Being a global company means fueling conversations with customers worldwide. Research from CSA shows that 65% of customers prefer content in their native language, and with only 25% of the global internet population being native English speakers, translation is a must. But translation alone cannot effectively engage global customers. When taking your brand into new regions, it’s vital to localize all content, taking into account each country’s cultures, values, perceptions, and religions.
When speaking to customers, it’s important that your product and your content sounds authentic, reflecting the experiences they typically encounter in their market by considering varying and complex cultural nuances, slang, consumer preferences, and local laws. One-size-fits-all approaches are rarely successful so tapping into this necessary regional knowledge is key to creating meaningful connections with audiences globally, as well as avoiding cultural faux pas, which can damage your brand’s reputation.
One example of poor content localization comes from French mobile network Orange. When expanding abroad to Northern Ireland they used the slogan “The future’s bright…the future’s Orange.” The company failed to realize that the term “Orange” was heavily associated with the Protestant loyalist organization, “The Orange Order”, alienating Northern Irish Catholics and accidentally taking an uncomfortable political stance.
Content localization requires in-depth knowledge of where your content will be used within the sales process, whether it will be distributed via syndication, and how it will be promoted. If your organization is planning to target specific regions from the get-go, localization should be considered during brand development and continued through marketing and distribution.
How to localize your content
Firstly, take the time to identify local market themes. It may take time, but it’s vital to research and understand the nuances of the region you’re looking to crack. Consider saving time and reducing the workload on your internal team by working with an external partner that has extensive industry knowledge.
Don’t let content localization become an afterthought. Consider the localization process early on in your content and brand development strategy, including your brand and product name and whether it will work effectively in different countries.
Consider differing buyer journeys for different regions. Audience preferences and the journey to a sale are important to the process, from format and channel preferences to consumer habits and even color connotations.
- Use the knowledge of content specialists and local marketers. Engage with strategic partners who have differing expertise in various regions, and it will give your content substantial credibility.
- Create consistent and quality content. Ensure that your marketing materials are coherent and represent your brand effectively. Ensuring a consistent tone of voice will make localization easier, as well as avoiding too many idioms and practicing cultural sensitivity in images and vocabulary.
- Be flexible. Some content will need to be localized but some might not be relevant at all to some regions and audiences. It’s vital to identify this and avoid wasting time producing content.
Localization for tech companies
In the tech industry, content localization is essential for vendors who want to appeal to the regional challenges within each vertical, whether that be the local data regulations that they’re required to comply with, differing industry acronyms, or even explaining technical terms that have no direct translation.
At FMXA, our mission is to fuel emotional connections with your customers, conveying your purpose and unique value. By carefully localizing all content, from LinkedIn ads to technical brochures, we help you demonstrate empathy toward your customers’ specific pain points, building a unique emotional connection. This not only expands your market, but it enhances the value of your product, giving you a competitive edge.
We have localized and distributed content in 20+ languages across 25+ countries, for companies such as Cisco, Okta, Advantech, and Nominet. Read more about our work here.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you localize your content and reach target markets with compassion.