GlobalLink Go navigation logo

What Is Content Localization? How to Build a Strategy

And what kind of content to consider for localization.

Lonnie Dahm

Updated on May 9, 2024

Harnessing the power of the internet is a great way for companies to expand globally.

However, simply translating your existing web content into a new language using Google Translate is not the way to fast-track international expansion. Instead, it is important to understand that different countries have varying cultures and ways of doing things.

Therefore, you should tailor your content accordingly so it better resonates with audiences. That is where content localization comes into the equation.

In this guide, we’ll explain content localization and explain how to build a strategy to implement it as effectively as possible.

What Is Content Localization?

Content localization refers to the process of adapting content to better reflect the language and culture of customers from a specific target market. 

It is a systematic way of creating content that is suitable for the target audience in a specific market and involves considering various cultural components.

The aim of localization is to adapt content of any form to ensure it incorporates locally accepted cultural norms that guide people’s behavior and interactions.

This can include currency, time and date formats, images, style, symbols, and language. All of which will ensure the content is appropriate for your target audience and does not offend any cultural beliefs or norms.

Why Is Content Localization Necessary?

For any business, it is important to establish trustworthiness and familiarity with potential new customers.

The best way to do this is to meet them on their turf, in their language, and with content that resonates with them. Several studies suggest that localization can have a significant impact on business outcomes, as shown by the following data:

  • 40% of consumers will never purchase from websites that are not in their language.
  • 65% of people prefer content in their language, even if it is of poor quality.
  • 73% of consumers want product reviews in their language.

These statistics demonstrate that if you do not localize your content, you risk missing out on a significant portion of the global consumer market.

Subsequently, this could result in lost leads, conversions, and, ultimately, revenue.

When Do You Need Content Localization?

Our rule of that is that if you have a business that operates in a foreign market, you should localize your content. If you don’t, you could struggle to establish a foothold and risk missing out on conversion opportunities.

Potential customers who find your content may be less likely to relate to it if it’s not localized. 

Moreover, as you’ll be competing for their attention with others who are offering localized content, you’ll probably end up missing out on them.

What Are the Benefits of Content Localization?

A well-planned content localization strategy can help your business quickly establish a foothold in the local market. 

By speaking to your audience in their native language and taking into account their culture, you are telling them that you understand and care about them, which helps them feel more comfortable doing business with you.

This, in turn, can provide your business with several benefits, including:

  1. Increased traffic and engagement 
  2. Higher credibility and conversions 
  3. Lower marketing and advertising expenses 
  4. Improved search engine rankings 
  5. Better competitive edge
  6. Greater customer loyalty and satisfaction 
  7. Accelerated time to market

What are Some Types of Content to Consider for Localization?

When it comes to multilingual content marketing, not all forms of content are equally important for localization.

However, generally speaking, content that aims to facilitate operations in a specific market, establish credibility, boost brand awareness, or drive sales should be the highest priority for localization.  

Some of the most typical content types that might require localization are as follows:

Legal content

When expanding into a new market, it is important to deal with different legal aspects such as establishing entities, registering intellectual property, protecting data, hiring, understanding tax structures, and entering disputes.

It is advisable to invest in linguists with subject matter expertise in law who can guide you in complying with the rules and legislation.

Technical content localization

Materials such as product documentation, manuals, or how-to guides are often very technical and require a specific knowledge base for localization.

Generally, they also possess crucial information that allows prospects and customers to use your products or services with ease.

Hence, great attention to detail is essential.

It is advisable to work with technical translators with industry-specific expertise to ensure that little is lost in translation and that your reputation does not suffer as a result.

Marketing content localization

Creating brand trustworthiness and sounding local is crucial for marketing localization.

Therefore, it is important to adapt your brand style, message and voice consistently and meticulously to each target market while maintaining global brand consistency.

You should make sure you put the same care into the localization of your landing pages, blog posts, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, visual materials and paid ads as you’ve put into their original creation.

Content localization of UI and UX

Your multilingual website or app should be intuitive for users in every market – containing flows and language that are appropriate for the target audience.

Each culture has different preferences and expectations regarding UX, so it is essential to do your research.

Consider things like the use of imagery, color, and emojis, as all of them can have very different meanings across countries and cultures.

Even where you place the search bar or call-to-action button on your multi-lingual website can make a notable difference.

How to Create a Content Localization Strategy? 

If you believe that content localization is vital to the success of your business, then you will need to create a strategy for it.

Here are 4-steps you can take to help you build a localization strategy:

1. Determine where you want to expand

The first step in building a localization strategy is to decide which region to expand to.

Do you want to expand to a general region or a specific country? 

This process must be based on actual geographic elements rather than languages. That is because the cultural aspects of different countries can be quite different even if they speak the same language.

For instance, people who speak Portuguese in countries like Angola, Brazil, and East Timor have different cultural backgrounds to those in Portugal, despite the similarity in their language.

Hence, when deciding on a region, you need to consider the varied nuances in how people speak and live in different countries.

2. Consult with an expert who knows your target market well

It is not enough to rely on a translation tool for content localization.

Instead, you should consult with someone familiar with the daily life of the place you want to expand to.

They can provide valuable insight into the intricacies of life in that country and help you avoid making critical mistakes surrounding things like societal preferences and economic levels.

3. Decide what content to localize

If you have a vast library of content, identify which pieces are likely to perform best in the new region.

Look for universal values that translate across all barriers without much cultural differentiation. Also, analyze your competitors’ performance in your expansion area and check which content items perform well on your primary website.

This will give you a good idea of which content items to prioritize and which ones to skip.

4. Consider Visual Elements

Visuals play a crucial role in content localization.

Keep in mind that people in different regions have varying reading habits. Therefore, it is prudent to switch photography to match the target audience in the local region.

You need to be mindful of the fact that most target audiences can easily detect differences in factors like racial ethnicity and dress. Thus, it is essential to consider them when planning for content localization.

Conclusion

Content localization can be a crucial factor in determining the success or failure of a company’s expansion into a new region. That is why it is important to build a strategy that enables effective implementation.

We hope this article has provided you with some useful tips on how to do just that. Now it is up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore our solutions...

Multilingual Website Management Card
Industry Specific Localization Card
Legal and Compliance Solutions Card
Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity Card
Translation and Localization Technology Card
GlobalLink Go footer logo

© 2024 TransPerfect | All Rights Reserved