Does your content marketing localisation check all the right boxes? Here’s a quick guide to help you design a smart, efficient localisation process, so you can achieve more and truly add value for your international audiences.
Here are the main takeaways at a glance:
- Understanding localisation and why it matters.
- Common localisation mistakes to avoid.
- Tips for creating an effective content localisation process.
What is content localisation?
Localisation is the process of recreating your content so that it resonates with audiences in different languages and cultures. Say your company is based in Germany but is currently expanding into the Polish market. To reach your new Polish audience, you’ll need to:
- Understand cultural differences and know what your new audience expects
- Translate relevant content into the new market’s language
- Ensure that all cultural references are appropriate and relevant to your new audience
This process is known as localisation. And as you can see, it’s much more than just translation. In fact, localisation is crucial to any business that is scaling into an international market. It ensures that your brand and product resonate with your new audience—and that makes it a vital component to any international scale-up’s marketing strategy.
Common content localisation mistakes to avoid
Despite the importance of localising content, many scale-ups struggle to get it right. Some of the main reasons for unsuccessful international marketing include:
- Only translating, but not localising: Translation is part of the localisation process. But true localisation goes further by incorporating the audience’s broader cultural context.
- Not localising the right assets: Customers in different cultures are motivated by different narratives and pain points. Just because an asset attracts a lot of engagement in your home market does not mean it is relevant to new markets.
- Choosing the wrong channels: Part of localisation is to understand where you are likely to catch your local audience’s attention. There is unfortunately no guarantee that the popular channels you use in your home market will also reach your new audiences.
- Not working with cultural insiders: Localisation is a task that requires true insider knowledge. It is crucial to always work with translators and localisation specialists who are native speakers and cultural insiders in the new market you’re trying to reach.
- Not having a solid localisation process: Just like content creation, localisation is a time-consuming task that involves many stakeholders. It’s important to have an efficient process in place, so you can manage your localisation timeline effectively and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Creating a solid content localisation process
To avoid pitfalls and get your content localisation journey off to a healthy start, here are some important items to keep in mind.
Assess your localisation needs
Start by auditing your existing content and determining which assets need to be localised first. It may help to prioritize content by breaking it into categories, such as:
- Content that is highly relevant to the new audience and must be fully localised.
- Content that is less relevant but still needs to be localised eventually: In many cases, this content may already be available in English, for example, which means your local audience can probably still use it, even if it is not fully localised yet.
- Content that is not relevant and does not need to be localised: This may be content that refers to products that are not available in the new market, or other country-specific content.
Choose partners with the right expertise
Most companies will rely on external help to meet their localisation needs. Screen agencies carefully to ensure they only work with vetted native-speaker talent. Contentoo, for example, only works with experienced localisation specialists who are native speakers of the target audience’s language.
It’s also useful to think of scalability at this stage: does your partner or agency work in multiple languages, enabling you to simultaneously localise in different markets if you need to?
Like with content creation, localisation processes involve multiple tasks and stakeholders. The last thing you want to do is rely on email and spreadsheets to outsource tasks and manage the process. Our clients value the clarity of working with our automated platform for their localisation projects, because it gives them a single place to easily outsource tasks, review documents, provide feedback, interact with the localisation specialist and manage the entire process.
Focus on quality
Always take time to carefully review localised content (or have it reviewed by native talent). It’s important to also check the content in-layout, so remember to provide mockups or previews for your localisation experts to review and comment on. They may instantly spot a potentially embarrassing mistake that you overlooked.
Continually grow and improve
By cultivating long-term partnerships with localisation talent, the quality of your content naturally improves over time. We connect freelancers with clients who are a strong match for their skills and expertise. You interact directly with them, so they gain a deeper understanding of your brand and products, unlike with traditional localisation agencies.
Learn more about content localisation
Now that you’ve learned the basics of creating a localisation process, you’re all set to start reaching new audiences and growing your international business.
To learn even more about content localisation, be sure to check out our blog post Translation, localisation and transcreation: What’s the difference? and our Intro to marketing localisation.
Want to know more about our unique take on content marketing and what it takes to get ahead? Please download our E-Book on the state of content marketing and contact our content advisors today to book your free demo.