How to use titles in your video
They’re the super supers
We’re not talking about the word-for-word closed captions you can add to narrated video content.
In this blog, we’re sharing tips on how to use an equally important video strategy – adding occasional superimposed titles to your corporate videos to reinforce your key points.
They can be used alongside a voiceover or interview grabs – or to cover key benefits in music-only video production.
How super are supers?
Provided you don’t overdo titles or make them too long, they work hard to reinforce your most important points.
Studies have shown that combining text with visuals and audio can enhance learning and improve the retention of information. This is often referred to as the “multimedia principle.”
A study by Moreno and Mayer (2000) showed that using concise on-screen text in addition to narration resulted in better learning outcomes than using only narration.
Supers should complement the video narration
A common mistake is using titles as an opportunity to cover extra points you couldn’t fit into the narration.
Don’t do this. [Or, at the very least, keep this to a minimum.]
Your audience can’t take in multiple sources of differing information at the same time, so you end up with a confusing jumble.
You’re striking a balance between supporting important points and overwhelming your audience with too much visual clutter, so the best practice is to keep your titles concise – and in tune with the accompanying narration or interview grab.
And if there’s a simpler word you can choose, use it.
This increases clarity, understanding and retention.
Keep titles brief and to the point
Not a word-for-word copy of the dialogue, just the shortest phrase possible to add emphasis.
Overdo the title length, and you force your viewer into information overload.
Plus, the chances are that they won’t get the time to read a longer sentence anyway.
A good way to measure this is to allow enough time for the title to be read through twice. If you can’t manage that, it’s probably too long.
Here’s an example of the correct use of supers. The voiceover says:
“The real-time dashboard reports in seconds with instant alerts across local infrastructure, remote offices and cloud environments.”
The accompanying supered title is written as ‘Fast reporting.’
Add breathing room between titles
When you selectively add titles to reinforce your key points, they’ll stand out and be remembered for all the right reasons.
Conversely, use them too frequently, and they’ll lose their attention-grabbing effectiveness.
So save them for your strongest messages.
Distribute your titles evenly throughout the video, allowing sufficient time between them for viewers to read and process the information.
Adding space prevents a crowded clutter of titles.
And keeps your viewers focused – instead of foggy with confusion.
Animate titles wisely
Animating your titles can effectively draw attention, but be cautious not to overdo it.
Yes, to subtle animations that add a twist to your titles.
No, to excessive movement that becomes annoying.
Video titles when there’s no narration
You can break a few rules when your video relies solely on the titles to share the key points.
You’re not clashing with spoken words, so your titles can be more prominent and creative.
Font size and style: You can use larger and bolder fonts to grab the viewer’s attention.
You can also experiment with different font styles, as long as they remain legible and easy to read.
Visual hierarchy: Use different font sizes, weights, and styles to create a visual hierarchy within your titles.
This will guide your viewer’s eye and make it easier for them to understand the structure and importance of the information.
Animation and transitions: You can be more creative with how your titles appear and disappear on the screen.
Colour and contrast: Don’t shy away from using bright and contrasting colours for your titles.
This can help them stand out from the background and make it easier for the viewer to read and understand the key points.
Positioning: Feel free to play with the placement of your titles on the screen. You can have them appear in different corners, or even move around during the video for more focus and engagement.
Preview your video with the titles in place
How do the titles work against the voiceover or interview replies? [Or against the vision if there is no voiceover.]
Do they enhance the message?
Or detract from the viewing experience?
You might not be objective or find it hard to make the tough decisions – so in an ideal world, you’d ask for feedback from someone a step removed from the video production.
7 takeaways for using titles in your video
- Keep your titles in tune with the accompanying narration or interview grabs.
- If there’s a simpler word you can choose, use it.
- Keep titles brief and to the point.
- Add breathing room between titles.
- Animate titles wisely.
- Break the rules when there’s no narration.
- Preview your video with the titles in place.