10 Jan 2022 Verbit Editorial
6min read

Adding Captions To Instagram Reels & Videos

Business leaders and marketers are seeing great benefit in boosting their brand identities and connecting with consumers on Instagram. With 1 billion active monthly users worldwide, this visually-focused platform offers them the ability to attract audiences by sharing engaging content like images and videos.

Marketers using Instagram are now focusing more on video since videos receive twice as much engagement compared to other posts. Yet posting a video and engaging effectively with followers are two different things. With the majority of viewers – an astounding 92% –  choosing to watch videos without sound, marketers must provide captions to reach them effectively.

Instagram video captions are easy to produce and offer, making them an essential piece of a social media strategy.

Why Captioning Instagram Videos is Important

If your goal is to increase your audience reach, Instagram video captions are a huge benefit. 80% of people now use Instagram to decide whether or not to buy a product or service.

With captions, Instagram videos become searchable. Users can search for keywords that appear in the captions rather than being restricted to searching for hashtags or picture captions. This searchability will  drive more people to your business profile, leading to more sales, customers and growth.

Additionally, it’s equally important to consider if your brand’s Instagram offers an inclusive and equitable experience to diverse viewers. Non-inclusive content means missed opportunities to connect with potential customers and can have negative effects, including pushing consumers away. 71% of them choose to leave a business’ website rather than complain. 

Adding captions for Instagram videos therefore isn’t just best practice to account for today’s silent viewers; it provides much-needed accessibility for users with disabilities, including those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. With lawsuits related to the Americans with Disabilities Act on the rise, your brand simply can’t afford to not be inclusive. Plus, 64% of consumers are known to take action after watching an ad they consider inclusive, so it’s really a win-win.

How To Add Captions To Instagram

Instagram’s automatic captioning feature makes it easy for creators and business leaders to offer quick accessibility for their videos. The captioning feature was released for 16 languages in mid-2021, and many Instagram influencers and content creators are using automatic captions for their stories and reels. 

Using Instagram’s captioning feature is quite simple, but it’s important to caveat that the captions are typically not fully accurate and can make a business or brand look unprofessional when they’re riddled with errors.  However, captions are better than no captions.

Here’s how to add captions to Instagram stories and reels if automatic is the only option for you: 

Step 1: Open the Instagram app and scroll to the Instagram Stories or Reels camera. You can either record a new video or select an existing one from your camera roll.

Step 2: After your video is ready, tap on the sticker icon at the top of the screen.

Instagram captioning

Step 3: Select the blue “Captions” sticker.

Captions for instagram videos

Step 4: Once you select the sticker, the words “Transcribing audio…” should appear on the screen. After a few seconds, the automatic captions will start to appear. Users can move the caption text around and customize the caption format using four different text formats and multiple color options. 

Once captions are complete, be sure to review the captions for accuracy. While Instagram’s automatic feature offers a quick way to provide captioning, it’s likely to include errors and misspellings. Worse, Instagram doesn’t allow users to manually edit captioning mistakes. 

It’s also important to note that some Instagram users don’t have access to this captioning sticker. In those cases, users can manually add text to videos to provide captioning, but it can be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you’re faced with uploading dozens of marketing or influencer videos.

To make sure you’re offering an equitable and inclusive viewing experience that meets ADA guidelines, 99% accurate captions are needed. Luckily, professional captioning services like Verbit’s can be employed easily and provide cost-effective captioning at scale for your Instagram video captions.

Why Professional Brands Need Professional Captions

With thousands of potential customers, marketers need to keep their audiences hooked. If captions are inaccurate, it makes the brand look bad and the content worse. The chances of keeping consumers engaged dwindles. Good visuals can help attract initial interest, but captions are what keep the viewer’s attention with longer watch times.

Professionally captioning your Instagram videos is easy:

Step 1: Decide on a Captioning Partner
Look for a captioning provider that offers you high-accuracy and adheres to ADA guidelines. These are the two most important elements needed to keep your brand’s videos accessible, inclusive and engaging to all viewers and consumers. Verbit is trusted by leading businesses, universities and marketers across all industries to produce 99.9% accurate captions for videos at scale.

Step 2: Request Captioning for Your Video:
After you create your videos for Instagram whether directly within the platform or elsewhere, upload the saved video to your desired captioning service and request open captioning. This type of captioning ‘burns’ the final caption text into the video.

adding captions to Instagram

Step 3: Captioning services can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete, depending on the turnaround time chosen. Verbit’s captioning software can quickly deliver captioning results for a short video or reel, using an efficient process that combines AI  and human transcribers to guarantee the captions are fully accurate and professional. 

Step 4: Upload The Video To Instagram: Upload the final video to your Instagram story, reel or video post as you normally would but now with the captions burned in.

Businesses Need To Caption and Caption Well

If you’re creating video campaigns and video marketing initiatives for social, you must provide captioning to viewers to stay competitive, or they’ll just keep scrolling. Captions provide more engaging video experiences and contribute to a more inclusive, accessible social experience for all.
Verbit’s professional captioning is built for corporate and business needs to help brands and social media marketers come off professional and avoid potential legal issues. Reach out and let us help you caption your video content and scale your efforts today.