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Dezember 18, 2020 |

How to Boost Your Global Video Marketing Strategy with Subtitles

Subtitles are an excellent way of making video content available to broader audiences across multiple languages. For marketing videos, subtitles are an excellent technique to increase usability, highlight calls to action, and boost engagement.

Subtitles are easy to process and follow, so reading them is often more efficient than listening to messages. And subtitles in global video marketing make your message more powerful. Not only do they facilitate understanding across multiple languages, but they also make it easier for foreign audiences to follow instructions and take action. 

Subtitles are a goldmine for video marketers, even for English-speaking audiences. They can increase the time people spend watching a video by almost 40 percent. Moreover, as much as 80 percent of viewers watch the entire video when subtitles are on. So, why not use this tool to increase global engagement across multilingual audiences?  

Let’s examine how using subtitles to translate video content can help you increase the return on your global video marketing strategy. 

Why Invest in a Global Video Marketing Strategy?

Video content can become a pillar of your global marketing strategy. That’s because most people remember significantly more details in a message from video than text, making video the type of content with the highest ROI. Moreover, videos are more likely to go viral and increase brand awareness. 

People love watching video content online, not just on YouTube, but also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok. All social networks have integrated features that enable creating and distributing video content to increase engagement and keep users on their platforms longer.  

As much as 81 percent of businesses use video for marketing purposes. If you don’t add it to your global content marketing strategy, you’ll miss out on business opportunities. From events and training to customer reviews, anything can be developed into video content to increase engagement. 

And, since subtitles are a cost-effective way of making video content available to global audiences, you can obtain excellent ROI with minimum costs. According to HubSpot, 73 percent more visitors who watch product videos will make a purchase. That’s because this type of content creates emotional connections and generates trust. People follow your message, understand it better, relate to the story, and take action. It’s that simple. 

Keep Videos Short

If you want to boost your global video marketing strategy, keep videos short and sharp. According to some marketers and advertisers, marketing videos shouldn’t be longer than two minutes. However, with attention spans always getting smaller, even two minutes might be too much for your audience. 

Depending on the platform you use to share your content, you might want to keep the videos even shorter, to under a minute. If you can still convince people to watch your 3-minute video on Facebook and YouTube, be sure to be more concise and share your message in 60 seconds or less on other channels. 

Of course, videos can be longer for webinars and masterclasses, but that’s because people play these videos with a specific purpose in mind. They expect them to be longer and are prepared to pay attention to the information they contain. 

Follow Subtitling Best Practices

It’s not enough to add subtitles to make your marketing videos accessible to international audiences. You need to make sure that your team follows industry best practices for a seamless experience from start to finish. 

Here are some of the details you should pay attention to for increased communication efficiency. 

  • Transcreate. Subtitles require more than just a word-to-word translation from the original language. This way, you can rewrite the message in a new language without losing the meaning and make it long enough to keep the natural cadence of communication.  
  • Use short phrases. You want to have two lines of text on the screen. Anything longer than that risks covering the image. Plus, people don’t have enough time to read all the information on the screen, and they might miss out on a crucial detail, which means they’ll be confused and frustrated. 
  • Follow the natural way of speaking. Make sure subtitle lines don’t break unnaturally. If that happens, ask your translators to rewrite them. If people have to read a sentence twice to understand it, you’ll lose your viewers.
  • Pay attention to punctuation. Subtitles tend to lose punctuation to reduce the number of characters on screen. However, exclamation marks, commas, apostrophes, question marks, and language-specific signs are essential when you want to deliver a correct message easily understood by local viewers. 
  • Make the text legible. Pay attention to font dimensions, colors, and all other small details that can create friction, distract your audience, or keep people from reading the text while watching the video.  

Avoid Machine Translation for Subtitles

Coming up with the best translation that keeps the meaning intact and perfectly fits the space on the screen is challenging. It’s essential to work with professional linguists with subtitling experience to make sure that your videos are impeccable. This way, you provide your international public with an excellent experience and increase global video marketing ROI. 

Depending on the scope of your project and budget, you can consider working with freelance translators or a translation and localization agency. Either way, make sure that you hire linguists that are aware of your marketing videos’ purpose. They should also understand how your target audiences talk to deliver the right message to the right people.  

What about machine translation? Sure, DIY projects can be tempting – you can make yourself understood (at least partially), with almost no translation costs. However, free software like Google Translate isn’t reliable, as it can only do so much for your subtitles. Even if machine learning has improved the quality of automated translation, you’re still looking at limited capabilities.

The chances that free software can capture the meaning behind your message and rewrite it in a short, crisp, and compelling manner are minimal. If you don’t have language skills, you might not notice translation errors and risk sending the wrong message to international audiences. Remember, video is most likely to go viral, so, before you know it, you could end up famous worldwide – but not for the right reasons.