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7 Reasons Why Indie Film Directors Should Add Subtitles to Trailers


Jan 24, 2019

Illustration of a group of people watching an indie film in a theatre, on the screen is a robot and a red haired man

RevBlogSubtitles7 Reasons Why Indie Film Directors Should Add Subtitles to Trailers

Did you know that the world watches around 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every single day? Additionally, YouTube is one of the biggest online platforms where people go to watch movie trailers.

With the sea of movie trailers floating out there, how can you as an Indie film director and producer make your trailers stand out? One of the best ways is through the use of subtitles.

Why is that so? Adding movie subtitles deepens movie trailer comprehension thus allowing your audience to be more engaged. Plus, it can even entice viewers to watch your full-length movie which will increase revenue for you. And that’s just two of the many benefits of subtitles. In this post, we’ll talk about the power of video, 7 benefits of subtitles, and how you can easily add them to your movie trailer.

The Power of Video Marketing

Videos are an easy-to-digest piece of content that allows viewers to see content in a different way than a traditional blog post, web page, or advertisement. Plus, videos are straightforward to share across multiple platforms, allowing them to reach an even broader audience than ever before.

So why video? What’re the phenomena behind it? Currently, about 87% of online marketers use videos in their digital strategy. This means that if you aren’t producing well-crafted, short movie trailers to promote your Indie film online, you’re behind the times. It also means that you are losing out to other Indie directors and producers who are using video to their advantage. Why is that important? They are the ones who are growing their brand, making a name for themselves digitally, and growing financially. This could easily be you.

If those facts aren’t enough to convince you to invest in movie trailers with subtitles, we’re going to leave this little fact here for you to digest: more video is uploaded in 30 days than the all of the major United States TV networks have created in 30 years combined!

Video is truly everywhere. And, you should start leveraging this power today.

Benefits of Adding Subtitles To Your Trailers

We mentioned some of the benefits of subtitles above, but in reality, what are subtitles for? Put simply, they will greatly boost the end-user experience in two distinct ways, which in turn will grow your video views and name.

Keep Your Message Clear

Video is a creative form of media that can be interpreted differently by different individuals. One audience segment might find a certain trailer clip funny while others might find it offensive. One of the best benefits of subtitles is to ensure that your message stays clear and anyone who watches it will know your exact intent.

woman saying the message was not clear captioned gif

Additionally, when adding a message to your movie trailer, it’s important to keep it concise and simple. If you don’t, potential viewers won’t bother to learn more. Or in your case, they might not bother to see your full-length movie. Plus, a misconstrued message can help fuel people to make up their own inaccurate thoughts about your brand.

Think of it this way: a movie trailer is one touchpoint you have with your potential audience. When you create a clear and concise message in your movie trailer, you’ll be able to transfer that same message across other touchpoints allowing for a consistent image.

Leverage Discoverability

Another great benefit of adding subtitles is discoverability in online searches. Why is this so? The internet is a text-based platform, and video without subtitles will stay hidden from searches. By adding movie subtitles, you’re able to deliver a text version of your trailer to all search engines. In doing so, the entire content of your movie trailer will be searchable by Google and other search engines thus allowing your trailer to show up in more searches which helps to increase discoverability.

7 Reasons Why You Should Add Subtitles To Your Trailers

Now that you know two of the top benefits of movie subtitles, let’s focus on the seven reasons why you should add subtitles to your trailers.

1. Press Releases

We’re guessing that by producing a movie trailer, you’re looking at drumming up press for your movie. Including subtitles in multiple languages in your trailer will allow media outlets to easily quote you in press releases. Additionally, it will help to increase engagement and potentially grow your audience.

If you don’t include subtitles, the only way to obtain quotes is to pause the video and manually write quotes down. This produces more work for those media outlets and can even deter them from writing an online review about your film.

2. Increase Accessibility

Without subtitles, you’re missing out on extending your audience to those who speak another language or depend on them for accessibility purposes. Viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing won’t be able to access your movie trailer. With over 466 million people in the world who suffer from hearing loss, you could be missing out on engagement from millions of people.

Adding in subtitles means that these millions of people will be able to read and digest your movie trailer thus allowing you to gain more views (and fans).

3. Easier to Share

Subtitles make movie trailers easier to engage with. This helps increase the share-worthiness of your video. Why? Because people are more likely to share content that resonates with them and is easy to digest. Plus, the more people who share your content, the better chance you have at it becoming viral – and as an Indie film producer, you certainly want that recognition.

Michelle Obama doing a happy dance with the muppet characters

4. Improve Average Watch Time

Watch time is defined as a measurement of how long viewers stay tuned into a video online. To increase the length of time someone spends viewing your video, you should add in subtitles as it’s proven that they allow people to concentrate for more extended periods. With attention spans dwindling, we could all benefit from a little extra focus.

5. Reach a Global Audience

One of the goals of directing and producing an Indie film is to reach a wider audience which can help to grow your revenue. Adding movie subtitles will make your trailer available to those in foreign markets who would be interested in your Indie film.

Plus, search engines will even start to index the subtitles and show your movie trailer in the search results in those countries and languages. For Indie films which can be classified as “niche” content, this can be very impactful for growing a global reach.

Rhianna shy ronnie gif captions reading taking over the whole world

6. Promote Viewer Flexibility

Subtitles will make your movie trailer more accessible in sound-sensitive environments, which means your audience has greater flexibility to view your trailer. Often, people watch movie trailers and online videos in situations where captions are more convenient to read. For example, those sound-sensitive environments include watching at the airport, riding on a bus or train, or even waiting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

When viewers can view a video or movie trailer with subtitles, they don’t have to worry about using headphones with loud volume or disrupting the people around them. They can simply read the captions to absorb the general basis of the video.

7. Help To Understand Character’s Language

Incorporating subtitles into your movie will allow non-native speakers and other ethnic groups to understand and engage with your trailer. Subtitles can be translated into other languages more easily than audio tracks. Non-native speakers can then use those subtitles to understand the characters in your Indie film.

How to Choose the Best Online Subtitling Service

We know that as an Indie film producer and director, you might not have dedicated time to add subtitles to your movie trailers. We’re here to let you know how to make subtitles for a video that will be efficient, cost-effective, and results-driven. The best way is to hire an online subtitling company. Below, we cover some of the questions you should ask before hiring an online subtitling service.

How Fast Do You Need To Receive Your Subtitles?

Are you looking to create a movie trailer within days or months? Do you need a 30-second video for a social media post the next day? Different online companies will provide different turnaround times for subtitles. Knowing your timeline will help you to narrow down the dozen of companies into finding the top 2-3.

What Level of Accuracy Are You Looking For?

Another critical question to ask surrounds accuracy. There are some companies out there who will translate and transcribe with software and other companies who use humans. While software has undoubtedly come a long way in the past few years, software might not be able to pick up on grammatical and contextual dialogue clues. An actual person who is fluent in both the language your movie was filmed in and the language you need subtitles for will be able to catch all of the nuances of the dialogue. An added benefit to hiring this type of professional is that you avoid embarrassing mistranslations.

If you have time to review your files over and over again, choosing a subtitling service company that uses software might work for you. However, if you want to pay for a top quality transcript that you know will be 99% accurate or more, selecting a company that has professional human transcriptionists is probably the route to go.

What Is Your Budget?

Being in the Indie film industry, you might not have a huge marketing budget. This means you should find a transcription company that has a reasonable rate. Most companies will charge by the length of the file. Some companies will also charge a rush fee in addition to charging extra for transcribing files with multiple speakers.

While the typical price you can expect to pay is between $3 to $7 per audio minute (depending on the language), we do encourage you to research the company thoroughly so you won’t get any surprise charges (which can quickly add up).

How Confidential Are Your Files?

It’s easy for someone to hack into email or even cloud services. Choosing an online subtitling service that has their own safe and secure platform for uploads means that your files are that much safer. Plus, you can rest assured that those transcribing your files have also signed a confidentiality agreement ensuring that your files and ideas will always be secured.

Take Advantage of Subtitling Services With Rev

So how can you add subtitles to video? Hire a professional subtitling service, like Rev.

Being trusted by thousands of companies, using our services for subtitles means you’ll receive the following:

  • Fast Turnaround Time: Our dedicated team is ready to work on your files 24/7. Typically, if your file is under 30 minutes, we can deliver it within 12 hours, usually much faster than that.
  • Secure Online Ordering: Our advanced technology platform makes your transcription both secure and confidential. We ensure this by encrypting all files.
  • 99% Accuracy or Better: The talented (human) team here at Rev will deliver all files with at least 99% accuracy. We have a set system of checks and balances to ensure that accuracy.
  • Simply upload your video file, copy and paste the video URL, or download a video, and we’ll get working on those subtitles right away.

The Bottom Line

So why as an Indie film director or producer should you add movie subtitles to your trailers? In addition to all of the above reasons and benefits, if you don’t add in subtitles, you could receive bad press. That’s right. You could actually get slammed by critics which could tarnish your reputation.

the unbreakable kimmy schmidt dropping jaw in shock gif

And trust us, you don’t want what happened to Guardians of the Galaxy to happen to you.

What are you waiting for? Contact the team at Rev today so we can get started on adding subtitles to your movie trailers.

Affordable, fast transcription. 100% Guaranteed.