Video Transcription: 5 Solid Reasons to Consider It
Video is exploding in popularity when it comes to sharing information online. In their 2018 report on video marketing, HubSpot found that 81 percent of businesses use video in their marketing, compared to 63 percent the previous year. Among those who use video, 99 percent plan to continue. Survey respondents also estimated that they watched an average of 1.5 hours of video in a typical day.
With so much video content being produced and shared across the Internet, it’s important to make that content as accessible and user-friendly as possible. That’s why, if you use video in your content marketing strategy, transcription is vital to its success.
What is Video Transcription?
So what does transcribing a video actually mean? Transcription is the process of translating a video into readable text. Transcriptions may be created from online videos, as well as podcasts, films, webinars, interviews, news footage, and speeches.
When talking about transcription, most people just think of a video’s spoken words. However, video transcription also could include other parts of the audio, such as sound effects or music. Besides the audio track, a video transcription might include visual elements that help someone understand the video, such as gestures the speaker makes, or when an audience member raises their hand with a question. Reading a transcription should give you as much of the full video experience as possible—without actually watching the video.
Creating a transcript from video may involve the use of speech recognition, a transcription machine or transcription software, or a human transcriptionist or transcribing service. The transcription may appear on the same web page as the video, or be provided separately, such as a PDF download.
Is it Really That Important to Transcribe a Video?
The short answer is, yes! Transcribing a video has many benefits, both for users and creators. Transcription can improve the user experience and make the video more accessible to people who may be unable to hear the audio or watch the video. Transcribing a video can boost audience understanding of your content. It can also improve your SEO and allow you to make derivative content.
5 Reasons Why You Should Transcribe Your Videos
1. Video Transcription Improves Accessibility
The World Health Organization reports that more than 466 million people in the world have disabling hearing loss. This includes an estimated 10 million people in the United States alone who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Shouldn’t they be able to access and understand your content, too?
Transcription is one of the best ways to do this. Plus, when your video is transcribed, you can download the transcription as an .SRT file to add captions that further boost accessibility.
Video transcription also makes it easier to translate your video content into other languages, increasing the potential viewers. Users who speak another language can read a transcript in their preferred language, instead of watching the video or while following the transcript while the video plays.
2. Transcription Improves User Experience and Understanding
Although Animoto found that most consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about that product, there are still people who would prefer to read. Video transcripts help you capture both types of audiences.
For those who may be in a sound-sensitive environment (and forgot to bring their earbuds), transcription allows them to consume the video’s content without the use of audio.
Transcription also lets users skim the content before committing to watching the video. It can also help website visitors find the right video by searching your website or playlist for a keyword used within the video.
Viewers can use a transcript to follow along with a video, potentially increasing retention of your content. (Most transcriptions include some type of timestamp, which helps readers keep up with the video.) Users also may share the transcript along with, or instead of, your video.
Make consuming your video a great experience, and users are more likely to look to you for similar content.
3. Transcription Helps Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Including a transcript with your video gives search engines another source of data for indexing your content. Using the transcript, search engines like Google can crawl the full text of your audio or video content, potentially increasing your organic search results. Videos also may be ranked higher in YouTube results if they include a full transcription.
If you have longer transcripts, you can also optimize them for specific keywords you want to rank for. Ideally, you can incorporate keywords into the video script before you actually create and share the video, ensuring that the keywords will be in the finished transcript.
A high-quality, searchable video transcript can only benefit your website’s SEO.
4. Better Product Value With Transcription
If you offer a video as part of a paid product, such as a paid-access webinar, you can automatically increase the value of that product by transcribing the video. You might include the transcription as part of the main product, or present it as an add-on option for an additional fee.
Either way, a video transcript can help increase revenue. It can also make the product more appealing to an undecided potential buyer.
5. Transcriptions Have Multiple Uses
Not many companies have time to write brand-new content every single day, which is why repurposing is a vital technique in content marketing. A high-quality video transcript can be shared on other mediums or used to create other types of content.
Depending on the subject of your video, the transcription can also be used to create:
- Blog Articles
- Email campaigns
- Social media posts
A transcript may also help you create additional videos that elaborate or answer questions about the first video. Use the transcript of the first video to help pull out keywords and structure the script of a follow-up video.
Companies That Are Nailing Video Transcription
When it comes to the importance of transcribing online videos, you don’t have to take just our word for it. There are plenty of organizations that understand the value of good video transcription. Here are just a few.
The nonprofit TED is focused on spreading ideas, and the popularity of their videos shows how well they’ve succeeded. Most of their videos offer transcriptions in a variety of languages, so visitors from across the globe can read along with the video or skim the transcription for quick consumption.
Hubspot is able to report on video marketing because they’re doing it right themselves. HubSpot Academy, which offers online training in inbound marketing and sales education, also offers transcriptions of their videos. This allows students to consume content in the way they prefer, and to be able to search transcriptions.
The tech company Oracle offers certifications to help professionals enhance their careers. Their training program, Oracle University, includes online video, enhanced with transcripts, to give students more options. Oracle University transcribes all of its online video content, pointing out that this lets users search for keywords and better understand the content.
How to Get Started With Video Transcription
All right, so you’re convinced that video transcription is valuable and necessary, and you want to get started. How do you do that?
You have several options to create a transcript from a video:
- The old-fashioned, DIY transcription method
- Use video transcription software
- Hire video transcription services
DIY Video Transcription
At its most basic, video transcription doesn’t require a lot of extra equipment. You need a way to view the video to be transcribed, and word-processing software for typing up the transcript. Headphones can help you hear everything correctly, including background sounds or music. Do your transcribing in a quiet space, without interruptions.
If you intend to do a lot of transcribing yourself, additional software and equipment can help. This may include a transcription foot pedal and related software, and word expander programs or voice-recognition software to reduce the amount of typing you have to do.
The process of transcribing a video will differ, depending on the length and type of video, and what you use the transcription for. However, there are a few general steps.
4 Steps to Transcribe a Video Yourself:
- Create titles and headings. Make sure the document is formatted correctly, with a title and any necessary headers and footers. Sub-headings might include the names of everyone who appears in the video, including speakers, interviewees, characters, or cast members.
- Transcribe the audio and background. Make sure to listen for background noises, especially if they distract the speaker or create technical issues. Even errors should be noted in a transcript. Be sure to include noisy physical actions such as sneezing, coughing, or laughing. When in doubt about including something in the transcript, keep it in.
- Include time codes. This is optional, but most official video transcriptions call for a time code every 30 or 60 seconds. Use the time code burned into the video, if available, rather than what is displayed on the video player. Including time codes may be optional, but they can help transcript readers follow the video.
- Revise and proofread. It’s nearly impossible to get perfect transcription text the first time around. Go back through the video at least one more time to make sure the transcription is complete and accurate.
Using Video Transcription Software
There is a wide variety of software you can use to transcribe your video, so do your research to find a solution that works for you. If your needs are simple, you may be able to find transcription software for a relatively low cost.
Transcription quality may vary depending on the solution you choose. However you decide to transcribe, it is important to review it for errors or omissions. Also, the software may not be able to include visual cues from the video, so you will have to go back and add this to the video transcript yourself.
Hiring a Video Transcriptionist or Video Transcription Service
Creating your own online video transcript or using software may cost less, but it takes time, and accuracy isn’t guaranteed. Hiring a transcriptionist or online video transcription service may provide the most value and convenience.
Ideally, a professional transcriptionist has a typing speed of 80-100 words per minute. At this speed, an hour of recorded video can take about 4-6 hours to fully transcribe. If you cannot spare this much time for transcribing, it is a good idea to outsource the task. Choose a video transcription service that is secure and confidential, offers high accuracy, and provides a turnaround time that suits your needs.
The Final Word on Video Transcription
Video transcription is incredibly valuable in many ways. It can help increase your revenue and improve SEO. It helps your content get shared more easily to a wider potential audience. Providing a transcript of your video makes life easier for your customers and website visitors, and therefore, contributes to your organization’s growth and reputation.