You need captions for IGTV. Here’s how to do it

If you want people to engage with your IGTV videos – not just scroll right on past – you need captions. Here’s why, and how to do it…

You need captions on your IGTV videos (and all your videos, actually).

I’m going to tell you why. And I’m going to tell you how.

Firstly, people scroll with no sound. And if you don’t have captions, they will often scroll on.

They may have no sound because: they are working, breastfeeding, putting the kids to bed, in bed themselves, in a shared workspace.

I often see videos I really want to watch and don’t because there are no captions. And crucially, I never go back – I just forget.

Also, and more importantly, you may have deaf people following you. I do, and I’ve been sent messages thanking me for captions.

So this is about making your content accessible. It’s really important. And also, encouraging more people to engage with your videos.

We’ve tried lots of things for perfecting the captions on our videos. And here’s what we think is the simplest, most efficient way of adding captions to your videos for IGTV, Facebook etc…

1. Rev. You upload your video to Rev. You create an account and you’ll need to pay for this website to create captions for your video – around $1.25 a minute. BUT you will save so much time, as doing it from scratch in Final Cut will take hours if it’s a 15-minute video.

And of the free captioning websites/apps we’ve tried, they just aren’t accurate enough. This means you end up going through line by line and making corrections. Again, it’s really time consuming.

Rev, however, it so accurate. You upload your video, pay for the service and Rev creates an SRT file. You then download the SRT file. This is the ‘captions’ file.

2. Kapwing – another website – allows you to add the SRT caption file from Rev captions, and your video, and it burns the captions onto the video, making it one file.

I’d recommend raising the captions up a bit so that they are visible on your Instagram feed (in the square image that appears when you upload an IGTV video onto your feed) not just when people click into IGTV (where there’s a portrait screen).

You then download the captioned video from Kapwing and upload to IGTV.

You’ll have to do a bit of waiting around – for Rev to send the file, and for Kapwing to do its bit – but you can be getting on with other work while you’re waiting.

Do you caption your videos? I’m always open to better suggestions, so let me know if you’ve found another solution…