Years ago we made video subtitles mandatory. For an agency that produces a lot of video content (most of which is chock full of stakeholder and subject matter experts talking) that’s a lot of subtitles. In fact today we spend a significant portion of our workflow on subtitling. And no we’re not talking about badly interpreted auto-subtitles courtesy youtube… we’re talking about painstaking attention to detail, manually created, easy to read creations that don’t start a new sentence halfway through a subtitle.

Why do we do this? Are subtitles really such a big deal? And when we send you a sidecar file (a separate file that gets uploaded to accompany your video) should you bother to upload it when you’re doing a social media video post? Yes you should! It turns out that 85% of all videos watched online are with the volume down. Sidecar subtitles automatically jump into action when the volume is down in facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and elsewhere, so if you’re not creating subtitles and uploading them you’re really wasting your time posting the video.

Out of the 85% of people who encounter your video and don’t see subtitles, how many turn up the volume to hear what’s there? Not very many. If your video is well edited (concise and to the point) subtitles are way more engaging than they are distracting. Look at the example we’ve included as a feature image of this post… wait… what? …slaughtered?? We’re willing to bet that a significant portion of the 15% of videos watched with volume… many of those were restarted with the volume up because the subtitles engaged the viewer.

So… subtitles, like digital video, are a really big deal when it comes to content marketing and we’re here to help you get them right.