How to Translate Visual Marketing Content

How to Translate Visual Marketing Content

shutterstock_164665187Visual content has become a vital part of content marketing strategy. Almost 50% of the brain is involved in visual processing and three quarters of all our sensory receptors are in our eyes. We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10th of a second. All of which means that, if you localize your visual content for different markets, your readers will be only that far from getting your message.

Content that Crosses Borders

Visitors to your website basically scan the information through visuals and they appreciate whatever helps them do it quickly. When you adapt your content to suit a specific market, translating the text is not enough. Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. Ads in color are read 42% more than black and white ads. Also, visual and written content are highly complementary. Visual aids improve readership and comprehension by a great extent, the same way that a simple caption is many times required to tell a visual story more effectively.

However, if you think that all colors, images, pictures, logos and designs are going to be equally effective everywhere, better think again.

Visual Marketing Content Translation: A Success Story

Did you know that if a language has only two color words they will always be white and black; if it has five they will always be white, black, red, green and yellow? Can you guess why? Correct! Color perception is shaped by a universal human instinct. But there are also fads and fashions, local meanings, and cultural variations. What seems to be working just fine in one place, loses all relevance in another. Worse, it may be insulting, horrifying, or embarrassing. The Japanese interpret red as anger or danger whereas the Chinese relate it to joy and festivities. Why not turning the knowledge about all those differences in your favor?

Take the example of McDonalds. They are creating content that fits all audiences precisely because they understand that “one size doesn’t fit all”. The same slogan, “I’m lovin’ it,” is used globally. Nevertheless, each website adapts to showcase local flavor. On the Swiss site the slogan is accompanied by an image of a woman listening to music alone, a quite homely scene in muted blue and white. On the more colorful Indian site, the image is a family in the supermarket. There are also more interactive elements in comparison with the minimalist European design.

The thing is, to do that you may need native-speaking translators, ideally based in the target country.

Simplify Translation Management

Localization of visual marketing content can be a time-consuming task. Using translation software reduces the strain and eases the adjustment to a more complex workflow. More importantly, it allows you to employ all the resources you need while being able to scale up and down the project as needed.

Include providers with experience of the target audience and marketing translations, but who are also familiar with your brand. If possible, the best option is to design a different website for each country, which as a bonus will boost your search engine rankings.

About Carlos Garcia-Arista

I am a native Spanish translator based in Barcelona, Spain. I have degrees in journalism and Spanish philology. I also work as a freelance writer.

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