A successful global video campaign demands messaging consistency.
Consistency builds a positive brand image in new markets. But at the same time, you must adapt it to the individual cultures you will encounter overseas.
This involves a careful balancing act. To go truly global, you must go local – without losing what makes your brand distinctive and successful.
Video is an unforgiving medium and a true test of your localisation strategy. Read on for some of the factors that will determine your success.
Video is an exceptionally powerful marketing channel, which has grown as the significance of digital marketing has developed.
Brands create marketing campaigns for a variety of reasons, with the overarching aim of improving their bottom line. But, this isn’t possible without first creating an engaging video asset. Video is known to capture the most attention out of all online content forms. Web users stay two minutes longer on ecommerce sites with video content.
Moreover, YouTube is the web’s second biggest search engine after Google. YouTube has 3 billion searches per month, more than Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com combined.
So if you’re going to use it to engage your global audience, you need to do it well to compete.
Why can’t we launch the same video in all markets?
Simply put, the vast majority of the world doesn’t speak the language of your home market. And in a global world, even a country doesn’t necessarily equal language.
The solution then is to translate your video, but this can throw up more questions than answers…
Dubbing, subtitling or voiceover?
Your three options when distributing a video to overseas markets are to dub the audio in the video, add subtitle captions or create a voiceover. Let’s explore the different values of each approach.
Another popular approach to localising your video is to use dubbing. This is the process of adding new dialogue to a video that has been filmed. Most people will have been exposed to dubbing through watching foreign films.
Dubbing syncs audio recorded in a new language to the movements of actors’ lips. The value of dubbing is to create a more immediate message, no reading is needed from the audience, and when done well dubbing looks natural. It can also provide more flexibility in the wording.
Subtitling your video has the dual value of making your video understandable to those in other countries and the hearing impaired.
But a big challenge presented by placing subtitles on a video, is that they must be synched with the speech on screen. This means the pacing of subtitling must match the speech, whether it’s slow or fast. This can be an important hurdle to overcome when translating a video into a wordier language than the source language, for instance Dutch or German. So, beware the complexities of subtitling.
A significant benefit of subtitling is that Google can read text, but it cannot understand speech in a video form in as much detail (or so it claims!). This means subtitles can count towards a video’s search engine ranking, which is a key component of any digital marketing campaign.
A video with highly relevant subtitles is likely to reach many more potential customers through a high search ranking than a video with poor or irrelevant subtitling.
Voiceovers add the human element to video, which can sometimes be missing when brands opt for an animated style.
Crucially, brands should select a voice which is deemed authentic and connects with their target audience. Understanding, dialects, social classes and the perceived personality of accents will go a long way to giving your brand an authentic voice which represents its messaging and speaks to your target audience in a way they are familiar with.
Just think about the many diverse accents in the UK, a tiny island of 66 million. Accent bias is prevalent in our culture and cultures around the world. These prejudices are often ingrained and learned from an early age, so it is important to understand these when thinking about which regional accent would suit your video campaign.
Here are just a few of the common English accent stereotypes that can impact on brand perception:
- Received Pronunciation accent – speakers can be considered ‘posh’ and ‘privileged’
- Birmingham accent – speakers can be considered ‘lazy’ and ‘unintelligent’
- Liverpool accent – speakers can be considered ‘untrustworthy’
Every country in the world will have its own. Do your research when picking the type of accent which you’ll use to represent your brand; it could make all the difference.
High-quality translation is the key to a successful international video campaign
Partnering with an experienced translation services agency could be the difference between creating an international video campaign which achieves your brand’s goals, and one that fails.
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