Adding subtitles or 'captions' to a video is a common query we receive at VideoMyJob. There are a few reasons to add captions to your video:
- Deaf or hearing-impaired viewers
- Viewers on platforms that auto-play content muted
- Viewers watching with their device audio off
There are two ways to include captions or subtitles in your videos:
1. Video Player Closed Captions
YouTube and Facebook (among other video players) support Closed Captions which overlay at 'video player' level - you may find these marked with 'cc' as shown below:
Alternative video players or mobile video players may have it under a settings cog with an option 'Closed Captions' or 'Subtitles'
Note on closed caption visibility:
- YouTube & LinkedIn - Don't allow you to force closed captions on viewers; there is no solution for this (there was one on YouTube, but it's been disabled) and they will only be visible if viewers have closed captions turned on.
- Facebook - People who watch your Page's video with sound turned off will automatically see captions. People who watch your video with sound turned on will need to turn on captions to see them.
- Solution: You could consider adding a quick caption at the start of your video asking viewers to turn on their closed captions.
These subtitles are automatically generated by YouTube and Facebook! Sometimes they don't occur immediately, or sometimes they won't work intermittently or for non-public content, so follow the YouTube's guide here or Facebook's guide here to make sure your page or channel supports them.
Pro Tip: Did you know you can modify the captions? Facebook and YouTube's video managers let you correct spelling mistakes or timing if required.
Closed captions are our recommended method of adding subtitles to your videos and may meet your accessibility requirements (please check your local accessibility policies as they may vary.)
2. Overlay text encoded within the video file
This is when the video file has the captions 'baked' into the video footage and cannot be turned off. This is a time consuming method of including all text as caption overlays and we do not recommend this for the videos made on our platform, see an example below:
This will commonly have a black backing and be in a larger font. For the accessibility users, it can conflict with their closed caption settings.
These videos have a major advantage of possibly engaging a passive user watching the video on mute, however platforms are becoming smarter and identifying users watching without sound and are initiating the closed captions.
'Video player closed captions' should work for all your current videos and if they aren't, you should check your settings. LinkedIn native videos are still maturing and may not fully support auto-captions (they don't at the time of writing this article).
If you speak and articulate clearly, the auto-captions are a fantastic way to engage users without sound.
If you're concerned they aren't enough to reach into silent video playing viewers minds, you will need to manually encode all the captions into the video file, which can be time consuming but may bring higher engagement for your content