When you are on holiday in another country, you are bound to run into cultural barriers. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the same happens when you are trying to expand your business into foreign markets.
Making sure your content is localised to your target audience is important, but how do you actually go about doing this? Here at Voicebooking we have got loads of experience with that. In this blog we will give you a step by step walkthrough regarding all the steps necessary when it comes to localising your content.
What are we localising?
While you might want to start localising all your content right away, you first need to take a critical look at exactly what content you need to localise. Because, it is not just about translating everything you got, there are way more angles of localization you should keep in mind.
First of all, cultural differences. Something as simple as the use of certain colours, might need to completely change. If we take the colour red, for example, you might relate the colour to a feeling of excitement. However, in some cultures it can be seen as the colour of mourning instead.
Maybe certain slang you are using could be interpreted completely differently by certain social circles. You might be surprised by how much of your content can be interpreted in a different way.
Also, legal differences. Different countries have different laws. Things like intellectual property and data management laws might be wildly different when comparing one country to another. And while losing goodwill due to some cultural insensitivity might be bad, getting sued over things like intellectual property is a lot worse.
And don’t forget about SEO differences. Not only do different markets require a different approach in the kind of keywords you want to target, they might even use entirely different search engines. Your number search rating on Google isn’t going to bring home the bacon when expanding into the Chinese market, for example.
How do I do this?
Now that you know what content you need to localise, how do you actually go about doing so? While there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to localising your content, there are definitely some guidelines to keep in mind.
A good first step is to take a good look at what market you are exactly localising your content for. You need to be very clear about who you want to reach with your content, so that you know exactly what kind of cultural background you need to keep in mind during your localization efforts.
The next step is to learn about these people you are localising your content for. And the best way to do this is often simply just by talking to them. Find somebody who is familiar with the daily life of the people in the market you are targeting. Consult with this person about every kind of content you want to push in this region. They’ll be able to point out any potential holes in your strategy and ensure you’re not making big mistakes.
Now it’s simply time to get to work. Use the insight you got about the other culture, and start localising that content. Make sure you select the exact content you deem to be most important in your efforts towards entering your market of choice.
And while keeping in mind the lessons you learned from the cultural insider, adapt your content to this new cultural context. Most important during this process is not simply selecting your best content, the content that works best for adapting into the other market.
Finally you might even consider having a professional come in to have a final look at it all. A first impression is everything, and it’s easy to miss things. You want to make sure the first published content is top notch. Here at Voicebooking we have heaps of experience if it comes to localization and would love to help you make sure your localization efforts are the best they can be.
Easier than you think
While localisation might sound very challenging, when you approach it in the right way it is actually very manageable. You just need to make sure you have a clear image of the content you want to localise, and who you are localising it for. But don’t forget to consult an actual Sicilian person when making content for the Sicilian market, or you might find an unwelcome surprise in your bed. 😉