Abbey Howe
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June 25, 2020

Why Your Videos Should All Have Closed Captions [CC]

You did it! You wrote, filmed, edited, and uploaded your YouTube video! Then, you added all your tags, keywords, cards, and endscreens! You breathe a sigh of relief as you watch your video process on YouTube Studio. You’re done!

Mmm… not quite.

Before you hit publish, there is one more thing you need to do. In addition to the thumbnail, title, description and keywords, it is a best practice to add captions to your video!

Ugh, Abbey, that takes SO LONG. Why do I need to add captions? I’m going to share with you 3 major reasons to add captions to every YouTube video you post.

June 2018 VidCon presentation by Jessica Kellgren-Fozard regarding captioning YouTube videos.

3 Reasons to Add Closed Captions on Your YouTube Videos:

  • Captions mean inclusivity. Not everyone can pop onto YouTube and have every video available for them. The Deaf, the hard of hearing, and those with learning difficulties rely on Closed Captions to enjoy the YouTube space. (Tip: Add “Closed Captions [CC]” to the descriptions of your videos once you’ve added captions. As of now, this is the only way for people to find captioned videos on YouTube.)
  • Captions expand your reach globally and give you a wider audience reach. Jessica Kellgren-Fozard, a deaf YouTuber who makes videos about disabilities, chronic illness, and vintage fashion, spoke about this at VidCon 2018. She says, “In my personal experience I’ve seen that videos with captions and subtitles have a great increase in views.” Captions can help you reach an international crowd, specifically with people learning English as a second language. Plus, captions are helpful for people to use when they are watching in a loud place where they can’t hear very well or when they are at work and don’t necessarily want to be caught watching your video during work hours. (I’ve been there!!)
  • Captions help you avoid demonetization. You’ve put so much effort into your video. Wouldn’t you want to make sure that your message is clear? The automatic translations that YouTube puts on your videos are far from perfect. For example, I have a YouTube channel about the Enneagram. Often Enneagram is translated as “Idiot Gram” by the YouTube automatic captions. That is definitely NOT a message I want to project!

Try an experiment. For your next four videos, caption them before you hit publish. Then, see if your audience changes or if your views grow! Let me know how captioning your YouTube videos changes the game for you!

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