How to use auto-generated captions for advertisements in different languages

Auto-generated captions are essential marketing tools for companies who want to reach silent scrollers with Facebook and YouTube ads. An auto-generated caption creates subtitles that overlay on your videos so that people who watch your content on mute can have a good idea of what’s going on. Another key benefit to auto-generated captions, is they make it easy to advertise in different languages. In this article, we’ll examine how you can use auto-generated captions for advertisements in different languages and increase your reach across regions.

auto generated captions - The Brains
June 30, 2022
10 mins to read
auto generated captions - The Brains

There are a lot of benefits to be had from video advertising (which our Brains will get into in just a moment), but it’s not quite as simple as just making a video and posting it. If you want your content to convert, it needs to be accessible to everyone who might see it, including those who consume your content in different languages. This is where auto-generated captions come in, but do you know how to confidently use them as part of your marketing campaign?

If not, don’t worry. Our Brains are on hand to provide all the information you need to get started with captioning an advertisement in different languages, so you can maximise ROI and online engagement.

How auto-generated captions can be used to advertise in different languages & optimise campaigns

These days, posting a video advert without captions is a bit like turning up to battle the Sith without a lightsaber. It’s great that you’ve made the effort to turn up, but don’t expect to win without the right equipment.

If you’re going to be making video ads, you need to be adding captions. Without them, the impact of your marketing efforts could be undermined, and you could lose out on valuable engagement and lead generation. Captions offer a myriad of benefits, as detailed below.

Improved accessibility

The internet is for everyone, and (almost) everyone is a potential customer. Failing to add captions to your advertisements means that hearing-impaired users are potentially segregated and left out. Globally, that’s around 360 million people (Audicus). Not all of these people will buy your product, but a high number could stumble across your advert. If it’s not accessible, your brand will become synonymous with inaccessibility and a lack of inclusivity.

Boosted engagement

Did you know that you can increase the length of time people watch your video for by 12% if you add captions? Take Facebook as an example – 85% of videos on there are watched without the sound on, but video posts with captions average a 0.26% engagement rate, compared to a typical 0.15% engagement rate (Wordstream). You don’t need sound to make an impact, but you do need to explain what’s going on in the absence of audio, and captions allow you to do this.

Bigger audience reach

There are well over 7,000 languages spoken in the world, and it’s not possible for you to make adverts to suit every single language, but you can certainly add auto-generated captions in some of the most commonly used European languages, like Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to add the auto-captions in different languages, but doing so can literally increase your audience reach by millions of people.

Manual or auto-generated captions – which is best?

You have two main options when it comes to adding captions to your content. You can either manually add them, or you can use auto-generated captions. There’s a fierce debate over which is better, but it all depends on your budget and your content.

Manual captions tend to be more accurate and can help you avoid the embarrassment that comes with a mistranslation. However, auto-generated caption software is becoming more advanced and is by far the better option over having none at all.

If your content is simplistic in nature and the audio is clear, you should find that auto-captions work well; but if your budget increases or your content gets longer and more complex, it’s not a bad idea to look into manual captioning.

How to implement auto-generated captions on your advertisements

The process for adding captions to your advertisement or video will largely depend on which platform you’re using. Most businesses use YouTube to upload their videos in the first instance. This is a good option for those who want to add captions in a different language, too.

To add captions to a YouTube video, use the following steps:

  1. Upload your video
  2. Go to the ‘Video Manager’ and press ‘Edit’ on the video you want to add captions to
  3. Click ‘Subtitles and CC’ and ‘Add new subtitles or CC’
  4. Choose the language you want to add the subtitles in (there are 160 to choose from)

To subtitle a Facebook video, the process is as follows:

  1. Upload your video
  2. Press ‘Edit video’
  3. Click ‘Choose file’ and then upload an .srt file from your computer (you’ll need to create one prior to uploading your video)
  4. Repeat these steps for each language you want your captions in

To add captions to an Instagram video, follow these steps:

  1. Before you post your video, click ‘Advanced settings’
  2. Click ‘Accessibility’
  3. Toggle the ‘Show captions’ on

Another platform you’re likely to share an advertisement on is Twitter. The process for adding captions on this platform is similar to Facebook in the sense that you need an .srt file beforehand. Once you have one, use the following steps:

  1. Attach a video to your tweet
  2. Click ‘Upload caption file (.srt)’
  3. Upload your .srt file from your computer and click ‘Done’
  4. If you want captions in a different language, you’ll need an .srt file in a different language and repeat the process

Video caption best practices

There are a few best practices you should follow when adding captions to your advertisements. They include:

  • Using a sans-serif font with a thick outline
  • Correct timing that allows viewers to read the text, but ensure it’s not delayed
  • Using symbol-supporting fonts e.g., a font that has a music symbol to give more context if there is music
  • Only having two lines of captions on screen at a time

Auto-generated captions should adhere to these best practices for you, but they’re handy to keep in mind just in case.

To further upgrade your marketing campaign, get in touch with our expert Brains today to learn more about how we can help you elevate your brand to the next level of awesome.

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