Now that you know three ways to add subtitles to your TikTok content, it is time to go over the "better engagement" aspect. In each editor, you can make the wrong font, color, size, and positioning choices and tank your engagement. So it doesn't matter whether you use TikTok or InShot to add captions. You must know the fundamentals of captioning for engagement.
TikTok Subtitles Are Not Normal Subtitles
For starters, you need to recognize that TikTok subtitles are different from movie captions. They're not meant to translate the audio. Instead, they are a visual aim that can draw users in. If you use captions properly, your viewers will be too closely following the caption text to think about skipping it.
But if you make the captions hard to follow by choosing a small font or putting too much text at once, you'll lose their interest. For optimal engagement, captions must be used as animation elements. Don't confuse this with animated text, though.
Your captions shouldn't be flying all over the screen. Them popping into the frame and vanishing is technically an animation. And it is enough to keep viewers engaged.
Break Up Subtitles To A Few Words Per Caption
For captions to work as attention-grabbing elements, there shouldn't be too many words on the screen at one time. If a character says, "Here are five creepy stories from Reddit," do not fit the entire line in one caption. Firstly, your viewers will know what you're about to say before you say it because their silent reading speed is higher than your presenter-speaking speed.
Next, they'll feel resistance when they try to read and will feel the urge to skip to a video that is easier to consume. But if you break up the caption into "Here are," "five creepy stories," and "from Reddit," their reading pace will be the same as your speaking pace.
In most cases, they'll not even read the captions but will mentally verify them with the audio. Instead of "reading," they just "see words," which is a lot easier to follow.
Use Line Breaks To Cover More Of The Screen
To help your viewers follow subtitles more closely, you need to make the text size larger. Line breaks help you make captions large without pushing any text outside the frame. With line breaks, you can give your text better legibility and a high screen occupancy.
Just make sure that the captions do not hide anything important. The higher the visual value of your content, the more limited you are in text size selection. The higher the audio value, the larger your text can be.
Ignore "Body Text" Fonts
Regardless of the audio or video value, you should not use body text fonts for TikTok captions. TikTok is a short-form content platform, and short-form subtitles are meant to be bold and snappy.
By picking a title font, you limit misfires, as most title fonts are bold and snappy by default. TikTok, Inshot, ContentFries, and every other editor have a separate set of title fonts alongside a library of body fonts. They might not be categorized as such, though.
Make Sure Your Font Is Legible And Attention-Grabbing
Next, you need to ensure that the font is easy to read. Just focusing on attention-grabbingly large fonts can backfire because your audience can be confused. Your font choice and text size must be simultaneously legible and attention-grabbing. If your font has sufficient weight, you have more room to alter the text size.
Make Sure Your Font Is Thick And Sans-Serif
Thick fonts can occupy more screen area for each letter compared to their thinner counterparts. And sans-serif fonts have been proven to produce higher engagement. So the logically safe choice for TikTok captions would be bold and sans-serif. In some contexts, serif fonts work better, though.
You have to reconcile your font choice with your brand. Serif fonts work to evoke a feeling of tradition and convention, while serif typefaces fit most modern use cases.
Give Your Text A Shadow, Border, Or Solid Background
You should choose contrasting colors to make the subtitles stand out. There are effects like drop-shadow, solid border, and solid background, which can make the captions more readable. With a solid background, you must opt for a color that contrasts with the text color.
Solid backgrounds can make text highly legible but can be too much like reading off a paper, which people don't really like. So try to use border color and shadow to make it work.
Position Your Subtitles In The Middle
Center positioning is a great way to make your captions the center of your audience's attention. If you place your TikTok captions in the center of your video, then you must avoid solid background at all costs. Placing subtitles in the middle of the screen is highly advisable for podcasters, professional speakers, authors, and other "spoken word" content creators.
Use Emojis To Keep Things Light
Finally, remember that your TikTok subtitles aren't supposed to win you an Oscar nomination. You can use emojis wherever appropriate to draw your audience in. If you're telling a funny story about a time you got pranked, and you say, "I was furious," the captions can say, "I was angry emoji angry emoji angry emoji."