Is your brand looking to expand into new territories? Or do you already manage many websites across regions and languages? If so, you should be looking to develop a global content localisation strategy, and you’ll need a guide to outline the best practices to perfect that strategy.
In this article, we’ll point the way forwards so your organisation can get its localisation strategy right and your company can achieve its growth goals.
What is a content localisation strategy?
A content localisation strategy is a strategic content marketing plan for translating your website and marketing assets for a new audience in a way that is familiar to your brand and doesn’t neglect your brand principles or tone of voice.
The localisation strategy for your organisation will also map out the markets you plan to enter and the goal for the content in each individual market.
Why do you need a localisation strategy?
Now you know what a localisation strategy is perhaps you’re convinced that you require one. But you have to get buy-in from senior management and the colleagues who will be involved in this crucial project.
So, here are some concrete reasons why your brand needs a global content localisation strategy to ensure your success as you take the bold step into brand new markets.
Translation, localisation or transcreation?
We’ve written about the differences between translation, localisation and transcreation before, but it bears repeating when you’re talking to new audiences from the position of an established brand voice.
Those new to localisation will, and often do, think that translation is enough, and this viewpoint is almost understandable when you have an established brand that is successful and renowned in its home market.
However, simply translating your website into new languages is sometimes not enough. Translations are an integral component of localisation, but translating your website does not mean your product or service is going to fly off the shelves in a new market. The translation is just one element of localisation.
So, what does localisation offer above and beyond simple translation?
Simply put localisation is the process of ensuring your content is relevant to the culture in question. Does it fit their beliefs, social norms and customs? If it does, it is localised. Here’s how we put it in a past blog:
Localisation can mean the difference between a marketing campaign that falls flat, or even offends, in prospective overseas markets and a campaign that successfully speaks to overseas customers.
Transcreation takes things a step further from translation; with transcreation, content is created specifically for the new market. This localisation strategy is usually created in-house, rather than outsourced to a translation agency. Sometimes a brand will even set up satellite offices in the local market to create content that fits in with the target market’s cultural, political and ethical beliefs.
Local translators are expert speakers
When engaging language experts as part of your localisation strategy, whether you follow the path of translation, localisation or transcreation, it’s best to use locals who live in the local market. Just like we do at Bubbles! Our local translators are expert, native speakers and understand the sensitivities of the culture, whereas a speaker not based in the market or who doesn’t have a marketing background might be out of touch.
Global messaging consistency – local subtlety
A great localisation campaign maintains messaging consistency across countries, languages and continents while managing to convey the overall message with subtle tweaks for local markets.
Websites aren’t just text, there’s images, graphics, products, operational processes, messages, micro text and legal considerations. All of this requires localisation so that it conveys the right brand message in a way that the audience is used to and will resonate with.
There might be differences between the products or services you produce. For instance, a car manufacturer moving into a new market might have to make changes to a new model’s engine to satisfy local pollution regulations. Or a global electronics provider will need to understand how different power sources around the world might impact how their products need to be manufactured and how they will be used by the end-user.
One of the most well-known companies in the world, Coca Cola, modifies its famous drink for different markets. In Asia, they sweeten their recipe, whereas in Northern Europe they opt for a slightly more complex taste.
One thing that’s consistent throughout different markets is that consumers prefer buying products and services communicated in their own languages. A global study shows that 72.4 per cent of online users prefer buying in their native language.
The need for audiences to be able to interact in their native tongue varies across different industries; for instance, 85 per cent of internet users wanted information in their language when browsing for insurance and financial services.
Benefits of localisation
Here’s a reminder of the benefits of a global localisation strategy.
- Understand which markets your organisation wishes to enter and whether your brand is a good fit in that country
- Understand cultural considerations – do you need to alter your products and services, or communicate in a slightly different manner?
- Decide whether the localisation strategy will be carried out in-house or outsourced
- Realise the power of using local speakers to create content
- Boost your chances of achieving your goals in a new market
Partner with Bubbles and perfect your localisation strategy
Talk with the experts in translation services and localisation to get your strategy on the path to success.
Start your journey off on the right foot by engaging expert translators and contact us today.