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Video is a powerful marketing tool that engages, educates, and entertains audiences. It’s no wonder 86 percent of businesses leverage video in their marketing strategy. However, for brands with global ambitions, communicating with foreign audiences via video can pose a linguistic challenge. Your Japanese audience might not “get” the punchline of your joke in English, or your Indonesian audience might have a hard time fully grasping the features of your product if they can’t understand the language. That’s where video translation comes into play.
Video translation in the form of subtitles is key to channeling the power of video into growing your global reach. If you want to learn more about subtitle translation, read on. You might be surprised to learn that subtitles can not only expand your international audience but also engage your customers at home. Let’s get started.
What is video translation?
Video translation is the process of adding subtitles to a video in a language other than the one being used by the actors or voiceover. For example, if your video features an employee demonstrating the functionality of your product in English, you might use a translation service to add captions in German. From there, you can distribute your subtitled video in Germany and engage German-speaking audiences.
Where are subtitles most effective?
When you think of subtitles, your mind might immediately conjure images of foreign television shows and movies. However, there are many more instances in which subtitles are effective. In today’s digital age, subtitles can be added to almost any video, such as:
- Videos on social media, including YouTube videos, Instagram Reels and Stories, TikTok videos, and Facebook videos
- Instructional and educational videos published on your website
- Training videos for employees and other eLearning content
- Paid advertisements that use video on social media and other advertising services
What are the advantages of adding subtitles to videos?
Subtitles are equally as effective when used to engage foreign audiences as they are at capturing and holding the attention of local viewers. One survey found that 69 percent of American consumers aged 18 to 54 watch videos without sound when in public places. In addition, 25 percent mute videos when in private. So, even if you don’t have grand plans to grow your brand abroad, it’s still worth investing in high-quality captions.
Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of subtitles.
Reach new audiences
Subtitles help you reach and engage new audiences in several ways:
- With video translation, people who speak other languages can interact with your content. Subtitles are a cost-effective way of repurposing existing video content for overseas audiences.
- Subtitles ensure your video content is accessible to people with deafness and hearing loss, who make up about 5 percent of the world’s total population. For more information, read our article What is Web Accessibility & How to Implement it?
- Subtitles capture the interest of those who prefer to watch videos with no sound, which, as we’ve mentioned, is more than half of people in public spaces.
Stand out, capture attention, and improve engagement
More and more marketers are using video to drive brand awareness, strengthen customer relationships, generate leads, and convert. More than 99 percent of current video marketers will continue using video in the future, with two-thirds planning to maintain or increase their spending. What’s more, 79 percent of marketers who don’t currently use video plan to.
This means consumers will be bombarded with more noise and more clutter, and with more competition in the ring, businesses will have to do more to stand out.
One way to do that is by investing in high-quality, accurate, and authentic captions. Research suggests that as many as eight in 10 consumers are more likely to watch a complete video if captions are available.
Boost search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of tweaking content and the technical aspects of a website to increase the likelihood that a web page will rank highly in search engine results for a target keyword.
Video SEO ensures videos are found by people searching for a relevant query. Subtitles play a crucial role, allowing Google and other search engines to index video content and display it in the search results. Videos that cannot be indexed are essentially invisible to searchers.
Videos with captions can bolster your SEO efforts indirectly, too. Search engines reward pages that deliver relevant content, and one metric they use to determine this is the average time a user spends on the page. Engaging videos with subtitles will encourage visitors to stick around for longer, which then signals to search engines that your content is high-quality and worthy of a top-spot ranking.
Level up your return on investment
Eighty-six percent of video marketers say video is effective in generating leads. In addition, 87 percent report that video delivers a positive return on investment (ROI). By reaching new audiences, standing out from the competition, lifting engagement, and improving your SEO, captions will help you drive sales and raise your bottom line. Ultimately, this results in a higher ROI.
Can you translate videos yourself?
There’s no denying the game-changing power of translated video to supercharge your content and reach global audiences. However, the question begs: Can you do it yourself?
While you can use something like Google Translate to translate your audio transcripts from one language to another, there’s no guarantee the finished caption will be correct and true to your intended meaning.
Google Translate may not be 100 percent accurate, which means there’s a very real chance of the meaning being lost or misconstrued. Not only that, but content that isn’t localized can confuse or even offend overseas audiences. For example, idioms like “break a leg” or “the ball is in your court” might be translated accurately word for word, but the meaning or intention behind the phrase might become lost or taken literally.
That’s why a combination of translation and localization is key to unlocking the full potential of subtitled video. Localization ensures every aspect of your video is tailored to meet the needs, expectations, and cultural norms of your intended audiences, empowering you to build authentic connections founded on shared understanding.
Ready to benefit from video subtitles?
Captions are a valuable tool that allows more people to enjoy your videos, and translated video subtitles can propel your business toward its global ambitions. However, quality matters. If you are ready to benefit from accurate and localized video subtitles, get in touch today.