In this article, we cover some of the best practices when it comes to the creation of a competent and compelling Content Localization Strategy
According to a SOCi Market report on the top 5 insights into the “Power of Localized Social Marketing”, the future of enhanced brand engagement lies in effective content localization strategies that ‘speak the language’ customers want to hear. But what is a Localization Strategy?
An effective Content Localization Strategy can be defined as a unique market approach and comprehensive content plan for content translation and adaptation, in order to connect with a new audience, addressing specific characteristics such as purchasing habits, customer behaviours and cultural differences for the specifically targeted geographies.
In this article, we go one step beyond the “what” to tackle the “how”, walking you through some of the best practices and relevant stats that support the vital necessity of creating a competent and compelling content Localization Strategy for businesses seeking global expansion.
The phrase “all business is local” coined by authors John Quelch and Katherine Jocs in “Why Place matters more than ever in a global, virtual world” (2012) has never been more relevant now, almost a decade later, as 72% of brand engagement happens on localized pages, with businesses seeking to reach out and resonate with international audiences, enhancing traction for their brand.
In this sense, an effective Localization Strategy means covering all relevant content touchpoints, from website copy to UI/UX, as well as transactional communication, taking into account cross-cultural currencies and market proclivities. Having localized content that streamlines user experience within the customer journey and hitting the target of specific searches genuinely increases engagement potential, equally building up trust and credibility for a brand.
According to the SOCi Report, 66% of content impressions are derived from fully localized pages, with Google data showing that the majority of users are influenced by and act on content incentives localized in their specific language due to the familiarity and relevance that the localized content represents for them. A user will always be drawn to localized pages, incentives, or calls to action in their own language, as this implies a direct appeal to their culture, making it easier to navigate content complexities and access the most relevant results.
Employing an effective Localization Strategy in this sense would mean isolating linguistic relevancy for specific markets and targeted audiences through relevant analytics (e.g. Google Analytics, Audience Analytics embedded on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) in order to tailor your content to the highest-ranking language combinations with the highest traffic in your niche.
According to Phrase.com, 7 out of 10 top markets ranked by iOS downloads and 9 out of 10 top markets ranked by Google Play downloads are non-native English markets, while more than 50% of all queries on Google are made and processed in languages other than English (check out our recent App Localization article that covers topics of App Localization in-depth).
Equally, a study conducted by the European Commission indicates that 90% of Internet surfers in the EU prefer to access websites in their own language, one relevant example being Sweden, internationally known also as a high-level non-native English-speaking country, which despite this, in over 80% of the cases, prefers to shop and navigate content online in Swedish.
An effective Content Localization Strategy in this sense means accommodating linguistically diverse audiences, be this through setting up personalized content hubs/social media channels for respective audience profiles, or by adapting calls to action and other digital messaging orthographies (hashtags, labels, posts, stories, threads) to their respective cultural and linguistic frameworks.
Localizing your content into a multitude of target languages in order to appeal to a diversity of markets is not as simple as a,b,c, more often than not implying more effort than a mere linguistic stream of equivalence. Repurposing your content simply doesn’t cut it, as the key to a successful and effective Content Localization Strategy is to “look beyond the known horizon” of existing content and transcreate your messaging to resonate with the undertones and cultural specificity of your international audiences.
To this end, employing the wealth of knowledge and expertise of Translation and Localization professionals is essential to tick the quality, consistency, and, most importantly, effectiveness boxes of your Localization strategy, ensuring thoroughness from the initial prep to the final proofread.
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