Digital content localisation makes your brand’s digital marketing material enjoyable for foreign audiences.
Globalisation is the apotheosis of economic development. In the last 20 years, the internet empowered companies and markets to grow internationally at an incredible rate, creating a network of multicultural and multilingual businesses that’s in constant exchange.
Modern companies have undergone a digital transformation of entire workflows and sectors, turning previously cumbersome operations into fast and fully digital processes. And year after year, a larger share of brands’ marketing budget is assigned to digital media. By 2021, digital media investment in the US market will reach nearly $120 billion.
In this context, in which markets and businesses fully embrace the creation of digital content, boosted by the massive adoption of social media, content localisation is the best global digital marketing strategy for an expanding business. But localising digital content is not something to be taken lightly. To achieve a successful digital localisation, you’ll need to partner up with professional content localisation services.
In this post, we’ll dive deep into the why, how, and who of digital content localisation. But before we begin, let’s find out why online content is so important.
Why You Should Invest in Content
As markets globalise and national economies diversify, businesses’ possibilities to reach out to target markets also increase. Thanks to the digitalisation of content and the massive adoption of social media, your target audience may have grown beyond your home market in 2021. And if that is the case, it may be time to start targeting those customers directly.
After all, we have witnessed the acceleration of eCommerce adoption in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, 2020 was a challenging time for businesses across the globe. But it also represented an unprecedented opportunity for digital content growth and the need to expand into new horizons.
Traffic restrictions and the inability to leave our homes caused a boom in online shopping. By September 2020, $199.44 billion were spent on online purchases (37% more than 2019 rates) in the US alone, this represents 36% of shoppers’ budget, and they spend it online. This trend is only increasing; eCommerce is expected to grow, reaching 6.54 trillion by 2022.
And even if your company isn’t selling directly online, a digital marketing strategy based on content production can give you incredible results in terms of growth. According to several sources, marketers that create content have a 72% higher digital marketing ROI than those who don’t.
Now we’ve established why digital content creation can benefit your business. But, if you’re expanding internationally, why should you localise that content? Let’s take a look.
Why Digital Content Localisation can Change your Business
To succeed in foreign markets, your marketing strategy should involve localising your digital content.
Digital content localisation is the process of completely adapting a piece of content, a platform’s content or a content strategy to better engage a foreign audience. Since, in a digital context, language is only a small (although important) percentage of information, localisation is not only about translation. It’s about adapting the tone, humor, cultural references, and paralinguistic elements of your content, so it meets the needs of your target culture.
One of the advantages of localisation is that it doesn’t involve word-for-word translation, but rather reimagines the content from the perspective of the target culture.
In some instances, digital content localisation involves Marketing Transcreation. Transcreation consists of rewriting copy or other types of content to better fit the target demographic. It’s as in-depth and transformative as localisation, but it especially focuses on content.
A crucial part of developing a business is shaping the relationship you have with your customers. But building valuable relationships through your website and social media presence can be tricky if you don’t speak their language.
That’s why your content marketing strategy must be thought from your customer’s point of view. For them, not being able to access your content in their native language represents an obstacle to understanding you and connecting with the message of your brand.
And even if your content is available in the native language of your audience, if it’s culturally irrelevant to them, there will also be a gap between you and them. Digital content localisation isn’t just about translating your content. It’s the cultural adaptation of digital content
so your new potential customers can connect with your brand’s voice.
Let’s take a closer look at how digital content localisation can help your business.
Digital Content Localisation to Grow at Home
Digital content localisation isn’t just about expanding your business internationally. You mustn’t forget that domestic markets grow multicultural and multilingual every day. It’s important to prepare your localisation strategy around the idea of targeting this multicultural domestic audience.
Even for small domestic businesses, digital content localisation is an opportunity to broaden their local audiences, by reflecting culturally and linguistically on their brand, what a local community in their area identifies with. This will show your target audience that you understand and respect what makes them unique, increasing customers’ trust in your brand.
For instance, leading U.S. retailer Target consistently releases Spanish-language campaigns to connect with Hispanic Americans. These campaigns are also focused on values that the Hispanic community upholds, such as family and the importance of sitting around the table and sharing a meal.
Digitalisation Gets You Everywhere
We have already discussed the impact that the expansion of eCommerce had on consumption patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, it’s worth highlighting that if your business is online, it is essentially global, even if you don’t realise its potential yet. The internet changed how we perceive content since we can access it from wherever we are in the world in a matter of seconds. So, if your business is already global, the best way to go from here is to think and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.
All industries are being digitalised. We can find restaurants that allow you to order from digital screens and stores with digital self-checkout systems.
The ever-evolving technological field is setting the scene so every industry can use some sort of digital interface in the future. This leads us to think that in a not too distant future, all this software will have to be translated and localised. The strategic move here would be getting ahead of the future and start your business with the digitalisation and the localisation of your content already in mind.
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How Does Digital Content Affect the User Experience?
This section comes down to a single question: are you speaking your customers’ language?
Thanks to the expansion of eCommerce through the internet and social media platforms, users are always looking for those products and services that meet their needs through online search. And of course, they’re doing it in their native languages. Localised digital content is key for your global marketing strategy. It will make it easier for foreign clients to find you and connect with you through culturally relevant marketing messages.
Users are used to surfing the internet for an immense variety of reasons, whether to contact friends, search for information, booking a flight, or shopping. Although all searches and online interactions are different, they are united by one thing in common: the ease with which the user can search, access, buy or review whatever they want.
This is where we begin to understand how digital content that is easy to access and understand is decisive for the development of a business. User experience (UX) is the key. The ideal UX journey would be an easy-to-use website with mobile device compatibility, showing valuable, digestible content and if the goal is to sell a product, it should provide a clean-cut purchasing system with high-quality customer support.
In this ecosystem, creating content is vital. But not just content. Conveying a valuable, engaging, meaningful and culturally relevant message to your audience is what will set you apart from tons of online every day posting.
Don’t forget to create your content with marketing translation and localisation already in mind. This will make the job of Marketing Translation Services easier, saving you valuable time and money in the process.
5 Steps to a Successful Digital Content Localisation Project
If you’ve come across this post looking for a website and digital content localisation services, or you are a translator in training interested in such a field, we encourage you to read our Website Localisation Best Practices. But for now, you may want to stick around for a quick step-by-step guide for a successful digital content localisation project.
So far, we can say that localising your website and digital content is not something that would be nice to have. It is essential. And relying on high-quality website localisation services is the best option to nail your website and media localisation process.
Why? because a reliable localisation and translation agency will have the infrastructure and the experience necessary to conduct a high-quality website and multimedia localisation process into several markets simultaneously.
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Here are 5 steps to nail your localisation project.
1- Analyse your target audience and market
The first thing to do is choose the target markets and which audiences you are going to target within those markets.
The best way to decide this is to analyse the stats of your site. Everything is there: from which locations users visit your site, which device they’re using, your audience’s average age, how they interact with your UI, the most searched words, and so on. This information is invaluable. From here, you can begin to create your strategy.
Once you know which markets you are targeting, it’s necessary to conduct further research. Learn as much as you can about your target market: from its trends and consumer habits, to the regulatory demands to operate within it. You must not forget that each country has its own regulations regarding production, exporting, importing and eCommerce. Of course, social media usage trends will be another important point to analyze and strategize around.
In this step, you should also take into account things such as formatting, dates, time and currency types. It’s almost a reflex action to think that in the rest of the world, everyone reads and interprets texts and numbers in the same way. But the answer is no, they don’t. These subtleties are what make a proper localisation process so detail-focused.
2- Invest in high-quality translation & localisation services
Sorry to say but, machine translation won’t do. While it is possible to automate certain aspects of translation, machine translation is far from being able to achieve high-quality and accurate rendering.
The best strategy when you are thinking of localising your website and digital content is to partner up with a reliable translation & localisation agency that can get the job done. They will use top-notch localisation software to boost the workflow and save you valuable time and money.
They will have the infrastructure you will need to be able to translate and localise your website and your digital content and make it multilingual and multicultural. A project manager will build teams of native-speaker translators who can understand the cultural uniqueness and the regulatory demands of every target market, putting you in the right direction when it comes to language, tone, style and visuals.
Investing in high-quality translation means saving on mistakes that can seriously damage your brand.
3- Don’t just translate, localise
Translation itself won’t suffice either. To engage with a new audience, you need to create messages that resonate with them. This means that to make content more attractive to a culturally different audience, you will need to take into account other things in addition to the language and make it as relevant and meaningful to them as possible, some of these aspects are:
- Colour use
- Sources and references
- Images and infographics
- Design and layout
- Format and structure
You can also use the advantages of multimedia content to attract their attention. Adapting or creating personalised webinars, videos, podcasts or dynamic and interactive content will significantly increase the engagement of your audience.
4- Be authentic to your target audience by keeping your brand consistent
The culmination of a successful localisation process is when all the aspects of your brand, your site, blog, social media posts, advertising, email campaigns, all of it, seems native to the target audience.
While it is crucial to respect and incorporate all the cultural nuances of your target culture, it is also important not to lose the essence of your brand in the process. Your brand book, style guides, and design system will be priceless assets during the localization process. Make sure you provide them to your localization specialists of choice.
5- Test your content in the new environment
Once the localisation has been completed, you mustn’t forget to test the results in the target market. This is something that even large companies forget. Luckily, when it comes to localising websites or apps, it is easy to send the localized version to users of the target market so they can test it and review it. Once you have tested the outcome of your localisation, you can go live. This is a very exciting moment for brands and businesses, and it’s just the beginning.
Digital Content Localisation Is the Future
So far, we cannot deny that the promising future of eCommerce and the choice of localising your content go hand in hand.
Localisation can be an arduous process, but when it’s done right, it can completely transform your business. But, of course, this isn’t a project that you need to face on your own.
At bayantech, we’re here to help you, we gather almost two decades of experience providing high-quality, top notch digital content localisation and translation services across industries. From Video Games to eCommerce platforms, we’re here for you to help you every step of the localization process.