Globally, we watch 100 million hours of video content on Facebook every day, and streaming video accounts for over two thirds of all internet traffic. Universities are using online videos to attract students to their institution in an extremely competitive global market.
University marketing, communications and student recruitment departments share a variety of video material on their websites and social media accounts: promotional and informational videos, live streams of graduation ceremonies, and interviews with academics, alumni and current students.
Have you ever considered that despite all the time and effort spent creating, compiling and publishing all this material, you might be missing a large percentage of your audience? It has been reported that as much as 85% of video views happen with the sound turned off. Would all your videos make sense if people were watching without audio?
One effective way to ensure your viewers are receiving your message in full is to caption your live streams and online videos. We're proud to have partnered with Facebook to enable you to add live captions to your live broadcasts. Not only are captioned videos viewed 12% longer than non-captioned videos, viewers are more likely to engage with them, liking them 10% more often, commenting on them 29% more frequently, and sharing them 26% more widely.
With 52% of people watching online video on mobile devices nowadays, it’s likely that they won’t have the sound turned on – they might be on the bus, in the library or in the uni coffee shop – and you won’t have long to capture their attention. Adding captions in the first few seconds of your video (which will start playing automatically on some platforms) will catch people’s eye, and Facebook themselves recommend doing just that.
Providing captions for your videos will also help people find them in the first place, as they make the content available to search engines. Without captions, people may miss out on the videos that you’ve created when searching for information about your university.
Another very important reason to caption your videos is to make them accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who have a disability which affects auditory or memory processing, such as an autistic spectrum condition (ASC).
Additionally, people who don’t speak English as their first language, e.g. overseas students from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, also benefit from captions for comprehension. In fact, even native English speakers may find it easier to digest content more accurately by reading than by hearing – a study published by the BBC found that 80% of people who use captions have no hearing impairment.
With Facebook’s recently announced changes to what is featured on users’ timelines, and estimates that video streams will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2020, captioning your videos will help ensure that your university’s message is seen by those you’re trying to reach.