The Different Types of Localization You Should Know
Localization is far more than a trend or a buzzword. It is an essential strategy that allows you to customize the content you provide based on the unique needs of your target market, their location, target language, and other important elements determined by geography and culture. By utilizing the right localization strategies, you can increase user appreciation of and connection to your brand, helping to set you up for success.
As you plan to localize your content, apps, and more, look at these critical types of localization and how they can impact your ability to connect with your target market.
1. Website Localization
Your website is, in effect, your digital storefront. Users who visit your website check out your brand and what it offers. They will evaluate the images you choose, the content you share, and the information provided to determine whether they want to choose to connect with your brand. Localizing your website is about more than just ensuring that your website is translated into suitable languages! If you wish to have a global website that is appealing to all visitors, check your images, navigation, and even your image and alt tags. With exemplary localization efforts, you can often go further toward creating a great online experience for all your customers.
2. Product Information Localization
Different users, including those in geographic regions or from different backgrounds, may use your products for other things or in different ways. They may also connect differently with the images you use as part of your product descriptions or the instructions you provide for product use. If you want to draw in members of a broader target market, it is crucial to localize those descriptions so that your users can take a closer look at how those products will be genuinely beneficial to them. You may need to:
- Translate instruction manuals
- Check your alt text and image descriptions for translations
- Offer tech support in your target market’s preferred language
- Change images for various geographic regions, including ensuring that the people portrayed in those images fit norms for those areas
If customers need to learn what your product offers or why they should choose it, they may not connect with it as deeply, making them less likely to choose your brand when purchasing. On the other hand, localized product descriptions and information can make that product stand out to the broader members of your target market.
3. Multimedia Localization
Multimedia has become an increasingly popular marketing strategy. Podcasts have risen substantially in popularity over the past 15 years. Video content remains a necessary standard, with around 91% of businesses using some type of content as part of their marketing strategy. While those multimedia tools are a great way to reach out to your target market, they are only effective if they are accessible to your target market.
Suppose, for example, that you record your content primarily in English. Worldwide, more than 15% of people speak English. However, for most of them, it is a second rather than the primary language. Furthermore, that may exclude a high percentage of the world’s population. Around 5% of the world’s population speaks Spanish, and Mandarin has about 1.1 billion speakers across the globe. Translating your content into multiple languages improves your ability to reach a more significant percentage of the population. You may want to consider the following:
- Offering translated content or content specific to the different languages spoken by your target market
- Providing high-quality subtitles
- Designing multimedia content for different languages and cultures
Keep in mind that multimedia localization is not just about language but also, in many cases, about the culture of your target market. You want to ensure that your content speaks to your target market’s understanding of the world rather than presenting a cultural experience centered on your company’s country of origin. Consider the food offered to toddler Riley from Disney’s movie Inside Out as a small example. In the American version of the film, Riley is presented with broccoli. On the other hand, Japanese children tend not to be disgusted by broccoli, which means that green peppers are substituted instead. That small change immensely impacts the film’s audience—and equally, small changes can significantly impact your audience’s perception of and reaction to your brand.
4. User Experience Localization
When users connect with your content, including your apps and programs, you want them to have a localized experience that feels comfortable for them. That may mean:
- Updating currencies, dates, and times used in the app or software to the preferred ones of the user
- Offering graphics that fit with the user’s perceptions and needs
- Using a user interface that fits the unique needs of the user’s location, culture, or language
All too often, “localized” apps and software are simply translated versions of the initial language. For customers in underrepresented areas, in particular, that may mean content they need help to connect with and fit their needs. Accurate user experience localization means creating an experience optimized for all users and customized based on where they are and the factors that play into their demands.
5. Marketing Localization
In addition to your other content, you want to ensure that your marketing content is localized for the users who connect with your brand. Localized marketing content can affect how users connect with your brand and experience your marketing; it is more than just translating your marketing content.
- Understanding the buyer’s journey in different regions and areas: What steps will your buyers need to go through to make purchasing decisions in other areas? You want your marketing content to reflect those needs based on localized trends.
- Looking at users’ pain points: Why should users use your product? What do you have to offer that is of benefit to them? Users’ pain points may differ based on where they are in the world and the specific challenges they are likely to face.
- Evaluating users’ cultures: You want to create marketing materials that consider users’ cultures and preferences. Ideally, you should design separate marketing content based on those user needs.
Localized marketing content is designed with all your customers’ needs in mind. Instead of focusing on your country of origin, it offers the range to go beyond those requirements and create marketing materials to reach users from the different backgrounds you want to target for your business.
Get the Help You Need with Your Localization Efforts
Localizing your brand is an ongoing process. You need localized content, design, and support to create new material, from updates to your app or website to new marketing content. We help our clients localize their content, from providing translation services to offering insight into how to update website design and more. Contact us today to learn more about our localization services and benefits to your brand.