As a content creator, going through the rigmarole of creating transcripts for your work is probably the last thing on your mind. For a job that's based on tight deadlines, it probably doesn't feel like there are enough hours in the day to take time to manually copy down dialogue into text.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. And not only that, but you may be surprised at how beneficial transcriptions can be to your brand.
Old-fashioned methods of transcription were enough to put anyone off the practice entirely. Even if you're willing to sit at your computer and transcribe an interview word-for-word, an hour of continuous talking can take up to 10 hours to copy into text. Outsourcing your files isn’t too appealing either: the quickest turnover times are between 12-24 hours, and with companies charging around £144 ($190) for an express turnaround of a 30-minute file it’d be understandable if you were a little sceptical about transcription as part of your everyday business practices.
However, there’s another option: say hello to automated transcription.
Automated transcription services have countered the off-puttingly high costs of time and money and, depending on the quality of your internet connection, can accurately transcribe a 45-minute video in less time than it takes for the file to play - and all on a flat monthly payment plan to boot.
Automated services and machine learning dramatically cut the turnover time of producing transcripts in a way that won't break the bank. But what's this information worth if you don't feel your line of work will benefit from transcribed content? Is transcription something that’s only relevant to a select few industry professionals?
More and more each day, the answer appears to be no.
Transcribing content opens the door up to countless opportunities for SEO and exposure across many industries, too. It’s not just a niche necessity for videographers and journalists; content creators in all sectors can reap the rewards.
First, the act of transcribing your video content opens your work up to audiences that may not be able to hear your audio because of a disability, or those who don't speak English as a first language: there are billions of people in the world who aren't able to understand English at a talking pace. There's also the potential to market to social media users through captioning services that transcribe video and export in caption formats, like SRT or EDL, so that captions can be added to video. That way, people can understand what's being said even when the device they're watching is muted. Lots of people like to watch video content while out and about, and electronic transcription offers an effortless way of tapping into this audience.
The potential SEO value is huge, too. Multimedia uploads aren't naturally capable of helping you rise through the SERPs - using tags and categorization on YouTube helps with discoverability, but it's pretty difficult to rank for keywords with videos alone. Transcription services are perfect for bringing keywords mentioned in your dialogue to life. If you publish your video content on your website, supplying an accurate transcript is an excellent way of turning your pages into their own blog-style post, which helps reduce bounce rates and is much more favorable by Google's algorithms thanks to a much greater keyword density - making your work easier to search for.
By utilizing transcripts of your video content, you can also benefit from extra backlinks in reference to your quotes that expect more links in return.
We've explored why electronic transcription can be so essential to content creators based in a number of fields, but why is it so swift and cheap? Are there any catches?
When you manually transcribe an audio or video file, there are typically a couple of approaches you can take. The average person speaks at around 125-150 words per minute, while the average person types at a rate of approximately 40 words per minute. Even an above-average professional typist would struggle to hit 75 WPM, which means that you'd have to be exceptionally skilled to convert dialogue to text in real-time. Most people listen to passages of audio before pausing and copying the content down on a word processor. This involves a lot of stopping and rewinding to ensure accuracy and that nothing is missed. Others opt for playing their recording at around 50% of its speed. This means that content can be transcribed faster, but voices become distorted at the slower pace and users still tend to have to press the pause button a lot to keep up.
Both manual methods are blown out of the water by competent automated systems that can transfer speech-to-text faster than the length of the original recording. The reason automated services are so swift is down to highly intuitive artificial intelligence (AI). Trint, for example, uses world-leading speech-to-text algorithms that detect and generate transcripts at the touch of a button. While the accuracy of machine transcription varies based on aspects like the quality of dialogue, background noise, voices talking over each other and unusually heavy accents, tools like the Trint Editor enable you to review the text with dialogue that's timestamped for ease of reference. What’s more, the Trint Editor is a text editor married to an audio/video player, so the audio is stitched to the text. That means both can be searched and transcripts can be verified before exporting and sharing. There is also a variety of features to expedite editing, such as Find & Replace and Vocab Builder.
With Trint’s system, you could have a perfect transcript after ten minutes of revising an hour-long recording; with manual transcription, you'd be facing another seven hours of pausing and rewinding.
The reason electronic transcripts are so cost-effective compared to professional manual transcription services is down to the clever AI that picks up the slack without human interference. If you choose to outsource your transcription, you're faced with extra charges for a faster turnover time. Using WayWithWords.net's quote calculator, a 60 minute piece of dialogue with a basic 10+ day turnaround returns a price of £64.80 ($85.46) - this accounts for the per-hour cost of staff tasked with transcribing the piece, administrative charges and other fees having to travel through so many third parties on its way to a conversion (not to mention the fact that your data is seen by many people throughout the process). Trint offers a flat Pay-As-You-Go rate of £13.20/$16 per hour for a first-draft transcript that's ready for proofreading within minutes.
If you have your eyes on maximizing your exposure to wider audiences or want to optimize your video content for SEO, then AI transcription services offer an affordable and swift solution that could work wonders for your business.