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Why You Need to Transcribe Your YouTube Videos

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Is YouTube just a place to upload your videos – or is it a genuine social network? If you believe the latter (like I do), it’s essential to incorporate transcriptions (closed captions) into all of your YouTube videos. Let me tell you why.

Transcriptions add instant accessibility to your videos.
By providing closed captions for your videos, you enable the deaf and hard of hearing community to enjoy your videos. Transcriptions also allow your videos to be consumed by others with structural hearing challenges — think of gyms that broadcast talk shows and newscasts on flatscreens by turning on closed captioning. TV shows extend their reach through transcriptions, and your videos should too.

Since 2010, YouTube has gone to bat for the hearing challenged community by automatically creating closed captions for videos. But its transcriptions remain far from perfect. Here’s an example for you. Last week I used captions to watch this video about the YouTube One channel. In the video, Tim from Video Creators said, “Is there any algorithm differences between the old channel [design]?”

And here’s how YouTube transcribed it:

A wee bit different, don’t you think?

Transcriptions improve your videos’ chances of being seen by those who search for them.

YouTube best practices emphasize using keyword rich video titles and descriptions to curry favor with YouTube and Google search. But your videos most likely have great keywords that aren’t being picked up by Google spiders. A well-crafted transcription, however, can provide those keywords to boost your search engine optimization (SEO).

The transcription can be repurposed on other online platforms.

What I like about creating my own transcriptions is that I feel as if I’m writing a little blog post about a topic that’s important to my target audience. And who’s to say that I can’t adapt that transcription for a blog post, podcast, or formal presentation? (That’s right — no one.)

Transcriptions may sound boring — but they’re one of the most social things you can do to your videos.

By creating and uploading proper transcriptions, you’re not simply using YouTube as a storage closet for your videos. Your customized transcriptions tell YouTube’s 1 *billion* active monthly viewers that you’ve created your videos for them to use, engage with, and share.

And the transcription process is not as tedious as it sounds. Watch my (transcribed) tutorial to learn how you can take advantage of closed captioning for your next video.

Headline Photo Credit: sierratierra / Flickr CC

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  1. Why You Need to Transcribe Your YouTube Videos ... - [...] YouTube transcriptions help make videos more accessible, increase search engine optimization, and give more credibility to your channel's videos.  …

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