Best Practices for Subtitles on Social Media Videos

And how to add them to your videos for free using Subly

Your audience wants to watch your video, but we all now know that 85% of them will watch with the volume off.

There are a lot of reasons that people watch videos with the sound off but 80% of them say they will watch the entire video if captions are on. At the very least, adding captions to your video increases the chances that your video will get more than the average 3 seconds of watch time (and research has shown that 65% of people who watch the first three seconds of a video will watch for at least ten seconds and 45% continue watching for thirty seconds)

Resource: There are lots more good reason to add subtitles to your videos. Here's a list of 12 reasons to add subtitles to your content.

So now that we've convinced you that adding subtitles to your video is no longer a choice, how can you do it easily, efficiently and for free?

We recently came across a new platform that is super easy to use: Subly.

Subly has an easy to use interface so that you can easily follow the 3 main rules of subtitling social media videos.

1. Font

Choose a clear font. Although you might want to be creative with the your typeface, or use your brand font, subtitles should be kept simple (for example, use Ariel font) as not to be distracting for the viewer.

2. Color and Size

We suggest using white on black as it is the easiest to see. If your brand colors are clear and you want to use some variation of that, it is acceptable as long as it is clearly visible.

The size of the subtitles should be large enough to read but not too large so that they take up too much space on the screen or cover any of your on-screen elements.

You can watch the full tutorial here:

(In case you didn't know, that's Sivan Felder our CMO in the video. You can reach out to her with all of your video questions on LinkedIn!)

3. Location on the video

Your subtitling should be centered and near the bottom.

Pro tip: Linkedin’s play button and progress bar will cover the bottom of your video so if you are making videos specifically for LinkedIn, you should move the subtitles a little higher than normal.

Did you know: captions and subtitles are not the same thing, even though colloquially we use them interchangeably.

Subtitles are actually the translation of a video in a different language than it is spoken.

Closed captions are what is used when you are showing text in the same language as what is being said on screen.

Subly is the first tool that we have found that you can make subtitles in foreign languages!

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