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Closed Captioning YouTube Videos: 2020 Guide

YouTube attracts up to half of the entire world's internet users. It's the second-largest search engine and one of the biggest online video streaming platforms to ever exist. 

You have a YouTube channel. You're continually investing in it and trying to improve, and rightfully so. However, no matter how hard you try - something's not adding up. Your growth stagnated. You plateaued. You can't help but wonder what could have caused this. 

Did you know that over 50% of YouTube views come from mobile devices? That means half of your views come from mobile devices, as well. This fact is crucial in understanding why you're not growing as well as you should be. Now is the time to stop and think, "are my videos optimized and accessible for mobile viewing?". Another question you might ask is, "what on Earth does this all have to do with closed captioning?". Don't worry; you'll learn the answer soon enough. 

In this blog post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about closed captioning and transcribing your videos. We'll also give you a "step-by-step" guide to adding closed captions to your videos.


 What Are Captions?

Captions (and subtitles) are text overlays on videos. They usually represent translations from one language to another, or they are simply the same language representations of the video's content. 

What Are Closed Captions?

As we've mentioned, captions are a narration of your video's script - including sound effects or music you have playing within the video. Closed captions give the viewers a choice of whether or not they want to see them. If they're not interested in viewing your content with captions on, they can turn them off with the click of a mouse or a tap of a screen.  


Why Are Closed Captions So Important?


They Accommodate People With Disabilities

Over 5% of the world's population has disabling hearing loss, and a lot more suffer from hearing loss to some degree. Without closed captioning, you're leaving out 5% of the world's population - and they like video content, too, you know. For them, having closed captioning makes all the difference. What it all means is that with closed captioning, you're increasing your reach and impact.


They Can Help You Reach Even More People.

Some of your viewers may not speak your language. Adding subtitles and closed captions can help people understand you better, whether it's in your native tongue or another language altogether. Alternatively, some of your viewers are in an environment where they can't watch your video with the audio turned on. In this case, having closed captions can allow them to watch your video nonetheless.

It's Amazing For SEO

It's no secret that search engine bots are looking for information wherever they can find it. Therefore, when you upload a captioned/transcribed video, you're giving the search engine algorithms even more details about your video's context and content. Even better - you're giving them information in text form - a form they can understand correctly. When you infuse your script with keywords and caption your videos, you're optimizing your video for search engine discoverability. Better discoverability means more potential viewers and subscribers, which means more success for you.



How To Add Closed Captions To Your Videos: Step By Step


Automatic Closed Captions:

  1. Log in to your channel and open your video manager through the Creator's Studio.
  2. Find the video you want to caption to and click the drop-down menu (the little arrow right next to "Edit"). 
  3. Click on "Subtitles and CC" 
  4. When you click on "Add new subtitles or CC," a search bar will appear. Type in the language you want to CC your Video. 
  5. The caption editor will then appear. You'll need to go over the captions and find any errors so you could fix them. 
  6. Click on "Publish" once you're done editing the captions. 

Closed Captions from a transcript:

If you already scripted out your video, creating a transcript file is the most natural thing for you to do.


To transcribe your videos directly on YouTube's platform, all you have to do is:

  1. Log in to your channel and open your video manager through the Creator's Studio.
  2. Find the video you want to caption to and click the drop-down menu (the little arrow right next to "Edit"). 
  3. Click on "Subtitles and CC" 
  4. When you click on "Add new subtitles or CC," a search bar will appear. Type in the language you want to CC your Video. 
  5. Now, select Transcribe and Set Timings. 
  6. In the text box, start transcribing your video according to the audio you hear. Whenever you type, your video pauses to let you finish. Since you're creating closed captions, don't forget to add background noises and sounds into the transcription. 
  7. After you finish typing, click on "set timings" to auto-sync your transcript to the video. 


What Are "Community Contributions?"

YouTube allows your community to help out and transcribe and translate your videos for you. Once you approve your viewers to contribute captions and translations, you can also manage them by editing, reviewing, rejecting, flagging, and publishing it. 

To enable community contributions on your channel and videos, follow these steps: 

  1. Log into your account and click your channel logo at the top right corner. Select "Creators Studio."
  2. From the options on the left, choose Translations & Transcriptions. 
  3. Click on Community Contributions. 
  4. Select "Turn on for all videos." If you can't find this option, go to Settings and choose "Turn on for all videos" from there.  


Closed Captioning: Best Practices

  • Limit captions to two lines per frame. 
  • They should synchronize with the audio perfectly. 
  • Mention who the speaker is if there's more than one. 
  • Use correct punctuation. 
  • Check for correct spelling and proper grammar. 
  • Add sounds and sounds effects.
  • Identify when a speaker uses slang. 
 


So, there you have it. We explained everything you need to know about closed captioning and how it can help you grow your channel. There are other ways to grow your channel, as well. You can buy YouTube subscribers and YouTube views to increase your social proof on the platform, for example. 


The GetFans team wishes you all a happy, prosperous new year!

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