When brands and organisations make video content, they’re creating a piece of brand collateral, whether it be a glossy promo ad, a how-to explainer video, e-learning or internal communications.
It’s great, dynamic content and they can see how many times that their content has been viewed but there’s no real notion of whether the content has been understood or appreciated.
Subtitling – cost-effective communication
Subtitling means that your video content can be understood across the world and let’s you speak to a global audience. Need to share corporate best practice with your own international offices or test the waters of a new market? Subtitles mean that your message is being received loud and clear in your target languages. Costed per minute, subtitling enables you to work around your budget, being more cost-effective than adding a multilingual voice-over or creating a new video in the local language. Localising your content and adding multilingual subtitles to your videos will enable your messaging to span the globe using just one video.
By translating the content of your video and adding subtitles, you are able to make your initial investment in your video concept and filming cover more international regions without the costs associated with making another video.
Subtitling in a social media world
Most videos need sound to be fully appreciated, so if your viewers are watching with the sound down then they’re just not getting it. The statistic that shows 85% of video on Facebook is watched without sound has been around for some years, but internal data collected by Facebook showed that 76% of video ads need sound to be understood.
How can this be? Isn’t it enough that we post video content on the platform?
It appears not. Facebook data backs this up by stating that adding subtitles to your video ads increases viewing time by an average of 12%.
Research shows that people react badly to videos that begin to play loudly when they don’t expect it to. 85% of people don’t like videos to have sound which means that, without subtitles, your message is being missed by 4 out of 5 viewers. Social media is about the ‘where’ but it is also about the ‘how’, and in a mobile-feed world, people don’t like loud surprises.
Language is definitely a factor in terms of video and 60% of YouTube’s 1 billion monthly viewers are non-native English speakers. What difference could adding subtitles to your video make to your brand roadmap? It’s not always about identifying new markets but analysis of who is watching video content and from where they are watching it could form a valuable part of your market research.
Search engines search subtitles, so by creating a transcript, adding subtitles and closed captions, you can look forward to increased search traffic and higher rankings with more diverse keywords.
Television with subtitles
Over 50 million people in Europe alone are hard of hearing or deaf and cannot live without subtitles. That’s 1 in 10 people who rely on subtitling for comprehension. Adding subtitling to your videos is less an extra expense and more a smart, inclusive business decision.
Big brands using subtitles
Tesla, Airbnb and Etsy are powerhouses of disrupt so it comes as no surprise that they are using subtitled videos to ensure their content reaches their global audiences. These brands create subtitled video content, from storytelling-centric advertisements to product demonstrations or help guides.
The Snickers ‘Mr Bean’ campaign sees Mr Bean make a bumbling entrance through a pagoda roof, with fellow ninjas talking to him in Japanese with English subtitles. Transforming into a ninja upon eating a Snickers, the tagline is read in English.
Subtitling vs dubbing
While dubbing is an alternative, it can lose the authenticity of your message – and certain audiences seem to prefer subtitled content, rather than dubbed versions, as a 2019 YouGov India survey shows. The survey revealed that most Hindi-speaking Indians would like the content they watch in other languages to be translated in English rather than in Hindi. Looking at viewers consuming content in foreign and regional languages, data showed that 72% watching such content prefer subtitles.
Adding context to the survey, Deepa Bhatia, general manager, YouGov India, said, “India is an amalgamation of different languages. In order to win over this lucrative market, content creators need to localize as much as possible. A vast number of Indians are interested in consuming content in their mother tongue, and brands must understand their preferences in order to expand their audience.”
Subtitles – the future of global communication
Award-winning Korean director, Boon Joon Ho, asks audiences to stop the 1-inch barrier at the bottom of the screen from holding them back from accessing great films. Netflix and Google Chrome have teamed up to develop the Learn With Netflix language learning extension, where the audience absorbs a second language as they watch.
It seems that giving the audience more, rather than less, is being well received by audiences all over the world, whether they’re watching the big screen or the phone in their hands.
Subtitling as a way of reaching a wider audience is on the rise – Parasite’s success in the 2020 Oscars is a case in point – but you don’t need to be making a Hollywood blockbuster to make the most of subtitling. An inexpensive way of both reaching multiple audiences and improving accessibility, subtitles is a smart way to incorporate localisation into your company messaging. Visit Matinée Multilingual Subtitling to see how we can help you make the most from your video content.