Make Marketing Videos Inclusive with Wistia Captions

By: Verbit Editorial
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Video plays a major role in modern marketing initiatives. Consumers tend to prefer receiving messages in this format. In fact, a recent study found that 91% of consumers would like to see more online video content from their favorite brands. With the growing demand for digital media, it’s important for marketers to invest in a diverse content strategy that takes advantage of all the possible uses for video content.  

While online video is an increasingly valuable tool for marketers and other business professionals, it is important for marketers to ensure that their video content is accessible and inclusive. In recent years, Wistia’s inclusive nature has helped the video-sharing platform become popular for marketing professionals. However, to further expand the reach of their content, users should learn how to add captions to all of their live and recorded Wistia videos.  

Basic captioning for video content 

Captioning, in general, refers to the process of converting audio to text. However, the actual implementation of captions can look a little different depending on the needs of your specific project. Many people use the terms “captions” and “subtitles” interchangeably, but they are actually distinct from one another in a few important ways.  

Subtitles are generally a tool that helps provide access to content that isn’t in a viewer’s native language. In other words, subtitles provide an on-screen, real-time translation of a video. Subtitles can deliver more equitable messaging for viewers. However, they do not typically include any non-speech audio elements. Non-speech elements include sound effects or music cues, which can be critical for the plot, tone or themes in a film. For this reason, subtitles do not provide adequate support for viewers who are Deaf or hard of hearing and video producers should not rely on them as accessibility tools.  

If your intention is to improve accessibility by captioning your video content, you will want to use closed captions instead. Closed captions include all audio elements of a video and are better for supporting the needs of viewers with disabilities. Captions that achieve a high level of accuracy can also help to support accessibility standards like the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Can You Add Captions to Wistia? 

Wistia offers an impressive selection of features and tools that support video marketing projects. Additionally, the platform makes it easy for users to add Wistia captions to their videos. There are a few ways to complete this process.  

Option 1: Upload a Caption File

If you have an existing caption file – such as an SRT file – you can easily upload it directly to Wistia’s platform. Simply navigate to the Customize panel, select the Captions tab and click Upload SRT.  

If you need a caption file, you can request one from a professional closed captioning service like Verbit. While in-house employees can attempt to manually generate an SRT file, untrained captioners tend to make a substantial number of errors. These mistakes can impede a video’s messaging and negatively impact accessibility.  

Option 2: Request Automated Captions

Wistia offers users the option to request auto-generated Wistia closed captions of their content within the platform. While automated captions are often seen as a cost-effective or time-saving captioning option, in reality, they can often cause unforeseen problems. According to their website, the automatic Wistia closed captioning tool achieves accuracy rates of roughly 80%. This level of accuracy won’t meet the criteria set by accessibility standards and guidelines. As a result, the captions that automated tools create often need significant edits before they’re able to support viewers.  

Option 3: Request Professional Captions  

Users who wish to avoid the accessibility issues that inaccurate automatic captions can pose should work with a professional captioning provider. This Wistia closed caption option can achieve much higher accuracy than Wistia’s 80% accurate auto-captions. However, it’s important to note that Wistia’s standard turnaround time for professional captions is four business days. This turnaround time may not be satisfactory for marketers who need to publish their content immediately.  

looking at Wistia Captions

Is There a Better Option for Captioning Wistia Videos?

For a more timely, cost-effective way to add captions to video, Wistia users can partner with a trusted captioning provider like Verbit. Verbit offers captioning solutions for both live and recorded video content and our two-step process is capable meeting accuracy needs consistently and fast. Verbit’s software integrates seamlessly with Wistia’s platform to cut back on lag time and deliver most final caption files in just 24 hours or less.  

In addition to closed captioning, Verbit users can also take advantage of assistive technologies like transcription, translation and audio description to help substantially expand the reach of their video content. These software solutions support viewers of diverse backgrounds and abilities and can boost audience engagement overall.  

Verbit is dedicated to supporting the creation of more inclusive media around the world. Visit our blog to learn more about why Verbit is a trusted provider of YuJa captioning, Blackboard captioning, Mediasite closed captioning and more. Reach out today for more information on how our solutions can support the accessibility of your video content.