As business operations become increasingly global, localized content is key to penetrate new markets and communicate successfully with global teams and customers. But what exactly does this involve? How can you ensure it is done effectively? Where should you focus your efforts? As a translation and localization provider, these are the sorts of questions we are commonly asked. Here are five things to consider:
1) Understand your target market(s)
Avoid localizing content for the sake of localizing content. It will add additional time and resource to your content creation process, so should be targeted appropriately. Before you get started, define your goals and how you are going to measure success. We would always recommend focusing your localization efforts on priority markets where there is an evident appetite for your content and/or services. Once you have data on the uptake of that localized content in those target markets, you can refine your future localization strategy.
2) Define your workflow
Now that you have established your localization goals and target markets, you should establish what your process is going to be. This should cover aspects such as linguist selection, QA stages, file preparation, in-country review and sign-off. A clearly defined workflow that includes key milestones, stakeholders and responsibilities will facilitate a smooth and effective localization process.
3) Agree stylistic and terminology preferences
Effective localization projects require a consistent approach to terminology and style. Lay the foundations for improved productivity and consistency by providing linguists with a clear set of terminology and stylistic rules and approved in-house/industry terms. This is critical to ensure your brand voice is retained and reinforced in local markets and to provide a consistent customer experience. Look for a partner that can integrate terminology management into the process.
4) Leverage technology
As with most tasks, technology can greatly support your localization efforts. However, the key is how you combine this technology with the work of a qualified, subject specialist linguist who is familiar with the content matter and understands cultural nuances.
Translation memory (TM) and Machine Translation (MT) can help speed up the localization process and therefore reduce costs by storing translated segments for future recall. This can improve linguist productivity by avoiding retranslation of content that has been translated previously.
Utilizing secure online platforms can streamline the process by offering a means to upload content for localization, share and review localized content and track the status of each project. This means multiple stakeholders can be involved in the process and access files from a centralized location no matter where they sit in the world.
5) Work with an expert partner
With limited hours in the day, many businesses choose to outsource their localization work. Partnering with a reputable language services provider can give you the peace of mind that all elements of the process are being managed by expert linguists and technicians who will deliver high quality localized content in a timely and cost effective manner.
Producing compelling content takes time, so maximise its visibility by not only sharing across different communication channels, but by localizing it so that it is available to and resonates with global audiences. Combining highly skilled linguists and technicians with a clear, defined workflow and cutting-edge technology, will ensure an effective localization process and high quality result.