This article was originally published on the Wordbee Blog. Wordbee are the makers of the popular translation management system and CAT Tool for translators.
The case for video content
Content marketing is a form of marketing that makes you listen carefully to what your customers have to say and discover what their needs are. You have to focus on your customers’ challenges and establish a connection by providing information — and a solution — whenever possible.
“Markets are conversations”, wrote the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999. This still holds true: You have to craft material that informs and engages. But what kind of content do consumers/customers expect nowadays?
A survey conducted in 2017 by HubSpot on 3,000 consumers in Germany, the United States, Colombia, and Mexico showed that 53% expect to see more video content. According to the same survey, the sponsored videos seem to capture the attention of users more: They are more memorable compared to images or text content. For this reason, many content marketing platforms offer a set of functionalities to help their users distribute video content as well as measure conversions.
Another 2017 survey — this time conducted by the digital agency Animoto — revealed that 64% of consumers say watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision.
More recently, a Cisco report revealed that by 2020 there will be close to 1 million minutes of video crossing the internet per second, while by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
All this also explains Facebook’s decision to favor video content compared to other formats. The company aspires to become the biggest video sharing platform on the web and displace the king of video content: YouTube.
One example is Facebook Watch, the internal on-demand video streaming aimed at promoting the creation and dissemination of original and exclusive social content.
The case for quality video content
Quantity by itself is not enough to meet the growing interest in video content. Quality is also essential. Fortunately, since a few years, it’s not just the big brands or professionals with specific skills and equipment who can create high-quality audiovisual content. Now a good smartphone or other mobile device can suffice.
For your video marketing strategy to be effective, though, you should produce engaging and unique videos. Keep reading for some ideas.
- If a picture is worth a thousand words, then product demos and tutorials are valuable: they offer a direct answer to your customers’ technical questions as well as showing off some of your products’ great features.
- Emotion, engagement, and empathy are key for a successful video marketing strategy. Short videos about the daily life within your company are a great way to introduce video in your content marketing strategy. At the same time, you’ll engage your audience by showing how you celebrate your coworkers’ birthdays, the end-of-the-year office party, how you go about developing your stuff, and so on. In short, reveal to the world your company’s personality.
- Another possibility is a series of vlogs. A vlog (short for video blog) is cheap and easy to produce and captures your audience’s attention. Think, for example, about a 5-10-minute vlog of a short talk or discussion with one of your customers. This kind of video content is immediately effective, real, and convincing. With a bit of creativity (and luck), your vlogs could even go viral and be seen all over the internet.
- Let’s not forget the more traditional video content types, like webinars and product reviews by third parties. Power users of your product can provide convincing testimonials.
- Finally, if you’re ready to go hardcore, why not try live streaming (for example on Facebook or Instagram)? According to SEO guru Neil Patel, live streaming is going to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021. So, you might want to start giving your public a real-time impression of, let’s say, what’s happening behind the scene at an event.
Text is still here … in the subtitles!
Some time ago, a Facebook executive said that their platform will be all video and no text by 2021. Well, maybe. But text is still going to have an important role in your video marketing strategy, more specifically in the form of transcription, captions, and subtitles.
It is important to take into account that 85% of the videos are displayed without sound. People mostly watch videos on their phones or other mobile devices, while they are waiting in line for their coffee, in the subway on their way to work, in between meetings. When they are at work or in a class, they’ll watch the videos on their computer instead.
For this reason, having accurate video transcription, captions, or subtitles becomes essential while also providing some advantages in terms of SEO. Yes, you can still put your keywords and video metadata to good use.
Get to know SRT files
It all starts with an SRT file, where SRT stands for SubRip Subtitles (file extension .srt). The SRT format originated from the DVD-ripping software SubRip, which “rips” (i.e., extracts) subtitles and timings from videos.
SRT files only serve to subtitle a video. Through specialized programs it is possible to create these files, synchronizing them with the audio of the video and allowing users to understand the dialogues and the beats.
SRT are plain-text files, consisting of four parts, i.e. a number indicating which subtitle it is in the sequence; the time that the subtitle should appear on the screen and then disappear from it; the text of the subtitle; and, finally, a blank line that indicates the start of a new subtitle.
There are applications which will help you to automatically create a subtitle SRT files, but you might also create your caption using a simple text editors such as TextEdit (on a Mac) or Notepad (on a Windows PC).
Localizing SRT files
A couple of tips for localizing your video content:
- Just like for any other localization project, when it comes to video content localization it’s a good idea to give your linguists clear and concise instructions, not just on the product/service and the related objectives, but also on the tone of voice, specific terms, and buzzwords being used.
- To reinforce your brand identity, it’s essential to leverage your existing translation memories and terminology databases — and even combine them with a touch of machine translation to speed up the localization process.
- Also, make sure that your translation platform allows in-context translation. It’s important to give a visual feedback to the translators working on the subtitles. Your linguists should be able to preview your videos even when focusing on a single translation segment.
- There are very specific formal requirements for subtitling and they can vary from country to country. One example is the Danish subtitling requirements that differ from the American way of making closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing, especially in relation to condensation and reading speed. The Danish Subtitling Association has translated the national subtitling requirements into English and has made them available for all who are interested. Other national subtitling associations will probably have similar guides in the local language.