectively communicating to a big percentage of the population? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over five percent of the world’s population has disabling hearing loss – that’s 360 million people globally. The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) reports 3.5 percent of the world’s population suffers from vision impairment. Together, that’s more than 600 million people that rely on digital accessibility. That goes far beyond just website design: it also includes emails, bots, and podcasts. This is an opportunity for every marketer to make a social impact. Create and publish an accessibility statement and encourage feedback. Doing so, will drive up engagement – and loyalty from a long-suffering audience that is only now becoming a priority.
  1. Captions improve brand recall, verbal memory, behavioral intent, and enhance the viewing experience overall. Captioning, and transcription, provide a greater connection to a brand for those who are hard of hearing. Audio description – the process of describing the action on the screen for those who are visually impaired – makes video even more accessible, providing an indelible experience for the customer. Facebook found that captions increased video viewership by 12 percent. We’ve seen the impact of captions measured in the classroom. Nearly 40 percent of students use interactive transcripts to help with information retention, which leads to enhanced recall of content. When it comes to your brand, captions can provide the same impact – but in this case information retention can turn brand recall, and eventually increase sales.
  1. Raises brand awareness. Brands that utilize video have seen 200-300% more click-throughs in marketing emails, 80% more conversions on landing pages, and a 54% increase in brand awareness. Podcasts have emerged as a tool for marketers to engage audiences and, when done well, increase brand awareness. By having a transcript accompany a podcast, not only does it make that content more accessible, but it makes the life of public relations’ professionals easier by increasing the chances of getting quoted in a tweet, blog, or article, which improves page authority and SEO. Transcripts make content searchable and indexable, so people can easily find and share content. Providing a podcast transcript makes podcast episodes more shareable, quotable, and citable.
  1. With the sound off, captions increase the effectiveness of ads. The importance of captions for videos is growing because people are turning the sound off on their devices. 92% of consumers watch videos on mobile and 83% on desktops with the sound off. Whether it’s because they are at work, don’t have headphones, or in a busy place where audio would be a disruption, people are turning off the volume – regardless of whether or not they are hearing impaired. Of course, watching videos with the sound on is ideal. However, many environments and situations prevent viewers from turning the volume up. Captions make video ads more accessible to audiences in these environments.

The cries for better accessibility are only going to grow louder, both from legislators who are trying to ensure greater equality among people as well as those who benefit from accessibility themselves who have now seen brands that have prioritized accessibility over those who haven’t. Those marketers taking the steps now to proactively leverage captioning and transcription will inevitably drive more ROI from their video and create a loyal customer base that will reward them for being forward thinking.

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