One Quick and Easy Tool to Improve Your Video Reach and Engagement

Looking for a cost-effective way to increase engagement and viewership for your online videos? Captions are one of the greatest–and simplest–tools in the toolbox of online video optimization. When it comes to social content, this is especially huge: according to data collected by Verizon and Publicis, 83% of consumers watch online video with the sound turned off. On mobile devices, that percentage increases to 92%! Captions are an obvious choice for communicating to this large audience of silent viewers. However, captions can add value beyond silent communication.

Video captions can improve SEO

While search engines are working towards the ability to understand video imagery and make it more searchable, they still have a ways to go. That’s why including captions can boost your searchability. Search engines can read the text data to recognize and categorize your content for search results.

Video captions increase engagement on social channels

Many data sources in the last several years have pointed to growing percentages of engagement and ad recall in videos that include captions. At the core of this is a viewer’s ability to quickly understand the content in front of them. Captions meet people where they’re at– often in places where sound is problematic, inconvenient, or simply not preferred. This sentiment is further echoed by data from the aforementioned Verizon and Publicis survey that found “80% of consumers are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available”!

Implementing captions in your video content

Depending on where the video is hosted, and what your goal is in captioning, implementation can vary. Especially for longer-form content on mainstream social channels, uploading a sidecar .srt file according to the platform specifications is a great way to go. Many platforms (such as YouTube) provide features for auto-generated captions– which can be a good option in cases where 100% accuracy isn’t critical. For catching people’s attention on social media in an aesthetically beautiful way, burned-in large text can be a great option. While this last option isn’t technically “captioning” and doesn’t provide SEO value, it is a valid option for helping an audience understand and engage with your video on social channels.

Whatever the use case, channel, or video type, considering captions for your online video is worth the time and effort. Captions have the potential to get your video in front of more people, encourage them to watch your video longer, and help viewers retain information better. What’s to lose?

And as always, if you’re looking for help with captioning or anything video-related, please feel free to reach out to our team. We’d love to help you brainstorm and/or implement your next video project.

About the Author


Rachel Koehler

As the producer for VideoPro, Rachel coordinates all our client projects. Her background includes commercial video production, drone piloting, and chocolate making. She loves working with people and learning something new every day.