Why It Matters by Carolina Pietoso
We constantly hear that the world is getting smaller thanks to technological advances. However, much as in the mythical Babel, we still speak thousands of different languages, creating a barrier that is hard to breach. And even when a mutual language is agreed upon, cultural differences weigh down the results of what is being said.
This is even more relevant when you work with brands that have implemented a global digital strategy. While communicating the same message may be effective, local content will generally offer you greater relevance and engagement. In this context, localization, and not only content, is king.
Consider these five points when determining if your content should be global, local or a combination of both.
1. Know Your Audience
Audiences are made of people, so consider them when developing your communication strategy. Learn everything you can about the relationship between these people and your client’s brand. This research should give you insights on what sort of content and interaction they expect or prefer, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
2. Localization vs. Translation
When using global content in a local strategy, a common mistake is to expect it to be exactly the same as the original. This sort of literal translation lacks the social and cultural adaptations that would make content interesting and more engaging in local markets. Hence, the importance of localizing content – a local flavor means the audience can better relate to what is being said.
3. Best of Both Worlds
A combination of global and local content can be more effective in reaching the local audience while at the same time keeping in touch with the global strategy of your client’s brand. To understand how much of your content should be local and how much should be global, you need refer to your audience and their expectations. In some cultures, only local content works, whereas in other cultures, a localized version of your global content might be accepted more easily.
4. Test Your Content
Find people to test your content on. You might think you know what they want, but you may be surprised by the results! Make a test run whenever possible, reach out to whoever is available. And don’t limit yourself to the office, as opinions from outside might make you change your mind about what’s the best content in each case.
5. Be Local in Any Case
Even if you are not involved in global strategies, remember to think global and act local. Discover the peculiarities of your own audience and learn to speak with them in their own language. Your company might be perceived differently by other audiences within your country, city and even within smaller groups. Don’t miss out on that by establishing a top-down communication approach.
Given the chance, would you go local or localize your global content?
Image credit: kjelljoran