Maximize the impact of video content on Instagram

Instagram allows you to publish videos thanks to the "reels" feature. This format is very popular with the audience of the social network, and very effective in marketing. Visual effects, stickers, text or even audio: the content can be enhanced in many ways. The video can also be captioned, with Instagram's automatic captioning feature or using a transcription tool.

The importance of captions on Instagram

  • Publish accessible content.
  • Improve user experience.
  • Reinforce marketing impact.
  • Expand the audience.

1. Publish accessible content

When the boss of Instagram tweets about the launch of the automatic captioning function in March 2022, the issue is clear: accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing people.

430 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. Adding captions to Instagram videos is necessary to allow them to access the contents in good conditions. In this regard, brands take care to subtitle their content for two major reasons:

  • All of their followers are able to understand the message of the post.
  • Instagram captions are an ethically-needed inclusion tool.

2. Improve user experience

Video is a powerful marketing lever: more than 50% of consumers prefer this format to other types of content. Instagram reels confirm this trend: they generate twice as many comments. Surprisingly, statistics published by the company Meta reveal that 80% of social network users are unfavorable to the automatic playback of sound when watching a video.

With or without hearing impairment, the majority of Instagram users turn off the sound when viewing videos. Either to avoid disturbing those around them when they view the content in public, on public transport for example, or for pure convenience. In this context, subtitling is a good way for brands to adapt to the preferences of their subscribers: they thus improve their satisfaction and the user experience.

3. Strengthen marketing impact

Like Instagram captions, caption text is an immediate eye-catcher: brands effectively capture users' attention and maximize watch time. According to one translation agency, subtitling a video further increases audience engagement with the post:

  • +10% likes.
  • +26% shares.

Instagram captions also boost the impact of the marketing message. Assuming that 60% of people have a visual memory, subtitling a video makes it more memorable.

4. Expand audience

Alternatively, subtitles can be used to translate the audio of a video into a foreign language, with a view to reaching users in other countries.

How to add captions on Instagram?

In 2021, the company Meta deployed the Captions sticker for stories, in certain English-speaking countries. This function allows you to automatically create subtitles based on the audio of the video, correct them if necessary and display them on the publication. Like any other Instagram sticker, Captions allows you to customize the display: font, background color or text position.

For the moment, the Captions sticker is not available in France. Brands that create video content on Instagram have two alternatives for adding captions: enable automatic captioning of reels or use a transcription tool.

Automatic captioning on Instagram

The automatic captioning of reels on Instagram is an artificial intelligence (AI) feature. The content creator does not transcribe the audio of his video himself, the result is generated automatically, instantly. The caption text appears at the bottom of the video.

To add automatic captions, brands must enable the captioning feature.

  1. The brand imports or saves the video.
  2. In the second step, it is possible to enhance the content thanks to the customization options.
  3. In the next step, click on the “Advanced Settings” tab. At the level of the accessibility options, it is then enough to drag the cursor so as to display the subtitles.

From then on, all videos posted on Instagram are automatically captioned. To remove the subtitles from certain videos, you must go to the individual menu of these videos and modify the subtitle settings.

If the brand hasn't enabled captioning, subscribers won't see captions. And similarly, captions won't show up if subscribers haven't enabled captioning on their end. However, many Instagram users do not know this function: they do not activate it. In fact, the operation is relatively random, the display is not guaranteed.

Tools to generate subtitles

Tools outside the Instagram platform can generate captions. In this case, you have to record a video, add subtitles to it via the tool and then import the subtitled video to Instagram.

Most of the tools are paid, they offer several advantages in return.

Text is embedded in the video: Whether or not subscribers have enabled captions from their account settings, captions always appear on video content.

The tools make it possible to customize the subtitling: brands can choose the font and the position of the text, in particular, for aesthetic purposes.

Brands have several options, at higher or lower costs: subtitles are generated automatically by an AI, or by professional subtitlers. Calling on a professional subtitler makes it possible to obtain a more reliable transcription, especially for particularly technical audio content. If the brand chooses the AI option, it can modify the subtitles using a text editor, for a compliant transcription.

The tools offer translation services: the audio of the video can be translated to reach an extended target.

There are many tools to subtitle your Instagram video content:

  • Amberscript
  • PlayPlay
  • YouTubeStudio

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