Content localization is the process of localizing all product or service-related content for foreign target markets. It includes the translation and adaptation of cultural, linguistic, and other elements to local standards.
Localized content will appear native and is based on conveying the message to the foreign market while evoking the same reaction as native content in the target audience. Content localization is a vital process for global outreach.
A global content strategy is a framework that consists of planning, creating, distributing, and managing product or service-related content for global outreach. This involves preparing all content to focus on target audiences not familiar with the source language.
Why content localization instead of just translation?
Content localization is a reliable marketing mechanism. It helps to reach a target audience in their native language by evoking the same emotional reaction that locally created content would. This effect leads to more trust and ultimately improved customer acquisition and retention.
Consumer and customer relations are based on emotional attachments that evoke feelings of trust, reliability, interest, and positivity. Any product and service-related content should be designed to evoke exactly those feelings in the target audience.
Content that is merely translated but not adapted to cultural preferences, regional customs, local standards in formatting, and other aspects, can have a detrimental effect on sales and support. Because of that, translated but poorly localized content in marketing can contribute to higher churn rates and lower sales. Content localization ensures that it does not happen.
How can a global content strategy support global success?
A strategic approach to the creation, curation, and distribution of all content aimed at target audiences from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds offers marketing departments key advantages.
These will directly affect lead generation, churn rates, customer relations, sales, and global turnover. Some of these advantages are the following:
- More control over timeframes,
- Better risk mitigation,
- Better product management,
- Higher budget flexibility,
- Better quality assurance,
- A more personalized customer approach.
It is easy to lose sight of all the details, timelines, and costs when tending to audiences in different languages across the global marketplace. Developing a strategy helps with organizing and clarifying important parameters and better channeling time and cost efforts.
In order to get there, answering some useful questions is the first step in developing and implementing a global content strategy. An analysis of the current state helps to determine the gap between where a business is at contentwise, and where it wants to be.
Here are some of the useful questions to ask when analyzing your current situation:
- What content is there already?
- How is content generally created and distributed?
- Does all source content need to be distributed to all markets of interest?
- What feedback has been received in relation to existing content?
- Is the quality of the existing content at par with expectations?
- Are industry best practices in place?
- How can content and its management be improved for better results?
- Do the tools used serve a global content strategy?
Answering these questions involves analyzing and adjusting the current situation in order to move closer to the goals set out. A strategic approach to global content generates positive effects and helps marketing departments to achieve international objectives more easily.
What are the benefits of content localization and a global content strategy?
The combination of content localization with a global content strategy offers clear insights on costs, timeframes, and budgetary effects. It supports a sustainable approach to global business reach and helps obtain better results in lead generation and customer retention.
A global content localization strategy serves to build a company or product reputation while not damaging that reputation. A failure to consider local cultural preferences can negatively impact acceptance while strategically localized messaging and content can enhance a global image.
Applying both strategy and localization is key to serving audiences of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds with content that evokes the same reaction as native content. This leads to more trust, reliability, interest, and a positive impact across multiple cultures and global markets.