It used to be that when we made a video the audio element would be all important, often more important than images. Understandably you may think of film and video as a visual experience but you really can’t underestimate a great soundtrack – a mix of dialogue, atmosphere and/or effects and music. Often used to drive the narrative and produce emphasis, texture and direction.
Not so anymore, at least not in branded content and online video. How often have you caught yourself stopping on your Facebook feed to read subtitles? More than a few times in the last few days I should imagine.
You are forced to make a committed decision to turn the sound on when watching videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. According to Digiday 85% of all video views on Facebook take place with the sound turned off.
So what does this mean for us content creators? Well, if we want anyone to take notice of our content we need excellent visual cues, a thumbstopper, to entice viewers to watch past the magic 3 second mark and then reel them in with subtitles or closed captions and get them, well, reading!
Recent studies by Discovery Digital Networks and Safenet have proven the added value of using subtitles on branded and online content by seeing increased video views, improved SEO, improving traffic and ROI. You can read more on this and see the hard stats here
This hotels.com ad was one of the first to make use of subtitles to highlight the fact that the viewer isn’t actually listening to the audio content they are watching it. Clever uses of subtitles like this really hammer home the message that you can’t rely on audio content anymore to get your message heard.
Here’s another silent success story, food, mmmm food, none of us can resist the taste and smell of freshly cooked food conjured up by the wizards behind Facebook food channels such as Tasty. We can easily watch and digest (literally) these films whilst mobile – hooked in by the lure of great food – we happily watch to the end and don’t need audio, although there is always a quirky soundtrack if you need it.
Here at HTF Media we are no strangers to subtitling, all our content is subtitled as standard and these days its definitely wise to think about hardcoding subs if your footage is to be staged on Facebook or Twitter.
We are more than happy to help you think of inventive ways to use subtitles, drop us a line using the contact form here