The Benefits of Content Localisation for International Audience Engagement

Businesses that have substantial international penetration have to get on top of language barriers and cultural nuances to be sure of success. When marketing their products, whether this is via their websites, or through more traditional advertising, there are key benefits of content localization if there is going to be any expectation of international audience engagement.

Understanding content localization

Content localization is the conversion of text, video, and graphics used in marketing content into versions that are aimed at a different cultural environment. There used to be a time when businesses assumed that language and culture were more or less constant everywhere in the world, but soon realized that to succeed outside their own home market they had to recognize cultural differences just as much as they have to recognize that the world is multilingual. 

Content localization is mainly done by specialized translators who have an in-depth understanding of the individual cultural preferences of the target market for which the material they have been supplied is to be converted. Content localization means:

  • translating the words, phrases, logos, and web pages into the distinctive language of the target market, taking into account local dialects and colloquialisms. 
  • avoiding text that could offend the people for which the marketing is intended; this might mean adapting the messaging to suit religious preferences, ensuring that potential customers are not offended by the use of culturally insensitive 
  • using phrases and words that resonate more with the intended market.

Enhanced audience engagement

The main objective of content localization is to enhance audience engagement and through this boost the international brand locally and lead to sales growth and greater profits.

Improved user experience

There is considerable evidence from marketing research that individual consumers prefer to inspect and choose marketing messages that are presented in their own language and are culturally appropriate. Businesses that fail to take advantage of content localization soon find that they will lose out to more aggressive marketing by their more savvy competitors. 

Increased brand visibility and recognition

When businesses develop their business, they aim to shape a brand so that it becomes synonymous with their products. Brand visibility and recognition are very important aspects of good business practice. International expansion doesn’t mean that the way a brand is recognized in the home base is going to be appropriate everywhere else. Even well-known brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have learned the hard way that their brand messaging has often had to be revised to avoid miscommunication, confusion, indifference, or offense. There are numerous well-known examples of big brands being embarrassed when their marketing messages have failed by not taking into account local cultural preferences.

Access to New Markets and Revenue Opportunities

Content localization as part of preparing business expansion into an international market provides greater access to new markets and revenue opportunities. The ready uptake and use of the internet as well as modern super-fast communication has effectively created a global market. Any business that is used to a local market of several hundred thousand potential customers can now potentially expand its business with access to hundreds of millions of potential customers.


To reach a much wider market, businesses often get to the point where they make the decision to expand internationally. With the huge advantages that digital communication brings to doing business outside traditional boundaries, there is a strong recognition that to succeed in the twenty-first century businesses have to get ahead in an increasingly competitive world by expanding into the global market. Professional translation and localization services are important partners for internationally driven businesses.


Why Social Media Translation Can Help Your Business

Social media seems to have become so omnipresent these days that businesses have had to adapt their marketing strategies to target customers who use social media more than they might use what might have been used more in the past like newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, and TV and radio ads. Social media content that is devised for marketing must also take into consideration markets that are international and typically use another language or internal markets which also use another language (ethnic minorities, migrant communities, for example).

Because of the global reach of social media content, social media translation has now become a must for many businesses that have customers and potential customers who understand and prefer to use another language other than that of the business. That means that social media campaigns and social media jargon must use professional social media translation agencies to ensure the widest possible audiences.

How to Devise a Social Media Translation Strategy

1. Do your research first

What are you selling? Who are your most likely potential new customers based on gender, age, lifestyle, socio-economic group, etc.? What languages do they use and which languages do they prefer to use when using social media content? What social media platforms should you aim at and research the target market?

Some countries don’t spend as much time on social media as others. Not all countries use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. It would be wasteful if you translated content for a social media platform that’s hardly used in your targeted country. For example, the preferred social media in Russia is VKontakte, while the QZone platform is the social media king in China.

2. Develop a targeted hashtag strategy

Hashtags are commonly now used as highlights and links on several social media platforms, originating from Twitter where they are still most widespread. Businesses can use hashtags in their social media strategy but this isn’t something that should be left to amateurs. Hashtags sometimes last for months, but at others, they are gone in hours, so their use, especially considering that the words linked in the hashtag are to be translated. Social media translation needs to take into consideration the commonly used social media jargon of the target market in the target language as well.

3. Keep a separate account set aside for each language used in your social media campaign

Keep in mind that your ‘other language’ targeted markets will be of different sizes and importance. This means that you need a strategy for each language market. In terms of budgeting and planning, it’s best to separate your accounts for each language. 

4. Consider the jargon used in social media

English is the main language used on social media platforms, so it’s important to be aware of jargon. You should ask yourself two leading questions and they are:

 What jargon do I need to translate and what don’t I need to translate?

5. Avoid automated translation services like the plague

A common mistake for businesses first exploring new marketing strategies targeting markets in another language is to rely on automated translation services. These are actually improving, but at this stage are not sensible options for commercial use. The obvious advantage of using them is that they are much cheaper than professional translation agencies, but their ability to adapt their language translation to the nuances of other cultural and linguistic environments is poor. This becomes even more pronounced when considering that social media jargon is often very different from the standard use of a language. In the end, experiments with automated language translation services are doomed to fail. At worst, a botched experiment with automated translation could have a negative effect on the perception of that business by the very market the business is trying to cultivate.

Benefits of Keyword Translations

Global SEO is the method used to target users of different languages who live in different countries. One of the most challenging things about translating web content is ensuring that search engines will index it so that web users can act on it. This is where keyword translation and localisation comes into the picture.

Keywords are the Core of SEO

As Global Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the procedure used to adapt multilingual websites and their content for use by search engines so that even in different languages and countries the best visibility and rank can be achieved it is important to get keyword translations just right. Keywords have been seen as the core for search engine optimization and marketing for a long time. If the SEO administrator gets the keywords and their translations just right means that the SEO is focusing on the right targeted market in the first place. The keywords have to be researched and localized correctly so they fit the online content for the different languages. However, a problem exists because many webmasters and online marketers often believe that keyword translation and localisation are one and the same concept when they are not.

Keyword Translation Compared to Keyword Localization

Keyword translation is simply the process of translating keywords into another language. It is generally done as part of a translation project. It is basically completed for the benefit of readers and not search engines. Translating keywords can at times be difficult as reach country and its online users may use entirely different keywords when searching online even if the search term is the same. It may even happen with a language such as English-UK and English-US. For example, an online user will use auto when seeking a car in the USA while in the UK the word car is used. This means if a business wants to market car loans to both countries it cannot use the same search term..In the British market the word “Hols” is used frequently when searching for a holiday while the term vacation is used more by the US market. When marketing a product to the Spanish market coche is generally used for a car but in Argentina this means a “baby-stroller”.

With keyword localization it is the translating of online content to match a particular locale. A slogan or marketing message used in one language could be disastrous in another. The more accurate the keyword localization the better the search engine result will be because this is the word your likely customer actually uses when performing searches.

To be able to achieve great SEO localization results it requires three tasks to be completed which are a mixture of language localization, keyword localization and research for local keywords. In order to construct an appropriate list of multilingual keywords there are certain things that need to be completed.

  • The keyword list needs to be professionally localized;
  • The keyword list needs to match the locale using a combination of culture, language and geography;
  • Undertake keyword research for the targeted online market taking into consideration local events and trends.
  • Testing out the keywords so that they suit search engines.

Some Keyword Tools

There are some online tools available like Google Adwords Keywords Tools. This has advanced options for researching keywords by both language and country. A keyword term is entered and Google comes up with several suggestions for keywords. A second tool is called Google Insights for Search which has the capacity to research any trends in keyword search which have been over a period of time been demanded by your targeted countries. Word tracker Keyword assists owners of websites and search engine marketing professionals to identify suitable keywords and key phrases that appear to be relevant to the users business or clients. Google Trends helps to discover key trends and also compares numerous search terms

If you wish to compete effectively on the international market when marketing using the internet you have to be sure that your multilingual SEO (search engine optimization) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are thoroughly optimized so they get favourable attention in search results in all markets and languages you have planned to target. It is not just keyword translations that are the answer but your multilingual websites should contain keywords and website content should consider the linguistic nuances and culture of your targeted global customers in the context of the local markets.

The benefits of keyword translations can be achieved as a strategy for engaging your customers so that you can transform terabytes of information into usable and manageable data for driving growth and sales using multilingual SEO, multilingual PPC and multilingual search engine marketing (SEM).

Strategies Used In Translation

General translation strategy is a method used to transfer written and oral messages from one language into another.  A general translation is designed to communicate the same meaning that the speakers or writers of the source language want, using normal language but keeping the source language’s dynamics.  It is also important for the translator to produce language in the translation that is idiomatic and expresses fully what is being conveyed in the source language.  In other words, the translation of the source text should mirror precisely the text and meaning found in the source document.

The translation is fundamentally made up of 4 things which are

  • a science,
  • a skill,
  • an art,
  • a matter of taste.

As a science, a translation strategy includes the assessment and knowledge of the facts as well as the language.

  • As a skill, a translation is composed of the appropriate language.
  • As an art, a translation involves innovation, intuition, and inspiration to get it right.
  • As a matter of taste is when the translator uses language that he or she believes.

Overall, translation is the skill of knowing the parts of the source text and translating it into the targeted language. One could say that the translator is a mediator between 2 languages and their cultures who is competent to switch between the 2 languages. A translation is a decision-making process that involves seeking solutions to language problems. There are at times situations where the translator is confronted with problems that can only be solved through observing, identifying, and seeking a strategy that reaches the most appropriate solution.

What is a Translation Strategy?

A translation strategy is not a short-term solution but a long-term one with the aim of reaching a specific goal in the end. It is achieved by going through certain stages. Usually, a translator adopts a certain strategy when confronted with a hurdle that needs some thought to overcome.  A strategy is needed when a bit more than a literal translation is required to bring about the necessary meaning.