Engaging in content marketing – namely, the process of nurturing an audience through content production and distribution – is a great strategy for increasing brand awareness and sales. But if you’re going to pursue opportunities in different geographical markets, then you’ll need to take things one step further and get into localized content marketing.
By localizing your content, you’ll be able to better communicate with potential customers in different local markets. After all, even though English may be the most spoken language worldwide, not everyone can read or speak it. If you produce material only in English, you can’t expect non-English users to learn English just to be able to read your insightful content.
Apart from that, pursuing localized content marketing helps create a user experience to which your local audience can relate. And with such familiarity, they may feel a sense of goodwill that incentivizes them to place orders with you!
Not sure how to get started with localized content marketing? Then keep reading as we share what it is, how your business can benefit from it, and a five-step guide for implementing a localized content marketing strategy for your business.
How can localized content marketing help your business?
Localization refers to the process of adapting your products, services, and content to meet the geographical and cultural context of a market. It works in tandem with translation and transcreation to create a user experience that caters to a diverse global audience.
When applied to content marketing, localization may involve:
- Translating the contents of your blog posts into different languages.
- Adjusting your website’s user interface to accommodate the displaying of text in certain languages from right to left (as is the case for Arabic), instead of the typical left-to-right approach.
- Customizing your website’s images to appeal to the local market, especially if such images contain text.
As your business grows, so will your market reach. However, such growth might not be limited to just within your home country, or even one continent – it might span beyond that! To truly capture the hearts and minds of your new audiences, your digital marketing campaigns will need to speak their language, along with its unique cultural nuances. And when you’ve achieved this, your business stands to:
- Overcome language barriers to win favor from international markets.
- Improve the customer experience with website interfaces tailored to the local context.
- Increase brand loyalty as customers feel that you really “get” them.
- Boost search traffic from international searchers, as search engines rank your localized content higher in the search results.
- Beat the competition, which may still be lagging in their content localization efforts (especially if they dismiss localization as being too complex and time-consuming, and hence not worth doing.)
What does all this translate to? More revenue and more sales – but only if you’ve done localized content marketing right. And in this regard, there are many challenges…
What are the challenges associated with localized content?
Maintaining the quality of your localized content
The more content you plan on localizing, the more room for error you potentially introduce into the process. This is especially if you need to localize your content for multiple languages and/or target markets. Any localization mistakes can stick out like a sore thumb and be spotted (and publicized) by astute Internet users right away, and you definitely don’t want that!
To keep the quality of your localized content high, be selective in your localization efforts. Prioritize the localization of more relevant content pieces for a start, and to only a few specific languages. You can always scale up your pace of localization later.
Ensuring the accuracy of your localized content
Bear in mind nuances in language, culture, and context when localizing content. Take how certain words in the English language are spelled differently in the American and British contexts, for instance. Accurate localization of your English content will hence require using the accepted spelling of words for both audiences, such as “favourite” for British readers but “favorite” for American ones.
Such localization tweaks can be subtle, but they blend into the background to foster a seamless user experience. If your content appears as if it had been created by native language speakers and writers in that market, then you’ve done a good job.
Managing length discrepancies in localized content
What may take 10 words to explain in one language may take more or fewer words in another. This can cause differences in the length of articles or pages, which can be a problem if you’ve optimized the original content for search engine traffic.
For example, you may have prepared a decently long blog post of 1,200 words in English. However, when you localize that blog post into a different language, you find that your blog post is now significantly shorter. In this case, you might need to lengthen your localized blog post, while ensuring that it still sufficiently satisfies search intent.
Alternatively, what if the localized text in a call to action button becomes exceedingly long? Your button could then jut out in an unsightly manner! This is also something you’ll need to consider when localizing website content.
5 steps for applying a localized content marketing strategy to your website
1. Do your research
First off, you need to understand your target audience, as your findings will influence your localization strategy later on. So conduct in-depth market research to learn:
- What languages do people in your target audience speak? What are the cultural nuances?
- What are such people’s preferences and biases?
- How much purchasing power do they have?
- How do they perceive your product (assuming they are aware of it)?
- What do they think of competing products or solutions?
You’ll also need to know how to best market to your audience. This includes analyzing which mobile apps are popular in that country, and exploring how you can use them to your advantage. As an example, most of the Western world uses Twitter for microblogging, but if you’re expanding into the Chinese market, then get ready to familiarize yourself with the Weibo social media platform instead.
If you don’t have the expertise to conduct such market research by yourself, then consider engaging a local expert who can fill you in on everything you need to know about your target audience.
2. Translate all aspects of your website content
Such content includes your website copy, images, design – everything that contains text, basically. Manually translating every single word into multiple languages can be quite a hassle, but you can speed up the process by using a website localization tool (such as Weglot – more on this later!)
The right website localization tool will allow you to:
- Translate large volumes of text with accuracy and at scale.
- Facilitate team collaboration with your staff or external proofreaders and translators.
- Manage all your translations in one place, for a smoother workflow.
At the same time, look into installing a language switcher on your website to help visitors access translated content conveniently. Doing so is especially beneficial for locations whose people speak multiple languages – such as Canada, where English and French are commonly spoken. It’s the little details like these that will help your localized website stand out.
3. Refine your translations to accommodate nuances and jargon
After translating your text, refine your translations to incorporate cultural nuances, jargon, and colloquial differences. This is where using a website localization tool that helps you easily rope in local experts to review your translations is important.
When refining your translations, don’t forget that cultural differences don’t just apply between different countries. Regions, states, or even certain towns within a state can sometimes have their own unique slang and dialects!
4. Apply multilingual search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to your content
Search engines need to be able to recognize your localized content as such for your content to rank well in international searches. Hence, check that your localized content adheres to the search intent of users in your target locations. After all, the way that searchers use keywords can vary among locations, even if they’re talking about the same product or brand.
For instance, when American speakers talk about “pants,” they’re typically talking about long outer clothing that covers both legs. However, when British speakers talk about “pants,” they might actually be referring to what Americans know as underwear! (And they refer to the long outer clothing as “trousers” instead.)
Thus, if you’re an American clothing retailer entering the United Kingdom market, take care to adjust the keywords for your underwear product pages accordingly. Otherwise, you might get a lot of confused Brits wondering why your page in the search results for “pants” features trousers when they’re actually looking for undergarments.
Apart from localizing existing content, look to create fresh new content tailored to the foreign market you’re targeting. Performing keyword research can help uncover local keywords worth producing content for.
5. Test, measure, get feedback and improve
As with any initiative to improve your website, you’ll need to test the performance of your localized website to see what’s working and what still needs work.
Consider implementing surveys to collect user feedback on their experience with your website, or using heatmaps to track how users interact with your web pages. You can also monitor data such as:
- Page rankings in the search results pages.
- Number of page views.
- Time spent on page.
- User demographics.
And after obtaining feedback on your localization efforts, be sure to act on your findings! Through this continuous refinement process, you’ll help your business attain success in the global market much quicker.
Enhance your localized content marketing efforts with Weglot
Once you’ve conducted your research into your new market (as per step one) and are ready to translate your website content (as per step two), you’ll need a suitable website localization tool to kick-start the translation process. And Weglot can help with that!
Weglot is compatible with all leading website platforms, including WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace. Once you’ve integrated Weglot with your website and stated your destination languages, Weglot uses a proprietary mix of machine-learning languages to translate your website text with a high degree of accuracy.
With this first pass of machine translation complete, you can bring in professional translators to adjust the translations to perfection. Weglot is built for effortless team collaboration, allowing you to invite your preferred translation agency to your localization project or engage translators from within the Weglot dashboard.
Weglot also includes a number of other tools for executing a comprehensive localization strategy, such as:
- Media translation – namely, the translation of images and their accompanying alt text.
- Implementation of hreflang tags for multilingual SEO.
- Visitor language detection to automatically redirect visitors to the appropriate language version of your content based on their browser language.
More than 60,000 websites, including those belonging to global brands such as Nikon and IBM, are already using Weglot to localize their content.
Set up your localized content marketing strategy for success with Weglot
Content localization isn’t something that you improvise as you go along – or worse, that you undertake once and forget about:
- It calls for a detailed audit of your current content assets and what you’ll need to do to tailor them – and your marketing messages – for your geographical markets.
- It will involve translating your content with accuracy and precision, polishing such translations to cater to cultural nuances, and also displaying the localized content in an appropriate web layout.
- Finally, it requires constant evaluation to ensure your content maintains its effectiveness in educating and converting readers.
All this can sound intimidating, but we’re confident that following the five steps we’ve outlined above will help you get your localized content marketing strategy off the ground. Adopting a complete website localization tool like Weglot can also simplify the localization process tremendously.
With no code needed to set Weglot up, you can start translating your content in minutes – and you can get started right now by signing up for free here.