Video Subtitling for Better Social Media Engagement



Video Subtitling For Better Social Media Engagement

If you are not sure whether you should be investing in video subtitling for your social media marketing plan, we promise we have got you covered with all the supporting evidence.

Stats first: Video content accounts for 74% of web-traffic in 2017 and is expected to reach 80% by 2019. It’s perfectly obvious why video content is the cornerstone of your marketing plan, which can only be optimized by video subtitling.

With Facebook alone hosting around 8 billion video views a day, more than 85% of views happen without sound. The percentage has significantly increased to that extent since Facebook adopted the muted video auto-play feature by default for users on its platform. Following in Facebook’s footsteps, LinkedIn has also adopted the same feature, which allows users to automatically play videos on their wall without turning the volume up.

There’s no need to wonder about this maximized viewing engagement, because social media subtitles explains everything.  Facebook recently published a report which found that videos which included subtitles or voice narration enjoyed a 12% boost in engagement1. In addition to that, based on recent studies, users don’t normally intend to continue watching a short or one-minute muted video until the end if it does not feature text or captions/subtitles shown on the screen. It turns out it is easier for people to digest the content presented in videos by reading rather than hearing.

Long story short, social media subtitles is on the upswing. Everyone wants to reach untapped global markets and to broadcast their message to international audience. Video subtitling has become the new trend and the means to boost viewership on your social media channels, consequently broadening the reach, boosting your SEO, and achieving marketing plans. After all, larger audience makes better business.

Now, that the evidence is crystal clear, it’s time to give though of the best practices to carry out your video subtitling strategy. Have no worries, we have got you covered on this one, too; so keep reading.

Video Subtitling: The Old School Approach

Traditionally, the process of video subtitling and producing .srt file (Subtitle format) involves three different stages plus a QA (Quality Assurance) stage.

  • Transcription: This process involves transforming the spoken language in the original video/audio into written time-stamped script for translation, usually performed by an expert to listen and transcribe. Unnatural endings, subtitle length, and words length are of major concerns here. This stage normally is charged “Per-minute” and the rate differs based on the spoken language. In the meantime, the average word count output is ~120 words/runtime minute.
  • Translation: This type of translation dealing with videos is referred to as Multimedia Translation. It is highly technical and has to minimally include three main steps (Translation, Editing, and Proofreading); each step has to be done by a separate native and in-country professional linguists specialized in the subject-matter. Like Document Translation, localization is part of the process. But, unlike document translation, the time factor in multimedia translation should be highly considered. Normally, the cost for translation is counted per-word and depends on the source and target languages.
  • Conversion to .srt format: During this step, time-coded scripts – whether translated or transcribed – are converted to .srt or other subtitle format such as .sub or .sbv. It’s the responsibility of a sound engineer to synchronize the translated text with the video in accordance with the time stamps.
  • Quality Assurance: This stage is all about making sure that the transcription and the translation, in terms of linguistics and culture, are accurate, text is properly displayed and well synced on the audio/video file(s).

Note: If you are looking for transcription only then the process and steps according to this approach will remain the same but the translation will be entirely excluded.

How Video Subtitling and Transcription services Are Done Today?

The impact of the recent changes in the video ecosystem of the digital world was huge and therefore the demands for multimedia translation and transcription services are continuously growing. However, a the old-fashioned approach seems to be inefficient to absorb the increasing demands due to several reasons including the expensive cost, lengthy process, and the inability translate or transcribe videos in short turnaround time.

However, it’s not only cons here. In fact, in terms of quality, the traditional approach has been proven to be the best especially when video subtitling is required in more than one language or the video duration is relatively lengthy.

The answer to the challenges of the traditional approach is looking for ways to optimize it, which lied several opportunities for both technology innovations and linguists. Nowadays, the titles of “Transcriber” or “Subtitling Specialist” have been widely seen as a professional career for many people on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. Those transcribers and specialists are relentlessly honing their linguistic and technical skills, making it possible for the process to be far more seamless, fast, and cost-effective.

Technology is no exception. Recently, many subtitling-related tools have been the on rise, helping both video publishers and translation agencies to streamline the process, reduce time and cost, and therefore enhance quality.

When Subtitling Innovative tools and Professional Linguistic Service Come Together

A noteworthy rule of thumb is that several tools could help in a smooth video subtitling process for your projects. However, in terms of quality as well as user experience, tools alone are not enough and the human linguistic work is essentially needed to finalize things properly. At the end of the day, together, subtitling tools and human efforts work magic.

Here’s a hint of how this successful formula works.

Instead of transcription, some voice recognition (speech-to-text) built-ins could help in transforming

the spoken language in an audio/video into text. The quality level of these high-tech tools may vary but eventually a professional multilingual linguist must edit the transcribed script to make sure it is free of any issues, be it errors or lack of clarity. These voice recognition tools work at it is best when the recording quality is clear and the spoken language is English. However, there has been some voice recognition tools for other languages but their quality has been a subject of questioning.

One of the most commonly known tool is “Subtitle & CC” which has been released by YouTube several years ago, allowing users to contribute with translations to the posted videos – if the publisher allows contributions from other users – YouTube also can show automatic captions in English by its speech recognition for videos that don’t already have captions provided.

Most of the tools also supports keyboard shortcuts to easily insert the proper time-codes during the subtitling process and again human eyes should also be involved after every step through the process.

In addition to that, some tools, such as video translation software, allow linguists to insert the translation directly- skipping the transcription phase entirely. Although this approach is not preferable according to the best practices followed in the translation industry, it greatly helps in reducing time and cost and probably might work out best for short videos.

With the keen and sharp eyes of professional linguists and engineers, multiple meticulous quality check points are carried out, leveraging these tech-savvy tools and optimized workflow, until finally achieving the highest quality possible.


While video content marks a new era in the digital world and social media, top global brands have instantly become aware of the significance and functionality of opting to video subtitling to create effective social media plan, reach and engage wider audience, explore new cultural horizons, and achieve market growth.

The process of video subtitling is no longer demanding, as it is constantly going through major upgrades. It has been agreed upon that one of its best practices is it being a collaborative process where technology plays a role of immeasurable value utilized by professional multilingual linguists capable of overcoming any hurdles.

We believe it’s time to for your video content to include subtitles. We can help you; contact us for more information. contact us

1. A Facebook Report on the Updated Features of Video Ads

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