A 2020 survey by CSA Research found that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language and 40% will never buy from websites in other languages. Considering the amount of choice out there, it makes perfect sense for customers to buy from a website where they can be sure of what they are paying for.
But it doesn’t just come down to communicating product or service specifications or having the best deals. Content localisation is about speaking to your clients on their level, and forming deep connections.
You simply cannot achieve that if you use terms, brand names or references that they don’t understand. So, don’t risk alienating your ideal customers with language that jars and a user experience that does not resonate. Read on to discover 6 actionable tips to create a content localisation strategy that will give you the competitive edge
This blog will help you:
- Understand what content localisation is and how it differs from translation and transcreation.
- What a content localisation strategy involves.
- What the benefits of content localisation are.
- How to create a content localisation strategy from scratch.
- How to know if your content localisation strategy is working.
What is a content localisation strategy?
A content localisation strategy refers to the activities and plan you have in place to localise your marketing. You can read a full introduction to marketing localisation here.
What are the benefits of developing a content localisations strategy?
Content localisation presents a number of important benefits for brands who want to grow their business in international markets. These include:
It builds trust with customers
From their very first visit to your website, the initial click on a Google Ad, or the first time your new customer engages with your brand on social media, they will be able to see that you value their custom and have made extra efforts to build trust and form a relationship. This kind of connection is marketing gold and should not be underestimated.
It boosts your SEO
Google et al want to direct their users to websites that provide valuable, useful information. Therefore they love content that is properly localised for a particular audience. Plus, audiences in other countries simply won’t be able to find your content if you don’t use the right keywords.
It gives you a competitive advantage
As we mentioned above, if your potential customer has the choice of a brand who is, literally and figuratively speaking in their language over a clumsily put together site full of cultural clashes and incorrect terminology, it’s clear who they’re going to pick.
How to create a content localisation strategy
1. Make a content localisation plan
All good marketing strategies start with a well-researched and actionable plan. Answering the following questions will help you formulate your content localisation plan.
- What countries or territories are you hoping to expand your business to?
- What are the key differences in the audiences there?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What do they do well and not so well?
- What will be your USP and how will you communicate it?
- What will be your content localisation roll-out? You need to decide on the size and scope of your website. You’ll also need to work out if you need to create a separate domain. For example, in China you will benefit from having a dedicated website so you can get around any blocking issues and be found on Baidu, China’s largest search engine). You’ll also need to consider how much additional content you will create; whitepapers, guides, case studies, social media content and so forth.
- Do you need additional support from local SEO or content localisation experts? If so, how much time and resource will you need to factor in and who will you work with? More on this later.
2. Do your research
Getting under the skin of your new market is critical to your success. You should have a good idea of the business landscape in the countries you want to expand to, before you even start developing your growth strategy or your localised content. Make sure there is room in the market for your brand and products and that you will be able to differentiate yourself to what is currently on offer.
A lot of this research can be done online; reading guides, viewing competitor’s websites and so on. If you can arrange it, speaking to someone from the region could be extremely valuable. Even if they are not your target audience they should be able to give you insights into what life is like in that part of the world, and the kind of marketing messaging that could be effective. They might even be able to help you choose visual elements to accompany your text or advise on the best marketing channels to promote your brand.
3. Decide which content to localise
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to localising your content and marketing assets. As long as the overall message and offering is relevant to your new audience you simply need to adapt the text, images and – in the case of webpages – the UX. Take a look at what content is performing well for your competitors and develop your own. With your own unique spin, of course!
Top tip – If you aren’t sure how your content is going to resonate with your new customers try out a few key pieces at a time, and keep a close eye on your analytics to see how people are engaging with it. Perhaps a couple of webpages that have proved successful with your current audiences, and an e-book or guide.
4. Localise your visual content
The photos, illustrations, graphics and other visual elements you use are just as important as your textual content. Always choose images that reflect the diversity of your new audience and adapt the content to suit the UX for the market. Take a look at websites in China, for instance, and you will quickly see how much website design differs.
5. Work with localisation experts
Whether you’re a small business or have the luxury of a large internal marketing team, taking the first steps into content localisation can be a challenge. There’s a lot to consider including setting up local SEO and transcreating your written and visual content. If you aren’t clear about what the latter term means take a look at Jeroen’s blog on the difference between transcreation, localisation and translation.
Working with localisation experts is the difference between getting your content kind of right and getting it 100% spot on. It’s the background knowledge, expertise in specific cultural sensitivities and deep understanding of local user preferences that will make your webpage, blog articles, e-books, social media posts, case studies and so forth ring true with your audience.
Interested in finding out how Contentoo’s expert team of transcreators can help you localise your content? Contact us today.
6. Monitor your results
As with any new marketing strategy it’s important to monitor your visitor and engagement analytics on a regular basis. If the time on page is low, the visitor isn’t clicking on the CTA or your referral rates aren’t what you expected it could be a good idea to adjust or test your messaging.
We hope these tips on how to create a content localization strategy have been useful and have given you some good ideas on how to take the next steps forward. Localising your messaging and marketing assets well can mean the difference between success and failure so it’s vital you take the time to prepare your content and think through your overall strategy.
It might seem like a lot to take on board when you first start exploring your content localisation plan, but you needn’t do it alone. We’ve helped numerous clients plan and execute their content localisation strategy over the last five years and we would love to help you grow your business. Contact us today to find out more.
You can also read more about the latest trends by downloading our report on the State of Content Creation in 2022.