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How to best harness web localisation for international markets

Published on January 23rd, 2017

 

It’s pretty common knowledge these days that you need to localise your website to get the most from international audiences. However, something that gets overlooked by far too many brands is the concept of really harnessing their web localisation strategies – a trap you don’t want to fall into.

At the end of the day, the content you produce is the heart of your online brand and localising it is key to building connections with international audiences. In fact, you’re seriously failing in your content marketing efforts overseas if you’re not using website localisation tools for everything you produce – and here’s how you should do it.

 

Create a separate strategy for each market

Simply translating the same content into every language isn’t going to hit your content marketing targets in other nations. Each audience has their own unique needs and your content is supposed to be addressing these issues for them. So create a separate content strategy for each market and put their specific interests at the centre of everything you publish for them.

This doesn’t mean you have to create 100% unique content in each language every time you publish something. However, you should regularly publish stuff that speaks directly to specific audiences and their unique needs or interests.

Remember Google won’t penalise you for publishing the same content accurately translated into another language. It will for machine translated content.

 

Cover local interest topics

The easiest way to localise your content strategy for specific markets is to cover local interest topics. Public holidays are always a good place to start and there are plenty of them for you to get your teeth into.

Talk about Ramadan and other Muslim faith holidays, get excited about the Lunar New Year and hone in on the unique winter celebrations in and around the Christmas period. You’ll instantly be covering the topics that dominate people’s lives at these times of year and suddenly this content web localisation business starts looking much easier.

You can bulk out your localised content efforts by monitoring the news in your markets and working general interest topics into your titles as well. While the UK is banging on about Brexit every day, African nations are probably more interested in a number of key elections panned out across 2017.

Just remember to be sensitive to any issues you touch on. As with any kind of localisation services, the goal is to adapt your content and make it more culturally relevant to each audience.

 

Use localised references and examples in your content

As with most things in website localisation, the details speak volumes and the same thing goes for your content strategy. When people are reading your posts or watching your videos, they’ll be picking up on everything you say – whether they know it or not.

So your fans in East Asia aren’t going to connect with your references to London or business examples that only apply to the UK. Instead, when you’re trying to explain something with an example, use local cities as a reference and make your hypothetical situation relevant to the business climate there.

 

Use localised visual content

Another important point is to use localised visuals in your content strategy. Whether it’s the feature images on your blog posts, the icons in your infographics or the scenery in your videos. Use every opportunity you can to make your content feel like something that was produced on home soil by a brand that feels as local as the people you’re targeting.

The main problem with localising visual content is it can be expensive if you don’t plan things out. The trick is to use culturally neutral visuals wherever possible and reserve your budget for the moments where localised visuals really make the different.

Sure, it takes some planning but this is why it’s called a content strategy.

In four brief points we’ve already put together a template for a localised content strategy that’s pretty easy to execute. By producing this kind of content you’ll walk all over your competitors who don’t bother to adapt their content for each given market. Of course, you can take things much further than the points we’ve covered today and be sure to get in touch with us if you want more comprehensive advice.

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Posted on: January 23rd, 2017