5 Tips for Adding Subtitles to Your Videos

5 tips for adding subtitles to your videos

5 tips for adding subtitles to your videos. 

Video is a powerful medium, but it can be inaccessible to viewers who have hearing impairments or are learning English as a second language. Subtitles can help your video reach more people and get your message across without difficulty. This article will introduce you to the importance of subtitles in video, why they’re helpful and how you can add them to your own videos. Keep reading for 5 tips on how you can use subtitles to make your videos more accessible to all audiences.

What are subtitles?

Subtitles are a written version of spoken audio, typically used on video to translate languages or clarify audio. They’re part of a broader category called Closed Captions. While subtitles are a one-to-one translation of what’s spoken in the video, captions are written to represent multiple speakers and audio levels at once. They’re a great way to add accessibility to live video. Subtitles are a great way to boost the accessibility of any type of video, whether it’s a marketing video, training video or even a lecture. With the right approach, you can make sure your video content is available to anyone, regardless of language or hearing ability.


Why should you use subtitles?

Subtitles serve a few key functions: they help viewers who have hearing impairments or learning English as a second language access your video content; they allow viewers to pause or rewind the video as many times as they like without losing the subtitles; and they can help boost your video’s SEO as Google and other search engines cannot watch your video, but they can obtain keywords through the text included in closed captions.

Subtitles are particularly important for marketing and sales videos. You want your viewers to be engaged and understand what you’re selling or offering and have the ability to watch the video without the sound on, so subtitles can help make that happen. You also want to be mindful of your potential customers’ needs. By adding subtitles, you can make your videos accessible to a wider audience, here are 5 tips for adding subtitles to your videos:

Tip 1: Ensure a high level of accuracy

Our first tip for adding subtitles to your videos is accuracy. Accuracy is one of the most important qualities to consider when creating and translating subtitles. You’re essentially representing someone else’s work in your own language and need to make sure the translation is spot on. If you’re not familiar with the language you’re translating, you might want to partner with a third-party who can accurately interpret the audio and make sense out of it. If you’ve hired a third-party or are working with a professional translator, make sure you have some standards for accuracy in place, like a style guide or glossary of terms. This will help ensure everyone working on the project is on the same page and your subtitles are accurate.

Tip 2: Use a third-party to create subtitles

The second of our 5 tips for adding subtitles to your videos is to use a third-party. Subtitles are a great way to bring your video to a wider audience but creating them yourself isn’t easy. If you don’t have experience with creating subtitles, you might find the process time-consuming and frustrating. If you’re putting together a video for a marketing campaign or other content that requires subtitles, consider outsourcing the subtitles to a third-party provider. This will take some of the pressure off you and help you stay on schedule.

By outsourcing your subtitles, you can hire a team to create the subtitles for you. These teams work in-house and are familiar with many industries and specialisations, so you can feel confident they’ll be able to create accurate subtitles for your video.

For example, if you’re creating a video for your ecommerce store, you might want to add subtitles to help boost your SEO. Creating these subtitles yourself would take time away from creating content and other marketing efforts, but outsourcing them to a third-party can help you save time and be more effective with your strategy.

Tip 3: Style your subtitles

The third of captionme’s tips for adding subtitles to your videos is to style your subtitles. Since subtitles are written text, you have some freedom to style them as you wish. Editing suites such as captionme’s gives you full control over the following:


You might want to stick to sans-serif fonts, like Arial or Helvetica, but the choice is yours. If you want to add some variety to your subtitles, you can try a different font for each video.


You can use colour to draw attention to a specific subtitle, make it stand out or signify a change in speaker.


You have a few different options for where to place your subtitles on the screen. They can appear on the bottom, top or sides of the screen, or you can place them on a black bar that scrolls through the video.


You can use subtitles to go beyond the translation of the audio and provide additional content for your viewers. This can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your word count for SEO.

Tip 4: Burn the subtitles or use closed captions?

This is a common question and it’s one you should know the answer to before you start creating your video. First, let’s take a look at each option.

Burned-in subtitles:

These are subtitles that are superimposed on the video and can’t be turned off. Typically, you’d use burned-in subtitles on social media platforms where audio is natively turned off or you’re sharing a video with other people.

Burned-in subtitles will be visible to everyone who views your video, regardless of language or hearing ability. This is helpful if you want to include subtitles but don’t want them to be removable.

Closed captions:

These are subtitles that are separate from the video and can be turned on or off by the viewer. An .stt or .vtt file is uploaded against the video file to whatever sharing platform being used. This is helpful if you want your subtitles to be accessible to everyone and allows multiple captions in multiple languages to be selected by the viewer.

Tip 5: When to use speech recognition vs human-made subtitles

Last but not least on this list of top 5 tips for adding subtitles to your videos is to know when to use speech recognition and when to use human-made subtitles. Did you know you can create subtitles for your videos using a speech recognition software? This can be helpful if you’re short on time or need to create a lot of subtitles in a short period of time. There are a few things to consider before using speech recognition to create your subtitles.

First, you need to make sure your audio is clear, otherwise, the software won’t be able to understand what’s being said. Next, you need to decide whether you want to accept the automatic translation or if you want to hire a human to make your subtitles.

Alternatively, you can use a hybrid service such as captionme’s human-edited service, where speech recognition creates the “backbones” of the subtitles, and a professional captioner will go in and edit these to generate a 99% accurate captioning file.


That was captionme’s top 5 tips for adding subtitles to your videos. Whether you’re creating a marketing video, a training video or a lecture, subtitles can make your content accessible to a wider audience. Subtitles and closed captions are helpful for viewers with hearing impairments, those learning English as a second language and those who want to pause or rewind the video. By adding subtitles to your videos, you can reach a wider audience and make sure everyone is getting your message.

With the right approach, you can make your videos accessible to more people with ease.

If you’d like to discuss how captionme can help with your subtitle project(s), then click the button below to get in touch.

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