Modern brands have to produce a variety of content in different media formats to stay relevant. Corporate blogs are still the content hub for most companies, connecting the funnel with external channels across Search, Social, e-mail and more.
However, to reach audiences on these channels, brands now have to produce images, videos, podcasts and more. For companies targeting multiple language audiences, all of this content needs translation and this raises some unique challenges.
Who needs multimedia translation?
Any company operating in multiple language markets probably needs multimedia translation to some extent. These days, it is difficult to run any kind of marketing strategy without producing content in multiple media formats.
Even a relatively simple strategy will include the following formats:
- Web content
- Blog posts
- Data visualisations
- eLearning content
- Quizzes & surveys
The list grows longer all the time and you could add VR/AR experiences as well as a range of other formats. Either way, companies using multimedia channels like social platforms to reach their audiences need a comprehensive translation strategy.
What you need to know about translating multimedia content
Given the range of content types a multimedia translation strategy can include, it is easier to make sense of things when grouped together.
- Website: Translating a website involves a lot more work than people realise: domain structures, web coding, multilingual SEO, content localisation and more.
- Images: Any text with images requires translation but you may also need to adapt the visual content in images for specific audiences.
- Video: The most common translation methods include captions, subtitles and voiceovers – but the content within the footage may also require adapting for specific audiences.
- Audio content: This can involve recording audio in each language, translating transcripts or, potentially incorporating footage with subtitles or voiceovers.
- Interactive content: Typically, the most complex content to translate, this can require a mix of translation and localisation approaches or strategies.
Each type of translation project involves many factors to consider. For example, with video translation, you have to weigh up the pros and cons of captions, subtitles and voiceovers while considering audience expectation and needs, in order to choose the best translation method – or combination of methods.
You will also find translation alone often isn’t enough to make multimedia content formats suitable for different language markets, especially when significant cultural factors are involved.
The role of multimedia localisation services
Localisation expands beyond translation to consider the needs and expectations of local audiences. For the sake of examples, let’s consider the scenario where a company is required to release a mobile app in multiple language markets. Simply translating the text in the mobile app wouldn’t be enough to deliver a quality experience to each target audience.
These are the following aspects that would also need to be considered:
- Local laws and regulations
- Language detection/selection
- UI design (allowing for text expansion with translated text)
- Symbolism – local interpretation of icons, colours, etc.
- Formatting currencies, dates and other numerical formats
- Localising app listing for marketplaces
To really make an impact with each audience, an analysis of the content within your existing content would also need to be carried out. For example, if the selected images include images of people, this would require their localisation to feature local people that each audience can relate to.
Likewise, if your content depicts scenarios – like activities, family life, social occasions, etc. – then it helps to showcase local culture. For example, wintery Christmas campaigns make little sense for audiences in countries where the holiday isn’t widely celebrated during the winter season or celebrated at all.
This is the level of detail you have to consider when adapting content for different language markets for multimedia localisation.
Does your content strategy need multimedia localisation services?
If language barriers are getting in the way of your multimedia content strategy, it might be time to rethink your translation process. Contact our multimedia localisation experts today to enquire about our services and to discuss how our experienced team can you help make the right translation decisions for your multimedia content.