Top 5 Posts of 2018

December 31, 2018 BY ELISA LEWIS
Updated: May 14, 2020

2018 has been an exciting year, to say the least. We’ve learned so much about captions, accessible video, SEO, and more. There were many blogs published over the course of the year, but we’ve narrowed it down to our readers’ favorite posts. Here are the top 5 blog posts of 2018!

1. DIY Workflows for Captioning & Transcription

The top blog post of 2018 familiarizes the reader on how to create your own captions, also coined DIY (do-it-yourself). If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, transcribing your video content may be your best bet. However, keep in mind that although it’s a cheaper option, in-house captioning can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive process.

Many content creators host their videos on YouTube, and there are a number of ways to create captions within the video platform itself. The first way is to download and manually edit the automatic captions. YouTube automatically generates captions. While this is a great place to start, YouTube’s automatic captions are notoriously inaccurate. Why does this matter? Not only does it hurt video accessibility and SEO, but it can also be embarrassing. The second option is to create a transcript on YouTube. If you prefer to avoid the automatic captions, you can create a transcript from scratch and sync it with the video directly on YouTube. The last option for content hosted on YouTube is to create a transcript file using a different platform and upload the file onto YouTube.

If you use another video platform to host your content, there are many resources available that can make in-house transcription easier. The first step is to create a video transcript, then synchronize your transcript with your video, and finally upload your captions to your video.

When creating your own captions or transcripts, it’s important to follow best practices. If you find it to be too challenging of a process, we recommend using a captioning service like 3Play.


how to use youtube for diy captioning:1. Upload video to YouTube 2. Go to your video editor, then click on the Subtitles/CC tab. 3. Select English (automatic). 4. Select the Edit button, then begin editing your captions. 5. Once you are ready to download, select Actions then Download.

Read the full blog here.

2. How to Add Closed Captions to YouTube Videos – For Free

As opposed to the first blog that offered a variety of DIY solutions, the second most popular blog post touches upon closed captions solely for the use of YouTube. Similarly to the information given above, YouTube is a good option when you’re on a tight budget.

YouTube icon with the words follow me, subscribe, and video

YouTube uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) to align your written transcript to the audio information provided in the video. It breaks the transcript into correctly timed captions frames that you can use as a supplement to your video content. All it takes is a few easy-to-follow steps in order to get started.

If you don’t already have a transcript of your video and the audio quality is poor, you can manually type out the transcript by listening to the entire video repeatedly. There are plenty of free tools available online to make this process more efficient. However, with decent audio quality and clear diction, you can use YouTube’s automatic captions to create a rough draft of your closed captions.

Whether you create captions yourself or use a captioning service, consider a few captioning best practices including using correct punctuation and identifying speakers.

Read the entire blog post for detailed instructions.

3. 6 YouTube Hacks for Captioning and Subtitling

Did you know 72 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube every 60 seconds? That’s a lot of video! If you really want to stand out and really make your presence known on YouTube, follow these 6 hacks to take your video to the next level.

captions can help engage your audience, improve brand recall, increase SEO, and help reach wider audiences

  1. Auto translate captions: use Google Translate to automatically translate your caption file into other languages
  2. Reposition captions on a video: drag captions and place them all around the video screen as to not obstruct with important visual elements
  3. Use keyboard shortcuts for adjusting captions: these shortcuts give access to people who can’t rely on using a mouse, including people who are blind/low vision or people with motor disabilities
  4. Use live stenographers for YouTube Live Stream: since automatic captions are far from perfect, YouTube allows you to have live stenographers
  5. View videos with a transcript: the transcript plays alongside the video. You can skip and jump to pertinent parts of the video
  6. Manage caption settings for your device: when available, you can toggle captions on/off across different devices for YouTube videos

Read more to delve into each hack.

4. 7 Ways Captions and Transcripts Improve Video SEO

In this blog post, we discuss how to gain an edge in video SEO. If you’re looking to improve your SEO, consider adding transcripts and captions to your video. Transcripts and captions allow Google to crawl the text since Google’s bots can’t pick up on the audio information. This not only increases your keyword density but also your keyword diversity. Follow these seven rules of thumb if you want to rank in the search results.

  1. Video transcripts increase search traffic: a transcript allows search engines to crawl your multimedia content and index it accordingly By 2022, 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video content
  2. Closed captioned videos rank higher in search results: closed captions come from a text file that your video references as it’s being played. The text file is readable by search engine bots.
  3. Closed captions increase engagement: closed captions increase viewership because they keep the viewer engaged regardless of their access to audio
  4. Paginated transcripts improve off-page SEO: by housing your long-form transcripts on separate pages, you create opportunities to target additional keywords
  5. Video transcripts align your SEO keyword strategy: a video transcript can help you craft your SEO strategy when building each video page
  6. Transcripts make content creation easy: transcripts can provide lots of derivative content
  7. Transcripts and captions improve UX: search engines are moving towards valuing user experience in determining page rank

Read here to improve your video SEO.

5. 5 Instagram Accounts Doing Captioning Right

instagram icon Instagram is a popular social media platform, where people can utilize photos and videos to engage and connect. Video developed into a popular form of content on social media. If your video solely relies on sound to tell a story, you could be excluding people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

A study by Facebook uncovered that 80% of viewers react negatively to videos that autoplay without sound. If you’re with a business or organization that uses Instagram to share information with your audience, consider adding captions to your content. This will improve accessibility, make content available to people in sound-sensitive environments, as well as engage an international audience.

Check out these Instagram accounts yielding tremendous results with captioned videos.


Thanks to all our readers for following 3Play’s blog. Stay tuned for more posts throughout 2019. Happy New Year!

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