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Monthly Archives

September 2016

30 Sep 2016

Closed Captioning CC gets the views

When I thought about writing this blog, I started to wonder if it was true: can you get more views when you add closed captioning to your video? Not only did I find it to be true, but I found many other things that astonished me.

  • There are over 8 billion video views on Facebook DAILY.
  • 90 percent of all videos viewed on Facebook are not clicked on or listened to.
  • 75 percent of Facebook views are done from a mobile device.
  • Video has a 135 percent better organic reach than image posts.
  • The average video completion rate is only 10 percent.
  • 41 percent of all Facebook videos are incomprehensible without closed captioning.

The battle for the eyeballs in the social media space is very complex, and anything you can do to give yourself a competitive edge is worth doing. I’ve recently written about several current video marketing trends, such as square video, animated typography, and black bars, and I believe closed captioning is one of those trends as well.

Why do I believe this? Well, it’s all in the numbers. Take a look at your Facebook video view statistics and see if you see the same thing I see.

(From a recent video that was posted)

Yep, you guessed it. The Facebook audience is not clicking the video, and this means they aren’t hearing the audio — they’re just seeing the video. So if this is the case, it stands to reason that anything you can do visually will help get more eyes on your content, and for a longer period of time.

Have you ever looked at your Facebook feed and seen a video post that interested you but you didn’t click because you weren’t sure that the video was going to good enough? Closed captioning allows the viewer to interact with the video without having to click on it. Many people want to see what the video is about before they commit to watching and listening. I have done this myself many times, and I have also engaged with videos from beginning to end without ever clicking the play button. Here are some of the reasons I believe this is happening:

  • People prefer to watch and read before clicking to engage with a video.
  • People are in places where it will not be convenient to play audio.
  • People don’t want to annoy others with the audio from the video.
  • Most Facebook views are happening from a smartphone or mobile device.
  • Let’s not forget about the hearing-impaired population either. This is a huge benefit to this community.

A recent study about video views on Facebook found you can expect a 12 percent increase in video engagement if you add closed captioning. Twelve percent may not sound like much, but that is a significant number when you are paying for ads.

Another advantage to adding closed captioning is this: when you are done and have the file in hand, this file becomes the basis for adding subtitles in other languages. This can help you reach an entirely new audience that you’ve never reached in the past.

So now you may be wondering how you can add closed-captioning to your own videos. The answer is pretty simple. There are many services that offer adding closed-captioning to your videos. If you are not budget conscious and you just want the job done, hire one of these services, it will make your life easy and it is getting cheaper by the month.

For the DIY crowd or the budget conscious folks, here is an alternative. Upload your video to YouTube and go into the Video Creator Studio. You’ll find a button at the top of the screen called “Subtitles and CC.” This is YouTube’s automated service that creates the closed-captioning for you based on the dialog in the video, and it will get you about 70 percent of the way there without having to do anything. You may find punctuation and grammar to be incomplete, but it’s easy to fix by clicking on the text and making the needed changes. Here is a link to the YouTube Tutorial.

When you are done you can download an .srt file under the actions button, which you can then use to upload to Facebook. Now, your FaceBook video will have closed captioning.

Facebook also has the option of creating the closed captioning for your video as well. You’ll have to pay for an ad for this option to appear, and it has about the same accuracy rate as YouTube’s tool.

So here’s the deal: if views matter to you in any way, make closed captioning a priority. If you have big ad budgets associated with your videos and you are not providing closed captioning, you are leaving 12 percent of your potential on the table.

And please, let me know if I can help guide you through the world of closed captioning. This is a service that we provide daily at our offices.

23 Sep 2016

Why You Should Use Square Video

It’s no secret that the social media world has become a very crowded space. I’ve been in the video world for over 20 years, and have seen more than a few formats take center stage. With everyone swarming into the video space, we are seeing many new trends in the social media world and video marketing.I believe it’s time to embrace the square video format, and use it to your advantage. I truly never thought I would speak those words. In my world, the wide screen aspect ratio has been a blessing over the old school square TVs we used to create content for. But social media has thrown all video marketers and content developers into a tailspin over what size and shape videos should be. It’s interesting to see that within a few page scrolls through Facebook, you’ll find a bunch of formats: square live feed video, widescreen, widescreen in a square box, and, of course, let’s not forget vertical video. Each of these differently shaped videos has a unique use. But today I want to talk about the square video, and why you should use it.

Here’s what I’m talking about. 

As you can see in the image above, the format for the entire video area is square. This square format lets you add your original widescreen format video to the center of the square without the need to resize or create a new format for your video. What excites me about this square format is that we have been given some creative space for messaging, branding, or even closed captioning. (If you are looking for some examples of this in use, look up Gary Vaynerchuk or Eric Worre on Facebook.)The square video fit seems very natural on Facebook. If you leave the top and bottom space all white, it fits right into the Facebook whitespace, and feels very natural. I am certainly not recommending the space above and below the center video be left blank. But here is what I am recommending:

  • Leave the space white for the first five seconds of the video. This allows the audience enough time to engage with your content before adding a brand or anything else.
  • Use the top space for branding, URL or CTA.
  • Use the bottom space for closed captioning, URL or CTA.
  • Bring in all items separately and subtly.

The ability to deploy this square video to Instagram is an added benefit. The Instagram user is familiar with square video, even though you can now upload wide format video on that platform.

All in all, this has given the video marketing world a new place to play and a new way to deploy more content in the same space that has been used in the past. Give it a shot and see what happens: you may be surprised by how much you like the format and additional space to work within the crowded Facebook visual world.

In the battle for the eyeballs, we need to take advantage of every possible branding and messaging opportunity. We believe this trend will follow us strongly into 2017, with new creative concepts for delivering content.

If you found this to be of value, please let us know.

15 Sep 2016


Video Marketing & Black Bars

Our studio has used black bars on our videos for many years now. We did it for several reasons. First, we were trying to give a cinematic look and feel to our video productions. And second, it gave us some freedom and choices when it came to composing our shots in post production. As storytellers, this attribute was a differentiator and gave us a unique look in our space.
The image below shows you what black bars are — the black space above and below the video.



In today’s age of video production, and in this social media world, we have to look at all possibilities for getting our message to our audience. This battle for eyeballs has brought us to look at the black bars for delivering content. We have seen this video marketing trend develop this year, and we use it regularly.
Here are the key benefits we’ve seen for this trend.
  • The black space does not interfere with the video content.
  • Easy to create, high-contrast eye-catching content.
  • Subtle and understated text looks clean and gives the viewer pertinent information.
  • This is a great place for a logo/brand.
  • Easy to add animated text to the black bars, creating even more dynamics.
  • Creating a title that lives on your video.
  • Delivering closed captioning.
  • Delivering translation subtitles.
We have also seen the use of white bars as well, which seems to give a great visual flow when embedded into Facebook’s white space. The use of the white space is following the same key benefits, yet we are seeing bright colored text placed in the white space, as opposed to white on black. This seems to be a less than subtle approach to the black bars.
Because all video editing programs are capable of this easy task, adding bars is certainly something you should be considering. You can download the Black Bars here in 1080. Link:  1080 Black Bars


In the battle for the eyeballs, we need to take advantage of every possible branding and messaging opportunity we can. We believe this trend will follow us strongly into 2017, with new creative concepts for delivering content.
8 Sep 2016

Win the Battle of the Eyeballs

You are receiving this message because we have either met and exchanged cards or you may have contacted me or we have done business together.

The battle for audience eyeballs on social media is becoming an all-out war. The best way to stay out in front? Video with animated typography. It’s trending in a big way. Just take a look at your social media feed and judge for yourself.

It’s one of the best trends we saw in 2016, and we believe this is a trend that will continue strongly into 2017.

What is animated typography? Take a look at this video link and look for the text that’s in motion over the top of the video: http://bit.ly/2c2v8Lf


After we started adding animated typography to our customers’ videos late last year, we noticed right away that views increased compared to the same videos without the animated typography. There are a lot of reasons for the increased views, including:

  • You can read the message without having to click the video and listen.
  • Social media is being accessed on smart phones a majority of the time. Sometimes you’re not in a place where it’s convenient or possible to listen to audio, and with animated text, it’s easy to watch and read to get the full message.
  • People prefer to watch and read before clicking to engage with a video.

We have seen animated text on videos improve the views of video content delivered on Facebook and Instagram. We haven’t seen the same increase in views on YouTube, but that’s partly because the YouTube viewers are there to view something specific. And when you visit a link on YouTube, you go there expecting to watch and listen to the audio simultaneously.

You may be asking, “How do I get animated typography on my videos?” Well, that is the million dollar question. We understand that Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Final Cut, and many other programs have this feature built into the program. We use the Adobe Video Suite that includes Premiere and After Effects; this gives us maximum control when placing text and timing it to the video clip.

Adding animated text to your videos may not be easy, but it is worth it. It’s a game-changer in the battle for online eyeballs.

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