Which Comes First? Prioritizing Content Types for Localization
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Which Comes First? Prioritizing Content Types for Localization

Which Comes First? Prioritizing Content Types for Localization


While you’re planning a new market launch, staggering amounts of content are accruing in your home market. Translating everything all at once is a sure path to getting overwhelmed, especially when you have limited time and resources.

Going global doesn’t mean translating for all languages all at once. By the same token, you don’t have to translate all content types simultaneously to enter any given market. Here’s how to stagger translation by content type for best results in your new market.

The Business Case for Prioritizing Key Content

If your prospects and customers are eagerly awaiting specific features of your product, it makes sense to translate content for these features first.

Once you prioritize, you will have a lot less to translate. This means you can better focus on quality, define content-appropriate workflows, and implement solid review processes. You can even collect and process feedback from the local market at every step, fine-tuning your approach for the next stage, which will accelerate future content releases with the expected quality.

Not only will this boost customer satisfaction, it also removes excess pressure from your localization team. That alone is worthwhile when they’re already supporting other locales with ever-increasing content volumes in tandem with the new market launch.

Assessing Content Types Strategically

Let’s review the most common types of content that require translation and how to assign priority.

  • Marketing and sales content. Any content that supports marketing and sales is high-priority for translation, such as website content, sales collateral, and marketing campaigns. But not everything requires translation early on, such as blog posts targeting your home market or stale press releases from a few years back.
  • Legal content. Privacy agreements, contracts, forms, and other legal notices are on par with marketing and sales content when they affect your ability to engage prospects in compliance with market regulations, let alone complete a sale. Translate this content immediately after or even in tandem with marketing content, so that potential customers understand the fine print.
  • User interface. If you’re selling software, interface content clearly cannot wait, but you can deprioritize content for features that aren’t immediately available in a particular market.
  • Customer support or technical documentation. While it may not directly affect the purchase decision, support content is crucial to your customers after the transaction is over — when you rely on customer satisfaction to generate loyalty and brand ambassadors.

Keep in mind that all the above four types of content are critical to operating and succeeding in global markets. While you can stagger translation by content type, you certainly can’t afford to eliminate any one of them from the translation queue altogether.

Prioritization also reflects the reality that not all content types require the same process. Where your legal content may need two rounds of review, user assistance content can often get by with just one. Highly branded content may require transcreation, which is an entirely different process than the machine translation and human post-editing process you may use for the knowledge base.

Entering new markets takes a concerted effort from your team. By staggering your content types, in-house and vendor resources alike are better able to focus on the appropriate tasks for the content at exactly the right time, which yields better quality, higher customer satisfaction, and the best use of tight budgets.