Hosting videos on social media sites is no longer a nice addition to the standard marketing arsenal; it is a necessity. The latest reports state that Facebook and YouTube are generating billions of video views every day. As videos increase in popularity, views continue to rise and advertisers flood the medium, the need to optimize them becomes more and more imperative. It’s not enough to just add videos to a YouTube channel or inside of a Facebook tab; pharma companies need to make smart enhancements to ensure videos are reaching their target market.

That’s where closed captioning (CC) comes in. It’s a simple solution that packs a big punch for both users and search engines.

User Benefits: Make Your Message Memorable and Accessible
Let’s start with user benefits. An Ofcom study revealed that 80% of people who turn on CC are not hearing impaired. This opens the door to a variety of reasons why users choose to turn on captions, all of which ultimately benefit pharma companies.

  • To increase comprehension — With CC, videos become accessible to those with hearing loss, as well as non-native speakers, allowing for increased understanding across viewers. (Incidentally, visual comprehension is also a topic the FDA is interested in. FDA-sponsored eye-tracking research found that consumers understand drug risks better when they are simultaneously spoken by a narrator and displayed on screen.)
  • To increase retention — A Michigan State University study concluded that CC provides a better learning experience. Captions promote focus, break up the video into more digestible chunks, and reinforce the message as users both listen and read along with the content.  Also, an upcoming study from the FDA, which uses eye tracking technology to discover where consumers focus on ads, might add additional scientific proof behind this statement.
  • To absorb content in sound-sensitive places — Believe it or not, it’s not always appropriate to watch a video on full blast. That’s why many people in the workplace or other sound-sensitive environments turn on CC. Reach your users, wherever they are, by implementing CC.

SEO Benefits: Increase Video Reach and Views
The benefits above help viewers access and understand your content, but the SEO benefits push your videos ahead of the competition. CC allows search engine spiders to read the full text of your content, so your videos can be indexed and therefore appear in search engine results pages (SERPs), ultimately resulting in more views.

  • Rank in search — Dominate SERPs with both video and web content.
  • Rise in YouTube search — Boost ranking as the video is indexed using keywords in the transcript, in addition to the title, description and keyword tags.
  • Increase video views — CC is a proven method to increase views. The Discovery Digital Networks added CC across eight of their YouTube channels, resulting in an overall increase in video views by 7.32%.

CC Works on Websites, Too
Not all pharma companies host video on social media platforms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from CC. Transcripts on websites are also indexed, allowing you to reap the SEO benefits wherever you choose to host videos.

  • Increase visits — Ranking high on search translates to more organic (free!) visits. Public radio show This American Life transcribed archived radio broadcasts on their website, increasing unique visitors by 6.68%.
  • Move up in rank — Captioning helps webpages increase rankings in search. SafeNet added transcripts to an individual video page that previously did not appear in SERPs. Three weeks after the addition, the webpage appeared on the first page of Yahoo and Bing search results for their desired keyword.

What This Means for Pharma
Videos are taking over social media, which means competition in this space will continue to grow year over year. This is why it is crucial to give your videos a competitive edge. Make your videos work harder and smarter so they stand out for viewers and in search engines. Pharma companies should take the following steps to stay ahead of the competition:

  • Add CC — The benefits make it clear that any time spent transcribing videos will be well worth the effort. Additionally, video transcripts are required for most submissions, so adding CC should not increase the LOE for the client or the review team.
  • Optimize videos — Consider using keywords within video scripts, which will later be transcribed in captions. Be proactive about your content to ensure you are properly ranking in the SERPs.

Reach out to Intouch if you want take your current and future videos to the next level.