Subtitles are a great addition to any video, and will let you provide an alternative for people who aren’t able to hear the audio – or choose not to. However they can also fulfill another role by acting as an easy way to cater to people who speak a different language.
It is easy to see why translating your video subtitles would be beneficial. However most people don’t realize just how beneficial it could actually be. The fact of the matter is however that translating video subtitles can provide benefits on many different fronts.
If you are on the fence as to whether or not you should translate your video subtitles, there are five reasons in particular why you should definitely do so:
1. Reach a Much Wider Audience
As you’re probably aware, translating your video subtitles will let you reach a much wider audience comprising of people who speak other languages. But what you may not be aware is just how much wider your reach will be if you do that.
The fact of the matter is that English is only used by about a quarter of online users. The rest use other languages, with Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic each having a significant share.
On top of that it should be noted that although English is used by a quarter of online users, a significant number of them are not native speakers. Instead the vast majority have learned English as a second language and use it online for the sake of convenience – but may be far more comfortable if there was a version of your content in their native language instead.
In short translating your video subtitles will provide you with the opportunity to reach an audience that is several times larger than the audience you could reach if you restricted your video to English-only.
2. Obtain SEO Benefits
On its own adding subtitles in the form of closed captions already provides SEO benefits, as search engines will be able to crawl that data and use it to understand your video. That benefit is enhanced if you then translate your subtitles as well.
For best results you should think of your translated subtitles as one part of a larger whole. The translated subtitles can be published on your webpage as part of the transcript, and you can create dedicated versions of the webpage for each language that you’ve translated it to.
Make no mistake the impact that translated subtitles can have on your SEO is multifaceted, and the increased reach of your videos will have a part to play as well. Overall you should be able to acquire more links to your video, boost social signals, and get more views – all of which will count towards your ranking on search engines.
If you create dedicated versions of the webpage in different languages, you will also have the opportunity to rank on searches in those languages – which would not have been possible otherwise.
3. Engage and Retain More Viewers
It should come as no surprise that translating your subtitles will let you engage and retain more viewers. Having subtitles in the first place (even if just in English) can help improve engagement by providing a text alternative to the voiceover in the video.
Translating the subtitles extends that further – especially for people who speak other languages. In fact even those who know English as a second language are more likely to be engaged if there are subtitles in their native language present in the video.
The fact that you cater to other languages will invite a better response from viewers, and make it easier to encourage them to comment and engage in discussions about your video. Additionally viewers will be more willing to share your video among their circles who speak that language as well.
In short translated subtitles will affect the videos ability to engage and retain viewers on multiple fronts.
4. Cost-Effective Option
Admittedly translating subtitles isn’t the only option to cater to speakers of other languages, and there are benefits to actually creating fully-translated videos. However the is one main reason why you may prefer to translate the subtitles as opposed to the audio in the video: Cost.
To put it mildly the cost of translating audio is much higher than creating translated subtitles. For both you’d have to transcribe and translate the video, but with translated subtitles all you need to then do is create the caption file and publish the subtitles.
On the other hand if you were translating the audio itself, you would have to find voice talent for each language, and record the audio. It should be noted that skimping on voice talent is not a good idea, as you need the translated audio to match the tone of the original video as closely as possible.
Suffice to say the investment required to translate the audio from a video into multiple languages will add up. By comparison translating the subtitles will be a fraction of the cost, and at most you will want to engage a professional translation service to carry out the translation itself.
5. Create an Inclusive Brand
Starting to translate the subtitles in your videos will make your brand look more inclusive. Instead of alienating people who speak other languages and placing a linguistic barrier in front of them, your brand will effectively be tearing it down.
That is something that people respond to, and studies have shown that 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy products with information in their own language. Similarly 52.6% of consumers feel that being able to obtain information in their language is more important than price.
While it is true that translating subtitles on its own won’t make your brand inclusive – it is a good first step to provide content in other languages. In the long run will make it that much easier for you to reach a more global audience, especially if you build on that start and take other steps to reach out to speakers of different languages too.
Initially it may be easiest to start by translating your video subtitles to a single language, or a couple of them – but eventually you may want to branch out further to make your brand more inclusive.
It should be noted that while there are many ways to include subtitles in a video, the most beneficial tends to be by using closed captioning – especially in terms of SEO. Not all formats support that however, and you may need to convert your video to one that does.
That isn’t that difficult nowadays, and for example you could use Movavi Video Converter. Additionally you can use it to learn how to compress QuickTime video and other formats so that they consume less space, which may make it easier to transfer, store, and manage them on the whole.
At the end of the day you should now be fully aware of the reasons why you should translate your video subtitles – and may even be ready to start. Just remember that the quality of the translation is important, and it is best to engage a reliable expert or translation service so that you can be sure of the results.
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