What is video transcription? Simple. It’s the process of converting a video’s audio into text. It is also an important part of the post-production and video distribution process. When you transcribe video to text, you ensure that it will be found in search and enjoyed by all audiences.

Anyone producing video content can appreciate the massive effort that goes into not only creating but also distributing videos online. If you spend the time it takes to produce something worthy of watching, you should also take the steps necessary to get that content in front of as many viewers as possible. Having a well-rounded post-production and video distribution process is a little bit like putting air in the tires of your car. Without the air, it’s not going to make it far.

two monkeys stealing the hubcap from a car

When more than 4 million hours of video content get uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis, you have to do everything you can to give your content an upper hand. Avoid letting your competition run away with your views by taking the time to transcribe video to text.

Video transcription is the process of converting the audio in a video to text.

Despite everything you hear about videos being the most engaging type of online content, there is still a large audience that might prefer or even require a video transcript in order to enjoy your content to the fullest. You’re making great videos, and you want to expand your audience as much as possible. Let’s get into more specific reasons and benefits your content receives when you take the time to transcribe video to text.

5 Reasons to Transcribe Video to Text:

  1. Video Transcripts Improve Accessibility
  2. Video Transcripts Boost SEO
  3. Video Transcripts Provide a Better User Experience
  4. Video Transcripts Can Be Translated Into Other Languages
  5. Video Transcripts Broaden Your Reach

Reason #1: Video Transcripts Improve Accessibility

Depending on your viewers’ needs, video transcripts can be turned into closed captions, translated into other languages, or downloaded in read-only format. Transcripts open your video content up to a larger audience, allowing more people to view, share, and expand the reach of your videos.

Reach viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing

If you think accessibility is a minor issue, you’re wrong. On a global scale, there are 466 million people around the world dealing with hearing loss. For that large audience of people, videos must be transcribed and properly captioned in order to be consumed.

Reach viewers who speak another language

The beauty of online content is its ability to reach viewers near and far. That could mean that an educational video produced in North Carolina with English speaking characters makes its way onto the screens of a classroom in South Korea. Offering a transcript with your video makes it easier for those who do not speak English as their first language to follow along. It also gives leeway for a teacher to translate the video’s content into another language or for you to produce foreign subtitles for the video.

Reach viewers who are unable to turn up the volume

Think about where you are when you watch video content online. Are you always sitting at your laptop with headphones on hand? Probably not. In fact, it has been reported that a whopping 78 percent of videos are consumed by viewers on a mobile device. That fact alone leads one to believe that a vast majority of people are watching video on their commute, at the doctor’s office, or while spending time with around others who probably don’t want to hear the sound blasting from your phone. Video transcripts give viewers an option to read rather than watch your content, keeping them engaged regardless of where they are.

When you transcribe video to text, you make it much easier for viewers to stumble across your production and benefit from it.

Reason #2: Video Transcripts Boost SEO

It’s now a widely known and agreed upon fact that video transcription provides countless SEO benefits that boost the way content ranks in search. A big reason for this is that Google’s bots are able to crawl text, but not video audio. That means that in order to get your video to appear in search for the valuable content it covers, it has to have a transcript to back up the audio. From a discovery standpoint, when you transcribe video to text you make it much easier for viewers to stumble across your production and benefit from it.

Reason #3: Video Transcripts Provide a Better User Experience

If all of the accessibility and SEO benefits weren’t enough to convince you, improving user experience as a whole is another great reason to transcribe video to text. When you’re producing content online, it’s important to keep in mind that every person prefers to consume videos in their own way. Giving your viewers the option to consume your content in the way that they prefer only increases the chances that they will engage with your content and recommend it to others.

Reason #4: Video Transcripts Can Be Translated Into Other Languages

We touched on how video transcripts can help reach viewers who speak English as a second language. But in addition to that, another added benefit is that videos with transcripts can easily be translated into other languages. Also, in many countries where the Internet is not easily accessible, written content is more likely to be viewed than videos. This is because video streaming requires a stronger Internet connection and if a video isn’t loading or buffering properly, it’s important that viewers have the option to simply read a transcript of the video instead. When you transcribe video to text, you make it possible for viewers to consume your production, regardless of how strong (or not strong), their Internet connection may be.

Reason #5: Video Transcripts Broaden Your Reach

All of the reasons above added together equal one very good thing for your video content, more views. When you take the time to transcribe video to text, you improve accessibility, optimize your video in search engines, provide viewers with a better overall experience, and reach a global audience. With so many benefits added when you transcribe video to text, you may be wondering how much time it takes to do. The good news is that today, you have a couple of options and they probably aren’t nearly as expensive or time-consuming as you may think.

How to Transcribe Video to Text

If you’re looking to get a video transcript, there are three options. First, you can use an automated transcription service to convert your video to text. Second, you can hire a professional transcription service. And third, you can opt to do it yourself.

Option #1: Using an automated video transcription service

Automated video transcription services are simple, fast, and affordable. Simply upload or paste a link to your video file to an automated service, like Temi, and receive a fairly accurate text file back in just minutes. This type of service typically costs about ten cents per audio minute. The setback is that automated video transcription services are not always accurate. The level of accuracy very much depends on the quality of the video audio. Automated services also don’t catch nuances like speaker names and non-verbal cues such as background music and sounds which are important to a thorough video transcript.

Using a professional human video transcription service

Professional human video transcription services are accurate, reliable, and still pretty darn fast. Again with this option, there’s not much to do beyond uploading or adding a link to your video file. When using a professional transcription service like Rev, you will also have the option to add a glossary or speaker names to help your video transcription professional to produce a transcript that’s as accurate as possible. Rev’s video transcription service costs $1 per audio minute and files under 30 minutes in length are turned around in 12 hours or less. Professional video transcription services also call out important contextual elements of videos such as [knocking] and [laughter].

Doing video transcription work yourself

The final option for video transcription is to just do it yourself. The perks of this option? It’s free and you are entirely in control of what gets transcribed. The drawback? It’s extremely time-consuming. In fact, it takes the average person about four hours to accurately transcribe one hour of video audio. If you opt to do transcription manually, and many people (especially college students) still do, free tools like Jot Engine will help to speed up the process of starting, stopping, and rewinding your video’s audio track. Otherwise, if you’re really kicking it old school, this process entails opening the video player and text document on your screen and typing an account of the word-for-word audio in the video.

The Final Word on Video Transcription

In a nutshell, why should you transcribe video to text? It helps your video reach a much wider audience. If you’re going to take the time to produce quality video content, you should also do what’s necessary to allow that video to be consumed by as many viewers as possible. By utilizing the power of video and text you multiply your reach. Video transcription is an easy and sure-fire way to get more value out each and every piece of content you produce. And who wouldn’t wish for that?