7 Tips for Transcribing Commercials and Video Posts

7 Tips for Transcribing Commercials and Video Posts
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Commercials are one of the quickest ways to reach your target audience, and a powerful medium to connect with your end-users.

Transcribing for commercials, informative programs, and video posts is easy, considering the end goal is to convey the right message with proper context and content.

Be it a voiceover, a panel discussion, or a simple conversation between two individuals – here are a few tips for transcribing commercials and video posts:

7 Tips for Transcribing Commercials and Video Posts

1. Identify the speakers in the video

While transcribing a video commercial or a video post, ask the client about the number of speakers.

For a known television commercial, where some characters are already established, viewers tend to pay a lot of attention to the message.

In this case, transcribing has to be done with precision, keeping the message intact and to the point.

Professional services have an easier time transcribing commercials because unlike interviews or panel discussions, identifying each speaker is not necessary for commercials as the message is more crucial for the viewers than the speaker/speakers.

For commercials, it may not be necessary to identify all the speakers. Unless the people in the commercial are well known, the average viewer generally focuses on the message.

But events like Superbowl are exceptions to this rule where people are often more interested in the commercials instead of the actual game.

2. Transcribing nonwords

How to phrase nonwords should be at the discretion of either the client or the transcriptionist. Video transcription services usually set up a style guide for their transcribers for nonwords.

However, it is recommended to confirm the same with the client to avoid any confusion in the future. 

The sounds of nonwords in the Chicago Manual Style are italicized and put into brackets like [Crying] and [Laughs]. On the other hand, the Associated Press doesn’t italicize nonwords and rarely uses brackets.

Hence it is important to know the style guide preference of each client you work with.

3. Transcription of written commentary

For video transcriptions, asking the client whether or not to transcribe the running commentary is always better.

A running commentary usually accompanies fitness and medical commercials. Here it becomes imperative to know if the transcription is needed for the same.

Video posts of political campaigns generally have shots showing signposts or campaigners rallying around wearing T-shirts with slogans.

In this scenario, a client must discuss with the transcriptionist about the non-verbal screenshots in the video.

4. User preferences

Each user is different, and so is his/her preferences. At times a user may not be interested in listening to the audio and would prefer to read the caption instead. 

There could be an instance where a user may have forgotten his/her headset or the sound quality of the video is bad, here the quality of captions matter.

It is the job of the transcribers to transcribe the audio well and clear any confusion caused by the bad sound quality of the video.

5. Focus on individuals

In a video format, transcribing for two or more people could mean repeated rewinds.

If an individual speaks much faster than the other, then try to completely transcribe the audio of the speaker who speaks slowly and more clearly. T

his way, there will be fewer errors and fewer playbacks.

6. Pauses and incomplete sentences

Unless requested by the client to include pauses, interruptions, and other noises, try to focus on the spoken words.

Usage of too much of a dash symbol (-), or an ellipsis (…), could also act as a distraction for those reading the text.

7. Use software

There are several transcription software in the market that can slow down the speed of the video. They help to catch up with speedier conversations and fast-speaking individuals.

Some of the available software may not be free, so choose your options wisely.

There are numerous reliable human transcription services for people who prefer accurate and content-savvy commercial transcription services.

GMR Transcription delivers accurate and timely transcribed video files.

Reasons to choose GMR Transcription for transcribing video files:

  • Our team of efficient human transcribers delivers 99% accurate transcript files
  • Transcriptionists of GMR Transcriptions have exceptional domain knowledge and expertise
  • Deliver high-quality content by filtering out unnecessary dialogues and background noises
  • The promise of delivering transcribed files, on time 

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.