What is content localization? How to get started

content localization

Content serves as a powerful tool for businesses, organizations, and individuals to reach a global audience. However, in the pursuit of this global reach, one crucial aspect often remains overlooked: content localization.

In this article, we discuss the nuances of content localization, exploring the numerous benefits it offers to businesses and key considerations involved in a successful strategy.


What is content localization? 

Content localization is the process of adapting content to a specific target audience or market, taking into account their language, culture, preferences, and other local factors. The goal in localizing content is to make it more relevant, relatable, and culturally appropriate to a particular group of people, thereby improving its effectiveness and resonance in that market.

What does it apply to?

The localization of content can be applied to a wide range of content, including:

In addition to these specific types of content, content localization can also be applied to a variety of other materials, such as blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, product packaging, signage, and videos.

Basically, any type of content that is intended to be consumed by a global audience should be localized to ensure that it is relevant and engaging to that audience.

Why it’s important to localize content

When businesses localize their content, they show potential customers in new markets that they are serious about expanding into those markets and that they are committed to serving those customers. This can help to increase brand awareness and recognition, which can lead to more sales and revenue.

Localized content can help businesses increase sales and revenue by making it easier for customers in new markets to find and purchase their products and services. Customers are more likely to buy products and services from companies that provide information about those products and services in their own language.

A 2020 report called “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy – B2C” surveyed over 8,000 consumers in 29 countries and found that 65% of consumers prefer content in their native language, while 40% would not buy a product or service that is not available in their language.

Businesses that localize their content show that they are committed to global citizenship. This can help to enhance their global reputation and make them more attractive to potential partners and investors. Localization also ensures that the brand maintains a consistent image and message across different markets, which is vital for building brand trust and recognition.

How to build a content localization strategy

Building a content localization strategy is essential for effectively reaching and engaging with diverse international or regional audiences. Consider the following as your starting steps:

Define your goals and objectives

What do you want to achieve with your content localization strategy? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales in new markets? Once you know your goals, you can tailor your strategy accordingly.

Create a localization budget

Content localization can be expensive, so it is important to create a budget that reflects your goals and needs. Consider the costs of translation, editing, and design.

Develop a localization process

Your localization process should be efficient and scalable. It should include steps for translation, editing, review, and publishing.

Research your target audience

Who are you trying to reach with your localized content? What are their needs and preferences? What languages do they speak? Once you understand your target audience, you can create content that is relevant and engaging to them.

Build your localization team or find a translation partner

Your localization team will be responsible for translating, editing, reviewing, and publishing your localized content. It is important to bring together professionals that have the skills and experience necessary to produce high-quality localized content. If you are not able to translate your content in-house, you will need to find a translation partner.

Develop a style guide and glossary

Create a style guide and a glossary that establishes consistent terminology, tone, and style for localized content. This helps maintain brand consistency and message clarity.

Localize SEO

Adapt your SEO strategy to each target market, including keyword research and optimization for local search engines. You will also need to consider multilingual URLs and subdomains, geotargeting, local link building, and schema markup implementation, among others.

Choose the right marketing channels

Where will you distribute your localized content? Will you use your website, social media, email marketing, or a combination of channels? Choose the channels that are most likely to reach your target audience.

Monitor and measure your results

It is important to track the results of your content localization strategy so that you can see what is working and what is not. Use analytics tools to track website traffic, social media engagement, and lead generation.

Useful tools for content localization

Content localization tools are software applications that help businesses and organizations localize their content for different languages and cultures. These tools can automate and streamline the localization process, making it faster and more efficient.

Some options to consider include:

  • Translation Management Systems (TMS) like POEditor help manage the translation process, including assigning tasks to translators, tracking progress, and storing translated content. They often include features like translation memory and terminology management.
  • Machine translation (MT) tools may not be not a replacement for human translation, but they can assist by providing initial translations that can be reviewed and edited by human translators.
  • Terminology management tools allow you to maintain a consistent glossary of terms across your content, ensuring that key terms are translated consistently in all materials.
  • Version control systems ensure that different versions of your content are correctly managed and can be easily tracked.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS) with localization capabilities can help you manage and deploy localized content seamlessly.
  • SEO and keyword research tools assist in researching and optimizing keywords for local search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your content’s visibility in regional search results.
  • Localization testing tools assist in verifying the functionality and linguistic correctness of localized content within the context of an application or website.
  • Data analytics and performance monitoring tools help track the performance of localized content, providing insights into how well it’s resonating with your target audience.

The specific tools you need will depend on the nature of your content, your target markets, and your localization strategy. It’s essential to assess your project’s requirements and select the right combination of tools to streamline the localization process effectively.

Localize your content with POEditor

Cloud-based translation management system POEditor can help with content localization in a number of ways. It offers integration with content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, version control systems, and development environments. This makes it easy to incorporate the platform into your existing workflow.

The platform supports more than 20 file formats commonly used in localization. As such, businesses can use POEditor to localize website content, game content, iOS and Android apps, and all sorts of software products.

Other features that can be helpful for content localization include glossary management, Translation Memory, proofreading tools, and QA checks.

Overall, POEditor can help businesses streamline their localization process and produce high-quality localized content by streamlining translation management, collaboration, and terminology consistency.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, content localization is an endeavor that demands expertise, cultural acumen, and a strategic mindset. It’s a strategic investment that can pay off handsomely for businesses that want to reach a global audience, improve their brand awareness, customer engagement, sales, and reputation.

The choice of technology and tools can significantly impact the efficiency and quality of the localization process. Leveraging the right translation and content management tools is indispensable.