Acquiring Transcripts and Captions

by Jay Durgan  27 January 2016

Now that you know what you need in order to caption and transcribe your videos well, the question is, how do you do that? On the surface, it seems like a bit of a difficult process. Especially when you consider that the key to success with any marketing content is frequency and volume. If you’re releasing two or three videos per week, it can be quite time consuming to go through each one and write down every word before it’s released.

Scripted videos at least give you a place to start, but what about interviews? Or webinars, which can take upwards of an hour or more? Transcripts are a big enough project on their own, but captions must also be timed correctly, so that the right words appear on the screen as they’re being said. And what if you already have a large archive of existing video content that needs to be transcribed and captioned? How will you manage it all?

One option that some content creators utilize is YouTube’s automatic captioning feature. Using speech-to-text software, it can provide captions for a video in real time. However, while the technology to translate spoken words into written text is getting better, it still has a long way to go. As a result, errors abound in these automatic captions. At best, this makes your video look sloppy and unprofessional. At worst, it ends up as complete nonsense. No, if you want to have captions and transcripts for your videos, you can’t do it without the human factor.

Fortunately, acquiring quality captions and transcripts is easier than you think. There are plenty of captioning services out there that can create captions for your videos quickly, cheaply, and, most importantly, with accuracy. Look around online to see which is the best service to meet your needs.

If you have a large backlog of videos, start with them. After that, start having your videos captioned and transcribed as well, before they’re released. A good transcription service can usually finish a video in a day or two, tops, so factor that time into your editorial calendar as you schedule each future video for release. Especially if you have a large volume of videos to be captioned and transcribed, a professional captioning service is your easiest and most cost-effective option for ensuring good captions on all your videos, without taking up a lot of your company’s own valuable time and resources.


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