Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

3 Easy Ways to Add Captions to Your Videos

June 29th, 2018 | 2 min read

By Darin "Doc" Berntson

3 Easy Ways to Add Captions to Your Videos

In today's fast-paced digital world, your marketing videos have mere seconds to capture your audience's attention. If not, all it takes is a quick scroll or click and... POOF. Those eyeballs are gone in an instant.

Retain your audience and see higher engagement by including closed captioning on all of your marketing videos.

Why? With 85% of videos played without sound and the most value in your video campaign occurring within the first ten seconds, you need to get your unique message out there in a clear, unmistakable way. Captions help you achieve this goal.

However, it is easy to be intimidated by the process of typing out text and uploading files. We've got three easy ways to add captions to videos to help you feel more confident in your video marketing efforts.

Use Automation

Social media juggernauts Facebook and YouTube both allow you to generate closed captioning through their internal system.

All you have to do is upload a video and view the editing page. You should see the option to generate captions automatically. If not, save the video give it a few minutes. It may take some time for the system to register your video.

You will also be able to edit these captions once generated. Make sure you go through and perfect them.

Speak Your Script

One of the most intimidating parts of creating captions is transcribing all of the text. Even the shortest videos with speech can suddenly seem jam-packed with words. Create captions in a snap by speaking your script out loud and letting technology do the work.

You can do this in a variety of ways, but the easiest is to use the Voice Recording feature in Google Docs.

Open up a new Google Doc. Select "Tools" from the menu bar and choose "Voice Typing." You will need to have a microphone set up on your computer.

Just hit "Click to speak" and start reading the script of your video. You will then have easy-to-copy text you can use in your native video editing software.

Create SRT Files

Nearly all social media sites will give you the option of uploading your custom caption files. The most basic is the SRT file. SRT stands for SubRip Subtitle and creating this type of file is easier than you think. You simply need to understand four basic formatting guidelines. You will need to format:

  1. A number to represent the caption frame. Think of this as the number of captions you will see on screen in numerical order.
  2. The start and ending timecodes, formatted with hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. Check out our example below to see how it should look. A specific arrow created out of two dashes, and an angle bracket separates the start and end of the caption frame.
  3. The text of the caption.
  4. An empty line created by hitting "enter" on your keyboard, signaling you are starting back at step one for a new caption frame.

You will end up with something that looks like this:


00:00:00,000 → 00:00:05,550

This is your very first caption frame!


00:00:05,550 → 00:00:08,880

And this is your second!

Simply write out your captions in a text writing program such as Notepad or TextEdit and save as a ".srt" file.

We hope these ideas for creating video captions have been helpful.

Darin "Doc" Berntson

Owner/Head Coach @ Bernco Media. Digital sales & marketing since 1997. Passion for teaching companies to be the most trusted voice in their space. They Ask, You Answer Certified Coach & HubSpot Certified Partner & Trainer. Reversed Type 2 Diabetes doing KETO. Wears Mickey Mouse Daily. Daydreaming of next Disneyland Trip.