Have you ever been on a website that’s obviously translated from another market or another language? Awkward, right? The goal of content is to connect with your audience. If you speak the language of your target market, both literally and colloquially, it makes them feel included. If you treat your audience the same in every market, you’re missing out on an opportunity to speak to them directly and form a relationship. So put on your bunnyhug (if you’re in Saskatchewan) while the rest of us don our hoodies and let’s talk localized content.
Localized Content Builds Trust
Localized content is content written specifically for a geographic area or audience. It’s the process of adaptation that considers local culture to cater to a market. This localization can refer to a conversion that targets Canada rather than just North America. It can mean targeting a region, targeting a province, or targeting a city.
If you’re going to put in the effort to research your target market & carefully craft your content, go the extra mile to localize. That way, regardless of where your audience lives, they’re getting a uniform version of your company. This is important for both branding and SEO. A consistent voice across your platform means the same experience for a customer in Toronto and a customer in Rome.
Think Global, Act Local
If you’re a company that does international business, localized content should be a priority. A straight translation from say, English to Arabic, can be problematic. Some words may not have a translation or you could use words or phrases that are offensive in another culture. Even images that work in one area may have a different connotation in another.
It’s important not to offend a foreign audience, but it’s also important to understand the local vibe. Using language, images, and references known by the community shows you’re in touch with your consumers. Done right, the customer of a Toronto-based website will visit the site in France and think the company is French. Taking the time to localize content builds trust and confidence in your brand.
Here are some reasons you may want to hire a professional to localize your content:
- Colour can have different meanings in different cultures
- Images of certain body parts or depictions of personal interactions may not translate well to another culture
- Icons may not be universally understood
- An animal or symbol can have different implications across the world
Pop, Soda, or Soft Drink?
Even a US website works better with a Canadian counterpart. From spelling to currency to systems of measurement, content works best when it’s localized. A failure to localize content can make a customer feel less like a second-class citizen.
In Canada, there are regional differences in language. What does a national real estate company call vacation properties across the country? Here in southern Ontario, we call them cottages. We refer to cottage country, we go cottaging, etc. But in northern Ontario, you’re more likely to be sold a camp. They’re selling cabins in the western provinces, chalets in Quebec, and bungalows in Cape Breton. The words below are used to mean the same thing in different parts of the nation.
- Dinner, supper
- Runners, running shoes, sneakers
- Grades, marks
- Electric bill, hydro bill
In Your Neighbourhood
Small business owners typically operate in a specific geographic region. Localize content by including a business address, a phone number, and location-specific keywords. Locally-relevant content can increase geo-modified search queries.
Build a presence in your area with localized content. Try talking about local work on your website. Perhaps on a blog? Partner with another area business for a sale or promotion. Use social media to show participation in your community’s pizza fest, BIA conference, or holiday parade. This shows you’re involved in the community, building a connection with local consumers.
Tailor content that speaks to local residents. Who lives in your area? What does the population look like? Can you access studies and stats that will let you know who you’re speaking to? Paid ads can be sponsored or boosted on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for messaging based on these demographics.
Localizing content shows customers that you get it. You’re having the same experience they’re having and you can relate to each other. It demonstrates your understanding of their needs. At Key West Video, we can localize your video content by translating to any language you need. It’s just one of the ways we can help you attract customers by localizing content.