We’ve set out to give content creators an overview of the most popular video hosting platforms, *plus* a set of instructions for adding closed captions to videos hosted on them. There are a lot of different closed caption file formats out there, and every platform has its own requirements on what to use.

For those wanting to simply get their content captioned because they know it’s a best practice, it can be a confusing landscape filled with technical details to navigate. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to make adding captions to your video content simple by gathering all of the answers to your questions in one place. (If you don’t see the form below to get the eBook, disable your ad blocker or use this link.)

What’s Inside This Guide?
  • Captions 101: Why caption your video content?
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Video Direct
  • iTunes
  • About Rev
  • Sources
Captions 101: Why Caption Your Video Content?

If the goal is to get your video content in front of a larger audience (and we’re betting it is), then
closed captions are an essential component of production. Captions not only help videos rank higher in search results, but they also increase accessibility, boost engagement, and improve the overall viewer experience.

Today, video content is king. According to Brightcove, it’s 1200x more effective than text and images combined and one-third of online activity is spent watching video. So where do captions come into this picture?

The vast majority of videos are now watched without sound. Captions improve viewership because they keep people engaged regardless of their access to sound. From a user experience, it’s important to provide viewers an option to read rather than watch your videos.

In addition to making your videos accessible for all viewers, captions help video content rank higher in search results. One of the most important ranking factors on any website is quality content.

However, what many fail to realize is that search engines, like Google, can’t watch videos. When you add closed captions to your videos, they become easily searchable leading to improved discoverability.

There you have it. Adding captions to video content provides all sorts of benefits, and that’s what this guide is about. Speaking of captions, where do you get them?

Getting Captions for Your Videos

When it comes to captioning videos, you have a few options: do it yourself manually, use an automated service or hire a professional to do it for you.

On the note of doing it yourself, most busy vloggers and marketers agree that hours spent captioning content is time that could be better spent. As for automated services, the results can vary greatly since they’re using speech recognition technology. Because of this lack of consistency in accuracy, search engines do not crawl or index auto-captioned videos. This means that auto-captioned videos do not enjoy the same SEO boost that videos captioned by real humans do. If you want to get the most accurate captions for your videos, you’re best off using a professional, online closed captioning service. When searching for a service provider, it’s important to consider things like cost, turnaround time, and accuracy. Here are some questions we suggest asking to make sure the service you go with meets your needs.

Once you have a captions file to sync with a video, the next step is understanding how to get that video with captions onto the hosting platform of your choice. Not sure what to do after you have the captions file? Download our comprehensive eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Closed Captions.