The role of content in global growth

localizing your content

How localizing your content can help your company increase its customer base and its bottom line.

Content is a broad term that refers to all the material – textual, visual, audio and otherwise – that is made to support a company or brand and its products or services. It is often used in the context of marketing and today is the primary means of informing your audience about who your company is and what it offers. Content marketing puts the focus on engagement with the audience and often has as its end goal, interaction or purchase. The ‘hard sell’ method of marketing has faded into the background as a more organic or content-focused methodology has grown in popularity.

The purpose of content in a marketing context is to provide relevant and captivating information for existing and future audiences through the design, creation and diffusion of a wide variety of materials. Marketing content can consist of white papers, blog posts, social media posts, infographics, videos and more, the possibilities are many.

As a leading CRM provider writes, ‘When it’s done right, this content conveys expertise and makes it clear that a company values the people to whom it sells.’

That last phrase is key. Designing content that puts the focus on the person reading, viewing or listening to it, is really the heart of this issue. Content must answer their questions, solve their problems and provide the most relevant information for their needs, whilst at the same time holding their attention and being easy to access.

Content must quite simply connect successfully with its target audience.

Why is it important to adapt content for local audiences?

When a company decides to extend its reach beyond the home market, using multilingual content that’s locally adapted is essential. Developing meaningful connections in a new language will take more than just words and phrases.

Whilst language translation is a fundamental step in the process, making sure that the content you’re creating grabs the attention of this new audience means adapting it to a context that suits them. This is called localization.

Localization allows your brand to communicate its identity and ethos using culturally appropriate written and visual materials. It enables your audience to get a good understanding of your products and services via a setting that suits them. Localization is how your company expands globally whilst communicating locally.

Successful international companies are often masters of using localized content to their advantage. Airbnb is one of the localization successes of our times and localization has been a critical foundation of their rapid growth. The company quickly recognized that having a multilingual platform was essential and that tailoring its offering to each market would increase user engagement. Airbnb was also careful to adapt their marketing content, whether it be television advertising, social media or its magazine, to each new audience. Most impressively they continued to grow through the pandemic, quickly adjusting their website to the ever-changing, regionally diverse covid regulations.

Netflix is another notable example of a highly successful localization strategy. Initially targeting English language-speaking regions, it then expanded into a global, multilingual platform and put the emphasis on adapting its offering to the tastes, habits and language of each country. Netflix has fostered strong relationships with local studios in order to boost its regional content production and is skilled at then adapting this content via multimedia localization to a wider, international audience.

The process of localizing content

Paying careful attention to the localization of your content is therefore proven to work. Of course, not all budgets will be the same, but implementing localization in a way that fits your company’s needs will help you increase your visibility, your customer base and your bottom line.

Localization is focused, highly skilled work that requires investment and planning. It can involve a team of experts, from native language translators and copywriters to cultural specialists and branding consultants. It can mean adjustments to design, tone of voice, user experience, imagery, SEO keywords, user interface and more. It is much more than rewriting text in another language and because of its complex nature, is difficult to undertake on any scale without outside expertise. A language services provider (LSP) has the experience and knowledge to incorporate all the elements of localization into a clear workflow, maintaining brand identity and style across many languages and content formats.

LSPs make excellent use of technology in their localization processes including translation management systems, translation memory software and machine translation. These have all accelerated the work and quality of language translation and improved cost effectiveness for customers. The current dilemma is finding where artificial intelligence can be put to best use in a localization environment. Understanding what value AI in its present form can add to a content localization strategy is still an ongoing question (read more about this in our next post!), but tech savvy LSPs are undoubtedly poised to use it well.

Localization rewards

Culturally nuanced, linguistically adapted, informative and engaging content will hit all the right notes. Despite common assumptions that ‘everyone understands English’, research has clearly shown that audiences will respond more positively when they are addressed in their own language. For a company to have an impact in a new market it’s crucial to speak the language of the target market, not just linguistically but culturally as well.

Localization respects cultural differences. It helps build trust and relationships and therefore the likelihood that someone will want to continue to interact and eventually make a purchase from a business. If each customer touch point provides a seamless, comfortable and familiar experience, the more chance the end user will want to continue their journey with the organization.

If you’re earmarking a global expansion strategy that reinforces brand identity, promotes customer loyalty and increases sales, it would be wise to consider multilingual content localization from day one.

Talk to the experts. Here at t’works our many years of experience and progressive use of innovative technologies mean we are perfectly positioned to assist you in creating a content localization strategy that’s adapted to your needs and your business. Contact us today.

Your personal contact

Marie-Laure Vinckx

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