The Benefits of Captioning Apps for the Hearing Impaired
As video content creation continues to grow year over year, best practices, must-haves, and trends will continue to evolve as well. It’s no longer viable to rely solely on beautiful videos to help your content reach its maximum potential. Is your video content accessible, inclusive, and user-friendly? What about being Google-friendly?
With these factors in mind, content creators should be using a caption app during the editing process to elevate their videos. This is even more important as you consider the benefits of captioning apps for the deaf/hard of hearing and other potential audiences. In a few simple steps, you can take your video content to the next level of accessibility and visibility.
It’s also worth noting that there’s a difference between open captions vs closed captions, but we’ll be referring to captions in general for the bulk of this article.
Using Captioning Apps for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Accessibility
One of the most common reasons that captions are important for videos is increased accessibility to those with hearing impairments. According to recent statistics, approximately 92.6% of global internet users watch digital videos each week. With over 1.5 billion people living with hearing loss around the globe (and 430 million of those with disabling hearing loss, per the World Health Organization), the benefits of captioning apps for the deaf/hard of hearing should be at the top of every content creator’s list of considerations during the editing process.
Without a caption app, you risk losing out on an entire audience of people for your media and coming across as non-inclusive, or rely on native platform tools that may not transcribe correctly. That could be troubling for how the market perceives the values of your brand, leading to further issues like negative comments and slow community growth across video-focused sites like YouTube or popular social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
So why are captions important for the deaf/hard of hearing?
The answer is simple: inclusivity and accessibility.
Using captioning apps for deaf/hard of hearing accessibility allows those living with hearing disability to enjoy your content to its fullest and be part of cultural conversations without having to worry about missing a thing. As a content creator, it’s a simple, but effective, way to ensure your content reaches its full potential.
Control Over Caption Accuracy
A commonly overlooked benefit of using captioning apps for the deaf/hard of hearing is the ability to edit and control the actual captions. While TV and film tends to have professionals handling the closed captions to ensure they’re accurate, social platforms like Instagram and TikTok rely on auto-generated ones.
Even though auto-generated captions are mostly accurate, they’re not correct 100% of the time. Having open captions burned into your videos allows you direct editing control to make sure your captions are 100% accurate for the deaf/hard of hearing.
Bypass Social Media Platform Issues
It’s no surprise to any of us that social media platforms experience technical issues from time to time.
- Creators may have trouble with captions being generated when uploading video.
- Viewers may have trouble getting closed captions to display if they need to be turned on and are experiencing difficulties.
Instagram captions, for example, have been known to disappear from the creator’s toolkit and reappear days later, leaving them high and dry when publishing a story or reel.
As a content creator, having captions burned into your videos ensures that someone viewing your video can also see the captions, regardless of whether or not the social platform is having trouble adding them for you or displaying them for a deaf/hard of hearing viewer.
Other Reasons Why Captions Are Important
While the benefits of captioning apps for deaf/hard of hearing persons may be obvious, there are other reasons why captions are important for your video content. Some may even surprise you! Using a caption app for your videos enables you to:
- Increase average video watch time
- Engage viewers watching video without sound
- Make it easier for non-native English speakers to watch
- Improve video content SEO
Increase Average Video Watch Time
Catching your audience’s attention is one of the most important benefits of using a caption app for videos. Not only does it allow improved accessibility, but captions have been shown to improve the average watch time for videos across the board as viewers find them more engaging than visuals alone.
Taking it a step further, many video consumers report that video captions offer more context and depth to that engagement, making them more likely to watch a video longer.
Engage Viewers Watching Video Without Sound
Just as fast as the video content we consume changes, so do the platforms where we consume it. Today, there are tons of videos being shared on social media platforms that autoplay on mute. Whether viewers are in a place where they can’t (or choose not to) have their sound turned on, are a parent trying to enjoy content without your kids knowing, or simply don’t want to be assaulted with playback audio as they scroll, video captions alleviate the problem and increase your ability to engage with them before they pass.
In a world where brands have mere seconds to capture user attention, the benefits of using a caption app for videos becomes all the more obvious.
Make It Easier for Non-Native Speakers to Understand Video Content
Another reason why captions are important for video content is to make it easier for non-native English speakers (or speakers of any language your video is in) to comprehend. For viewers who may not speak the language as their native tongue, captions offer an immediate ability to read along and understand what’s being said.
Improve Video Content SEO
Where the benefits of captioning apps for deaf/hard of hearing persons are maximized with open captions, closed captions can be used to give creators a way to improve video content SEO. Able to be added to YouTube videos by uploading SRT files, closed captions can improve your video SEO in the same way that content marketing helps website SEO. Search engine crawlers can’t hear your audio, but they can read SRT files containing 100% accurate captions that are added to videos. Since video platform auto-captioning tools aren’t always accurate, the discrepancies between your audio and the generated captions could be detrimental to SEO by missing out on specific keywords or adding the wrong words altogether.
Creating SRT files to add closed captioning is easy with caption apps like MixCaptions. Content creators using this caption app for videos have the ability to add, edit, and style open captions for social media videos exactly the way they want. At the same time, they can also create an SRT file for closed caption uploading on YouTube.
The benefits of captioning apps for the deaf/hard of hearing adds to the plethora of other reasons for adding captions to video content. In today’s creative landscape, content creators need to be doing all they can to maximize content reach and accessibility. With a caption app, adding captions to videos during the editing process has never been easier.