Why This Instagram Expert Uses Captions for IGTV Content

October 4, 2019 BY JACLYN LEDUC
Updated: April 20, 2021

IGTV content is all the rage right now. It allows Instagrammers to post long-form content on their profiles, and it’s all about growing engagement. But what about making IGTV content accessible?

Sue B. Zimmerman has cracked the Instagram (IG) code, and she’s on a mission to share her knowledge with the entrepreneurs and marketing professionals of the world. She’s taken her IG expertise and business coaching experience and grown a successful company focused on helping people maximize the power of IG.

Sue is an Instagram expert –her IG handle is literally @TheInstagramExpert. So when questions about accessibility for IGTV content arose, we knew just who to ask.

3Play: Can you tell our readers a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Screenshot of Sue Zimmerman's instagram video with over 5,000 views.
Sue: I teach business owners how to get more exposure online using Instagram. For the past 7 years, I have been teaching, coaching and speaking to a global audience about the power of Instagram and how you can create a community within your niche and become the go-to authority.

3Play: What is the role of video on Instagram these days?

Sue: There are now 4 neighborhoods on Instagram:

  • The feed
  • IG Stories
  • IGTV
  • IGLive

Each neighborhood has a video feature where you can amplify, promote and broadcast who you are, what you do, why you do it and how it can impact and help others.

In my opinion, video is the MOST intimate way that you can connect with others and form deeper relationships faster than by just sharing photos.

3Play: For our readers who don’t know, what is IGTV?

Sue: Initially IGTV was its own app. It was not as widely used as it is today since you can now share your IGTV videos to your feed,

Videos get more engagement since IG is favoring them in the explore tab. If you notice IGTV get the most real estate.

IGTV can quickly give you more views and exposure.

IG stories go away in 24 hours unless they are saved as a resource in your highlight.

3Play: How long have you been captioning your IGTV content?

Sue: I started since day one that IGTV became an available feature and have been capturing videos since June 2018 and did my first captioned video on July 1, 2018.

When I reposted it on July 26, 2019, it got so much more engagement because it is now integrated in the feed.

3Play: Why do you make the effort to caption your IGTV videos?

Sue: We caption videos to get more reach, view, exposure and most importantly conversations that can lead to conversions.

3Play: How much time does it usually take to caption your videos?

Sue: It does take a lot of time to plan and process, but the views and appreciation from those who are hearing-impaired make it worth the effort.


Instagram user says, As a dis/abilities advocate, I really love how you use subtitles. It instantly creates more access for many! I hope that more in this field will follow your lead. Great work. Thank you.

3Play: Can you think of a moment when you could clearly see the rewards of captioning?

Sue: Yes, I frequently get people saying how much they appreciate the opportunity to read what I am saying. Often they are in a public place.

3Play: Can you sum up what you love about Instagram?

Sue: I think Instagram is the glue that holds us together globally.

 Want to Start Captioning Your IGTV Content? Follow This Step-By-Step Guide.  ➡️

How to Caption IGTV Content

IGTV doesn’t have a built-in captioning tool like some other social media platforms. However, captioning IGTV content is possible.

Because you can’t add a caption SRT file to IGTV content, captions need to be burned onto the video itself. These are known as encoded or open captions.

Before getting started, make sure your IGTV content is:

  • Between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long*
  • An MP4 file

*Verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes long.

Caption Encoding with 3Play Media

If you use 3Play Media for captioning, you can rest assured knowing that your IGTV captions are of quality. We guarantee 99% accurate captions and offer multiple turnarounds options so that you can get your content out on schedule. If you’re creating and sharing IGTV videos on a regular basis and can’t seem to keep up with DIY captions on your own, 3Play is here to help.

The following is a step-by-step guide* to add open captions to your IGTV content using 3Play Media’s caption encoding service:

Create or Upload a Transcript of Your Video

Begin by logging into your 3Play Media account.

From the Upload tab at the top of the screen, select the method you are going to use to upload your video – From Computer, From Links, From Linked Account, or Cloud Storage. Next, choose your video and follow the prompts.

You’ll receive an email when transcription is complete.

Order Open Captions

Once your video transcript is ready, click on the file, go to Order > Caption Encoding and select Source w/ Open Captions. Click Next and follow the on-screen prompts.

Screenshot with Order and Caption Encoding selected

Publish Your Captioned Video on IGTV

Once your video is ready for download, all you have to do is post it to IGTV! You can do this directly within the Instagram app.

Other Online Captioning Tools

There are some other online captioning tools that can help you on your quest for creating more engaging and accessible IGTV content. These tools are great if you are producing short, one-off videos on an irregular basis.

If you already have a caption file and just need to burn the captions onto your video, multi-purpose desktop apps, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, or Final Cut Pro X, can help.

If captions are just what your IGTV content needs, get in touch with us today. 📺


Adding Captiong to IGTV just got easier

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