Increase Global Reach with Multilingual User-Generated Content

welocalize March 2, 2022

User-generated content (UGC) is a rapidly growing content type used by content marketers to influence buyers and global customer experience. This type of network-generated content gives many organizations the chance to promote brands and share product knowledge on a global scale, reaping significant rewards in terms of brand awareness and increased equity.

What is User-Generated Content?

UGC is any form of content or media such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasts, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements, and other forms created by users online, often made available via online websites or through social media platforms. UGC is often created by someone with an interest in the brand, product or service and is unpaid for their shared content. Whatever you choose to call it (network generated, online content or social media), the role of UGC in global content strategies is on the rise.

Why Translate and Localize UGC?

Expand Global Reach:

If UGC is available in multiple languages, it means people all over the world can read it and engage. UGC is a very simple and cost-effective way to project brands to a wider audience, targeting emerging markets, yet is limited to the source language if you don’t translate it. Good localization and cultural adaptation of UGC enables more consumers to interact with each other in local markets, creating an exponential effect of more positive publicity in new, target markets.

Social Media Listening: 

Do you monitor what other people are saying about your company and products online? Social media listening is a key tool for global marketing and product development. By moderating UGC, you can carefully curate media content to create a more relevant feed for users, no matter the language – and ultimately, a superior customer experience.

Good reviews of a product or brand are also a huge benefit and asset. Allowing other potential consumers in wider international markets to see the excellent reviews written by other consumers, will reinforce a brand’s association with positive feelings. When reviews and opinions are good, this increases brand equity and, ultimately, sales. The same applies to negative reviews. If someone is saying something bad about your product or service, then you want to know about it.

Monitoring Offensive Hate Speech

Non-inclusive language and hate speech can tarnish any social media platform, brand, or individual. But how do you identify hate speech in other languages so you can do something about it?

By leveraging AI as part of an overall language solution as well as personnel around the world, multilingual content can be monitored and rated, and processes implemented to remove offensive content, and protect your global brand.

Further Reading: The Rise of Hate Speech in Social Media: How to Address It in Any Language

Methods to Culturally Adapt and Localize User Generated Content

There are a number of localization approaches that can be applied to take full advantage of UGC. Volume and speed of content and intended use of UGC as a marketing asset are key factors. For UGC, language automation technology is best suited to process high volumes of content that require translation to expected and appropriate levels of quality.

Copy Writing and Cultural Adaptation: 

There are various forms of UGC developed by and for brands. This type of content is often created or posted in English or a single language source. Not all content created “relates” to a local target audience when translated. This type of content requires adaptation, or what we refer to as transcreation. This involves adapting the content to ensure it meets the brand and customer experience for the target audience.

Further reading: How Transcreation is Different From Translation

Human Translation: 

Using professionally trained translators and linguists to translate UGC can be costly. Human translation is best utilized for high-impact UGC, such as comments on a CEO blog or high-profile product reviews.

Raw Machine Translation (MT): 

Using trained MT engines to provide raw translated output is suitable for massive volumes of UGC and can be published automatically providing the MT output meets the minimum scoring, based on a defined scoring system. For high volume UGC like social media posts, content translation expectations are fairly low. Customers understand that original reviews are authored quickly. As long as the “jist” is accurate and not offensive, then companies who produce massive amounts of UGC can benefit from using ongoing MT engines that can be customized to recognize and understand industry terminology and typical jargon. UGC such as social media can often contain spelling and grammatical errors and programs can be put in place to “fix” source content, prior to MT. This increases the overall quality of the MT output.

MT with Post-Editing: 

UGC such as product and customer reviews, can be post-edited once it has gone through an MT engine. Post-editors add great value, processing more MT output compared with pure human translation at a lower cost. Post-editing can range from a simple plausibility check to prevent serious or offensive misrepresentation through to full post-edit to bring the content up to human translation quality levels. Post-editors do not have to be fully qualified translators or linguistic copywriters. They can be native speakers with good knowledge of the industry and product range.

Welocalize User-Generated Solutions

Welocalize offers a range of localization and translation solutions for over 250 languages, from MT + AI-enabled language automation tools and programs to multilingual digital marketing services provided by Adapt Worldwide.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you translate and localize your UGC.