How to Transcribe Your Videos and Make Them Work Harder

How to Transcribe Your Videos and Make Them Work Harder

Here at Canny the question of how to transcribe video is one we have been thinking about for a long time.

Oh and before we begin I hear you – not more video tasks, surely it’s time to relax?

So after, finally, caving into the growing pressure to get on the video bandwagon you now think it’s time to relax for a bit, right?


To ensure you are getting the maximum bang for your buck you need to start thinking about how your video content is working for you and start considering ways to make it work even harder.

One technique that is starting to become a lot more popular is video transcription.

Before I talk about how transcription can boost your video’s impact, let me first explain what transcription is.

What Is Video Transcription?

Video transcription is the process of translating video audio into text.

There are a variety of ways video transcription can be done.

We will cover this later, but for now, let’s look at why would you ever want to spend time translating a video?

Video transcription is the process of translating video audio into text.

There are a variety of ways video transcription can be done, which we’ll cover, but for now, let’s look at why you would want to spend time translating your business videos.

Benefits of Transcribing Video

Once you get over the head-scratching and start to consider the benefits of video transcription, you quickly become aware of just how important it is!

Below is a list of some of the top reasons why transcribing your video is a good idea:


SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a method of increasing the traffic to your website through organic search results.

If your video has a transcript, this provides more data for the Google search engines to use when indexing your site.

More data provides more opportunity to show up in more organic search results, which should lead to more website visitors.

Extra text included with your video descriptions on platforms such as YouTube can also be beneficial as it allows you to rank higher in their searches.

Improves Accessibility

The World Health Organization states that 466 million people in the world have disabling hearing loss.

Opening up your content to this demographic would significantly improve your reach.

Another demographic to consider is the, still huge, number of individuals who prefer reading content than watching it on a video platform.

Get both, and you’re onto a winner!

Better User Experience

According to Hubspot, using a Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey they found that 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.

Although video is one of the most popular forms of digesting content, we also have to be aware that in some situations, individuals can’t use a video’s audio. Having text available means that people can still digest the information without having to wait for a more convenient time.

Another consideration is trying to stop people flicking by a video based on a snap judgement of whether they like the title or not.

Having a transcript is an excellent way to gain someone’s interest as they can skim read it to understand the context a little more and then make a more informed decision whether it is right for them.

Multiple Usage

Now for one of the essential benefits of transcription – the opportunity to create different content streams from one piece of content. Thus making your video work harder.

Below are just a few of the ways this can be done:


Once you have the text from the video, all you have to do is structure it into a blog template. Add a few pictures, and you’re all set!

Working like this is an incredible benefit for individuals who feel they don’t have the time to type up a blog.


Similar to blogs, once you have the text, insert it into the body of an email and hit your most loyal followers.

Guides and Ebooks

Another way to target your audience is by using the video text content to produce helpful guides and ebooks.

Social Media

Now, this is where it gets exciting, as social media enables us to use the text in a variety of ways from long-form posts to short forms such as sound bites.

This means you can make multiple posts from one single text document.


Now you have created new streams of content something to consider is the benefit of marketing it as an exclusive to your loyal followers.

This type of engagement is an excellent way of showing that you care and value their support. Always remember it’s not all about getting new viewers, you have to be able to keep them.

With a firm understanding of the incredible benefits of video transcription, let’s take a look at a company who is leading the way!

How TED is Slaying the Transcription Game!

TED is a nonprofit organisation which focuses on spreading ground-breaking thinking through a series of short, powerful talks focusing on a variety of subjects from Technology to Community.

As TED has a global footprint, they take people accessing their videos very seriously, that is why, after a few weeks from posting, much of their content is transcribed into a large number of languages.

Take this video: ‘Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed’, this video, alone, is transcribed into 27 different languages. And not only is the speech transcribed but everything that occurs in the video is detailed to ensure that people with hearing difficulties can engage too.

So how can I start transcribing? I hear you ask.

Let’s not wait any longer. Follow me!

What Tools Are Needed to Transcribe Video?

There are three main methods available for you to transcribe a video:

  • Completing the transcription yourself with free accessible tools
  • Utilising paid or free video software
  • Using a video transcription service.

Let’s take a look at the critical things required to enable you to complete transcription yourself.

First, to view the very thing you want to transcribe, you need a way of seeing the video content.

Second, to type up what you hear, word processing software is required.

Third, a quiet area with no or minimal distractions is vital so you can hear the content.

Get these, and you are on your way.

Now let’s talk about some of the things which will enable you to transcribe in the quickest time possible.

Transcribing Video Faster

People don’t like transcribing videos, because it takes time. Here’s how you can transcribe your videos faster:

Titles and Headings

A great place to start is to watch the video in full then break it down into digestible chunks.

The way this is done can be down to you, but you will find having more bite-size work will provide much-needed checkpoints so you can take a rest, not to mention, opportunities for feeling accomplished.

Clean Up Your Audio

The quality of your sound is imperative.

If you are struggling hearing what is said during the video, then you will have to replay footage to understand it continually.

Any opportunities to reduce these occasions will significantly save time. Have a look at software such as Adobe Audition as this provides excellent tools to clean up dialogue.

Take breaks

Taking a break might, initially, sound counterintuitive. Still, when you are focusing on one task for a lengthy period, it’s imperative to take time out to let your energy levels recuperate.

Here’s another tool that might help:

Transcription foot pedal

This fantastic tool lets you control the audio/view playback of a video with your foot leaving your hands free to type. Although this may take a bit of getting used to at first, it’s worth considering due to the time it will save in the long-run.

You can buy a transcription foot pedal on Amazon.

Now that we’ve discussed a way you can transcribe the video let’s see what other methods are available.

Transcription Services

Although doing something for yourself provides a great feeling of accomplishment, what happens when you just don’t have the time?

One option that has now grown into a vast industry is utilising professional transcription companies that do the work for you.

Here are some of the more popular companies out there:


Rev is a transcription company based in the U.S.

According to their website, they have the largest network of professional transcriptionists in the country.

$1.25 per audio minute

Completion Time:
12 hours


Check out the Rev website


If you are looking for a cheaper option than Rev, Temi might just be the one for you. Although it can boast more affordable pricing, be mindful, the accuracy rate promise is a little less than Rev’s.

$0.25 per audio minute

Completion Time:

90 – 95%

Check out the Temi website


Scribie is another service to consider. They offer both manual and automated transcription services.

$0.80 per audio minute

Completion Time:
36 hours


Check out the Scribie website

The above information should provide an excellent springboard to finding a company which is right for your needs.

Ok, that’s great, but what if you haven’t got the cash to continually pay a third party?

Well don’t fear there are alternative options for you too!

Paid Transcription Software

Transcription software is an excellent tool for speeding up the transcription process. There are a variety of offerings, each slightly different, so take your time to find the right product that covers your main priorities.

To get you started here are two I have found:


Trint’s automated transcription software was invented by journalists.

On it’s website, Trint states the software allows you too:

  • Convert your audio and video files into text
  • Polish transcripts in minutes
  • Create searchable audio and music files
  • Put captions in your videos
  • Share chunks of audio and video online

Access to Trint’s editor starts at £40 per month for the Starter package through to £56 per month for the Pro package.

Check out the Trint website


Transcriptive is an Adobe Premiere Pro plugin developed by a company called Digital Anarchy.

At a cost of $299 the product’s initial cost is not cheap but when you consider the site boasts that you can transcribe 60 mins of video in 10 mins you start to understand the benefits!

Check out the Transcriptive website

There are alot more options out there so go out there and compare.

Paid software still a bit pricey?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered too!

Let’s have a look at some of the free software tools on offer.

Free Transcription Software

The first thing to consider before you dive headfirst into free software is that there is always a catch and usually this comes in the form of a reduction in the accuracy.

If, however, you are prepared to put a little more effort in at the back end in terms of cleaning it up, then this can be a great asset.

Below are some of the ones I have found:


SpeechTexter is a free speech-to-text application.

Boasting accuracy levels of 95% for English U.S. speakers it’s definitely worth a look!

Check out the Speechtexter website

Google Docs

To get Google Docs all you have to do is register for a free Gmail account.

Once in Google Docs you, simply, talk into the microphone of your computer and the tool will type the text out. Although it’s free and very convenient, don’t expect to receive the quality associated with other transcription software or services.

As it’s free, try it out. You have nothing to lose.


Ok, so you need a mobile phone first, but who, nowadays, doesn’t have a phone!

Siri is an application that is built into every Iphone and it’s so easy to use.

Simply open up notes on your phone, click play then hit the microphone button which will start transcribing the footage.

Again like Google Docs, the technology is not 100% there yet but it’s come on leaps and bounds over recent years.

Oh and don’t worry other phones have similar applications to Siri. all you have to do is find out what they are.

Conclusion: How to Transcribe Video to Make Your Videos Work Harder

So there you have it.

You now, hopefully, appreciate the benefits of transcribing video audio and some of the ways to do it.

Like anything the best step is always the first one so don’t be shy and give it a go.

Regarding paid transcription offerings there are usually trials available, so even with paid services there are ways of testing before having to shell out some of your hard earned cash.

Started transcribing videos already? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Paul Martin is a leading photographer and videographer that runs Centre Stage Photography based in the North East of England.


11 min read