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How Captions Can Dramatically Increase Your Video Audience with Ahmed Khalifa (NEWBIE)

How Captions Can Dramatically Increase Your Video Audience with Ahmed Khalifa (NEWBIE)

Making your content more accessible

 

One of the most overlooked factors when it comes to marketing is how well your content is received without audio, according to the World Health Organisation, approximately 5% of the world’s population is deaf or hard of hearing.

But did you also know that around 85 percent of humans watch videos with the sound turned off?

Assuming that sound will be played on your video, or even your podcast and not considering how to make it accessible to those without sound could be a big issue.

So that beautiful video you’ve made might not be getting the love it needs simply because you forgot one vital element.
CAPTIONS!

Today I’m chatting to a guest who knows all too well about making sure your words are SEEN, accurately, as well as heard.

 

Tune in to learn:

  • What captions are, and why they’re so important
  • Ahmed’s favourite captioning tools
  • How YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo handles captions
  • Should we rely on the platforms for captions?
  • What people forget about when it comes to having quality captions
  • Non-video uses for repurposed or reused captions
  • What to consider when creating captions

 

 

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Love the sense of humor, the music, the transition from one question to the other, and the great people you invite in your podcasts.

 

I just learn a lot and am going to refer you everywhere.”

 

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About Ahmed

 

Ahmed Khalifa is an experienced WordPress SEO freelancer, who is also deaf/hard of hearing and has been since birth.

But with this insight, Ahmed has a unique input on the importance of video captions, and it’s not just to help people like himself to access video but for many other reasons too.

Ahmed doesn’t have an accent. Due to his upbringing (and hearing), it’s a complex of different accents across the UK and sometimes changes depending on who he talks to.

Even when speaking other languages, he’ll develop a blend of accents too.

 

Connect with Ahmed

 

Useful resources

 

Transcript

 

Kate Toon:
One of the most overlooked factors when it comes to marketing is how well your content is received without audio. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 5% of the world’s population are deaf or hard of hearing. But did you also know that around 85% of humans watch videos with the sound turned off? Assuming that sound will be played on your video, or even your podcast, is not considering how to make it accessible to those without sound, well, it could be a big issue. So, that beautiful video that you made might not be getting the love it needs simply because you forgot to add one vital element, captions. Or for podcasts, a transcript.

Kate Toon:
Today, I’m chatting with a guest who knows all too well about making sure your words are seen accurately as well as heard. Hello, my name’s Kate Toon and I’m the head chef at The Recipe for SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things related to search engine optimization and digital marketing and today, I’m talking with Ahmed Khalifa. Hello, Ahmed.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Hello, Kate. How are you doing?

Kate Toon:
I’m very good. I’m going to really awkwardly read out your bio now. Are you ready?

Ahmed Khalifa:
Okay. I will sit here and look awkward as well.

Kate Toon:
Yeah, just look handsome, you’re doing a good job. Ahmed Khalifa is an experienced WordPress SEO freelancer, who is also deaf, hard of hearing, and has been since birth. But with this insight, Ahmed has a unique input on the importance of video captions. It’s not just to help people like himself to access video, but for many other reasons too. Now, I always ask my guests for an interesting fact and Ahmed says he doesn’t have an accent. I’m going to disagree with that in a minute. Due to his upbringing and hearing, it’s a complex of different accents across the UK, and sometimes changes depending on who he talks to. Even when speaking other languages, he’s developed a blend of accents, too.

Kate Toon:
Now, Ahmed, I am from the north of England, but I lived down south, I like to say Henley, but that’s me pretending to be posh, it was near Reading, and then I lived in London. You sound a bit Cockney to me. I’m going to say it.

Ahmed Khalifa:
No.

Kate Toon:
Essex, I’m bringing it.

Ahmed Khalifa:
No, that is a world first.

Kate Toon:
He’s actually just left the room, he’s so insulted. No.

Ahmed Khalifa:
I feel like just turn over this room right now. I have never heard … Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s like, “Where did that come from?” I have never ever heard of it.

Kate Toon:
There’s Northern there. There’s Northern there as well, so I don’t …

Ahmed Khalifa:
Oh, jeez. There’s Northern there as well? Oh, well, here’s a great start, isn’t it?

Kate Toon:
Well, I’m just asking. We don’t need your origin story, but it’s interesting, isn’t it? I think it also ties into what we’re talking about today that people make a lot of assumptions about people simply from their accents. Captions, beautifully, and transcripts don’t have an accent necessarily. Although I must admit I had a rather wonderful guest, my friend, Craig Campbell on the show, who’s from Scotland and he’s an SEO person from Scotland. It took over a week to get the transcript back for that show because they couldn’t understand a word the man said. I know.

Ahmed Khalifa:
I’m not going to lie, there were times where I feel like I have to adjust how I speak so that they can pick up the words one by one.

Kate Toon:
Yes. Well, this is perfect segue into what we’re talking about today, because we’re going to be talking about captions, about transcripts, but also talking about how often marketers can ignore those with different abilities, ignore a huge segment of your audience who maybe don’t have everything that we have. We talk a lot in usability, in UX, about screen readers, about alt tags, but I’m going to be honest. This is a new topic to me. I’ve always done transcripts for this podcast, partially because I do have a bit of an accent and people are like, “Can’t understand a word you’re saying Kate.” Also, because I understand that English is not everyone’s first language and that it can also be helpful to read and listen, but for you, let’s talk big picture. When it comes to marketing, do you feel that a lot of marketers are ignoring a big segment of the audience?

Ahmed Khalifa:
Oh, unfortunately I will have to say yes, but I think it’s in two parts. So the one part would be ignoring it and not really bothered by it. I’ve had interaction with people saying, “Oh, this video is useful, could you caption it, or add transcript to this?” And they have said that it’s not really our priority right now. So that’s the one party to the other. Then the other one are people who are … just didn’t realise it, just like yourself. You could say, “I didn’t realise it.” For me, that’s okay if you didn’t realise it, but you come in with an open mind, that’s brilliant and that’s the best way to start.

Ahmed Khalifa:
So it two camps that it falls into and it’s unfortunate that I’ve had that negative experience, but it doesn’t really stop me because that person can still train but there are other people who will want to do something about it.

Kate Toon:
Yeah, exactly. So, we’re going to cover a few different areas today, but one of the main things that you are a huge advocate of is video captioning. To be honest, to a degree, this has got nothing to do with deaf people and people who are hard of hearing. We know that a lot of people are watching your video on the toilet at work and they don’t want to be found out, right? 

Ahmed Khalifa:
There you go. Yeah, I mean, that’s a classic example. I mean, why do you want to deny people the option of watching it on a toilet? Come on. It’s like, let’s give them what they want.

Kate Toon:
It’s where all my best work is done, Ahmed.

Ahmed Khalifa:
I mean, I don’t blame them. It’s a pleasurable experience. 

Kate Toon:
So, that’s a true statistic. I mean, you’re the expert. There is a known fact that most video’s watched with the sound off, right?

Ahmed Khalifa:
That is a fact, I mean, I wish I had better data around other type of videos but a research about Facebook videos, around 85% of them are watched in silence. That’s massive, you know what I mean? If you think about it and I guess sometime you can just look at your own behaviour and just really be aware that, “Oh, wait a second, I’m actually watching in silence and I’m actually using the caption with the video. If it wasn’t because of that, then I would have to maybe turn the sound on.” But what if you’re not in the right place to have your sound on? You could be in a library or somewhere need to be quiet, whatever, but you’d be surprised about how many people watch videos in silence because of choice. But then obviously there are others who are watching it in silence because of circumstances. It could be disability, it could be learning disability, could be anything about your accent and sound and background noise. There are so many reasons why people watch captions.

Kate Toon:
Well, one of my big reasons when I had a real job was I spent a lot of time researching holidays and other jobs while I had a job. So I had to keep the sound off. That was part of it, we didn’t have headphones. So, let’s talk about captions. I mean, I think most people, if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably have a good idea what captions are, but let’s talk about some jargon around captions. So, sometimes we talk about captions, sometimes we talk about transcripts. What’s the difference between captions and transcripts?

Ahmed Khalifa:
Of course. So the captions are what you see on the video, it’s only for video and you see it at the bottom and it will just go by what the person is saying, but also sound effects and the music is playing and what band or song is playing. These are all in the captions and you upload that onto the video platform, or you burn it on the video, so it’s permanently on the video.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Transcript is like what you see on a page. It’s like an article, like a blog post, like a long piece of text. What people tend to do is that if you have a podcast, for example, you then have a transcript and then you put it on a website below your podcast and say, “Transcript is below.” Again, you just go word by word, what that person is saying and you can follow along. Although people think that it’s only for podcasts, but there are people who also like to read the transcript instead of watching a video and captions, it might be just easier for them to process it.

Kate Toon:
This is it. I’m an educator, I’ve got a course and I know that people learn in different ways. Some people just do not want to watch your video. They want to read. Even I know, I would rather learn from reading an article and seeing someone speak at a conference than listening to a TED talk, than listening to a podcast. For me, that’s slow learning, for me. I like to scan read an article, pick out the points I want to pick out or read a transcript. That’s how I like to learn. So giving people these multiple options is again, not about abilities, but about giving people different ways to access your content.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Exactly.

Kate Toon:
It’s common sense. We’re going to talk a little bit more about the jargon in a minute but what I want to jump to now, I’m jumping around in my questions, I’m getting all disorganised. There’s the different platforms and you talked about it just then, the reason why I want to bring it out now is whether we should be burning our captions into our video or using the platform itself. So obviously if we’re using something like Camtasia or iMovie, there’s the option to sit there and laboriously add the words frame-by-frame to the video. It’s so hard. Should we just be relying on the captioning tools that the social media channels offer? What’s your thoughts on that?

Ahmed Khalifa:
My thought is that you should always take responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the captions. Do not leave it down to technology to do all for you. There’s a saying in the deaf community, you’re familiar with auto captions, the automatic caption that you see on YouTube. Well, auto caption is also known as craption. There you go. Yeah, it’s so true, it’s just crap. The reason it’s craption because the quality of auto caption is very frustrating and you have to understand that it’s technology, it’s robots doing that and they’re not going to get it right. So you can’t leave it for the auto caption to do all the work for you. It will do part of the work for you. By all means, use it to give you a head start, to get it off. Totally fine. But you have to then manually edit it just like you will edit an article. Just like you would edit video. Just like you would edit any piece of content, captions and transcript, by the way, but captions in this case deserve that love and attention, it’s what I deserve.

Ahmed Khalifa:
People don’t do that and even if you don’t get it done by an automatic … or AI, artificial intelligence machine, even if it’s done by human, you should still check it. You should still manually edit where possible, because it just the same thing as a piece of content. So if you think about, would you leave your article or videos, you just get a copy, you got a raw file and upload it like that. Nobody would do that. You will jazz it up, you will add the things with it. You will make it easy to read, you will add images and the videos and headings. Well, we should treat caption the same way.

Kate Toon:
I agree. I’ll tell you a little story here, Ahmed. I remember, my husband is French, and he was asked to do a translation from English to French and he is French, but he was a bit lazy and he used Google Translate, and we’re talking 10 years ago when Google Translate is not what it was now. He used bits of it here and there, but we know that Google Translate is like the, “The buns of the man are brown.” And it’s like, “Okay, Google.” Yeah, he didn’t get paid for that job. It’s the same thing.

Kate Toon:
So I want to talk a little bit about tools and the quality or whatever. One of the tools I use to create transcripts for the podcast, which I say I do for a number of reasons, A it’s SEO-rich content that I haven’t had to generate. It helps people who don’t speak English as a first language and I have a lot of listeners, thank you the lovely listeners from all around the world.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Thank you.

Kate Toon:
Obviously I’m conscious that, helps people who have hearing impairment and also no matter how good I try and get the audio, the audio is never going to be perfect. So it’s helpful for so many reasons. So I use Rev. Rev is relatively expensive, I’m going to be honest, it’s not … Another option is Otter AI, which is, I think free, but still even after that, I do have to spend a deal of time going through because I tend to talk over my guests and I tend to get the giggles. All that rev does is go, “Crosstalk, crosstalk, crosstalk.” So yeah, I have to … It’s not just like a pay your money, get your thing. You have to take time to go through it and correct it. Which is kind of what you’re saying.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Exactly, exactly. It is a problem, isn’t it? When you want to have a conversation and just let it flow naturally, but there will be crosstalking, but that’s just the nature of a game. I mean, we can’t blame ourself for that. We can’t blame a transcript for coming up with crosstalk, it’s just the way it is. But it’s exactly what you said, I’ve used Rev many times, whether it’s the human generated version or the artificial intelligence version that they had, they’ve got both, it can add up in price if you’re using the human. If you use the tools itself, then yeah, it gives you a head start. Also the AI, it’s getting more and more popular and there are so many other tools that you can use to do that, even directly onto YouTube itself, because YouTube has already generated the auto caption and you can go in there to the editor and you can edit it directly on there as well for free.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Yes, it takes time but just like any other content, it takes time. Every single piece of content, which you wanted to make it as high quality as possible, they all individually require time. There’s no reason why we should not give captions and transcript the same attention.

Kate Toon:
Okay. Well, that’s an interesting segue into what I wanted to talk about next, which is your experience of YouTube captions. I mean, I must admit a couple of years ago when I was uploading YouTube videos, it just couldn’t understand a word I was saying, but it does feel like it’s got a lot better. What are your thoughts on YouTube captions?

Ahmed Khalifa:
I will admit that it has gotten better. I remember when it was newly launched back in November, 2009, I believe it was when it was first announced and it was like, “Wow, this is amazing, technology. This is perfect, accessibility. It’s going to be done, that’s it.” But over 10 years later, it’s still not there. It’s not perfect. Personally, I don’t think it will ever be perfect because it’s robots. Robots can’t really work out your emotions-

Kate Toon:
Ahmed, I find that reassuring, having just watched series three of Westworld. Have you watched Westworld?

Ahmed Khalifa:
I haven’t, no.

Kate Toon:
Don’t, it’s dark man. The robots are coming to get us. Every time I see YouTube make a mistake I’m like, “Okay, we’ve got at least 10 years before they kill us all and we’re in Terminator world.” So it comforts me, but it’s still bad, just throwing it out there. So do you think that … 

Ahmed Khalifa:
Okay.

Kate Toon:
So you say it’s getting better. What about Vimeo? I put a lot of my private content on Vimeo. I’m not even aware of Vimeo doing captions, to be honest, has Vimeo got a caption functionality?

Ahmed Khalifa:
Not something that you want to auto-generate. You have to upload. So you can do that. The weird thing about Vimeo, I don’t understand why they do it. When you upload captions, you first have to check what language in the dropdown box it is and then it will give you the option of uploading your caption. I do understand why they want to know what language it is because it’s not really automated at all. It’s a bit weird, when you check it out, you’ll know what I mean. But Vimeos, I do the same thing, private content. They go in there for whatever reason, personal or private membership, whatever, but you can still upload it using the standard SRT file that is really generic for all platforms that accept captions.

Kate Toon:
So, for my courses for the SEO course, what I do is actually create a full transcript of every single video that you can download. It’s actually not a full transcript, it’s like the bulleted version of it so you can use it more for notes, but I want to talk about that. SRT files. I’m going to say right now, they have been the bane of my life. You try and upload them to Facebook. It’s like, “No.” You try and upload them to YouTube, it’s like, “No.” SRT files. What’s does even SRT even stand for? Stupid rubbish turd? I don’t know, what does it stand for?

Ahmed Khalifa:
You’re close. You’re close, actually.

Kate Toon:
Am I?

Ahmed Khalifa:
You’re not close at all, not close at all. Well, it is a file extension for SubRip subtitle file and that doesn’t even add to SRT anyway, but yeah, SubRip is one word, S-U-B-R-I-P, subtitle file. It can be quite painful to work with because if you look at it and if you’re manually doing it there, there are timestamps that you have to put in and the start and finish. You have to put in the sequential order of number in there as well. You have to make sure that when you put in the captions in there, don’t make it too long so that it just covers the entire screen. You have to break it down to pieces. There’s definitely a bit of style to it and it can be a bit annoying, which is why sometimes there’s nothing wrong with get the draft version, using YouTube, or using any other tools that can do it for you for free.

Kate Toon:
That do it free, yeah.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Yeah, that do it free, give you a head start because personally, I don’t advise people to write it from scratch. It does take a long time and you will spend a long time editing the size and length of these things. To what you said about the issue about YouTube and Facebook, the annoying thing that if you upload .srt to Facebook, it won’t work. If you upload it onto YouTube, it will work. However, if you want to upload it onto Facebook, you will have to put in your file name .E-N underscore U-S.srt. Then you put it onto Facebook it will work. But if you use that file, it won’t work onto YouTube.

Kate Toon:
I love how they’re just two competing nations. We’re going to end up with just Facebook world, Google world. There are going to be people in outfits, fighting with knives and SRT files. I love the way they make it difficult for us. 

Ahmed Khalifa:
Oh, yeah.

Kate Toon:
But we talk often about Facebook videos, Vimeo, YouTube, but obviously these days we have so many other places where you can share video. We’ve got IGTV, we’ve got LinkedIn, we’ve got Facebook Stories and a tool I’ve found recently for IGTV is Clipomatic, which I’m super impressed with. I’m not a sponsor. I wish I was, please sponsor me Clipomatic. It’s a cheap app. You record the video on the app and it does a really great job of the transcripts. It does exactly what you said Ahmed, it doesn’t get too many on the screen at one time. So you’re desperately trying to read the words and the pictures … and then your mouth’s all out of sync and it’s all weird. So I love that one. What about LinkedIn? Is LinkedIn caption friendly?

Ahmed Khalifa:
It got a bit weird at the beginning when they were doing this whole thing about you can now upload videos and that was a new thing for LinkedIn, which is weird because, it’s kind of keep up with the times, if you get what I’m trying to say?

Kate Toon:
It’s a bit old school, come on, come on. It tries to be cool, but you know?

Ahmed Khalifa:
Yeah but video is not old school. Video has been around for hundreds of years, so just- 

Kate Toon:
No, but LinkedIn’s like the embarrassing uncle at the party who’s trying to dance with Facebook and YouTube, it’s trying to-

Ahmed Khalifa:
Doing like a dad dance at the party.

Kate Toon:
It’s the dad dance of the social media world, hashtag dad-dance, that is the caption for the show.

Ahmed Khalifa:
There you got.

Kate Toon:
Just like that, it’s epiphany. But they’ve got it now, you can do captions?

Ahmed Khalifa:
You can, it was a bit weird at the beginning. It didn’t work clearly, but it seems like they can accept the standard SRT file and it comes out at the bottom and yeah, it works fine when I’ve been experimenting with it as well. So I find again, like any platform gives option of watching it with caption because maybe people are on the LinkedIn app and they just want to watch it in silence, there you go.

Kate Toon:
They’re in the toilet at work. They’re the CEO hiding from the board members.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Of course.

Kate Toon:
Okay, we’ve talked a lot now about using SRT files. You gave that amazing tip about the file extension for Facebook, love it, but of course, many of these videos, we’re also publishing on our own websites. So, then there comes to the point where we have to embed the captions into our video. So yes, if we’re embedding the YouTube video from YouTube, the captions will come with it. But is there also an argument for creating a version of your video, maybe your homepage video that you really want to be awesome and putting your own little captions along the bottom, would you recommend that as well?

Ahmed Khalifa:
There are pros and cons on having both style of caption, which by the way, is closed caption and open captions, so closed caption is-

Kate Toon:
Okay, I don’t know the difference, you need to explain the difference.

Ahmed Khalifa:
So closed caption is when you have the caption that you can flick on and off. So you can have the icon at the bottom of video, you can switch it on and off. That’s closed captions. 

Kate Toon:
Okay.

Ahmed Khalifa: 
Open caption are the one that are burned on the video, you can’t turn it off, it’s there permanently. They both have pros and cons. They both have its own purpose and you can use them for a variety of reasons, from what you’re saying about embedding on the homepage, or all these videos, in those situations, most of the time I would say closed caption is fine. Gives the option of turning it on off. It just depends on your audience but I feel that the few times that you will use open caption is a lot of the time I see it, social media. Those social snippets videos that you see, because people are not going to go to the effort of three steps to click on a caption because they want it to go on the video.

Kate Toon:
That’s the thing, yeah, that’s the thing.

Ahmed Khalifa:
So have it burned on the video, on your social video that are like three minutes long, five minutes long. Totally fine. But I don’t recommend having the longer videos, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes, I don’t recommend having open caption on them. You want to give the option to do that. Plus don’t forget that, especially on YouTube, Google can’t read open caption, but they can read the SRT file if it’s a closed caption. So you just try to work it around that.

Kate Toon:
Yeah, no, that makes perfect sense. Really, for the little Facebook videos you’re making, it’s three minutes, it’s three minutes. Even if you paid to get it done on Rev and you spent 10 minutes maybe fixing it up. We’ve just talked about 85% of people watching without sound, you’ve just increased your audience by 85%. So, massively worth doing. What are some of the common mistakes you see people making when it comes to creating quality captions? I think you’ve already touched on this, but let’s just recap.

Kate Toon:
I think one of the things you’re going to say is the laziness, of just going with the captions you’ve got and not making the effort to tidy them up. Is that one of them?

Ahmed Khalifa:
It’s a big one. It’s a big one. I’ve heard too many times where people say, “It’s there already.” I say, “No, that’s auto caption.” Auto caption is not there already. It’s not, it will do, job. No, it’s almost disrespectful as well to say that it will do, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. I depend on caption. I have used captions for decades. I know what a good caption looks like. I watch it every single day. If I watch a video, captions. So I know what I’m talking about when I say, that’s not proper caption.

Ahmed Khalifa:
But in terms of the common mistakes, well, I mean, there are obviously tips on how to make good quality captions. One mistake that people do is that they censor out profanity in captions. So I get the sense that people, when they write the caption down, it’s like, “Oh, that feels awkward. I don’t want to write that bad word.”

Kate Toon:
It’s all right to say it, but it feels awfully rude to type it, doesn’t it?

Ahmed Khalifa:
Exactly, exactly. But this is the thing is like, I mean, if you are saying that, or the person is saying it, it’s okay to hear that, but you don’t want to write it down? Oh, come on. But it’s the whole thing about, it’s equal access. Why should you give the people who can hear the access of 100% of that content and you want to censor that word for those who depend on caption just for your own pleasure, because it feels awkward or whatever? This is a huge, huge criticism that I have with YouTube right now. They have done this just a couple of weeks ago. They have decided to sensor profanity in their auto caption.

Kate Toon:
Wow.

Ahmed Khalifa:
It made big, big news for us in deaf community-

Kate Toon:
Because you poor deaf people, you’re not allowed… You never swear, never.

Ahmed Khalifa:
No, oh God no, no, no, no, no we’re- 

Kate Toon:
You’re peaceful people.

Ahmed Khalifa:
We need to protect them, we need to protect them. This is not nice. And I’m like … I would swear but I’m not going to swear, it let’s the profanity in there, warning. But this is the thing it’s like-

Kate Toon:
If you swear on this podcast Ahmed, it’s going in my transcript in bold, in capitals. I’m telling you now.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Exclamation mark, I’d add to it as well. It’s unbelievable when I heard that and I was like, “No, that can’t be true.” But to hear the one thing that people assume is that you should censor a profanity in a text, but if you can hear it, then people who read it should be able to access that exact same content. It’s not for you. It’s for them, so that’s a common issue.

Kate Toon:
It’s not for you make. There’s a podcast I love called This American Life that says at the beginning, “This is the beeped version. If you’d like to hear the unbeeped version, go here.” They’re cognizant of the fact that maybe you have children listening and that’s why you want to take the profanities out, but they give multiple options. I think all of what we’re talking about is give people options. Don’t make decisions on people’s behalf about what you think is suitable content.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Exactly.

Kate Toon:
Now, there’s another point which you talk about on your Twitter account. You should follow Ahmed on Twitter, I’ve been watching his videos, there’s also on YouTube, some great stuff about how captions can actually be reused for other things. You think, “Oh, this is such a pain in the ass. Why am I making this transcript for the two people?” But actually it’s got lots of other extensions that you can use it for other things. So what are other examples of what you can use it for?

Ahmed Khalifa:
People don’t realise what you can do with just captions alone. It can make your life easier once you got a system in place. So the one thing that I do is that I create a lot of content. I do a podcast, video and blog post almost every week around deaf awareness but I kind of use the same thing and repurpose it into each other. So I record the video and I get it captioned. That caption would be converted into transcript but then I also convert that transcript into a properly laid out blog post, the headings and the images and in videos and just make it like a blog post and I do that. But then even if you want to go one step further, you can take snippets from that transcript and add quotation tags, or you can make these quotation images and put it on social media and put it there as well. Why not? You can use a lot of things with the captions itself, and that will also save you a lot of time instead of creating them individually one by one, it just saves you a lot of time. But once you have a system in place and you can just do this, which automatically converts to this, which then converts to this, you will realise that you actually can get like maybe a good three, four or five pieces of content, at least just from captions, it’s just a- 

Kate Toon:
You’re preaching to the converted. So for the recipe podcast, I have always got a transcript. One of the main reasons I get a transcript is to be a good human, but equally it makes it so much easier for me to brief edits to my editor. So I can just go through and highlight in yellow, “Delete this whole bit where I sounded like an idiot and Ahmed sounded really great,” because I want to sound clever too. Then I can also go, “Ahmed sounded really cool at this point, but I don’t want him to sound cool because I don’t like him so I’m deleting that bit.”

Ahmed Khalifa:
Fair enough.

Kate Toon:
I’m joking, never do that. But also I can say to my junior copywriter, my copywriter Kat, if you’re listening Kat, you’re awesome. “Go through the entire transcript and find something really clever Ahmed said, and then take that copy and turn it into a Canva graphic.” I can use that quote on social media ba, ba, boom, ba, ba, bing. It makes my life easier. It costs me like $50 because I do pay for Rev. I’m not affiliated to Rev. I find the quality better, but I love it. It’s control and then I take that content and I have maybe 1,000 2,000 word, content rich piece of keyword-saturated, glorious content that I can share with the audio with the meme, on my blog post. You know? It’s perfect.

Ahmed Khalifa:
And that’s it, yeah.

Kate Toon:
So, there’s no excuses people. Hey look, I’ve got a couple of questions from members of my digital marketing community, the Digital Masterchefs. So I’m hoping you can help with these. This is how we’re finishing the pod these days with some customer interaction, Jenny De Lacy, who is a big video person. So she’s huge, she’s a visibility coach, big into transcripts, captions. She is your people. She says, “Why oh why can’t I download the SRT from YouTube? No matter what browser I’m on it never seems to work.” Because it should be pretty straightforward, have you heard of this before?

Ahmed Khalifa:
I haven’t. I mean, let’s just assume that you’re going to the standard place on YouTube, where you got to YouTube Studio, to content, you click on the video and then the tab at the top should be more options. Then when you go to more option, you scroll down a little bit and it should be right there. What you want to do is click on the file which has the three dots at the end, like a mini menu. What I would say that it’s not very responsive. So sometimes in my experience, it takes a good few seconds, or maybe even five seconds for the menu to open up. Then when you click on it, then you can see the download file, or go to the edit on Classic Studio and download it from there as well. So I don’t know if it’s because you’ve been very quick and you’re expecting it instantly, if you are- 

Kate Toon:
She’s a bit keen, our Jenny De Lacy. I don’t know. Do you have a video on how to do that on your YouTube channel? How to download the captions? How to download the SRT?

Ahmed Khalifa:
I don’t but there is a Google- 

Kate Toon:
Well today, he’s going to record that tomorrow, I promise. No, I’m joking. Shit, he wrote it down on a pad.

Ahmed Khalifa:
My day has been changed completely, oh no, okay.

Kate Toon:
He’s written it down on a pad. No, so I’ve noticed the same thing, that YouTube can be a bit laggy as my son would say, he’s a Fortniter, it can be a bit laggy. So maybe just patience, but there’s no major reason. I find that Google likes Google products. So I find it easier to get the SRT file when I use the Chrome browser than when I use any other browser, so that’s my tip.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Possibly.

Kate Toon:
Keneena Fanning who runs a fashion store called Kablooie says … I think you’ve kind of answered this but, “Are closed captions now seen as the basic standard, i.e. is publishing a video frowned on without captions these days?”

Ahmed Khalifa:
Yep, covered earlier. I don’t think that there’s anything as a standard approach, it all depends on where you’re doing it. What type of content you have, is it long or short? Who needs to access it? It’s all down to these things. On most occasion, it’s going to be close caption because most occasion. Then if you want to keep it simple, short social media videos, make it open caption, longer videos, you want it to be like generated for SEO purpose and you want Google to read it, upload an SRT file, make it close caption, put on YouTube and everything around it. That’s the simplest way I can tell you to when to use closed caption and open captions.

Kate Toon:
That probably sounds so obvious to you, but that little difference between open and closed has just been a bit of a light bulb for me. Maybe it’s been a long week, it’s been a long year, if I’m honest – 

Ahmed Khalifa:
Yeah.

Kate Toon:
-but that makes a lot of sense. I think look, if this is one thing we’ve learned in this year, it’s about trying to make things accessible to as many people as possible and not to exclude certain groups. We can be all PC and righteous and be thinking, “Oh, we want to be right for the deaf community.” Or we can just think about the people in the toilet. Either way, it’s important.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Why won’t people think about the people in the toilet?

Kate Toon:
Can we just have that? Hashtag people on the toilet, that’s your new hashtag Ahmed. If I don’t see it on Twitter tomorrow, I will cry, okay.?

Ahmed Khalifa:
I should add that to my list of benefit of captions actually- 

Kate Toon:
I really think you should.

Ahmed Khalifa:
Because I’ve got a long benefit, but I didn’t add the toilet bit, I think it’s-

Kate Toon:
Can we think about the toilet people? Could someone think about the children? Not the children, the toilet people. Ahmed, it’s been an absolute delight. I want you on my podcast every week, but I can’t have you. If you don’t already, please follow Ahmed on Twitter. He is @iamahmedkhalifa. I will also share links to all his various bits and bobs, his Twitter, his Instagram, his Facebook and also he hasn’t given me his YouTube link. What was he thinking? I’m sure he will send it to me later. They will all be on the show notes but I just want to say, Ahmed, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a delight.

Ahmed Khalifa:
It has been a delight. I appreciate it and thank you for inviting me, it’s been fun.

Kate Toon:
All right, see you later.

Ahmed Khalifa:
See you soon.