3 mistakes to avoid when using text in videos

The most important decision you make in creating a video is the story. It’s more important to pick a subject or angle that will elicit an emotional reaction than to know how to make sophisticated technical edits. But there are still some stylistic choices to keep in mind that work better than others.

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes in video-making that you can easily avoid to ensure your video looks great.

Mistake #1: Too much text on-screen at once

Adding text to your video is a great way to capture viewers who are watching on mobile and without headphones.

Reading a lot of text on screen can be tricky – in particular if the user is on mobile. So make the sentences short and cut them to appear in even shorter pieces.

If you are using a Voice Over, you can turn your script into automatic subtitles using the Closed Caption tool, but we recommend that the ‘text script’ be optimized for social reading.

Here is an example of an effective approach with text boxes sufficiently spaced out:

Mistake #2: Poor text placement

You don’t want text overlay to get in the way of your visual assets. Try and use natural empty spaces in the imagery and place your text there.

This example offers a look at well-placed text. Also, notice how the text flows naturally with the music:

Mistake #3: Going overboard with color in text

A great way to draw the viewer’s’ attention is the highlight keywords and phrases in a different colour, but be careful not to overdo it. If you overdo it, the viewer will lose the thread of what you want to highlight as most important.

The same goes for any text boxes that you use. They can be a great way of creating a distinct style and making text pop out. But, as the saying goes: less is sometimes more.

Below you can see how to highlighting text for emphasis:


Once you’ve created a masterpiece, be sure to save the style as a template and share it with your team. Consistent use of the same or similar templates helps create a consistent look and feel to your videos that your audience will come to identify.

For a deep dive into using text check out our Straight-forward Guide to Text Overlay.

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