Developing a content strategy without having video as part of the mix is like pitching up to a wedding without wearing your trousers. A third of all time online is spent watching video, and that number is on the rise. Video is no longer a “nice to have”. It’s an essential weapon in the arsenal of any brand serious about creating content. Videos can be used for pretty much anything. They build emotional affinity, they instruct, and they persuade. In research 90% of customers state that videos help them make purchasing decisions.
All of which is great, unless you need to speak to multiple markets at the same time. That involves serving up your videos in multiple languages. When you factor in the cost of audio production, the undeniable opportunity presented by video marketing suddenly comes with a hefty price tag. And that’s where the crafty art of multilingual subtitling comes in.
Affordability and speed of delivery are both key to the appeal of subtitles, but they’re far from being the only redeeming features. There are a number of smart and sensible reasons to apply subtitles to video.
In addition to viewers with hearing issues, a vast amount of online film is watched in silence. 85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute. Is that a risk worth taking?
This might come as a surprise to those who find foreign films a struggle, but many people actually prefer watching with the subtitles turned on. Even native speakers. It can add to the appreciation of the content. It can also add to the impact. A 2009 PLY Media report revealed that an online film was more likely to be watched to completion if it was subtitled.
Google indexes captions. That means your subtitles contribute to your search results. Critically, this doesn’t happen if you use an automatic subtitle generator. As with all content, search engines are increasingly discriminatory against auto-translation. To reap the full benefit you need to work with a professional translation agency.
Brightlines helps a long list of multi-national organisations craft communication for audiences all over the world. Adapting video content is one of the fastest-growing areas of our business. Open captions. Closed captions. Subtitles. We do the lot. Every job is different, but our approach remains the same. At Brightlines we deliver high-quality subtitle translation in five steps.
1. Briefing and planning – When you’re tailoring content for multiple markets, success depends on details. What languages do you need? What nuances and local sensibilities should be considered? Are you looking for captions or subtitles? Once we have received your brief, we’ll talk you through the details and to design a strategy built to succeed.
2. Translation – Brightlines is supported by a network of highly skilled language professionals from across the world. We pride ourselves on the accuracy of our work, but we don’t stop there. We also stress-test language to highlight any cultural issues that might impede the success of the video. Translation captures the meaning, but it’s localisation that helps content make a real connection.
3. Time coding – Subtitles can’t be plastered on like wallpaper. They need to be adjusted with precision. Consideration needs to be given to meaning and reading time. Getting the pace right between two languages is a fine art, and one of the main reasons automated translations can’t compete with a professional translation service.
4. Testing and delivery – Before the subtitled content is shared with you for approval, we’ll test the film with a native audience for comprehension and readability. Once we get the nod, the subtitles can be shared with you already burnt into the film, or delivered in one of the available subtitle formats such as SCC and SRT.
5. Final delivery – Once we have your final approval, the completed files will be shared with you via email, a downloadable link, or through a secure server.
The quality of our translation – We take time to find the right translators. They have to be masters of language, but we also look for linguists with professional experience of the working world. We’ll always connect you with a team skilled in the languages you need, and the business you’re in.
The depth of our experience – We’re not learning on the job. We’ve been doing this since 1999. No matter what markets you need, or what scale, the chances are we’ve been there before. We’re still here and we’re still smiling.
The accuracy and speed of our work – The world’s getting faster. Delivery times are getting shorter. And you’re on the frontline. We know what it’s like. That’s why we pride ourselves on delivering intelligent translation with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine.
If there’s anything you’d like to know about our subtitle translation services, please get in touch today.