How to add closed captions to your videos using Rev and Kapwing

Around 85% of people are watching your videos with the sound turned down/off. Which means there’s little point posting social media videos - including adverts - without captions.

After all, if people can’t hear what you’re saying, they’re unlikely to engage with your content.

While you can upload a close caption ( .srt file) to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter,  this isn’t always reliable.

Having closed captions permanently burned onto your videos means you can use them across multiple platforms, multiple times, without having to fiddle around getting .srt files to upload properly.  

While you can hire a video editor to burn captions onto your videos, this isn’t always the best solution. If you’ve created a short, timely social media video, you want to get it online fast. Which means you won’t want to wait until your video editor is free to do it.

With that in mind, here’s a quick and easy way to permanently add captions to your social videos using Rev.com* and Kapwing.

I have recorded a video for you and there are also written instructions below.

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Step 1: Order captions for your video

Use a transcribing service such as Rev.com* to get a caption file for your your video. I use Rev for all of my captions and transcripts. It’s  accurate and quick (captions for a short social media video often come back in less than 30 minutes). And the price is reasonable at a dollar a minute.

Pro tip: remember to order a caption file - and not a transcript - it’s easy to mix up the two.

Step 2. Download your closed caption file

Make sure you download your transcript in the correct format – the one you’ll need for Kapwing is an SRT file.

Step 3. Upload your video to Kapwing

Next head over to Kapwing where you can add your closed caption file to your video.  Kapwing has tons of other cool features including Studio - which allows you to make, edit and resize videos, GIFs and memes.

If you’re happy to live with the watermark, Kapwing  is free.  If you’d like to remove the watermark in a single video it’s $6.  Otherwise it’s $20 a month.

Go into the product section, and click the ‘subtitler’. Then upload your video file.   

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4.Upload your .srt file to Kapwing

When your video has uploaded, click ‘upload SRT’ (your transcript file from Rev) and upload it from your computer. You’ll see that the captions are generated very quickly.

While Kapwing  does automatically generate captions, at the moment, they're not 100% accurate. I know this is something they're working on, and I’m confident it's a function that's going to improve.

Once the captions are generated in Kapwing you’ll see that they're timestamped and at this point I recommend checking that the words sync up with the timeline correctly.

5.Adjust font & size

Another great feature of Kapwing is the ability to change the font for your captions.

If you can find your font, use the one closest to it to keep a consistent look across all your content. You might also want to alter the size of the font to make the text easier to read.

I tend to use the the full wrap option which adds a coloured background behind the captions, because I find the words show up better on my video backgrounds.

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6.Check your captions are correct

Play the video from the beginning to double check all the captions are where they should be and that everything looks okay on the screen.

7.Hit ‘create’

Now click ‘create’ at the bottom of the screen and the file will start to generate.

You’ll receive the video as an MP4 file and as you can see on the screenshot below it says ‘your watermark-free content is being processed’. This because I use the paid version of Kapwing – you can use the free version but the Kapwing logo will show on your video.

It's only $20 a month to subscribe and as I create a couple of videos a day it’s well worth it but if you just want to pay to have the watermark taken off one particular video you can do this for $6.

Kapwing  really is the best resource that I've found for adding captions on to videos quickly and it’s saved me a lot of time (and money) now I don’t have to rely on a video editor to burn captions onto my videos. Using this tool also gives me the freedom to create captioned videos whenever I want, without having to work around my video editor’s schedule.

Feeling inspired? Learn how to create engaging social media videos. 

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