Conducting a webinar is one of the most convenient ways for an organization to promote brand awareness, educate existing and potential consumers, and engage with a global audience. This has been one of the most efficient ways to reach people regardless of their geographical location.
Webinars are great marketing tools because of their reach and accessibility. It can be a one-way lecture or an interactive workshop. Either way, it is crucial to ensure that your attendees will leave your online event feeling satisfied. Therefore, you need to take measurable steps to make sure that your resources are inclusive to all people equally.
One way of doing that is through webinar captioning where spoken dialogue is converted to timed text and then streamed together with the video through an online platform. This may seem like a trivial matter for some, when in fact, it makes the viewership experience so much better.
Why Should You Caption Your Webinars? We’ve come up with four reasons why you should caption your webinars and how it can make your webinar viewership experience worthwhile:
1. Equal Accessibility
By using a closed-captioned webinar, you can provide support for viewers who are either deaf, belonging in the hard-of-hearing community, or those who use English as their second language. The synced audio and caption will make it easier for them to read and follow the discussion. Viewers with minimal knowledge of the English language may take an interest in your event because listening and reading your content can also help improve their vocabulary.
When they register for your event and find out that there are no live captions, chances are, they’re going to exit your webinar just a little after it begins because they will have a hard time trying to comprehend what you are offering through the webinar.
Apart from meeting the Section 508 compliance requirements, it is essential to accommodate these people just as much as you accommodate anyone else because inclusion presents a greater level of respect from your brand.
2. Better Comprehension
At some point in your life, you have attended a lecture or an online workshop where you might have missed some of the words or might’ve heard differently making some portions of the event confusing. Missing a point or two may negatively affect the entirety of your experience.
External factors like the location from where you are watching should be considered. You may be in a crowded place with a lot of background noise or you can be inside a library where you are expected to be silent. The addition of captions then applies best to these circumstances. Captions help viewers comprehend the webinar better regardless of where they are situated.
3. Increased target market
According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss and in UK alone, 4.2 million people use a language other than English as their main language. Some attendees are visual learners too, so being able to read captions aside from listening to the audio helps as well. These considerations on inclusivity allow your webinar to be viewer-friendly and may, therefore, attract more attendees.
4. Enhanced web traffic
Video captions help you produce transcripts easier and, in turn, can help Google’s search bot to index and allow your webinars to weigh better in the search results. This is because your transcripts contain keywords that your viewers may be looking for which optimizes your page for better visibility online.
- Captions help a lot of bilinguals and ESL (English as a second language) learners to participate and comprehend your webinar. When you provide them captions, the more they are likely to trust you and patronize your business and you as a professional.
- Putting captions into your webinar also adheres to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). The WCAG 2.0 is a set of guidelines for creating accessible website content, and if you need to comply with this law, captions are a way to do it.
It may cost you additional time and effort, but captioning webinars will definitely benefit you in the long run; from inclusivity to communication access to improved documentation and enhanced online search results.