How Transcription Can Help You Reach New Audiences

By the helpful people at

We are lucky to share this post from, a sister company of Find them on Twitter @ProofreadingHQ. Read on to learn about the benefits of transcribing audio and video content!

photo of a cell phone and headphones
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on

Our world is filled with audio and video content. The increasing popularity of podcasts and vlogs is changing the landscape of the Internet. Video content offers a more immersive experience, while podcasts have made it much easier to consume audio material. But text still very much has its place.

Pairing text with your audio or video content can boost the success of your content. Transcription can increase the accessibility of your content and enhance your audience’s comprehension of your message.

These days, there’s a lot of audio and video web content out there. Transcribing this content makes it more accessible, and can boost your audience’s comprehension of your message. @ProofreadingHQ

Writing out all the text of your content can be inconvenient, especially if it’s an interview or otherwise impromptu speech. Transcription can be difficult and time-consuming for people who don’t transcribe daily, and it’s easy to make mistakes. Your time is better spent on what you do best—creating new content.

Technology isn’t the answer either. Speech-to-text software is readily available, but that doesn’t mean it’s great. Even with 90% accuracy, it still produces incomprehensible, confusing texts. Speech recognition software can’t identify multiple speakers in audio and video clips, and it tends to cut up paragraphs in unnatural places—sometimes mid-sentence. You’ll have to make manual corrections anyway.

If you want to reap the benefits of transcription for your audio or video content, hiring professional transcriptionists is the best option. It may seem like a large upfront cost, but the investment is worth it. Below, we outline a few of the ways you stand to benefit from professional transcription.

Better Results in Search Engines

A key to generating successful online content is search engine optimization, or SEO. Ranking high in search engine results draws in new viewers or listeners who are searching the Internet for your type of content. And that’s not just Google: SEO also applies to the search features on content-sharing platforms such as YouTube. (Fun fact: Did you know YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with far more searches than Bing?)

Search algorithms rely largely on text. While a concise description for your video or podcast is a first step, you need more text to truly grab the attention of search engine algorithms. Including a full-length transcript of your podcast or video provides search engines with text to explore and to use to direct potential new listeners or viewers to your content. Assuming your podcast or video focuses on a particular topic, the transcript will contain relevant keywords that people are looking for.

Reaching People Who Are Hard of Hearing

With an estimated 10 million people who are hard of hearing in the United States alone, this is a huge potential audience you don’t want to underserve. Audio and video content on its own is largely inaccessible for this audience, but with transcription, you provide an avenue for them to enjoy your content. They can read a podcast transcript as if it were a blog post, and for a video, they can refer to the transcript to stay on top of the content in the video.

Even more useful for video content are captions, which allow viewers to read along as they watch the video. Captions also communicate non-speech sounds in the video so that the viewer can enjoy a more genuine experience of the content. This feature is also attractive for those without hearing impairments. Videos on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter automatically play silently, with an option for the viewer to turn on the audio—which many users ignore. With video captions, you can draw in these silent viewers, increasing your reach.

Reaching Non-Native Speakers of English

Worldwide, many people speak English as an additional language, so English-language content automatically has an international reach. But not all those English speakers are fluent, or at least they may struggle to grasp complicated ideas in English. Transcripts and captions can be immensely helpful to such non-native English speakers.

Reading is usually much easier than listening when learning a new language. Learners struggle to grasp fast speech and different accents or poor enunciation. Reading along with the audio can dramatically facilitate learning. Adding transcripts for your podcasts or captions to your videos can appeal to both advanced learners who need a little help understanding complicated subject material and intermediate learners who simply want English practice.

Translation and Subtitles

Despite the popularity of English as an additional language, English speakers still account for only roughly 13% of the world population! If you want to reach a wider global audience, you’ll have to translate your content into other languages.

If you have a podcast, you can translate your transcript and make it available for viewers to read. This would be like translating a blog post like this into other languages. Your English-language podcast has limited value to someone who doesn’t speak English, but they can enjoy the translated transcript as reading material.

If you are a video content creator, you can add translations to your videos as subtitles. Unlike captions, subtitles generally assume the viewer has no hearing impairments and thus translate only speech and not other sounds that may occur in the video. Since viewers can read along fluently, they enjoy almost the same experience as an English speaker.

Choosing a language to translate into depends on your content and your goals. Essentially, you can translate your transcript into any language you want—whether that’s a big language like Spanish, German, or Japanese, or a less common one like Navajo, Welsh, or Southern Quechua.

Get Ahead with Professional Transcription

Clearly, there are many reasons to have your creative audio or video content transcribed. Ranking higher in search engines leads to more views (or listens) for your content, and you can expand your audience by making your content easily accessible to English learners or those with hearing impairments. With translations and subtitles, you can also open your podcasts and videos up to the rest of the world.

Always keep quality in mind. Inaccurate or confusing transcripts will hurt your content more than they help it, so if you invest in transcription services, hire true transcription experts. The value of high-quality transcription can’t be understated, particularly given the increasing popularity of podcasts and video content.


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