When any business is thinking of going beyond its native place, communication is one of the obstacles they face. While most businesses tend to use English as a default language, there’s no denying that it works but it does not have the same impact that a native language can have.
Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. But if you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Communication becomes successful when it has an impact on the audience. Businesses want to evoke the same reactions or emotions ‘abroad’ as they do in their native place. However, language and graphic components like imagery, symbols, or even colors will have different nuances depending on the target market.
What is Content Localization?
Content Localization is the process wherein all the content you have created for your primary market is changed to be adaptable to the newly chosen market. This process includes all types of documents, material, multimedia, and even websites to target a specific audience.
The language, customs, traditions, and cultural aspects change from place to place. Moreover, in some countries with cultural and linguistic variations, each region has its own cultural elements. Language is not the only barrier but there are numerous cultural gaps that can drastically affect how the business is perceived.
Take a look at the websites of globally established brands and you’ll notice how it is not just the language that changes in accordance with the region, but also the website design and imagery. One can take a look at the global sites of Pepsi. Co. Western websites tend to be simple, they include smartly planned text, multiple pages with additional information, and have a minimalist design in general. But the same brand has a different website targeted at the Asian market wherein, there are larger images, plenty of attractive graphics, and long menus. You will also notice how everything is combined on a single page and this is because of the general thought that Asians have – If any information is not visible on the page, it’s not available on the site.
Content Localization: A how-to guide
By now, you have understood that translation is only a small part of the bigger process. Meanwhile, localization of the content means infusing culturally relevant components to make your content resonate with the target audience.
Steps to build a strategy for Content localization:
- Understanding the Market:
The key to any successful business is understanding your customer, their preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. The first step is to research the numerous aspects of the market you wish to target. Knowing their language, cultural background as well as the strategies used by your competitors or other international brands operating in the same market. This can give a clear idea of what is acceptable, which language to use as well as the type of content that not only attracts but resonates with the audience.
- Planning the content that is to be localized
In some cases, it isn’t possible to localize all the content. Some components have universal value and can be understood easily but that should be thoroughly checked to ensure it isn’t offensive. In addition to language, other elements like pictures, graphics, and color choice can have a huge impact on the website’s appeal as well as the marketing campaigns. Knowing the preferences of your audience can help you to plan and make the necessary changes. Switching the visual content to match the perspective of the local audience can make a huge difference.
- Using the right tools:
Using translation tools is the basic step but you want to have content that is translated accurately and resonates with the audience. Seeking help from someone who is familiar with the daily life of your target market is essential. This will fill up the gaps in language as well as imagery while making sure your content maintains its original intent, style, and tone. At Rian, we specialize in localizing content with the help of the best resources and a team of dedicated professionals to ensure your content is accurate in all aspects.
- Personalize the message:
Tailoring the content by including cultural references that resonate with your audience is the ultimate way to localize your content. It also conveys that you understand them and care about them thus instantly helping you to create a bond with your target audience. Having knowledge about the elements that trigger an emotional response in your audience, and topics that are relatable to them is essential for the success of any advertising campaign. For example, many international companies incorporate festive themes for their marketing campaigns in India.
Investing in Content Localization is crucial when entering new markets. A thoroughly planned localization strategy can help a company’s expansion to become successful while an unplanned campaign can bring embarrassment or worse – hate. Moreover, one needs to know that content localization is not just used while expanding globally but is also applied in different regions of the same country. Our team at Rian has extensive experience in content localization. We use the finest tools in the industry combined with experienced professionals to ensure you have the best content localization strategy that aligns with your brand image.
Content Localization is crucial as it helps to engage the audience and build a strong brand image.