If you are a multinational company that wants to gain a foothold on a new international market, you have to familiarize yourself with the term localization. Localization is transforming content to match the needs of the local population. It helps to boost the relevance of your business.
On the other hand, media localization is the process of creating TV, radio, film, and video content to reach the global market. Currently, there’s a huge demand for content. People would rather watch or listen to the media than read a book or newspaper to get information. However, before you embark on your media localization journey, you need to be aware of a few localization components or elements.
Elements of Localization
The first element of localization is local expert human translators that understand the subject matter. These translators will translate the content into the local dialect. Ensure that your translators understand the message and explain it the way you like it. You want all your customers, regardless of their geographical location or language, to have the same idea about your product or service.
The second element is a translation glossary. When doing company translations for the international market, you want your brand’s values and image to be consistent. It means that there’re certain words that you might translate in the local dialect and others that may remain in English due to a lack of a proper alternative. A translation glossary is used as a reference point by translators to make sure that the words retain their original meaning even after translation.
The third element is a localization agency. You can’t reach global markets with global media without the help of an agent. The agent has the technical tools required to make translation easier and faster. Additionally, the agency can also find a translator and a glossary on your behalf. All you have to do is pay them an initial fee and let them do all the work.
How to Localize Content
1. Language Fluency
Ensure that your translators understand the local language well and can express themselves clearly using both English and the local dialect. The translated content has to be fluent so that it can be easily understood by the locals.
2. Use Words that Aren’t Complex
Since you are trying to penetrate the local market, you have to avoid anything that may turn off potential clients. In this sense, avoid using complex terminologies in your translations. You also want to keep away from long sentences since they may seem too exhausting listen to. You should also refrain from using informal language in the translation because not everybody will understand it.
3. Consistent Wording
As a company, there are specific words that you use to market your products and services. Sometimes, the local language translation for those words may be different from the original. In that case, you can either use English or change the phrase to something that’s easier to translate.
4. Use a Translation Memory Tool
Since you are translating from English to local content, there’s a possibility that you may repeat some words since you don’t know their alternatives. In such a scenario, a translation memory tool can come in handy. The software gives you synonyms of the same word in the local dialect and makes your translation more rich in content and less boring.
5. Keep the Message Short and Simple
Keep in mind that English tends to be shorter than other foreign languages; therefore, be careful when translating. It might not be a good idea to translate the message word for word since the content can turn out longer than usual. You want to keep the content short, brief, and impactful.
6. Understand Local Culture
Before you translate the content, do your research and find out which words are okay to use. You don’t want to launch a TV commercial and cause an uproar due to inappropriate language. Alternatively, if you are using images, select the ones that are most appropriate to the locals.
7. Use SEO Optimization Tools
The translated content should use keywords common to the target market. As much as you want the content to remain the same throughout, you may have to make some minor changes for each global market to maximize the traffic to your site.
8. Talk to Locals
There’s no one that knows the local market better than the person who lives there. Therefore, talk to the locals before you translate the content. It will help you get a clear picture of what the market wants and how you should go about marketing your products and services.
9. Appease to Emotions
Your content will have the most impact if it connects with the inner feelings of your target market. Take your time to understand the locals and what makes them tick, then translate the content in such a way that makes it memorable.
10. It’s More Than the Language
Localization also means adopting local cultures and behaviors. You don’t necessarily have to change your firm’s code of conduct, but you may have to modify it so that it can fit in with the global market. Respect local public holidays and follow the laws of the land.
11. Be An Active Member of the Community
Localization also involves mingling with the locals. Before you sell to this market, show them that you are interested in their well-being. Conduct community events from time to time and lend a helping hand in times of natural disasters.
12. Consider Mobile Clients
As much as localized content is created for desktop websites, mobile applications should be considered. Not everybody will access your content using a laptop or a desktop, therefore, your app development team should work together with the translators to create mobile localized content.
In many firms, there are two teams that work together to create the localized material: content strategist and the translator. The strategist selects the words that will have the most impact on the local population, while the translator interprets the words. These two must collaborate closely to evade any conflicts that may distort the localization process.
14. Engage Local Celebrities
One of the most effective ways to get your content recognized by the locals is to work with a familiar celebrity. Entertainers are highly influential because they’re always in the media. For that reason, you should consider working with a local celebrity in your localization strategy to give your brand quick recognition.
15. Be Active on Social Media
Open a social media account in the local market to interact with your audience. Comment on any events affecting the locals so that they can see you are active and involved in their affairs.
Want to get the inside scoop from industry experts?
inWhatLangauge hosted an expert panel discussion about The Art Of Multimedia Localization.
Jordan Meyer, Head of International Growth, Younique
David Morris, Senior Producer, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Shelli Armstrong, Media Marketing Manager, Young Living Essential Oils
Kevin Randall, Sr Project Manager, Media Specialist, inWhatLanguage
Their discussion was published on The Global Growth Podcast.
Listen in to learn how these professionals handle media localization for their companies success.
Your business is determined by what your clients think about your products. Media localization allows you to translate content and make it sound authentic to your target market. Customers are more attracted to products they can understand – the language is more important than the price.
Localization is advantageous since it makes your brand stand out from your competitors. To conquer the global market, you have to be unique. Localization enables you to create specific content for your target market.