Content Localization - When Should You Localize Content and Why?

The ever-growing opportunities presented by development in technology and the internet mean that businesses are going places! Who would not want to expand their outreach and build a market outside their original country?

With the internet and online platforms such as Etsy, eBay and Amazon, it becomes easier for local businesses to expand across the world to sell their products and services. However, there is a crucial aspect that many aspiring entrepreneurs ignore when setting foot in new territories - localization of their website’s content.

Now it is one thing to have a third-party platform selling all that you so proudly create, and it is another to have your own website available to those looking to learn more about your brand in their language! And we recognize the amount of effort that goes into creating a stylish website with right content that attracts different audiences.

But when the content of a website is translated to the most common language in a new country, the actual information that your brand stands for unfortunately does not get across.

Translations, however? They simply aren’t enough.

This is an aspect, a front, on which multiple businesses struggle - the concept of localization. When trying to spread your wings and enter international waters, it becomes necessary to take an extra step in the right direction and localize your content.

Localized content can engage with your new market the right way, allowing them to grasp everything that they need to know about the brand that you have so lovingly created. Besides, as per a research study (Can’t read, won’t Buy), consumers prefer to buy from websites that speak their language!

This takes us to the question - what exactly is content localization?

Content Localization

Content localization is a set of processes that involve using existing content previously produced for a primary market, and tweaking or adapting the same for a newer market.

If you are wondering why that sounds a lot like translation, it is! To a certain extent. Translation and content localization are two terms that are often used interchangeably. But it is extremely important for a brand to understand the difference between the two.

Let’s take an example here to clear things up a little more. Consider the situation of trying to enter the Spanish market with your U.S. origin brand. Ideally, it would make sense to translate all of your website’s original English content to the language most spoken in Spain and publish the same on the web.

This is translation, and an essential part of content localization. But localization is the process of making content and many other aspects culturally-relevant to your desired audiences.

Here’s another area where you could go wrong - content localization is not just about written content. It includes almost all forms of content from videos and images to even currencies, measurement units, date formats, color schemes, to localize your website. Remember to take payment gateways into consideration so that your target audience has an easier means to engage financially with your brand.

Content Localization - When Should You Do It?

Here’s the thing - if you are looking to enter new markets and are planning to localize your content, it needs to be done ASAP!

The moment you have made the decision of launching in a new market, begin the process of content localization - but do remember internationalisation of your software/website too as it creates the right basis for working on multi language localisation in the future! By consistently adapting the content for a specific country and its demographics, it becomes significantly easier to derive success from the marketing campaigns undertaken.

Let’s put it this way - the sooner you localize your content, the faster you are going to engage with foreign audiences.

Why should you opt for localizing your brand’s content?

Here are reasons why choosing to localize your content can help your brand develop significantly in foreign lands:

1. Increase in Relevance
With the constant growth of globalization, technology and everything in between, users have come to expect the content they are privy to, to be relevant to them - when your customer relates to the content they are engaging with, understanding is boosted and so is customer satisfaction!

By localizing your content, you can be sure to expect an increase in enquiries and higher conversions. And the cherry on the cake is the satisfaction your customers will experience.

2. Avoiding Errors
Let’s dive into the case of Starbucks and their hilarious translation issue. The popular coffeehouse attempted to localise the name of their Gingerbread Latte drink for their target German audiences. The brand however, made a huge blunder with this direct translation, given that the word “latte” in German has a sexual reference but quite innocently means “milk” in Italian.

This is why content localization is necessary. Words differ in meaning depending on the country. To ensure that your content delivers the exact meaning that it is intended to, adapt your content simply so that it makes sense to your foreign audience.

3. Gain an advantage in the competition
As mentioned above, there are multiple companies all over the world that have failed to recognize how important it is to localize content. So when you choose to localize your content, you are in fact gaining an upper hand in the competition.

Make sure you know that content localization is different from transcreation. Content localization simply involves adapting original content for a target audience specific to a foreign community. Transcreation however, involves rewriting all of the content in another language, completely changing the form if required to denote the same message more creatively, as needed to make up for cultural differences.

Now that you know how important content localization is, it becomes essential to use the process to your best capacity. Localize your website/software/brochure content and we can promise, you are going to see the growth results you seek!

Language Services Bureau offers a wide range of processes for internationalisation and localisation. From multicultural and multilingual options to the layout and design of your website and other technical services like DTP and beyond, we have the solution to all of your content localization needs!

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