Businesses seeking to reach a wider audience with their marketing should understand that incorporating video content is essential. Many statistics show how important videos can be to a marketing campaign. 

According to a study, video content will make up 82% of internet traffic in 2022. This statistic and many others show how often global citizens watch videos. Social media plays a crucial role in this, with multiple platforms allowing individuals and companies to post visuals to wide-reaching audiences. 

However, for businesses who want to be ahead of the competition, it doesn’t stop at just posting video content. Such visuals need to be optimized and of the highest quality. 

While visual marketing content should meet standard SEO requirements, subtitling is another criterion many businesses seem to overlook. These companies don’t see the need for subtitles, while others don’t even think about adding them.

However, having subtitles in your video content is essential for a successful visual marketing campaign. This article discusses five reasons subtitles are a must for your visual marketing and the numerous benefits. 

How do subtitles differ from captions?

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There is often some confusion about subtitles and captions because people believe they mean the same thing. However, they are different. 

Subtitles show the speech in videos. Thus, people who don’t speak or understand a video’s language find it useful as the dialogue gets translated into their dialect. 

On the other hand, captions transcribe the words said and additional sounds in a video. Additional sounds may include music, laughter, and other noises that help viewers understand the occurrences in the video. 

While subtitles aid people who don’t understand the video’s language, captions are mainly for those with hearing impairments. Also, people who don’t want to listen to a video because they are in a noisy place or for any other reason find captions useful. 

Why you should use subtitles in your visual marketing

Knowing what subtitles are, it is easier to see why they are essential for video marketing. Here are five reasons you should use them:

  • It makes your videos more accessible

Data from the World Health Organization shows that over 5% of the world’s population – or 430 million people – require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss. The WHO also estimates that over 700 million people will have disabling hearing loss by 2050.

Such statistics show that having videos without subtitles prevents a significant part of the global population from understanding it. However, more people will access your content and benefit from it with subtitles and captions.

A company that incorporates subtitles and captions into its visual marketing portrays itself as an inclusive and accessible brand. This gives further credence to the vital role subtitles play. 

  • Some consumers prefer videos without sounds

A 2019 report revealed that  69% of consumers prefer watching videos without sounds in public. 25% of consumers like watching videos without sound in private while 80% of the consumers prefer visuals with captions. 

Such data shows that most consumers prefer subtitles. Hence, businesses that incorporate them into their visual marketing strategy are more likely to satisfy their customers or target audience. 

  • It makes consumers understand the video better

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Studies show that viewers understand videos better when they have subtitles. People have different learning abilities. Some people prefer seeing things while others like hearing them. Thus, having your videos with subtitles satisfies both sides of the divide.

However, if a video is without subtitles, those who like them will not watch it. This means companies without subtitled videos will reach fewer potential target audiences than when they include them. 

With subtitles, businesses can make their visual messages more meaningful and have a more significant impact. Hence, it is easier to convince people to buy a product or subscribe to a service when they understand what you are offering or selling.

  • It allows businesses to engage customers in their language

Companies that care about their customers’ needs should strive to communicate with them in a language they can understand. One of the ways they can do that is by incorporating subtitles into their visual marketing. 

There are over 7,100 languages in the world. Therefore, if you have a video projected to reach many parts of the world, it is only ideal to include translated subtitles. By doing that, you ensure those watching the video understand it in their local language.

To ensure more success with this strategy, companies should take the necessary steps to know more details about their customers. These include learning about their locations and the languages they speak.

With such data, you’ll make more personalized videos. This increases customer engagement and retention and helps companies reach a wider audience with their marketing.

  • Subtitles boost search engine rankings

When businesses add subtitles to their videos, it improves their SEO rankings through various means. If your videos are engaging and people watch them to the end, it boosts your search engine rankings. 

There are several ways subtitles benefit your SEO strategy. These include:

  • It makes videos readable for Google: When you add SRT or VTT format subtitles to your videos, they help Google pick your content’s relevant keywords, boosting video traffic. 
  • It improves user engagement: Subtitles increase a video’s impact significantly. Thus, there are more views, longer viewing times, etc. Google reviews these metrics and will rank videos with increased user engagement higher than those without. 
  • It boosts on-page ranking: When you add a subtitle to your website videos, Google reads semantic elements because it can study the video’s speech via readable text. In addition, people with comprehension issues have better access to the video.

That way, the video has an increased chance of ranking high in search engine results. You can also convert the visual subtitles into several blog posts, which can be beneficial. 

SEO-focused content also increases external link opportunities and enhances consistency, improves user experience, and promotes the consistency and semantic density of your pages. For example, you can add a video to a post with a highly requested keyword to increase the semantic power.

How to effectively create subtitles for your videos


You can create subtitles via several methods. These include:

  • The manual method

Several software packages allow you to type in your video translations manually. In addition, you can lock these translations to specific time codes. However, this method is time-consuming and may require you to learn the interface and workings of the software. 

  • Outsource subtitles creation

If creating video subtitles manually is time-consuming, you can outsource it to professional transcribers or agencies. However, though efficient and time-saving, this method may be expensive. The expense may vary depending on the video length and the subtitle language. 

  • Using software

For a subtitle process that is time-efficient and inexpensive, it is best to use subtitling software. YouTube can produce subtitles automatically for videos, but it is not always accurate, causing confusion among viewers. 

However, subtitling software automatically generates subtitles for you. For instance, the Happy Scribe transcription tool is easy to use and you can have videos subtitled using these steps:

  • Upload the video files or URL from YouTube, Vimeo, Drive, etc. 
  • Select the subtitle language you prefer
  • Select “Machine Generated”
  • After a few minutes, the video is ready. You can access your subtitled video and review it.
  • Click “Export” and choose a preferred subtitle format
  • You can now publish the subtitled video

Other incredible features include:

  • Ability to format and hardcode subtitles
  • CPL management, which allows for subtitle customization
  • Automatically translate subtitles into multiple languages

Other things you should consider

Businesses should not just be concerned about subtitling their videos but take the necessary steps to ensure they are of the highest quality possible. Here are some considerations you should make before publishing a subtitled video.

  • Ensure its word speed is appropriate

It won’t make sense if people viewing your video have to read too fast or pause to read the subtitles. Also, the subtitle speed should not be too slow; else they will get bored.

To avoid these constraints, set the subtitles speed at 160-180 words per minute, which is an adult’s average reading speed. This word limit can be higher or lower depending on the number of characters. 

  • The subtitles should not distract viewers

A subtitle should aid understanding and not inhibit the viewer’s experience. Therefore, it is best to limit the length of the subtitles to two lines and place it in the middle of the bottom part of the screen to avoid blocking the view. 

  • Add descriptions if necessary

If a video contains additional action like people screaming, laughing, etc., you may add them in square brackets [ ] if you deem it necessary. Such descriptions help people with hearing disabilities to understand the video better and portray you as an inclusive brand.


Subtitles should be an essential feature of your visual marketing as they are an essential aspect of a video. This article discussed five reasons you should include subtitles in videos. 

These include making them more accessible, consumer preferences, better understanding, customer engagement, and boosting SEO rankings. It also covered how to effectively create subtitles for videos and thighs to consider to improve customer experience.

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Author Bio:
Lydia Iseh is a writer with years of experience in writing SEO content that provides value to the reader. As someone who believes in the power of SEO to transform businesses, she enjoys being part of the process that helps websites rank high on search engines.