How To Add Captions on TikTok

Dec 12, 2023

How To Add Captions on TikTok—Best Caption Practices To Improve Your Content

On social media, inclusivity is vital. When users feel included, they’re more likely to engage and spend more time using the app. That’s why TikTok introduced auto-generated accessibility captions in videos.Accessibility captions can also be referred to as subtitles or closed/auto-captions. They ensure the deaf and hard-of-hearing can interact with videos and other TikTokers with ease. This option is also useful for users in noisy environments or places where they can’t or don’t want to play sound. Apart from subtitles, captions can also mean video descriptions that users add in the last step when posting a TikTok. Businesses can leverage accessibility captions and video descriptions in their TikTok marketing plans. In this article, we’ll show you how to add captions on TikTok and how brands can incorporate using captions into their TikTok marketing strategies for making viral content.

Accessibility Captions: Everything You Need To Know

Auto captions have made TikTok more accessible than ever—they work by using speech recognition to transcribe the audio and automatically generate subtitles as the video plays. After generating subtitles, users can edit them in the settings before posting the video. This option is useful because the speech recognition software may get some words wrong.There are two sides to the process of using captions on TikTok depending on whether you’re the creator or the viewer:

  1. Creators need to add captions to their videos before uploading for better accessibility
  2. Users can enable or disable captions when watching a particular video

How To Add Captions to Your TikTok Post

If you’re creating content and want to provide viewers with subtitles for your video, you need to add captions before uploading the post. The process is easy and straightforward:

  1. Open the TikTok app
  2. Record a TikTok or upload a video from your phone gallery
  3. Hit the red checkmark to go to the editing page
  4. Tap the Captions option on the right side of the screen and let speech recognition process the audio and generate subtitles

If the generated subtitles are incorrect, tap the edit button (indicated by a pencil icon) in the Captions tab and add or edit the captions.

How To Turn Off Captions for Videos in the TikTok Feed

Users who want to disable captions for particular videos on their feed can turn off captions in two quick steps:

  1. Tap one of the captions as they appear on screen—a small bubble labeled Hide Captions will appear above or below the subtitles
  2. Tap Hide Captions

If you want to re-enable captions, tap the captions symbol indicated by a small box on the left side of the screen.

How Can Brands Benefit From Closed Captions?

Captions are an accessibility feature that brands can use to expand their reach. By adding captions to your video, you can reach more diverse audiences, including:

  • Individuals with hearing disabilities
  • International audiences who may struggle to understand your accent
  • Users who are in noisy environments
  • Individuals who are in silent environments (e.g., a library)
  • People who are consuming content in a non-native language

You can use accessibility captions to improve engagement. According to TikTok, videos with closed captions see a 55.7% lift in impressions. When videos are captioned, they keep audiences engaged longer, increasing their chances of becoming active followers. Aspiring content creators also benefit from the bump in engagements because better engagement rates mean higher chances of getting into TikTok’s Creator Fund program that rewards successful TikTokers by paying them for their content.Captioning your TikToks will allow users to discover your content by searching for specific words mentioned in the videos. As more users view the content, TikTok’s algorithm picks up on the increase in traffic and recommends your content to more and more people.

Source: Ketut Subiyanto

Description Captions: Best Caption Practices To Attract More Viewers

Description captions are used to provide more context to the posted video. The video description can consist of:

  • Normal text
  • Hashtags
  • Emojis

The TikTok algorithm heavily relies on captions to curate content for its users’ For You and Discover feeds. For instance, if you post a Duet video with #Duet in the caption, TikTok’s algorithm will push your video to users who have been watching many Duets.By pushing videos to users who are likely to watch them, TikTok helps businesses reach more viewers and make more money through increased conversions. Still, using captions doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be discovered by millions of TikTok users and make it big overnight. You need to optimize your captions through the following key caption practices.

Use CTAs and Short Captivating Quotes

A TikTok video can be filmed beautifully, but it can be made even greater by a funny, trendy, or catchy caption. An interesting caption prompts users to go to your website, scroll through your old content, follow your account, and even purchase your products or services. You can incorporate a call to action in the caption to nudge users in the right direction, depending on your goals. Do you want people to follow your account, like your video, or share it? Ask them to do it with a simple CTA like Follow for part 2 or Comment for a chance to win.Remember to keep captions below the 100-character limit—no user wants to read long descriptions on a fast-moving platform like TikTok. The ideal caption should include a strong CTA and be short, captivating, and complementary to the post you’re sharing.

Leverage Trendy Hashtags To Grab Attention

TikTok finds that 61% of users like a brand more when that brand participates in a trend. Videos that have trendy hashtags are pushed into the For You and Discover page making your content more visible.Here are some of the best examples of trendy hashtags based on different niches and categories:Hashtag CategoryExamplesFood#foodrecipe#mysecretrecipe#veganrecipeBeauty#beautyhacks#beautytips#homebeautyhacksHealth#healthtips#homeremedies#weightlossEducation#edutok#careergoals#businesstipsMost popular hashtags#foryoupage#viral#funny#followmeBrands that want to utilize hashtags should go beyond trendy examples. After all, many trendy generic hashtags are high-traffic—if you include only those in your caption, your video will get lost in a sea of content with the same hashtag and will not reach your target audience. Instead, tryincluding hashtags specific to your niche. You can also check out what your competitors use for more guidance on the top hashtags in your niche.

Create Branded Hashtag Challenges

Source: George Pagan IIIAnother great way to step up your hashtag game in captions is by creating your own branded hashtags. They are excellent for boosting engagement and improving brand awareness. You can build entire TikTok campaigns around branded hashtags and ask your followers to make videos to respond to the challenge and use your hashtags in their posts. The following tips will help you decide on a better strategy:

  • Hashtags should align with your content
  • Don’t create too many—focus on creating one or two exceptional hashtags
  • Avoid including special characters and punctuation marks
  • Keep your hashtag memorable and easy to spell

Use Emojis To Humanize Your Brand

Source: Lidya NadaEmojis are a huge part of how people communicate on social media platforms. For every niche, there’s a great selection of appropriate emojis that you can use in your captions to make them more vibrant. Using emojis is a great way to express your brand’s personality and make your brand more approachable. The viewers will be more likely to interact with you, considerably boosting engagement on your content.Emojis can also be used to add more context to your caption—they convey the emotion that text alone can’t properly describe. Combine the use of emojis and interesting captions to add more depth to your message and effectively boost engagement.

Captions Are More Effective When Combined With Other TikTok Marketing Tools

Source: MART PRODUCTIONBecause there are over a billion active users on TikTok, captions alone are not enough for attracting attention. To create content that will spark interest in your brand, you’ll need to combine captions with:

For a small in-house team, mastering all these aspects of a solid TikTok strategy can be difficult since TikTok marketing is not only about memes, dances, and lip-syncs. Also, content that works well on other platforms won't necessarily translate well and meet the expectations of audiences on TikTok.Most marketing teams also handle other social media platforms, putting additional strain on producing TikTok-specific content and keeping up with trends.If you want your business to succeed on TikTok, hiring a social media agency is the way to go.

Let Experienced Professionals Handle Your TikTok Account

As a professional social media agency, Kubbco has a team of experts to handle your TikTok needs from ideation to the campaign performance analysis stage. We offer a comprehensive list of social media services that will help you reach your goals on this or any other social media platform:

  1. Conceptualizing and building an in-depth TikTok marketing strategy
  2. Testing different video formats and topics to identify the type of content that best suits your niche and brand
  3. Developing content calendars
  4. Producing and posting high-quality videos that are relevant to your brand’s message and values
  5. Running paid ad and influencer marketing campaigns
  6. Monitoring campaign performance and adjusting our approach when necessary

If you want to learn more about social media marketing for TikTok and other social platforms, subscribe to our newsletter.

We’ve Helped Many Brands Make It Big on TikTok

Kubbco’s TikTok experts have successfully worked with several brands to grow their presence on this platform, generate leads, expand reach, and leave a lasting impression on their target audiences. For each brand, we developed a client-specific approach for optimal campaign results.Take a look at what we did with OLAPLEX, NATURLI’ Food, and essence cosmetics:PartnerPartnership DurationNumber of VideosViral VideosFollowers GainedTotal ViewsOLAPLEX5 weeks28222,0005.1 millionNATURLI’ Foods23 weeks112205,2006.2 millionessence cosmetics2 years 2 months55612386,00073 millionIf you want to get similar or even better results for your next TikTok campaign, reach out to our team, and we’ll develop a powerful strategy that will grow your TikTok account and your business.

Hawra Hashem
Marketing Manager

I create and execute effective communication strategies and content based on data-driven insights and creativity.

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