What’s old is new again (VIDEO)

Using captions on your video is becoming an essential strategy in ensuring engagement. The fact is many people are watching videos on their Facebook feeds with the sound off. However when they are captioned the information can still be delivered in an effective manner.

100 years ago silent movies were all the rage. Images would race across the screen and the key information or dialogue would be expressed by text on the screen. We’ve come so far and seem to have ended back to where film began.

Of course times are different. Back then it was because of a lack of technology. Today it is because of an overwhelm of technology.

More and more videos are being consumed on mobile devices. People watch them on the train, at work, in bed and sometimes they don’t want to disturb the people nearby. Captioned videos that automatically play on Facebook allow you to capture a viewer’s attention who can watch your production without needing to hear it.

It has become more important than ever to consider how visually compelling you can make your videos. Audio is valuable and an inspiring music track can do more to move your viewer than mere words or pictures on their own, but given how many people are watching videos without sound, it is time to consider how to tell your story in mute mode.

We could try to insist that people turn on their sound or just accept that this is how it is now. But that’s liking telling the tide to stay where it is. You need to be more adaptable.

This means you need to consider how much impact you can create through clever and appropriate visual storytelling. While a talking head with captions can get deliver a message it doesn’t have as much impact as a story that is designed to engage through the visuals.

This video below is a great example of visual storytelling. Even with the sound off you understand exactly what is happening and why. With the sound on, it’s even better, but it works with or without¬†the sound.

Of course not everyone has a budget to create CGI furry animals jumping on a trampoline. You can however create your message well by adding captions to your story.

Did you know YouTube can automatically create captions for you? They are not always 100% accurate but they do most of the work for you. You can then if you like, export the captions so you can add them to your Facebook version of your video. You can also use YouTube to transcribe the video into text. It has a handy feature that pauses the video while you are typing. When stop for a second it starts playing the video again until you start typing again.

Check out this video below to see how you create captions on YouTube.


[line] Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight, a video production facility in Sydney.
He is an author, presenter and a video producer.
Connect with him, book him, take his course, buy his book, follow him.

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Geoff Anderson

About Geoff Anderson

Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight and has been producing videos for 25 years.
He is an author, presenter as well as a video producer.


  • Thanks, Geoff – this was VERY helpful! I haven’t played around much with YouTube but do like the idea of putting captions in. We hope to be using YouTube more in the future for RBF so this will come in handy.

    • Good to hear Sabrina. They are also becoming essential for Facebook and YouTube is an easy way to create the captions before uploading them to the Facebook video.

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