Closed captioning is used by television producers to make their shows accessible to people with hearing disabilities.
It turns out that captions on video content have many more uses. Social media video viewers don’t watch videos without sound.
About 90% of all students reported that they use captions occasionally. They increase retention, accuracy, and comprehension.
If you want to caption your content, you’ll have a choice between live captions and recorded captions. There are slight differences between them, but they both carry a wealth of benefits.
How do these captioning options compare? Read this guide to learn the differences between recorded and live captions.
Live Captions vs. Recorded Captions
A caption takes the audio portion of video content and converts it to text. Captioning then synchronizes the text with the video for a smooth viewing experience.
Live captions get created for live events, such as webinars, virtual meetings, and live streaming. Captions appear in real-time.
Recorded captions get created for recorded video and audio content. The text is time-stamped and synched with the video. You can read about recorded content and captions here.
Other Captioning Terms to Know
There are other terms to know that get used interchangeably with captions. For instance, transcription isn’t the same as a caption.
Transcription is a text file that contains the audio-to-text conversion. There are two types of video transcriptions.
The first is a verbatim transcription. This captures everything that was said during the event, including all of those annoying verbal ticks, like um, you know, and uh.
These have to be edited out if you plan to share the transcription publicly. A transcription for scripted content minimizes these instances, so you should use verbatim transcriptions for scripted content only.
A clean read transcription edits the text, so those verbal ticks are removed from the final transcription. This is good for live and other unscripted content.
Transcriptions are great to have if you want to repurpose your video content. A transcription helps you pull quotes for social media posts and create blog posts.
How do these things differ from subtitles? Subtitles show the translation of the audio into other languages. When you watch a foreign film, you usually watch it in the original language with subtitles in your language.
How to Create Videos for Captioning
Recorded and live captions go a long way to make your video content memorable and accessible.
If you want to use video content to grow your brand or connect with your audience, you have to know how to create high-quality videos.
A high-quality video starts with a purpose. You want to know why you’re creating the video, whether it’s a webinar for lead generation or a live interview for your employees.
The purpose is followed by the broadcast channels. A recorded video might appear on YouTube and other social media channels.
You might have live content broadcast through Zoom. There are live streaming platforms that allow you to stream content to multiple channels at once.
What are the main takeaways for your audience? A live webinar can educate people on a specific topic. Social media videos can entertain and educate.
This step lets you home in on the key messages that need to appear throughout the video.
Plan the Video
A recorded video can have a storyboard which is a series of quick drawings of frames that show the progression of the story. This allows you to set up the camera angle for each shot quickly.
A live video should have an agenda or an outline. This lets you run through the content smoothly. If you try to wing it, you’ll come across unprepared for the camera.
There are other aspects of the plan, too. For example, where is the shooting location? How many cameras will you need? When is the shoot?
If you’re broadcasting on YouTube or posting the video on your website, make sure the video is optimized for SEO. You’ll need keywords, a title, and a description.
Do you have a budget for the video? If not, create one.
Choose Your Captioning Service
You already know the benefits of captioning your video content. It’s actually easy to do, thanks to artificial intelligence.
There are many tools out there that will generate accurate captions whether you have live or recorded content.
Facebook has a setting to automatically generate captions for live videos. When you set up the live video, make sure you check the Viewing settings and turn on Auto-generated captions.
Zoom and YouTube have similar settings.
If you have a short video, Clipscribe is a tool that creates captions for uploaded content. You can design the video to include your logo and customize the colors of the text to match your brand.
Get Ready to Shoot
Depending on the purpose and broadcast channel, you might be able to get away with your smartphone.
If you want a broadcast-quality video, you’ll need to get a camera. There are inexpensive DSLR and mirrorless cameras with video capabilities. Canon has a webcam utility that integrates with Zoom.
The audio and lighting are more important than the camera you use. Viewers don’t mind low-quality video as much as they mind bad sound and lighting design.
Invest in a softbox kit and microphones. A directional microphone is best because it doesn’t pick up surrounding sounds.
You’re finally ready to broadcast the video. Run a couple of tests before you record or go live to make sure everything looks and sounds good.
Unleash the True Power of Video Content
The true power of video content lies in captions. Viewers are able to comprehend and remember the video because they can read and listen to the content.
Whether you use recorded or live captions, you need to have a plan for your video content. This guide showed you how to create quality videos and add captions.
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