So, you want to run a successful business that runs on an international level. You create content, trying to engage your target audience overseas but, for some reason, your content localization strategy is ineffective. Why is it happening? You haven’t localized your content. While you may have a very creative content localization strategy, your content will never be understood by your foreign target audience, if it’s not in their native language.
Statistics Support these Content Localization Facts
- localized content has 6 times more engagement
- doing content localization ensures a higher ROI, according to 49% of marketers
- apps that were not localized, typically lose from 8% to 13% of their users
- 86% of localized advertising campaigns outperform English-only ad campaigns both in CTRs, conversions, and quality leads
On top of that, without localization, your content marketing strategy is already a failure. Including content localization as a part of a marketing strategy bring you the important benefits, which influence brand recognition and brand exposure:
- Standing out from the competition. Many businesses make a mistake by not localizing their content. Remember KFC’s ‘Finger-lickin’ good’ slogan, which was translated into Chinese as ‘Biting your fingers off’? Even such big brands, like KFC, fail to localize their content. So learning from their mistakes and creating a content localization strategy gives you a competitive advantage.
- Your message for the target audience is clear. By localizing your content, you make sure that your message is understood. To be differentiated from translation, localization takes into account the cultural specificity of your foreign target audience, delivering your message in a clear and understandable way.
- You retain your target audience’s interest. According to Digital Doughnut, 95% of foreign shoppers only purchase products from a brand, whose content they can understand. This includes a brand’s website as well as its social media content strategy. Content localization ensures a trust-based brand-customer relationship, helping your customers make the right purchase decision.
So, what does the content localization strategy imply? Let’s take a look at the tips that will help you localize your content better.
Tips to Create a Content Localization Strategy
1. What Language Do Your Followers Speak?
Your followers come from different countries and speak different languages. So, choosing the set of languages for content localization may be quite confusing. This choice will depend on:
- the predominant language that your followers speak your general marketing strategy that will help your business expand to foreign markets.
The balance between these two aspects ensures an optimized content localization strategy. But, if everything is clear with the marketing strategy aspect, how do you estimate the percentage of predominant languages that your followers speak?
To do it, you can use the built-in social analytics tools that every social media has. For instance, on Twitter, you can go to Twitter analytics to see the list of languages and countries, where your followers come from:
The same statistics can be found on Facebook:
These numbers are updated in real-time, which allows you to also track the progress and engagement rates of your foreign target audience after you implement your content localization strategy.
2. Collaborate with Local Translation Experts
We cannot stress this enough, but working with local translation experts to localize your content is vital. This means that your localization experts should be native speakers only.
Localization presupposes adjusting the text according to the cultural specificities of the target audience. This not only means localizing specific terms, but also measures, date formats, and norms of orthography. “Imagine a person from Russia reading an English date format 1/2/2019”, says Kristin Savage, a freelance translator, and writer for WowGrade. “They will confuse the dates because, in their date format, the month comes after the day.”
You cannot overlook these details when localizing your content. Content localization strategy requires thorough preparation, outlining, editing, and proofreading. Besides collaborating with local translation experts, it is essential that you employ yourself with editing and proofreading tools, such as Hemingway App (checks the readability of your localized content), BestEssay Education (connects you with writers, who have experience in marketing), Studicus (a comprehensive proofreading tool), or Grammarly (checks style, grammar, and spelling).
Although there’s an unstated rule that you cannot discriminate translators because they are not native speakers, in terms of marketing strategy, it is better to hire a local specialist. They know their native market well enough to successfully localize your content and give you tips on how to approach the foreign market better.
3. Set Up Separate Social Media Profiles for Localized Content
When creating a content localization strategy, it is better to set up separate social media profiles, where you’ll post localized content. This way, your content strategy won’t look so messy. There’s a practice, though, to post content in two languages, if you need to target a certain foreign audience one or two times:
Image credit: Kensington Royal
This post is a good example of this strategy. Here, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce their trip to Pakistan, but since these trips are quite rare, they don’t have to create another account tailored specifically for Pakistani people.
This practice is employed often for occasional posts that are aimed to target a foreign audience. However, if your main strategy is for your business to become a permanent resident of the foreign market, a separate account is required for your localized content.
This strategy is already used by many big companies. For instance, IKEA has over 10 Instagram accounts for every country they operate in:
Image credit: IKEA Polska
You can see that practically all content on IKEA’s page in Polish is localized, including hashtags and orthography norms. They localize all their Instagram content in Polish for this page, including their Instagram Stories and IGTV videos.
Having a separate account for their target audience in Poland helps IKEA remain relevant on the Polish market and tailor its marketing strategy to the needs of their Polish audience.
Don’t Recycle Your Content for Localization
In conclusion, it is important to add that you shouldn’t recycle your content, when it comes to localization strategy unless it’s necessary. For marketing purposes and the success of your marketing strategy abroad, it is better to create content that will be relevant for your target audience overseas. Remember that your existing content may not necessarily resonate with your foreign target audience.
Other than that, creating a content localization strategy ensures the success of your business on the international market. Not only do you get the attention that you need, but your business will also gain trust and engagement.
Hopefully, our tips will help develop a content localization strategy and bring you success with your ambition to make your business a successful player in the international market.
About the Author
Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and is planning to publish her own book in the near future. She is a content writer at PickTheWriter, the texts Brid writes are always informative, based on qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.
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