Developing a marketing plan to stand out from the competition can be challenging in the crowded online business landscape. When it comes to international growth, whether you’re just starting out as a brand new company or have an established brand identity, customers need to connect with your content during all stages of their content journey. Simple translation of existing content as a quick fix, to blanket a wide range of customers, isn’t enough to gain long-term brand loyalty or build lasting relationships. To connect with customers on a deeper level, your organization should develop a localized content program.
What is localized content?
Localized content is written and designed specifically for your audience. It matches your customer’s expectations; it feels like what they’re experiencing with your company and brand fits into their existing world. By aligning content to customer-specific market conditions, you’re lowering the barrier to their understanding of your products and services – instantly improving the interactions they have with your business.
For example, when a customer visits your website, you want to be sure it’s properly translated using words and phrases native to their language and culture. It must make sense in terms of words, phrases, and images, and consider the cultural, political, and legal considerations and sensitivities of the audience. Common vernacular, photos, colors, and pictures differ around the globe; localized content reflects your readers’ circumstances and lowers the barrier to earning their trust and building your credibility.
Why localize it?
By developing unique, original content that resonates with your market, you’ll better connect with your customers and enhance their experience with your company — moving them to buy your products or services. It’s no secret that long-term relationships develop when you can build a connection with your customers through content that resonates with and positively impacts them. This positively impacts both relevance and revenue while concurrently reducing the risks associated with running an international business.
During which stage of the customer experience should content be localized?
Customers should experience localized content throughout all stages of their experience with your company or brand.
- Build the connection from brand awareness forward. Grab your customers’ attention using language, photos, or videos that feature local products and images.
- As they learn more about your business, offerings, and dive deeper into your business’s services and/or product offerings, continue to nurture them with relevant content that aligns with them — both linguistically and culturally.
- To convert them to paying customers and build ongoing, lasting relationships, be sure you’ve made it easy to buy and pay. Even a small hiccup in the payment process could cause them to shop elsewhere — don’t assume they’ll jump over hurdles to close the deal.
- Finally, be sure to thank your customers properly and continue post-purchase engagement and communication. Once you’ve started building a relationship with your customers, they’re the most likely audience to convert again, so support them and consider their individual needs and how their culture and language impact that.
How do you make localized content feel truly unique?
There are many aspects to content that should be localized to maximize engagement with your customers.
Comb over every element of your content to localize it for your customers’ political, socio-cultural, and technological environments, including:
- Words & phrases
- Images, videos, graphics & design elements
- Currency and payment options
- Dates, punctuation, symbols, phone numbers & addresses
When customers interact with your content, it should feel local — as if it was created in the market and country where they live.
Localization tips & tricks
Here are a few tricks to ensure you’re considering every component of your content for localization.
- Start with research — don’t make assumptions about your market
- Retrofit your content with local examples & sensibilities
- Assess and test your branding in various markets
- Ensure alignment with local rules, laws, and customs
- Prioritize custom content
By localizing content, you’re decreasing the barriers for new customers to meaningfully engage with your organization/brand while helping to create brand enthusiasts from existing customers, setting your business up for increased revenue and brand loyalty — a win-win.