Of all the YouTube features that communicators overlook, one of the most valuable is closed captioning.
We’ve been doing it for broadcast TV ads for years, but it’s remarkably easy and powerful on YouTube. By uploading a simple text file, you can have complete control over when closed captions appear, and what they say. That can help you reach hearing-impaired audience members, as well as viewers who’d rather keep their devices muted to avoid disturbing their cubicle-mates.
But closed captioning will even help you reach the folks who crank the subwoofers to 11. That’s because the text in those captions gets read by Google – making closed captioning an essential part of your search engine strategy.
You could just rely on YouTube’s speech recognition technology to transcribe it automatically. But that’s a risky proposition.