For localization of digital marketing content, many global consumer brands turn to their advertising agency to help translate original campaign material. What is the mistake in that approach? The word translate.
Developing digital marketing campaigns for multiple countries does not simply mean translating words into a local language. It requires culturally adapting content to meet local nuances and tastes. Many global consumer organizations fall into the trap of simply firing off projects from ad agencies to translation providers with minimal instructions other than to simply translate into a target language. The context can be easily lost in translation.
An original language campaign developed in English and targeted for a Japanese, French or German audience, as an example, will not require basic linguistic translation in order for it to “relate” to the intended target market. Cultural adaptation of content is vital in order for the concept, message and brands values to remain the same, which are then supported with the words that are “recreated” to suit a new local market. In language services, we call this transcreation.
If the creative and localization resources are appropriately briefed on an overall global digital marketing campaign, then the overall content output will produce better results. Lack of in-context information and a proper localization creative brief can incur additional time and costs of global marketing campaigns. Beyond this, poor translations can result in a lengthy review processes and often ultimately lead to continually switching agencies and translation providers, which can cause even more inconsistencies in multilingual content.
Here are five ways you can improve the creative and localization process for developing marketing campaigns for multiple language markets:
- Supply relevant style guides and branding guidelines. Basic company information such as acronyms, jargon, company facts, writing styles, tone of voice, logo specifications, original keywords, first or third person positioning all can be extremely helpful to a linguistic copywriter. A style guide provides a good foundation from which the writer can work.
- Provide specific campaign information. What are the campaign objectives? Do you want to drive more leads or increase links and social media engagement? If a linguistic copywriter has access to the overall objectives, then this will positively impact the copywriting process.
- Give access to in-context information and product experience. If a marketing campaign is focused around a particular product or service, then give the linguistic copywriter insights into the product itself. This may involve going through a similar customer experience and using the product or service itself.
- Understand linguistic copywriting is a creative process. The development of campaigns in multiple languages is a creative process, just like the process that the original concept goes through. This means the same level of background knowledge and thought process is required for each language variant.
- Provide information to reviewers too. As well as translation and localization resources, in-country reviewers need access to a creative brief and background information just as much as the copywriter. Each piece of content, irrespective of target language must have some form of in-context background knowledge for all parties who are involved in the development, editing and reviewing of new marketing content.
Developing multilingual content is not the last part in content development. It is an integral part of the overall global marketing process. For this reason, any language resources working on content must have access to the same creative and in-context information as marketing teams. This is the recipe for successful marketing.
Finally, work with a digital or creative agency that is experienced in multilingual marketing services. Welocalize’s Adapt Worldwide agency specializes in transcreation and cultural adaptation across 175 languages, providing the right level of creativity and language support to deliver the best brand experience.
Based in London, John Harris is a Business Development Director at Welocalize.