Work Smarter With Searchable Transcripts

Search button on a computer keyboard

It’s estimated that a colossal 82% of all global internet traffic this year will come from video. The platforms and types of content available feel endless. Whether you want to laugh, cry or learn, there’s video and audio content to cater to your every whim. However, with so much content out there, being able to ensure it delivers what you’re looking for and finding ways to skip to the moments that matter most is becoming increasingly important. 

Let’s be honest, no one has the time or inclination to try and get to the ‘good bits’ by incessantly pausing, fast-forwarding, and rewinding content. What users need is the ability to search. 

When it comes to search, transcription is audio and video content’s best friend. Transcripts make your content more inclusive by increasing accessibility, they can boost search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts and help to increase reach. Plus, the positives don’t stop there. Accurate transcripts are instrumental in making video and audio content searchable.  

SEO spelt out in scrabble tiles

The rising popularity of audio and video content 

It’s no secret that video and audio content continues to thrive in the popularity stakes. Consumers can’t seem to get enough of content in these formats which can inform, educate, or simply entertain. Organisations are also seeing the value in audio and video content as an effective way to engage with customers, as well as team members.  

What makes video so enticing?

Video has become a key element of the marketing mix with compelling stats making it a must-have for businesses. 78% of video marketers state that video has directly helped them increase sales. With proven ROI it’s no wonder the medium is so popular. 

 As consumers are engaging more with video content it’s an ideal way to get in front of a greater number of people and hold their attention for longer. Video has the power to create an emotional connection and build trust which obviously appeals to marketers as a way to stand out and create a sense of community. 

The power of audio

Man listening to a podcast on headphones on his commute

Audio content also has the power to engage audiences and create an emotional connection too. Plus, it has the added benefit of allowing you to combine listening with other tasks, ideal for those who are constantly seeking ways to feel like time is being maximised! 

So, whether you fancy escaping to a fictional world with an audiobook as a companion on your commute, or you choose to share your daily walk with your favourite podcast, audio content can slot easily into your everyday routine.  

A wealth of content in our hands

Our mobile phones have accelerated both the rate at which content can be produced and consumed. Innovations in mobile technology allow creators to produce high-quality content just using their phones, reducing the costs of creation, and speeding up the process. Of course, there is still a place for professional production levels, but this can co-exist with user-generated content which can have a more authentic feel. 

Despite the many benefits of video and audio content there are a few drawbacks. One of the largest is that video and audio aren’t searchable, making it hard to pinpoint and find relevant content. For organisations, working with video and audio content can be inefficient and challenging to manage. Files tend to be very large and without a search function it can be difficult to keep track of what content is available and how to find it – an issue for your internal teams as well as consumers. 

How searchable transcripts can help

Transcripts transform the spoken word in audio and video content into text which can then be searched. However, to be used effectively for search, the transcript obviously needs to be highly accurate. Errors and mistakes in the transcript are reflected in poor search results.  Accurate transcripts are also essential for accessibility purposes.  

Verbatim transcription is an ideal choice when you want a word-for-word account of what’s being said to allow you to search your content. Professional transcription services, like Take Note, can also include timestamps allowing you to identify not only what was said, but when it was said. Transcripts can be formatted in a specific way allowing you to add subtitles and captions to your content too. 

A searchable transcript with timestamps enables you to identify keywords or segments in the content you’re interested in and easily find the exact moments of interest in the audio or video file. The review process is accelerated with the inclusion of transcription, allowing you to skip any irrelevant sections, saving you time and effort.  

How do you search in a transcript?

Search bar and magnifying glass icon on a computer screen and Searchable Transcripts

Transcripts are useful documents in their own right but really shine when viewed in combination with the original audio or video. 

As a separate text file, you can search a transcript as you would any other document but jumping between different programmes isn’t ideal. Don’t worry though, the major video and audio platforms have you covered by enabling you to upload transcripts to work in tandem with the original video and audio.  YouTube, Vimeo, Webex, Zoom and others, support transcription so you, your team, or customers, can carry out searches directly from within the platform. 

Most platforms will display an interactive transcript alongside the video, delivering a user-friendly and intuitive experience. Clicking on the transcript will take you to the relevant segment in the content, and when watching the video, the transcript will track along at the same time. Providing interactive transcripts is particularly useful for long-form content where the viewer is unlikely to want to watch the video in full. Rather than switch off, they can customise the experience. 

How to get a searchable transcript

Searchable transcripts must be accurate. The in-built tools many video and audio platforms provide unfortunately don’t get to the necessary levels of accuracy. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is used which is quick and cost effective but comes at the expense of accuracy. Manually correcting ASR output takes significant time and effort. 

For guaranteed accuracy levels, using a professional transcription service, such as Take Note, is the best option. Experienced transcribers will be able to produce an accurate transcription much faster than the average person. Plus, this frees up time for you to focus on other tasks.  

Most transcription companies will offer specific video transcription services to ensure you get the level of detail required in the correct format to work with the video platforms. In the case of Take Note, you simply need to select the ‘Closed Captions and Subtitles’ option. 

Can you search a YouTube transcript?

As YouTube is part of Google, it’ll be no surprise that the ability to ‘search’ videos has received some attention. ‘Video’ results on Google’s search result pages tend to prioritise YouTube videos. In a bid to provide the best results possible you’ll see that Google not only provides the link to the video itself but will take you to the exact moment it thinks will answer your search enquiry. 

Video content itself is not searchable, so how are they doing it? You guessed it, transcription.  

A transcript is needed to identify keywords, themes and topics in the content and allows videos to become searchable. Video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo provide you with a few options to add transcripts to your content which can then also be added as captions and subtitles for improved accessibility.  

  • Built-in tools use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to generate the transcript. Editing tools are also provided as the accuracy levels are low and mistakes require manual correction. 
  • Transcripts can be manually typed into the platform. You’ll have the ability to play, pause and rewind the video as you type, however, this is a very time-consuming process with no guarantees of accurate results. 
  • The most efficient option is to upload a file from a professional transcription company. Transcription services, like Take Note, offer accuracy guarantees, with all the necessary formatting needed for the video platforms. 

As a YouTube viewer, you can access the transcript of a video if the creator has made one available. The transcript window includes a search bar allowing you to look for keywords or segments in the content. Once you’ve found the part you’re interested in, you can jump to the exact moment in the video by clicking on the transcript. 

Can you search Teams transcripts?

Woman smiling and waving while on a video call with Searchable Transcripts

Microsoft Teams is a widely used collaboration tool within businesses. Like many online meeting platforms, including Webex and Zoom, an ASR-based tool is available for near real-time transcription. The transcript files are linked to your OneDrive for Business or SharePoint account. When you carry out a search, any relevant Teams meeting recordings will be returned, as well as any other relevant files.  

You can also carry out a search when playing back a Teams recording if the transcription option was enabled. This allows you to jump to the moment in the video you’re interested in by clicking on the relevant text. 

As the service is ASR based, the transcript won’t be accurate which can make searching problematic. Currently, you don’t have the option to edit the transcript so be mindful that the search results are also likely to be inaccurate. It is possible to gain an accurate searchable transcript of a meeting by using a transcription service, but Microsoft Teams doesn’t yet provide the functionality to upload a transcript file to the platform.  

Accurate transcripts are vital in making audio and video content searchable, helping you to work smarter. Take Note provides 99% accuracy and guaranteed turnaround times. Get an instant quote today. 

Kat Hounsell