Why You Need Translated Subtitles in Your Video Ads

Video marketing stats are going through the roof. Ad revenues from promotional videos are expected to hit around $5bn this year according to BI Intelligence. Yet marketers are making one fundamental mistake:

They are not including subtitles in video ads.

The production of promotional videos is gaining traction year-on-year. Ranked among the fastest growing industries (alongside translation services we are happy to say) video makers are being watched online more than ever before.

The tide from TV to internet has been turning for several years now, and according to Google, online videos are accruing 50% more ROI than TV commercials.

An increase in video consumption, particularly among mobile users, has made branded videos a top priority for content marketers. In the last two years, ad spend on motion picture has enjoyed a 114% increase.

The meteoric rise of video promotions is mainly thanks to social media and user-behaviour. Now more people are conducting searches on mobile devices, video is the easiest content format to engage with whilst on a small screen.

Online marketers therefore have more scope to reach a wider audience and refreshing opportunities to create engaging content. But how many marketers realise the opportunities to communicate are being wasted by neglecting to include subtitles or captions.

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Subtitles get social

Social media networks have capitalised on the increasing number of video views and shares of online video content are outstripping every other online media. At the last count, YouTube was receiving over 4bn video views a day.

The introduction of other video-sharing platforms such as Vimeo and Vine together with apps like Periscope has made videos more accessible and easier to digest. As a result the rapid growth of online motion pictures has been expedited in a short space of time. And it is likely to speed up even further as video production becomes more affordable.

All the major players have also included easy video editing features to their dashboards and added new formats to make video consumption more accessible to users. Although it is recommended to use a professional video maker to produce a branded video, cheap video cameras and mobile phones do present an opportunity.

Yet the levels of consumer engagement are not as high as they could, or arguably, should be. The statistics show favourable results, but a real-world evaluation is that instant play videos on social platforms like Facebook count as a view regardless of whether the end-user intended to watch.

There are other statistics that prove user-engagement is not as much as many studies that have been published simply because the results they consider are misleading. Videos that are played on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat do not have audio. Therefore people are watching videos with no sound and moving on – sometime within seconds.

Views do not count as user-engagement in terms of ROI. They count as leads without actually being leads. Furthermore, soundless videos do not communicate with your audience. Companies do not raise brand awareness. Can you rely on the on-screen actions to prompt viewers to watch the video all the way through? Maybe, but can you get consumers to act and take the next step towards the buy button? No.

But with subtitles you do increase your chances.

Subtitles increase user-engagement

A study by PLYmedia revealed that closed-captions embedded on a video increased the amount of time people spent watching video. 91% of viewers watched videos with subtitles all the way through compared to 66% that did not have subtitles.

Sound of cause is crucial to the understanding of what is happening on video. But the majority of people watching videos are office employees, children in classrooms, mobile users in a public space and foreigners that do not speak English as a first language. Therefore audio is not typically used.

It has also been shown that end-users do not appreciate unexpected audio noise in videos. It has been reported that when Facebook played ads with audio, 80% of users reacted negatively. Not only that, but users reacted negatively towards advertisers as well as Facebook for hosting videos. So the social media giant switched off sound.

Web users are also more inclined to click out of website or turn the sound off when visiting newspaper that air news bulletins.

If you have any doubts whether sound or subtitles are better for your promotional video ads, Wired magazine say it best with their article titled: The best sound for video ads is silence.

So when sound cannot be used effectively to communicate with your audience subtitles provide the solution that allows brands to communicate in videos without the need for audio. And this is why marketers are missing out on opportunities to connect with their audience.

Subtitle translations for international audiences

The same rules apply for international viewers. People do not like to be interrupted with unexpected noise. And subtitles in promotional videos go one step further with a foreign audience – they resolve issues with the language barrier.

Even people that can speak a second language can sometimes have a difficult time trying to comprehend the meaning of an advert delivered in a foreign language. Even when the accent is neutral, the words can be spoken too quickly for them to catch everything that is being said.

Professionally translated subtitles and captions help cross the bridge between brands and foreign audiences.

Updates to video sharing platforms promise to propel video ads into an exponential rate of production than it already is. Internet users want access to information and they want it quickly. Watching a one minute video is far quicker than reading through an article.

Furthermore, the visual elements to a video are easier for the human brain to recall. Therefore viewers remember more information and your brand which is critical when you are an unknown company to a foreign audience.

The addition of translated subtitles assists the memories capacity to recall information as seeing the words on the screen in addition to hearing the words spoken reinforces the message.

Video editing suites in social media sites give marketers the tools to add foreign subtitles and captions with relative ease. But if the quality of translation is missing, you are no further forward to resolving the problem of communicating with a foreign audience.

As discussed in an earlier blog post, the requirement to communicate effectively with an overseas audience is crucial to the success of you online sales. This is even more critical for firms that are investing money to establish a brand identity in an international market.

Not only that, but marketing is a specialist field and requires an experienced professional to find the words that evoke emotion and compel customers to take action. A word for word translation is not always good enough. Then there is the hurdle of localization.

Professional translation agencies that provide subtitle services for videos can help you communicate with foreign audiences by providing a localized transcription. Not only do subtitle translations in promotional video ads increase user-engagement, but professional translations effectively communicate your marketing message to a foreign audience.