How to Create a Descriptive Caption

To create captions that are effective at enhancing the viewing experience and helping viewers learn more, follow these best practices:

Write Concisely

Your captions should be short and concise. Don't expect your viewers to read a novel as they watch your video. For easy visibility, keep the most important information at the beginning of the caption.

One tip: Add a keyword or two at the beginning of your caption text to help search engines identify the topic of your video. This will help your video earn higher search engine rankings for those key terms.

Add Meta Data to Your Image or Video File

As you edit your video, you can add information directly inside your video file using metadata. Much like captions, metadata helps media players and web browsers understand the content and context of the video.

This helps viewers get insights into what's being shown in the video before they even press play. In addition, many video platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo allow viewers to explore your content based on the metadata you enter. For example, you can create a chapter list that viewers can navigate without stopping the video and get a quick glance at what each chapter covers.

With great power comes great responsibility: while easy to add, lots of metadata can slow down the uploading and streaming of a video file.

Most editors add metadata during the editing process. At least most of the time. But as you add more metadata, usually in the form of time code notes, you start to see the file size increase.

Captions and metadata are important for SEO and viewer experience. With metadata, you can help web browsers display relevant information such as the title, description, keywords, and copyright information for your videos.

Use Pronouns and Names

If you're describing something in your video, using pronouns (he, she, them, etc.) will allow your audience to identify with what you're talking about.

Also, using the name of the company or product you're talking about will help drive attention to what you're discussing.

Use Explosive Imagery

If you're creating a scary video or something that is striking in nature, using personal pronouns will also drive home the impact it will have on your audience.

You can use we and you to emphasize the positive or negative effects your brand's message will have on the audience.

Use Direct Commands

If you want your audience to do something, using direct commands (suggestions) will help drive this point home. Here are some examples:
Try it yourself…

Expressing Directness and Urgency with Now

Final thought: Sometimes, you just need to let it all out and express how things are now. What does that mean? Now is a linguistic device that expresses directness and urgency. Now is now; it simply means at this moment.

You can also use present and future tense to indicate whether something is happening now or will happen if nothing is done.

By following the best practices for creating captions, you can enhance the viewing experience for your viewers and help them learn more about your video content. Keep your captions short and concise, and focus on the most important information. Adding a keyword or two at the beginning of the caption can also help to improve the visibility of your captions.