How subtitles in videos can increase engagement | MarTech Advisor

Transcripts can help engagement with your audience.
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Sean O’Neal, President at Adaptly elaborates on their recent research study with Refinery 29, which shows that brands can ensure engagement even for videos beyond 2 minutes if accompanied with subtitles.

Despite the rise of premium content creators producing best-in-class video for web-first distribution, little has been published about effective long-form (2 minutes or longer in length) video delivery strategies. Even less has been published about the role of long-form video on mobile devices.

Facebook’s in-feed video capabilities allows publishers and marketers alike to distribute their content to target audiences at a massive scale. And, it’s a known fact that millennials are flocking to digital platforms to find premium long-form content to supplement (or replace) traditional linear programming.

With this background, Adaptly and Refinery 29 conducted a study in partnership to analyse the impact preview trailers and subtitles have on driving 2 million people to view and engage with longer-form video content within Facebook’s News Feed. Our research findings identified best practices for optimizing Facebook as a video content distribution channel.

This is the second joint research study by Adaptly, the social ad technology company which gives solutions for autonomous marketing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Kik, and Refinery29, a lifestyle website.

Within a year of launching its video player, Facebook is overtaking YouTube for total video views, with users adopting the longer video format with even as long as seven-minute branded content videos achieving high levels of engagement.

The research study was designed to help content publishers know ways to drive viewership and engagement of their branded long-form video when delivered within the Facebook News Feed. The study demonstrated the role of sequencing short trailers, which contain short previews of a long-form video segment prior to delivering the long-form video, as well as the impact of incorporating subtitles into the long-form video.

The two tactics analysed for driving people to view and engage with longer-form video content were “Preview” trailers and Sub-titling. The results suggested that sequencing trailers prior to delivering a long-form video may increase the view rate of the long-form video, but may actually decrease the overall completion rate and therefore, might not be necessary to drive deeper engagement. The study also suggests that adding subtitles into the long-form video may increase the completion rate and overall levels of engagement.