In the past, marketing was understood to mean placing adverts newspapers, magazines, radio/tv, on billboards or flyers. In the past few decades things have changed radically, and the company that wishes to compete on today’s market must be digitally literate. If they want to continue or expand into the international market, that means using all of the new technologies and social media to their advantage.
One aspect of this is the corporate video, which as I’m sure you know has many functions: as an introduction to your company, a sales presentation, to communicate your latest creations and ideas, for training purposes, and so on. The chances are that if you’re reading this, you have already looked into, or even commissioned, not one but multiple videos to promote your business, and you may be wondering why adding subtitles is a good idea.
Why should I care about subtitles on my corporate video?
First of all, consider that this video may well be the introduction to your company, and that first impressions are long-lasting. If you are planning on using social media, then you might have noticed that the first few seconds of videos on some sites are played on “mute”. How are you going to capture the viewer’s interest in those first few moments if they can’t hear your message? Subtitles may well mean the difference between a person scrolling on past your video, with its beautiful innovative images and designs, and stopping to click on it and hear what your company can do for them.
Another aspect to bear in mind, particularly in the international market, is that your corporate video may be watched by non-native speakers, people with disabilities, the hearing impaired, and so on. The speaker could also have a strong regional accent that is not understood by someone from a different part of the world, even though they both speak the same language. The one way to overcome these obstacles is by using subtitles. They will ensure that your message gets across to a wide audience clearly, with no loss of important key words or phrases.
Will subtitles on corporate video really help my company to communicate better?
We should also remember that people generally only remember about 7 – 10% of what they hear, whereas if a message is reinforced by images or words, they can remember up to 50% more of it. How better then, to communicate and share your ideas than by using a combination of images and subtitles? Think back to videos that have stuck in your mind for some reason – advertising, films, documentaries, TED talks… don’t you remember the ones with subtitles a bit better? Even when watching videos in their mother tongue, students remember up to 50% more if it is subtitled.
Nowadays it’s easy to assume that everyone has state-of-the-art technology, but in many countries, this is simply not true. How ironic would it be if you lost out on a client just because they couldn’t hear your corporate video clearly on their old computer! It’s also possible that a customer could be listening to your video on a train, in a crowded airport, or in a noisy office. If you wish to globalise your brand, you need to reach out to all of these potential customers and subtitles will give your video that competitive edge.
Finally, subtitling your video can also be the first step towards later translating it. A small point, but an important one.
If you wish to make your company truly international, and ensure your ideas reach the widest possible audience, you need to fully utilise social media, and make your videos accessible to all. Subtitles will help everyone who watches to understand them, which in the long run can only be an advantage in making your business more competitive.