in a video production captions appear at bottom of frame
9 January 2021
9 January 2021,

Video is exploding. It’s already proven itself to be the main driver of online activity. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. That’s a lot of watched videos! In this post, we’re going to look at how captions in video marketing can increase and engage viewers.

Many marketers don’t give captions, or subtitles a second thought when creating video. It’s really too bad since it only takes minimal effort to do and yields significant results.

Let’s take a look at why you should add captions to all your video.

Related: focus on story in your video marketing.

Related: 5 video marketing tips from top video production companies in Los Angeles.

What are video captions?

Video captions are the on-screen text that’s overlaid on a video from transcribed dialogue or voice over by the narrator. If you’re an English speaker and has ever watched a foreign language movie with subtitles then you know what they are.

Captions, or subtitles are synced to the video so the text appears at the same time the voice says it.

There are 2 kinds of subtitles – those that are burned into the video which can’t be turned off or ‘open’ captions and those that can be turned on or off, or ‘closed’ captions.

When you have the option of turning captions on or off, it means the subtitles actually reside in a separate file from the video file. A good example of this is when you watch a movie on Netflix or a video on YouTube, you have the option to turn them on or not.

Related: increase sales with ecommerce product videos.

Which option you choose to go with depends upon several factors like where your video will be published, who your audience is and how will they be consuming your video. The main thing to do is to add subtitles, whether overlaid in a separate video file or burned into the video.

root conealer in video producton of iCorpTv in Los Angeles
Open captions are burned into the video image and cannot be turned off

Benefits of adding captions to your videos

Adding captions will improve and benefit all video metrics. Let’s take a look more specifically what they can do.

Increased viewership

According to Facebook, adding captions can boost viewing time by 12 percent. Further, on Facebook 85% of videos are watched without sound.

The first 10 seconds are crucial with online videos, especially video ads. Captions help to grab the viewer’s attention and give them a clear reason why they should watch your video.


There are tens of millions of adults that are hearing impaired. Without captions, you’ll be missing out on a large percentage of your audience. A problem easily eliminated with captions.

Not only that, but many people that are not hearing impaired also like captions, like me! So many movies now are mixed with low dialogue and loud sound design and I find it hard to hear what the actors are saying. So I watch many movies with the subtitles on so I don’t miss anything.

And I’m not alone. I’ve had numerous conversations with friends who do the same thing. Once again, a problem easily fixed.

Where people watch online videos also factors into the need for captions. When you’re in a public space like a Starbucks for example, are you going to blast your video in an attempt to hear it over the din of noise to the annoyance and irritation of everyone else? No, if you forgot your ear buds. you’re going to watch videos with the sound off.

Related: video marketing for social media.


Lastly, captions will aid in the search engine optimization of your videos.

When you include the video transcription on your website or in the video description on YouTube or Vimeo, search engines can crawl that text and rank your video higher.

Most importantly, search engines can now index closed caption files and weight them in search results – one big reason to use closed over open captions.

While closed captions are indexible, there is no SEO benefit to open or burned in captions. That’s why if you choose to burn the subtitles into the video image, make sure to insert the transcription in the video description or the video page.

Related: why top down budgeting is best for your corporate video production.

To wrap up

Clarify your message in the first 5 to 10 seconds, expand your audience and stop the scrollers in their tracks as they quickly swipe down their feeds by adding captions to your videos.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how captions in video marketing can increase and engage viewers, you have no excuse not to add them as they’re simple to implement and bring a big return for your video marketing efforts.

About iCorpTv, a Los Angeles video production company

iCorpTv along with our creative division, Gate5, is a video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing innovative high quality video content for the web, your social media outlets, kiosks and broadcast television. 

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for our video samples.

Contact us to see how we can help your business with video or photography.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *