How Transcribing Can Drastically Improve Your Content Strategy

How Transcribing Can Drastically Improve Your Content Strategy

Jason Chicola, Founder and CEO of, joins the Content Experience Show to discuss how transcribing your audio can enhance your content strategy.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Don’t Sleep on Transcribing!

If you are creating content involving recorded audio, such as a podcast or any kind of video content, transcribing may seem like an afterthought. A lot of businesses bypass transcription entirely and, as a result, miss out on a huge amount of value they could be adding to their content.

The most obvious benefit to transcribing is that you open up your content to an audience that is hearing impaired and unable to engage with your content any other way. In addition to this, you drastically improve your ability to appear in search results. Your entire dialogue becomes searchable text, rather than a few keywords.

Also, as social feeds and Google results move towards pre-rolling videos on mute, you can greatly improve your chances of catching a customer’s attention by adding subtitles to your video. Through services like, founded by Jason Chicola, it is easy and affordable to outsource your transcriptions, making it an easy and powerful way to enhance your video and audio content.

In This Episode

  • Why transcribing your audio and video content can have a major impact on your discoverability.
  • How to use transcriptions to enhance the reusability of your content.
  • Why captioning your videos can greatly expand your audience.
  • Why captioning is a critical part of the video experience on most social platforms.
  • When you should consider translating your video and audio content.
  • How recording yourself and transcribing your audio can increase your productivity over typing notes.

Quotes From This Episode

“Captions are very popular with people for whom English is a second language. When people learn a new language, they typically are better at reading it than hearing it, depending on the speaker.” — @jasonchicola

“Recording yourself speaking, you’re going to get more ideas out in 10 minutes than you would at a keyboard.” — @jasonchicola

Everything is mobile first, and if you're not thinking first about the mobile experience, your competitor is going to be doing it. Click To Tweet


Content Experience Lightning Round

Movies or TV?


Reality or scripted TV shows?


Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead?

Game of Thrones

Action movies or drama movies?


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Chris Pratt?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Scarlett Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence?

Scarlett Johansson

Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks?


YouTube or IGTV?


Favorite TV show of all time?

The Sopranos

Favorite movie of all time?

Lord of the Rings

See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Anna Hrach: Hey everyone, welcome to the Content Experience Show podcast. I'm Anna Hrach from Convince and Convert. Those of you who tune in regularly know that ordinarily the always amazing Randy Frisch from Uberflip would be joining me on this show, but he is unfortunately out today. That means it's just you and me and our fabulous guest Jason Chicola from specializes in three main services. They are audio and video transcription, English captioning, and subtitles, and foreign translation subtitles. Anna Hrach: In today's episode we're going to cover pretty much how you can use all three of them and when to use them too. Jason also brings up some really, really compelling reasons on why we need to place more emphasis on video and audio transcription and captioning services, and we dig a bit into user behavior, we talk about some trends that make these audio and video components really critical. Tune in, listen, and this one is awesome because I think we all know how, especially for usability purposes, translating and transcribing and captioning is critical, but there's even more to it with the way that social media algorithms are changing and just even how they display video. Even just how mobile is now our go to choice for viewing video, but it's on such a small screen that seeing the words along with the video, it's just absolutely critical for user experience now. Without further ado, let's go ahead and bring Jason in and hear what he had to say. Anna Hrach: Hey Jason, thank you so much for being here today. It's really great to talk to you. Jason Chicola: Thanks a lot Anna, it's a pleasure to be on the show. Anna Hrach: Yes, it's so great. I know you've sponsored this podcast so many times. I'm so excited to have you on and chat about all things video, transcription, and captioning, and translation. I'm really excited to talk translation, so don't let me forget about that topic. Before we dive in to all of this video amazing goodness, can you just give everybody a little bit about Jason? Jason Chicola: Sure, I'm the founder of Quick backstory, I was a co-founder of Upwork, which is now the largest marketplace for remote labor. I started REV with a similar vision to create work from home jobs but with a key difference. Rev is a highly managed marketplace where we guarantee quality, and for each service that we do we stand behind our work and we offer three main services: audio transcription, closed captioning, and foreign subtitles. Anna Hrach: I love it. First off I have to just admit I'm a huge fan. I'm not even saying that because you're on. I just love it, I think it's great, I love what you offer, but also too I think that what you guys offer is so overlooked when it comes to video content creation. It is an afterthought in some ways, or at least it can be. Everybody's so focused on creating this amazing piece of video, and then they launch it, and then they don't do the basics and really adhere to how people watch. I don't know if that's what inspired it, but what inspired you to start Rev? Jason Chicola: My story is not maybe the typical one. The classic entrepreneur story is two guys in Paris couldn't get a taxi so they started Uber. It wasn't that I needed a transcript and started Rev. It was given my background as a co-founder of Upwork, I knew the power of remote work. I think you told me you work right now from a home office. Anna Hrach: Yes. Jason Chicola: When I look at the world I see billions of people that would rather work from home then to have to deal with the traffic and congestion. I view it as my professional life mission to help millions of people live better lives where they can be their own boss, work where and how they want. I started with this idea of remote work's a good thing because it gives people control over their lives, that's appealing. Then I did what you might call an MBA type analysis of what's an industry, what's a kind of job where I can build a good business. I looked at the kinds of work that were being done remotely and I saw a big opportunity around language services. Jason Chicola: It's overlooked from the customer side. From the vendor side it's a bunch of mom and pops. It's been, in some ways, I don't want to say easy but we compete with companies that don't use technology. We have 110 employees of which 60 are software engineers. Every single thing we do is focused on making the process of transcribing, captioning, or subtitling more efficient for the people doing the work, more efficient for the people getting the work. We brought technology to a boring sleepy industry. It's paying off in that the customers really like it. Anna Hrach: Nice, well as a remote worker I thoroughly appreciate your dedication to seeing how great it is to work from home, but also as a marketer I appreciate the fact that you offer this service. Let's talk about, first and foremost, the one that you mentioned first, which is transcribing. I think this is probably something that everybody is obviously familiar with, but I feel like I still see a ton of videos out there, a ton of podcasts that don't have transcriptions. This is something that is so critical and I don't think people really understand the benefits of transcribing, or at least they don't realize how much of an impact it has. Are you still finding that? Jason Chicola: Yes, I think awareness is mixed. I think we have a lot of work to do to get the word out. I mean there's definitely growing awareness. There's a lot of benefits for a marketer or media person to have transcripts. Let me start with discoverability. You're producing content, if a tree falls in the woods but nobody hears it how good is that? If you produce content and nobody watches it not so great. Anna Hrach: Right. Jason Chicola: If you're producing a podcast, the search function in the Apple Podcast app, which is the primary way people consume podcasts, stinks. You can't find much of anything there. Transcripts, for example, allow you to post show notes online or in a blog that will help you get discovered. Many podcasts have all kinds of rich terminology, the nature of search is very long tail, and if you have transcripts you're going to get a bigger audience and that's a good idea. That's just one piece of it though. If you want to produce really good content there's other benefits. A lot of our audience, let's say the podcasters, they want to refer back to past shows as they're planning future shows. They may be interviewing somebody for the second or third time and they want to go and scan and see what they asked the person about. Having transcripts of your past shows can be super helpful. Jason Chicola: A lot of your audience may want to read rather than listen. If you think about it from the point of view of a marketer there's a lot of channels. You might be creating content, a story, an interview and your listeners on any given day may be in the podcast app, but they could be on Twitter, on YouTube, on Instagram, you name it. So, as you think about when you're producing some piece of work, how can you repurpose that content across multiple channels? Part of that could be adding a blog where you post a link to the podcast as well as the show notes and transcripts, but you might also want to take a longer podcast, chop it into pieces, put certain key pieces on YouTube with a title that makes sense for that segment, a little piece on Instagram that's maybe a teaser or something on Twitter. To get that content across multiple channels you want to know what's in it and a transcript helps you do that. Anna Hrach: Yes, I could not agree with you more. Also as you were talking about these things, just thinking about myself and all of these different situations and check the box on each one, cannot agree with you more on iTunes and Apple's podcast search function. I've actually been searching for something on our own podcast here where I was like, "Oh I know we talked about this, but which episode was it? Where did this little amazing nugget of information come from?" Could not for the life of me find it in iTunes, but then literally went to Google and typed it in with Content Experience Show and it popped right up because we had that transcription. Anna Hrach: The other thing too is even in addition to SEO that you mentioned, is the reuse. This is my favorite part because I'm a massive fan of remixing and reusing content, but like you said, pulling quotes, finding that beautiful amazing quote to then go promote something on social makes it so easy. It is life changing how much work it cuts out having to go back through a podcast and find teasers for social, or quotes, or even like you said just trying to find a piece of information on where it is. Jason Chicola: If you think about how podcasts get out there, I'll listen occasionally to Joe Rogan. Joe Rogan, very popular, has got very long episodes, three hour episodes, he gets a lot of views, but he also gets enormous number of views on YouTube. On YouTube he's not posting the whole thing. He or other people are posting 20 minute segments about a topic, and the title of the topic attracts a lot of attention. Well, if you think how are you going to slice and dice your podcast you want to know what was said, you want to use the transcript first to find the video. One of the things that we do for our clients, we deliver a transcript in the software that we call our editor where you can see the transcript and the video or audio connected so that if you want to take a paragraph of text and know where is that in the file, it might be oh that's a 1:32 to 2:47, so being able to connect the audio or video with a text is very powerful. Any editor wants to do that and we make it easy. Anna Hrach: Nice, and I had mentioned at the beginning too that sometimes transcriptions are a little bit of an afterthought. I think it's because it does come at the tail end of things, but sometimes I feel like a lot of clients I talk to or a lot of companies I talk to don't necessarily have this even sort of built into their plan. They're still thinking about it as well when it gets posted, but you even just demonstrated thinking about it and making it part of the planning process and then thinking about how we can reuse all these different pieces is critical in just bumping this up to the front of we know we're going to produce this, we know we need to translate it, and here's what we can do with that. It's such a critical component of the entire creation process but it seems like people still think of it as the last piece. Jason Chicola: Yes, there's a couple elements here. You're right that if you think about media production across the channels then certainly a transcript is going to help you produce better content, repurposing across the channels. One other barrier that some of our clients have told us about is price. We serve thousands of podcasts, everything from This American Life to Lots of Guys are Doing it From Their Garage, and the little guy often is budget constrained. To help serve that audience we introduced a new service last year called Temi, T-E-M-I dot com where we sell an automated transcript done by software, not a person. We have AI that we believe is best in class, and the beauty of podcasting is the podcasts tend to be the best audio out there. Podcasters are obsessed with the Yeti mic, the soundproof closet, phone booth. AI is garbage in garbage out. If you take this conversation and you put it through our speech engine it won't be perfect but I bet you you get 95% accuracy. We provide a tool to clean it up. We recommend Rev $1 a minute, near perfect. If you can't afford it Temi $.10 a minute, pretty good. Anna Hrach: Not bad, not bad options. Jason, real quick I want to get into even more of this. I especially want to talk about captions and of course translation because I think translation is really that missed component and opportunity to reach new audiences. Before we do we are going to take a super, super quick break. Everybody stick with us. We have Jason from and we are going to be right back after these messages. Jay Baer: Hi friends, this is Jay Baer from Convince and Convert reminding you that this show, the Con Ex Show podcast is brought to you by Uberflip, the number one content experience platform. Do you ever wonder how content experience effects your marketing results? Well you can find out in the first ever Content Experience report where Uberflip uncovers eight data science backed insights to boost your content engagement and your conversions. It's a killer report and you do not want to miss it. Get your free copy right now at That's The show is also brought to you buy our team at Convince and Convert Consulting. If you've got a terrific content marketing program but you want to take it to the very next level we can help. Convince and Convert works with the worlds most iconic brands to increase the effectiveness of their content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, and word of mouth marketing. Find us at Anna Hrach: Hey everybody, welcome back to the Content Experience Show podcast. We are here with Jason from and we just got done talking about all of the amazing things we can do with transcribing, podcast, and videos other than just putting words on a page. There are so many opportunities. Jason, I also want to talk to you about captioning. I think everybody out there understands the importance of captioning from a usability perspective, so obviously there's a huge benefit for when we have audiences who are hearing impaired or even those who maybe don't even have access to headphones at that point in time. Obviously the usability perspective is huge, but there's a lot of other benefits to captioning that you and I were chatting about on the break and I'd love for you to dive into those because it is really fascinating. Jason Chicola: Sure, there's a lot of benefits to caption. Some are obvious and some aren't obvious. The obvious one is that some listeners are hearing impaired and captions are essential in making the video accessible to them. That's going to expand your audience and give you benefits on platforms like YouTube. Captions will also help you get discovered on anywhere we have those captions like YouTube. Captions will help your discoverability. Some of the things that are a little bit less obvious. Captions are very popular with people for whom English is a second language. Many of our customers produce, let's say, educational content and they have a lot of customers that are, let's say, either in China or Chinese immigrants to the US. They speak English okay. When people learn a new language they typically are better at reading it than hearing it depending on the speaker. Jason Chicola: For ESL in the second language audiences, captions are very often a default. I'm from [inaudible 00:14:39], my friends parents were immigrants and they're all watching movies and HBO shows with the captions on. That's a segment you might overlook. Another one, depending on the content and how it's produced, is parents. My wife's always saying, "Turn the volume down, baby's asleep." Turn the captions on. Those two audiences are bigger than people think. In fact, those two audiences are actually far larger than the hearing impaired audience. Captions are much more than hearing impaired although that's a really important part of it. Jason Chicola: There's been a bunch of changes to social platforms in the last two or three years that are making captions even more important. Facebook, Google, Twitter, they're fighting to your attention, they want to get you hooked, they know you're going to go to that next app. What they're doing when you're scrolling through your feeds is they're often, if you pause on it, the pre-roll of video, without you click on it, but they pre-roll that video typically with the sound off because if the sound's on you're going to get annoyed. People are literally sitting on a toilet scrolling through their feed, and so they're playing video with the sound off. Well that experience is more or less useless unless there's a caption on the video. Jason Chicola: They've done all kinds of studies that captions on the video makes those videos far more engaging. Facebook has been this for quite some time. I think I read literally last week Google is starting to do the same thing, and YouTube they're going to be pre-rolling more videos with the sound off. As screens get smaller captions become more important. As screens get smaller the audio becomes crappier relative to your theater in your home. The smaller the screen the more important the captions are, so those are other reasons why captions matter. Anna Hrach: You know what? It's so interesting I completely overlooked, I'll be honest I completely overlooked those who are viewing something in not their native language, like they speak that language but it's a different language than their native language. Didn't even think about that, especially the way that native speakers talk, it's often a lot faster, it's a little bit more slang like as well. That I definitely could see is a huge benefit. Then also, the other thing as we're talking, it makes me realize that all of this amazing portable technology that we have gave me a great visual of all of these people in the bathroom flipping through their phone. That's always a fun way to visualize our users, but it's true. I mean you can literally bring video with you everywhere now, and I can't even remember the statistic that I last saw but I think it was something ridiculous like I mean 75% of searches start on a phone. I mean it's literally any statistic you see about searches, about video, about anything it starts from our phones. It starts from these devices that we carry with us everywhere. Anna Hrach: I think in the notion that video, in the past the notion used to be that video was primarily a desktop feature but it's not. I mean it's more and more people are viewing more and more content on their phones and more and more video. It's where people start. Jason Chicola: That's right. I think intellectually people kind of know this but they haven't fully internalized it and changed the process accordingly. We spend most of our time developing technology, inspiring examples I think it was five or eight years ago Zuckerberg with Facebook told all employees, "Whenever you come and present you have to first tell me how it's going to look on the phone." Because mobile was the afterthought and so he had to literally say, "I'm not going to let you show me this stuff," even at the time it was mostly desktop but they understood where it was going. Everything is mobile, everything is mobile first, and if you're not thinking first about the mobile experience your competitor is going to be doing it. Anna Hrach: What's crazy is not to go off on a tangent, but I heard this, I don't know if it's true or not but I heard that one of the reasons why Beyonce's Single Ladies video was so crazy popular is because they actually filmed it and produced it based on the fact that they knew people were going to be viewing it on their phones. That's why it's very simple, it just follows the three of them around, and that's part of the reason why it exploded so much is because people could view it on a small screen, it was easy to watch, and it was still engaging. It's kind of crazy to think that when we think about video first, Mark Zuckerberg and we think about mobile first, just how much different that experience is. Jason Chicola: I mean look it's great, whenever there's a change in the medium, from radio to TV, TV to internet, internet to whether podcast or YouTube, skills up the change and I think the world's always catching up. Right now there's such a rapid shift with social platforms that it's a little trickier to stay on top of it, which I guess is why people need podcasts like yours to stay current. Anna Hrach: Oh thanks. Last thing, so caption's absolutely. The last thing, which I don't think people talk about enough is transcribing. We did talk about a little bit action within captions and how to transcribe it for those who are viewing a video not within their native language. Let's talk about when people should actually transcribe for different audiences because I think this is kind of a gray area. This is one of those things where we could transcribe to reach new audiences but what is sort of your recommendation on transcribing? Jason Chicola: I think you mean translating. Anna Hrach: Oh I'm sorry. Yes, sorry translating. Jason Chicola: No worries. Anna Hrach: Translating, thank you. Oh my gosh. Jason Chicola: No worries. Translating is not the first thing you do. The first thing to do is to caption in English. If you're producing content in English your audience is mostly going to be in English. The question simply is do you think your content will appeal to a global audience? It first comes down to understanding your audience and then trying to figure out what other audiences you think you would appeal to that are large. Depending on the kind of content you produce, Spanish and Mandarin tend to be high on the list of languages to translate to in the media space, whereas Romanian and Swahili not so much. What we see is we call this service foreign subtitling where you want to get the words on the bottom of the video in a foreign language, very popular for media clients in international distribution. We're also seeing it popular for people that are producing content like training videos. Jason Chicola: In the media space it really comes down to people that have larger audiences and they start to see some activity overseas. People that produce educational content, we're also seeing a lot of them taking it into foreign languages. Typically though it comes as a result of them seeing some early traction, so look at your Google Analytics, whatever tools you have to understand your audience. I think a lot of it really comes down, like I said, to knowing your audience. The more you know about your user base, the better you'll be able to plan and target them in the right places. It's well known, people much, much, much prefer to hear content in their native language. I consider myself the ugly American, the whole world should speak English as I do, right? Why doesn't everybody else speak English? The best movies are produced in Hollywood, therefore they must speak English. The reality is a lot of the developed world can watch movies in English, they still prefer to listen to things and do business in their native language, and that's the reality that I think shows no signs of changing. Jason Chicola: It comes down to know your audience, study the data if you can get it, use Google Analytics, and if you see you have a lot of audience in Latin America, subtitle in Spanish. If you see you got a lot of hits in China, Asia, try Mandarin. Anna Hrach: Nice, so transcribe always, translate when necessary or when your audiences dictate the translation is going to be right for you. Jason Chicola: Bingo. Anna Hrach: Perfect. Well Jason we've kind of covered a lot of topics here. Any sort of last gems you'd like to drop for our audience? Any sort of even how to get started with transcription or how to even start thinking this way? Any last pieces of parting advice you'd like to give? Jason Chicola: Mobile apps, so a productivity tip. If I know that I have to do a presentation or draft a memo, my favorite way to do it is to use one of our mobile apps so that I can record in the car, get all my thoughts down, get it transcribed when I'm in the office, and start editing. A lot of good things come out of that, but I'm making productive time out of the car ride, I'm getting a jumpstart on my day, I walk in and instead of looking at email I'm already in the middle of my work. We have two apps that can help with this. We have the Rev app, the Rev voice recorder. We also have an app for Temi, our automated service. We're in the process of combining them, so eventually it'll all be on Rev. Today Rev is for human transcription, Temi for machine. You can use voice memos to get a memo, but I would encourage people to use audio instead of typing. That I think is a good path to productivity. Anna Hrach: Nice I love it. That's actually a really great tip. I think having a stream of consciousness come out can sometimes be you get more out that way than having to sit down and articulate with just writing. Jason Chicola: Yes, the other side of that, as a marketer, writers block. When people sit in front of an empty Google Doc or word processor there's this ... What was the movie Throw Momma From the Train? You could spend- Anna Hrach: Oh my God yes. Jason Chicola: You could spend days working on that first sentence, but talking is different. You just go. You get the ideas out there and actually turns out. One of our colleagues is going through a book writing clinic right now and the advice is just go, type a lot, don't look back, don't edit, get it out there, and then go back and look. I think that just the spoken form that is recording yourself speaking, you're going to get more ideas out in 10 minutes than you would at a keyboard. Anna Hrach: Nice, love it, awesome. All right Jason, so where can everybody go if they need transcription, captioning, and translation services? Jason Chicola: Go to, R-E-V dot com. If you want to get ahold of me, I'm happy to hear from any of your listeners. is my email, or Twitter @JasonChicola. Anna Hrach: Nice. All right Jason thank you so much again for being with us. Now that we've gotten to know the professional side of you and we've talked a lot about some of the professional side, we're going to take a few minutes to do the personal side. We have some lightning round questions coming right up after this quick break. Anna Hrach: All right Jason, so let's get into a little bit of lightning round. We've talked a lot about video during this session, a lot about video, a lot about some of ... You touched on some movies. You had Throw Momma From the Train, that's a gold gem that nobody talks about anymore. What was that Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal, right? Jason Chicola: I think so yes. Anna Hrach: Yes, all right, so I have some lightning round questions based on movies and TV. Are you ready for these? It's going to be like this or that and you just don't even think about it, just respond. Jason Chicola: Ready to go. Anna Hrach: Okay, so which do you prefer movies or TV? Jason Chicola: TV. Anna Hrach: Oh, okay. Favorite TV show type reality or scripted? Jason Chicola: Scripted. Anna Hrach: Oh, Game of Thrones or Walking Dead? Jason Chicola: Games of Thrones. Anna Hrach: Oh, good choice I like that one too. Okay, let's switch to movies, so genre action or drama? Jason Chicola: Action. Anna Hrach: Okay, horror movies or comedy? Jason Chicola: Comedy. Anna Hrach: All right, actor. Would you prefer Dwayne the Rock Johnson or Chris Pratt? Jason Chicola: I'll go with Dwayne the Rock Johnson, especially because I'm hearing a lot of rumors that he's going to be our next president. Anna Hrach: We'll see about that. All right, actress. Scarlett Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence? Jason Chicola: I'll go with Scarlett. Anna Hrach: Okay, how about movie studio? Disney Pixar or Dreamworks? Jason Chicola: Big fan of Pixar. The kid can't stop watching the movies. Anna Hrach: It's so good, it's so good. Preferred publishing platforms for video, YouTube or IGTV? Jason Chicola: YouTube by far. Especially YouTube my number one tip, YouTube Premium, whatever you call the red, the one where you pay a little money [crosstalk 00:26:12]. Anna Hrach: Yes. Jason Chicola: It's a must, you got to do it. Anna Hrach: It is pretty awesome. Favorite TV show of all time? Jason Chicola: Sopranos. Anna Hrach: Oh nice. Favorite movie of all time? Jason Chicola: Lord of the Rings. Anna Hrach: Nice. Jason Chicola: [inaudible 00:26:24]. Anna Hrach: Well wait a minute, there's like six. Jason Chicola: Yes but The Hobbit doesn't count, so it's either Lord of the Rings or Godfather I and II. Anna Hrach: Okay. Jason Chicola: Those are close. Anna Hrach: All right, I'll allow two of them to be combined because I know obviously you can't really separate those two out. Fantastic, well Jason thank you so much. That was it for the lightning round. Thank you so much again for joining us. Everybody out there thank you for joining us as well. This has been another episode of the Content Experience Show podcast. You can find us wherever you listen to podcasts. Please do us a favor, when you find us please leave us a comment. We love to hear your feedback. Until next time, this is Anna Hrach from Convince and Convert, and next time Randy Frisch from Uberflip will be joining us as well. Thanks so much everybody.  
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