What Are the Most Effective Content Localization Strategies

What is Content Localization?

How do you evoke curiosity about the 686-minute-long Lord of the Rings movie series in an impatient movie buff who just wants you to cut to the chase?
You tell him the following six words.
"Group spends nine hours returning the jewelry." Now that's content localization, dear readers.
Content localization is transcreating content into something that your target audience can easily understand and relate to.

List of Highly Effective Content Localization Strategies

1. Give Some Context

While transforming content for a specific audience, give some context to it for better understanding. The context can be of anything — cultural, political, or social.
Let's take the aforesaid 'Lord of the Rings' example. The explanation sheds some light and helps you understand what content localization is.
But the same example may not apply to a market like North Korea, where the audience has little to no understanding, not just about movies but the rest of the world.
One can also use circumstances, famous sayings, and statements to ensure that the target audience understands the content in the right context.
Take a look at Apple's iPad mini ad on their China website. From descriptions to on-screen mockups, they used simplified Chinese everywhere to hold on to the audience.

2. Localize Website Elements

The content of your website not only refers to the written one. Localization also applies to other elements such as images, videos, payment gateways, offers, etc.
Let's take Amazon, for example. In countries like India, Amazon makes sure that it shows the customers that they can buy products using the Cash on Delivery option.
It also uses India's most preferred payment gateways for checkouts instead of PayPal, a small player in India. For example, India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform has 530 million active users as of July 2021. Amazon India has UPI as one of its payment methods.
Amazon also localizes other elements of its site. For example, to promote Alexa in Australia, it says, "Alexa, play Delta Goodrem songs."
Not Ed Sheeran, not Taylor Swift, but Delta Goodrem.

3. Do Not Recreate Everything

Transcreation does not mean that you should recreate every element of a website.
Sit back, relax and take a closer look at the components of a website before transcreating anything. Find the ones that make the same impact on different sets of audiences.
If the similarities are in abundance, you need not recreate everything from scratch. For example, the average USA and UK citizens consider themselves above the government.
The American custom — Prom — is also in Wales and Northern Ireland besides England. Though it is not a big market in England as in the USA, you can expect an average British citizen to have a fair understanding of what a prom is. So if your content has a reference about prom or talks entirely about it, you need not recreate everything.

4. Use Localized Keywords

Keywords are essential for Local SEO. But the keywords that work best in one country or a region may not give the same result in another area.
Different countries and social groups use different words to describe the same thing. Sometimes, one word implies different meanings to two groups.
For example, take the word 'Pop.' The term also denotes Father for an average American. In some parts, Pop also refers to grandpa. But in Britain, people use the word Pop in place of the act 'Pawning.'
It all boils down to understanding the word choices of a specific territory's people while searching online. A mere translation of a well-performing keyword to another language may become a total disaster.
Three Useful Keyword Tools:

For Example: You can change the location and language inside the keyword planner to find the top-performing keyword easily.

5. Collaborate With Local Writers

Transcreation is a fine blend of translation and cultural infusion. To make the target market understand your content and consume it in the right context, you need to put yourself in their shoes.
To make the target audience hooked on your content, join hands with local experts who feel the pulse of them.
Native linguistic experts know the local terms, street colloquialisms, slang, and the date and measure formats.
For example, 81% of the world uses KPH (kilometers per hour) as the unit of speed instead of MPH, which the US, the UK, and 15 other countries use. If you write for the South Korean market and use MPH in place of KPH, the readers will undoubtedly be taken aback.
For example, take a look at this travel site, rome2rio displaying the distance in km when searching for Seoul.
The same applies to currency, measurement, pressure, electricity, and other units alike.
Tools and Websites for Content Localization:

6. Be Sensitive About Cultural Nuances

From multinational to national companies, many had to face the wrath of various social groups for ignoring linguistic nuances and making culturally insensitive content.
Some companies got mocked by the target audience for doing ridiculous translations.
Take the case of Electrolux, for example. The Swedish home appliance manufacturer had an egg on its face in the 1970s for coming up with a slogan that sounded hilarious for the US public.
Here is what happened: Electrolux used the slogan "Nothing sucks like Electrolux" for its vacuum mobile in the UK. The Americans found the slogan extremely funny since the verb 'sucks' has a secondary meaning (very bad).
Though Electrolux marketed the product only in the UK using the slogan, marketers still point out the instance as a blunder.

7. Create Unique Social Media Profiles for Each Country

Social media localization is a must for companies that want a strong foothold in their target countries.
Localized social media handles will bring the customers closer to your business. For example, the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature has dedicated Twitter pages in the UK, Canada, India, and more.

Creating separate social media profiles for different countries help entities in two ways. Firstly, it enables them to curate content relevant to the native audience. Secondly, it dramatically improves their online visibility. They can also repurpose content appropriate for more than one country or group.
This strategy also works great for online stores. Take a look at Goodhousekeeping's UK Instagram page. The profile lets them post content about traditional British dishes, price items on the British pound sterling, etc.

Importance of Creating Localized Content

1. To Forge Connections

Building brand connection is critical for any business for its longevity. Earning a loyal fan following and engagement from them is easier said than done.
One of the easiest ways to forge a connection between customers and a brand is by speaking their language. Bear in mind that humans are inherently tribalistic. Now, do not take the word tribalistic in a negative connotation.
When you speak in someone's language, they generally show a little loyalty to you.
If your content is in harmony with a target audience's tastes and preferences, they will not take a long time associating themselves with you.
Localization empowers brands to express and behave akin to a target group. While translation helps you connect with a target group at a basic level, transcreation allows you to connect on a deeper level.

2. To Deliver the Right Message

The ultimate goal of communication is to deliver a message. What's the point in explaining science to a kid through a boring classroom lecture in boilerplate language?
Hands-on experience with scientific models, interactive sessions, relatable everyday examples, and plays will teach them science more than what a blackboard can do.
Content localization enables brands to communicate with their customers correctly.
Let's see Volkswagen's India and United Kingdom websites. Their India page uses MRP (Maximum Retail Price) as a list price. Their UK page uses RRP (Recommended Retail Price) as the list price.
Here is a screenshot from Volkswagen UK website - displaying price with RRP.
This is just a basic example. Content localization goes deeper than the example above.

3. To Make it Feel Authentic

Remember the phrase "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"? That is what content localization is all about.
To illustrate the point, let's look at how Star Sports took content localization to a whole new level through the regionalization of its channels in India.
Unlike brands such as KFC and McDonalds, which are yet to understand that India is home to more than 19,500 languages, Star Sports capitalized on the space very well.
Here is what Star and Disney President Gurjeev Singh Kapoor have to say. "The south markets have been one of the biggest drivers for us, primarily due to their strong affinity for their local language. The penetration of Star Sports 1 Tamil is close to 90%".

Star Sports also enjoys phenomenal growth in Andhra Pradesh, another South Indian State, with 80% penetration in the Telugu language.

4. To Satisfy the Customers

Customer satisfaction starts with the feeling of being welcomed. If the content seems too alien to a particular audience, they will not be ready to interact with the business.
By localizing content, a business improves the platform's usability where the content is hosted. It is a basic understanding that one must use a platform to experience something.
For example, in 2015, Alibaba launched its Indonesian service with a localized approach. It curated the products relevant to Indonesian customers and introduced the Indonesian language in customer and payment services.
It partnered with Doku, a trusted Indonesian payments technology company, to improve its trust score. The localization move did enhance customer satisfaction for Alibaba in the Indonesian market.

5. To Create More Engagement

Engagement acts as a magnet for businesses. To understand the power of engagement, let's see an everyday example.
If you have paid enough attention to many contemporary online stores, you might have seen pop-ups telling you how many have bought or seen a product. This feature is pretty common in global marketplaces such as Etsy.
Since people view engagement as social proof for quality, your website needs it. Content localization can be a key driver of engagement if you play the cards right.
Take a look at how Coca-Cola Mexico creates engagement by localizing its content.
It uses region-specific hashtags, collaborates with local creators, and shares culturally-relevant content.

6. To Get Rapid Growth

Some brands that are successful in one country have become non-starters in another. Their ignorance is to be blamed for that.
Adapting to a new country and its culture is a must for any company to make it big in the new land. Take Royal Enfield's Argentina venture, for example.
The Chennai-headquartered Indian motorcycle manufacturing company entered the Latin American country in 2018.
If you look at the company's Argentina Instagram page, you will understand how they use localized content and hashtags to attract a fan base.

6 Content Creation Tips for Local Search Results

1. Use Local Business Schema Markup

Schema markup is a code that makes crawling and retrieving information easy for search engines.
Schema markups aid local businesses in multiple ways. The most obvious way is the rich snippets.
Rich snippets are users' additional data beneath a Google SERP listing. The additional data includes business hours, reviews, bookings, ratings, price range, etc.
For example, Have a look at this Houston plumbing company displaying business hours, address, phone number and more.
Having such data beneath your search engine listing will improve Click-through Rate. The rich data will make your listing more appealing to users.

2. Create Multiple Location Pages

This tip works great if your local business has more than one service area. Businesses such as movers and HVAC services can make use of this tip.
Create a dedicated page for each location you serve. Optimize the page's content for the specific location. Do not create generic content and replace the area name for each page. Create authentic content for each page.
If you want to attract the users who search for "Dentists in Fort Worth," you should optimize the page for the Fort Worth audience.
Take a look at this website using multiple pages for different locations in Austin.

3. Use Local Keywords in FAQ Section

Your website's FAQ section is a perfect place to slip in some local keywords for better visibility in local searches. FAQ section not only helps you in ranking but also builds trust.
For Example, Take a look at this landscaping company using Houston Keywords on their FAQs.
Let's say you are a landscape service provider and often face a question like, "What landscape services are popular this year?"
You can use the opportunity and give a detailed answer with relevant keywords.
For example, a response like, "In our observation, while places like Houston and Dallas prefer French drain installation, people of Arlington and Fort Worth seem to have a liking for xeriscaping, multi-level plinths, and cobblestone walkways.
Interestingly, we started getting more work orders for Mexican river rock landscaping from Corpus Christi and its suburbs."

4. Ensure NAP Consistency

Have a consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) across your local listings, Google My Business Page, website footer for better visibility in local searches.
You should also place the NAP details on your website footer and about us page as a local business. Make sure the details exactly match your online listings. Any inconsistency will be frowned upon by search engines.
If you find a mismatch, reach out to the particular directory, claim your listing and correct the mistake.
Search engines use your NAP and check its accuracy by matching it with other online listings to determine its legitimacy. NAP and its consistency across platforms are on-page and citation signals for search engines.
For Example, take a look at this NAP consistency from a legal firm in San Diego.

5. Create Area-specific Content

Say that you are an interstate moving company. Based on popular moving-related queries, you can create content that specifically targets the searchers.
For example, "Moving from San Francisco to San Diego" is famous on Google search. You can create a blog post written explicitly around this long-tail keyword.
Take a look at this post specifically explaining “Moving from San Francisco to San Diego”
.A post titled "Things to keep in mind while moving from San Francisco to San Diego" will act as a great lead magnet.

6. Create Area Guides

Guides can bring a lot of traffic to your website if you truly invest some time in it.
Let's take the landscaping service provider as an example once again. Apart from writing posts about landscaping, you can also write about local attractions with the best landscaping design.
Take a look at this Iconic Life article. They have rated a few hotels based on their landscape design. Pieces like this function as a traffic driver and also allow you to collaborate with complementary businesses.
Writing about the local weather, food, culture, nightlife, education, and the like provides excellent value for those who recently moved to the city.
Think from a city newbie's point of view. The person may be interested in a whole lot of things. Besides sightseeing and exploring the city, they are likely interested in renovating their home.

Key Takeaways

  • Before localizing your content, understand the target market's cultural, political, and social elements.
  • Use localized keywords. Mindless translation of keywords may backfire.
  • Collaborate with local language experts to tap into a market.
  • Be aware of the target group's cultural sensitivities, values, sentiments, and affiliations.
  • Create dedicated social media profiles for different countries.
  • Use your website's FAQ to add some local keywords.
  • Create area-specific content that provides real value to the readers.
  • Keep your business NAP consistent across directories.
  • Use Local Business Schema Markup to generate rich snippets during local search results.
  • Create multiple location pages to improve your local online visibility
  • Take currency, measurement, mass, pressure, electricity, and other units of the target location into consideration while localizing content.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.