How to Localize Your Marketing Strategy for Global Reach

Reaching Global Audiences ebook logoMarketers are faced with the challenge to grow and go global. In order to achieve global growth and reach international audiences, a content marketing strategy needs to match the diversity that exists in all of your audiences. Marketing content must be readable, targeted and searchable to global audiences in order to fully actualize the investment and provide a viable return.

Localization and translation must be core to an effective overall global marketing strategy.

Any marketing campaign or collateral developed for a global audience must accurately reflect the culture and value of the intended audience, in the right language. In Reaching Global Audiences: How to Localize Your Marketing Strategy, which offers a comprehensive guide to global content marketing and localization. It is an excellent read for anyone involved in globalization and content marketing.  It provides some best practices, trends and tips for international success.

Millions of words published online each day, each with the intention to build brands, sell products, evoke emotions and create reaction. Preparation and planning are key to any good strategy.  Here are ten tips for global marketers on how to best prepare source content for localization:

ONE: Keep text to a minimum. As translation is often based on the number of words, keeping it short and concise will keep costs down.

TWO: Keep text clear and unambiguous. If a native speaker has trouble understanding the source content, it will be equally as difficult for the translator and subsequent target audience.

THREE: Allow room for text expansion. Most languages are longer than English by 15%. Russian can be 40% longer.

FOUR: Avoid narrow columns, as this will prevent the translator or DTP engineer having to use hyphenation, which could result in more reviews and impact speed of production and cost.

FIVE: Avoid embedding text in graphics and illustrations. Too much text in graphics will simply add on to time and cost, as it requires more preparation and manipulation by DTP experts. Use in-line graphics.

SIX: Keep graphics culturally generic. Take into consideration the range of cultures or religions in your target markets. Each culture, not just limited by language or geography, has different value systems, varying beliefs and interpretation of non-verbal communications.

SEVEN: Avoid tabbed text and hard returns, especially in tables. Tabbed text can result in text being broken into separate translatable segments, which on their own could be meaningless. When translating technical documentation, this could be harmful if mistranslated and not caught in the final checks.

EIGHT: Use consistent terminology. Using consistent phrases and regular brand vocabulary will help the source and localized versions to be more effective. Build and develop terminology glossaries and translation memories for your translator teams.

NINE: Create source video with localization in mind. Consider whether to use voice-over or subtitling. Both have their advantages. Try to avoid using a script and actors for producing a video, as its localization can be expensive and time-consuming. The more actors you use, the more voice talents, editing, studio time and lip-syncing is required for localization.

TEN: Remember SEO and keywords. To integrate SEO translation into your global marketing campaign, review the chosen keywords in the source. It may not be appropriate to simply translate the chosen keywords. Different cultures may search for different words. Draw on SEO expertise that is familiar with the target market and industry.

There are many important decisions to make when creating and distributing marketing materials for a global audience. Putting globalization and localization at the heart of strategic planning and development will ensure successful global content marketing campaigns.

For more insights, trends and strategies, get your free copy of Reaching Global Audiences: How to Localize Your Marketing Strategy here.

Louise Law, Global Communications Manager, Welocalize