If your business is to record content of any kind, you know how time-consuming it can be. The demand to constantly create new content, especially for social media, can quickly leave you without fresh ideas.
So, what's the secret to keeping the constant flow of content going? Working smart as well as hard! Even if you are a bona fide genius, it's unlikely that you have an unlimited flow of new, original ideas. Besides, some ideas are just too good to only be used once, for a single marketing channel.
If you want to use the full potential of your content, you need to start thinking about repurposing and adapting your ideas for multiple channels and different media.
If you produce audio or video, you should start with making a transcription for every single thing you record. Take a look at the best subtitle editors out there (khm…khm…Subly!...khm) and start saving hours in churning our new content.
What is Transcription?
First things first, let's tackle the basics. Transcription jobs involve putting in writing the recorded spoken content of audio or even video files.
You will usually save the product of this process - the transcript - so that it's easily accessible later - for instance in a Word document, a text file, or even in a subtitles file (mainly SRT or VTT).
The transcribed text of your videos and your audio content like, for example, podcasts, are invaluable assets that you can use for many neat tricks. For example, if you repurpose podcast episodes, it will help you get your content seen and heard across different media channels.
What Kind of Content Can You Transcribe?
There are no limits to the kind of content you can transcribe - any audio or video file that has recorded speech can have a transcript. Basically, if people speak in it, you can transcribe it.
The most common types of content that get transcripts are podcasts and YouTube videos. However, the needs of different people and businesses vary. For instance, you can transcribe a speech or a lecture from the recording of an event. Transcripts of interviews can also be useful.
If you need to, you can even transcribe phone calls! Just make sure to contact the person on the other end of the line and let them know you're doing it. And of course, recording a meeting and transcribing it after is much more efficient than taking notes and missing half of what is being said.
What Is the Transcription Process Like?
The process of transcribing an audio file, as well as videos, varies depending on which approach you take. In general, it relies on the playback of the recording, recognition and conversion of speech to text. Here are a few possible ways to handle it.
Transcribe Audio Manually
Transcribing audio or videos manually is free, but what it may save you in money, it will cost you in time. Any recording longer than a few minutes will likely take you hours to transcribe.
There are multiple reasons why it's so time-consuming and hard to transcribe recordings manually.
First of all, the process itself is laborious. Without the help of a tool, what you have to do is play the audio file, listen to a bit of it, press pause, type out what you heard, press play again, and repeat these same steps until you are done.
The playback itself takes a certain amount of time. Add to that the listening, pausing and typing, and it will take you forever. And that's assuming the transcription itself goes off without a hitch.
However, be ready for obstacles. Even coming directly from a live person, talking can be difficult to process, and that's with the visual cues of facial expressions and gesticulation and the opportunity to ask for clarification.
These visual cues are an important part of communication which add layers of meaning and provide redundancy.
When you set out to transcribe a recording, in the case of audio files none of those cues are available. With videos, sometimes they're there, but there is no opportunity to ask the speaker for clarification or to repeat a word you didn't catch.
In speech to text transcription, your knowledge of the language also plays an important part, as well as your familiarity with accents. If the speaker is talking in a language that is not their native, you might have trouble understanding certain words or phrases. For instance, a Japanese, French and German person speaking English will all sound different.
Finally, the quality of your recorded media will matter when you are trying to tackle transcription. The poorer the quality, the harder it is to discern what is being said.
Hire Transcription Services
Hiring a professional or an agency that offers a transcription service is an option that you might want to consider if you are not set on getting your transcription done for free.
One of the main perks of paying for a transcription service is that you are not limited by the languages of the recordings. Whatever world language you need transcribed, you can hire a native speaker who will be able to handle the task for you.
The main issue with paid transcription services is that they can be quite costly. Even for a professional, this process takes time, so if they charge you by the hour, it might cost you a pretty penny.
Another issue is urgency - if you need your transcript to be done by a tight deadline, a professional might be faster than you, but they will probably still need quite a lot of time to get the transcript done.
This might work for individual services when you have one or two files that need a transcript. However, if you're a business with hours and hours of material, then it's highly unlikely even a pro will be able to transcribe them quickly.
Finally, there is the question of accuracy. When you hire someone to transcribe audio or video for you, there is a possibility they might struggle to hear what is being said due to the quality of the files or the speakers' pronunciation just as much as you.
Always make sure you go through your transcript and meticulously check every word. Even one wrong word in a critical place can cause confusion.
Transcribe an Audio File Using an Subtitle App
If you are looking for a way to transcribe your content fast and with accurate results, your best bet is a subtitle app like Subly.
With Subly, the process is simple. All you have to do is open Subly in your browser, upload files or feed the app their URLs, and let it convert speech to text for you. All you need is an internet connection and material to feed it.
Once the transcription is done, you can review it and then decide what you want to do with it. You can save it as a Word document, a text file, SRT or VTT. Subly can also add timestamps to your transcript in order to create subtitles.
An important thing to note is that Subly has support for 65+ world languages. You can use this option not only to transcribe speech to text but also to translate your content.
If you are working on this project with other team members, that's not a problem either. Subly supports multiple users so it can be used as a truly collaborative tool.
Subly offers a free trial period so you can try to create a transcript and see if it fits your needs.
How Can You Use Your Transcriptions?
In the age of social media, the quantity of content you need to keep the attention of your audience is huge. When you convert your audio and video to text, you can use it in countless different ways, including on social media platforms. Here are a few.
1. Add Subtitles to Your Videos
By now, adding captions to all of your videos should be a reflex. With so many people watching content on mute for a million different reasons, it's a huge oversight to leave your content without captions. Another faux pas is relying on auto-generated ones. And this isn't just about YouTube - don't forget social media like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook!
2. Turn Audio into Video
Do you have a great podcast or a fascinating interview? Why not convert it for the screen? All you need to do is use your transcript to create captions and add a picture as background. Now you can upload it to visual content platforms too.
3. Translate Your Content
One of the great sides of technology and social media is that the whole planet is your potential audience. You can use a transcript to translate your content for people all over the world.
4. Upload Your Transcriptions to Your Page
Most big podcasts either upload notes from their episodes, or they fully transcribe them and keep them stored on their website. This can be a great resource for listeners who want to come back and find information but don't want to or don't have the time to go over the entire episode again. Interviews are especially difficult to find information in, so if they're part of your content, consider this a helping hand for the listeners who support you.
5. Write Blog Posts
Blogs are an excellent way to drum up interest for your page and generate free organic traffic. And once you transcribe your audio, you can use that as a basis for writing a bunch of interesting articles.
6. Make Social Media Posts
Social media networks are voracious when it comes to content. Depending on the social media network, sometimes you need to post even several times a day to connect with your followers and stay relevant.
Use your transcription as a source for posts, snippets and quotes for your social media accounts. It's easy, and it works.
7. Get SEO on Your Side
You can have life-changing tutorials, celebrity interviews, or groundbreaking insights, but if no one can find it - what's the use?
Audio content and SEO are not best friends, but you can rectify that with your transcribed text. Upload the full thing to give search engines something to read or post text with pictures to boost image search.
If you want to take your online presence to the next level, you need to transcribe your audio and video content - there's no doubt about that. A simple, user-friendly tool like Subly can make that next step effortless. Try it and see for yourself.