In the past, creating global content was less complex than it is today. For the most part, all that was required was translating your content. Sure the messages may not have been perfect, but this approach was ‘good enough’. Such a passive approach is no longer sufficient.
Ambitious brands that wish to succeed on a global scale need to move beyond ‘just translation’ to consistently providing native brand experiences. Localizing global content is not just about the language. It’s about how your audience receives and reacts to the content. Does it resonate, or is there something about your message that is off-putting to the consumer? Brands need to take into account more than just words – things like tone of voice and choice of imagery matter too.
Below are four key elements of native brand experiences that will help make your global content strategy a success:
1. Customer Expectations
We live in an on-demand world. Consumers have short attention spans and according to research by Euromonitor are ‘… seeking convenience, greater choice, global availability and instant gratification’ from products and services. Consumers instinctively take the path of least resistance, so marketers need to make it as easy as possible for them to access the right content to proceed to purchase goods and services. Doing this will help you stand out in the crowd of ever-growing global competition.
Machine translation is probably the cheapest way to get your content into other languages, but the cheapest solution isn’t always the best solution. Anyone who has used Google Translate, understands that the translations provided are too literal, lack context, and are full of errors. Most errors are ‘simply’ unprofessional, many errors give the wrong message, and some errors even risk liability.
Organizations that are protective of their brand – and messaging associated with it – should take precautions to ensure that the context of their messages aren’t lost in translation. Cultural nuances, use of local dialects and phrases, and awareness of the ‘voice’ of specific demographics in a given market provide the context that makes or breaks the all-important connection with any language-specific audience.
3. Cultural Sensitivity
The last thing a brand wants to do is offend its customers. That’s why brands that are committed to becoming fluent in every language need to learn about the traditions, superstitions, and regulations that are important to the communities where they do business. For example, US companies doing business in China should know that the color white represents death, loss, and mourning in that country, or that the number 13 is lucky in Italy, if they want to better serve Italian customers.
Creating messages that resonate should be the goal of any good marketer. Understanding what drives buying behavior can be difficult when considering a single market. That problem is amplified for every market added. Messages that are considered clever in one country could be offensive in another. While it’s a tough balancing act to develop messages that resonate in each market you do business, doing so will maximize returns on your expansion investment.
Download our Whitepaper: Redefining How Brands Approach Global Content Creation and learn the importance of building native brand experiences with content that resonates with people in any language, all cultures, and every market – so that, at each touchpoint along their journey, customers feel like the brand speaks directly to them.