LinkedIn Hack: How to Easily Add Closed Captions to Videos

Captioning is inclusive.

True, you’re boosting SEO or grabbing the attention of the serial scroller, but what you’re really doing is including over 5% of the world’s population.

  • You’re including viewers that may not be able to hear the video.
  • You’re helping non-native English speakers understand your message.

Access is (and should be) a universal right.

deaf women on a video call

While captioning is a small step in the right direction for accessibility, it’s one of the most important pieces of audio and audiovisual information and communication that impacts a significant number of people.

Something I find really interesting is one of the reasons people may not add captions to their videos. “It takes too much time.” Instead of diving into the topic of what being too busy means to me – I went for a solution to the frequently mentioned pain point instead. Maybe it’s not the right (or only) solution, but it works. I also know it doesn’t take more than a few minutes added on to your regularly scheduled video posting routine.

Quick Review: Closed Captions vs Open Captions vs Subtitles

Chances are you’ve seen some text at the bottom of a video while scrolling your social feeds or watching a popular television series on your favorite streaming service. In some cases, you have the chance to turn them on or off. What’s the difference?

Closed Captioning

Closed captions [CC] are most often seen in videos, like on social media or video platforms such as YouTube or Wistia. What makes the captions closed? Is there something magical going on here? Quite simply, they can be toggled on and off by the viewer with a click of a button.

Open Captioning

Similar to [CC], open captions are also commonly seen in videos. The biggest difference is they always appear and there is no option to turn them off. In other words, the captions are embedded (burned-in/hard-coded) in the video itself, unlike closed captions which are likely added to a video using a separate file.

Subtitles

I like to think of this analogy and a literal definition:

[CC] is to transcription as subtitles are to translation.

Subtitles typically assume viewers can hear the audio and are used more often to support viewers who may not speak the language that’s being spoken.

You may also find that subtitles don’t match. There are a lot of reasons behind this. Allotted time, character count, and native language translation are three common reasons.

How to Add Closed Captions to Your LinkedIn Video

In the short tutorial linked below, I’ll break it down into two parts.

  • Part 1: YouTube
  • Part 2: LinkedIn

View Tutorial on Slideshare

View Tutorial on Google Slides

 

Again, it may not be the only way to add closed captions to your LinkedIn video, but it’s a place to start. If you don’t have an extra few minutes to add the captions by the method described in Part 1 of this tutorial, or if you’re uploading a longer-length video, it may benefit you to spend a few extra bucks to get someone to transcribe it for you. There are services out there like rev.com that can get the job done.

Additional Resources

  1. How to Record Yourself on Zoom
  2. Why I Learned American Sign Language
  3. Why Your Website Should Be Accessible for Everyone
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