Video is the newest form of content out there. It’s also the most popular. But it does suffer from some significant problems. Luckily, video transcription offers the ideal solution – especially when it comes to your online visibility.

Because, while video is often touted by marketers as the way to get the best marketing Return On Investment, transcribing your video content is the way to get the best out of your videos.

Video transcription is important for all sorts of reasons. For example:

  • Video content alone cannot be found by search engines
  • More than 85% of Facebook and other social media videos are watched without sound
  • YouTube videos without captions get fewer views than the same videos with captions

Video transcription solves all of these issues for you. Plus, pages which add transcripts tend to generate 16% more views and revenue.

That’s a massive increase just for writing down the words you use in your videos…What is a video transcription?” A video transcription is a written reproduction of a video’s audio track. The focus is usually on the words which are spoken. But transcriptions also often include details of sounds, background noises and music which can be heard.

A true transcription is not abridged. Subtitles or closed captions might need to be abridged or carefully tailored to fit the amount of screen time they have. A transcription, on the other hand, should be a full-fidelity reproduction of a video’s audio track.

That said, there are several different types of transcription. These broadly relate to how much detail of the audio track features in the final written version:

  • Verbatim transcription – is a truly unabridged reproduction. Nothing should be excluded – background noises, false starts, details of speakers’ emotional states. This makes this type of transcription highly detailed. It can also make it a little difficult to read.
  • Edited transcription – seeks to make a verbatim transcript a little easier on the eye. It usually focusses mainly on the words which are said. It also relies on a professional transcriber to remove any repetition, interjections such as “erm” and the like to make the transcription easier to read.
  • Intelligent transcription – takes the editing process to its logical conclusion. The transcriber will use their own intelligence to turn the sometimes meandering speech of any person into full and complete sentences. They may use some slight paraphrasing to make the message absolutely clear.

The benefits of video transcription” There are a huge number of reasons to transcribe your video content:

Video transcripts have SEO benefits

Search engines cannot “crawl” – i.e. search for – audio or video content. Adding a transcript allows search engines to find your videos via the only medium they know: text.

What’s more, a written transcript of your video content can be optimised for search using keywords which your chosen audience is likely to be searching for. In many cases, smart video content creators will write scripts for their videos which subtly feature keywords to ensure they are present when the content is later transcribed.

Plus, having your content in text format means you now have plenty of places to include links and – more importantly – the backlinks which are such a vital part of any good SEO strategy.

Increased accessibility

Another major benefit of video transcription is that you can use your transcript to create captions or subtitles. These are necessary if you want to make your video content accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Around 466 million people around the world have some degree of hearing loss. That’s a huge audience you’re missing out on if you’re not making your content accessible – around 5% of the total world population!
Videos with closed captioning serve the double purpose of making your content accessible to everyone, no matter their hearing level (or where they’re watching the video), while simultaneously increasing your audience.

Legal requirements can be met

The benefits of closed captions are there to be seen. It makes sense to include them. But in some parts of the world, anti-discrimination laws are in place to make sure people who are deaf or hard of hearing can always use the same resources as everyone else.

This means you have to consider accessibility if you are releasing your videos in those regions.

In the US, for example, there are set closed captioning laws for broadcasting. It’s far from uncommon for organisations to face legal action because they failed to make their content accessible to a deaf or hard of hearing audience.

Your transcript is instantly searchable

As well as being searchable by online search engines, a written transcript is also searchable internally.

  • What if your audience needs to be sure this is the right video for their needs?
  • What if they need to find a specific quote from your video?
  • What if they want to return to a specific place or mention in your video?

Add a transcript and you enable all of this valuable functionality. It’s also possible to add an interactive video transcript. This will allow your user to click on the relevant section of text and have the video start playing at the point they choose. Check out TED Talks for a great example of how well this can be done.

Using a transcript to add searchability also means your audience can easily come back and finish watching a video they started watching but had to abandon for whatever reason.

With an interactive transcript, they can simply click and continue. Even with a standard transcript they can easily find their place, especially if your transcript has time stamps. This can reward you with multiple visits to your site and several interactions with your content.

It is also particularly ideal for students. Over 97% of students in a recent survey said that interactive transcripts made learning better. In fact…

Multisensory learning (and advertising) is better

Multisensory learning means using both audio and visual channels to reach students.

Some people learn better via one method or the other. But most people learn best through a combination of the two. This is because reading and listening to something at the same time reinforces the message.

Using transcripts in any form of video means viewers can:

  • Refer back to the transcript at their convenience
  • Get additional support when watching content in a second language
  • Understand speakers with unfamiliar accents
  • Acquire new vocabulary through reinforcement

Of course, the same thing can be said to be true of all kinds of video content – training videos and even advertisements. Any combination of written and video content will get your message across to your audience in the most effective way possible.

Sometimes, your audience doesn’t want to listen

There are numerous environments where your audience might wish to watch and comprehend your content but not want to – or not be able to – listen to it.

By giving your audience the choice of how they can access your content – watching it, listening to it or reading it – you make it accessible no matter where they are:

  • Sound-sensitive environments such as libraries, shared workspaces or when commuting
  • Noisy environments or those with challenging acoustics, such as crowded streets or a busy gym
    This results in much higher engagement levels and more interactions.

Repurposing your content is simple

Having a transcript makes it easier to produce all sorts of content directly from your original video. Using the easily searchable nature of transcripts, you can create all of the following with a quick search for keywords:

  • Audio or video clips
  • Reels
  • Montages

Plus, you can also use your transcript to simply and easily produce written content to further boost your online profile:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Study guides
  • Reports
  • Testimonials
  • Quotes

Easily expand your global reach with translation

Through the web, your content can reach a massive global audience. But video content runs into a big problem when it comes to crossing language barriers. If your audience doesn’t speak your language, there’s no way they can access your content.

Even your YouTube videos – remember that YouTube is localised into 61 languages and over 70 countries, 8 out of the top 10 of which are non-English-speaking – cannot reach their full potential audience without a transcript which is ready for translation.

But, with a translated transcript, you can create foreign language subtitles or captions with just a little professional translation. This instantly makes your content accessible to a far wider audience. Consider the potential even if you just include the top three languages spoken by global internet users other than English:

  • Chinese internet users – number around 863 million.
  • Spanish internet users – number around 344 million.
  • Arabic internet users – number around 226 million.

A translated video transcript can also be the first step in truly localising your video content – adapting every element of your video so that it appears natural to (and is more likely to convert) someone from a different culture.

For videos intended for things like marketing purposes, full localisation is essential if you don’t want to risk your video bouncing off your new audience because it is confusing or culturally inappropriate.

But for many other purposes, having a transcript is an ideal solution.What kind of videos should I transcribe?” All kinds of video content can be and should be transcribed if you want to get the most out of it:

  • Social media videos – YouTube videos with captions get more views (somewhere in the region of 13% more lifetime views). Facebook videos are primarily watched without sound.
  • Advertisements and marketing materials – for accessibility and increased reach, including potential translation for a global audience and in preparation for possible later full localisation.
  • Interviews and business meetings – written records are far easier to search and reference, fulfilling the function of minutes much more effectively.
  • Podcasts – the SEO benefits of video transcription are huge. They are ideal for boosting the searchability of podcasts.
  • Presentations, panel discussions and Q&A sessions – again, a fully transcribed written record is much better for later searching and referencing as well as offering major SEO benefits if the content is to be posted online.

How to get a transcript of a video” When it comes to transcribing your video content, it’s important to use a professional transcription service.

Using software which promises to automatically transcribe video to text for free isn’t a good idea if quality is anywhere on your list of priorities. That’s because current technology isn’t capable of handling most video content…

Automatic transcription software is really only a possible solution if your video features a single speaker with a fairly neutral accent speaking a language the software supports in a very quiet environment with little or no background noise.

You will also likely run into problems with this kind of software if your video includes:

  • Abbreviations
  • Acronyms
  • Idioms
  • Industry terminology
  • Multiple speakers (especially if they constantly interrupt each other – a common feature of most conversations)
  • Proper nouns

Even the best video to text transcription software simply isn’t able to catch this sort of thing yet. This means that free transcription options – like YouTube video to text transcription – are a stopgap measure at best.
Using a trained professional human transcriber is currently the only real solution when you are transcribing almost all video content.Video transcript best practices when recording” When recording your video with the intention of having it transcribed later, you can take a few steps to ensure that the process is going to be quicker and easier – and thus more cost-effective.

You can check out our full article on how to record high-quality audio for transcription – all of the same lessons apply. But here’s a quick summary:

  1. Choose the right environment – anywhere with little background noise, away from noisy computing equipment and certainly not outside unless you can’t avoid it. A recording studio would be best. But anywhere the background levels are low and consistent should be okay.
  2. Use good equipment – you will almost certainly want to acquire some key pieces of equipment. Among them, a padded, high-quality microphone and an audio limiter. You may also need headphones to listen to your recording and probably some recording software.
  3. Prepare your speakers – make sure that your speakers know where the microphones are so that they can talk towards them. They should also be told that the slower and clearer they can speak, the better. It’s sometimes difficult to avoid, but if they can not talk across each other, that would also be a major advantage.

You’ll want to test your set-up before the actual recording process starts. Depending on the type of recording, you might need to make some small alterations. But these basic guidelines are a good place to start.Growing your online visibility via video transcription” Around 33% of all online activity is people watching videos. Using videos in your content results in much higher engagement:

  • Companies that use them commonly often see that their revenue rises as much as 49% faster.
  • Videos on social media are shared 1200% more than text or images.

But in order to get the best out of your video content, a written transcription is a vital addition.

A transcript makes your video accessible to a much wider audience. It makes your video searchable within itself – especially if you use an interactive transcription. It also provides your audience with a choice of how to interact with your content, results in better message retention and it lays the groundwork for easier repurposing and translation of your content for even greater reach later on.

That’s not to mention one of – if not the – major reason why all kinds of organisations produce transcripts of their video content:

Growing your online visibility through video transcription is part of any highly effective SEO strategy.

Have you recently realised the benefits of video transcription?

Asian Absolute transcribes video content for companies in every industry in more than 120 languages. Often, this is in preparation for translation to boost reach even further. But we also sometimes provide pure transcription alone.

Get a free, no-obligation quote on transcribing your video content today. Or send us a quick query in the comments below or when you contact us without any commitment.