International Business Strategies

Content Localization: When, Why, and How to Do It

Want to attract more multilingual customers to connect with your brand? Localization can ensure all your content, from visuals to branding assets, resonates with your target markets.

Emily Sorrentino's avatar
Emily Sorrentino

September 14, 2023


We live in a modern era where content is King, and businesses that want to reach more consumers need to put out quality content. Content is an integral part of the modern buying experience.  

According to FocusVision, B2B buyers consume at least 13 pieces of content before purchasing a product from a certain brand. B2C buyers are not too far behind, with 47% of consumers viewing at least five pieces of content prior to completing a purchase. Additionally, consumers spend an average of five hours a day researching and consuming content on various devices. 

The digital age enables organizations to connect with audiences worldwide, but this also brings the challenge of ensuring content resonates genuinely with varied audiences. Enter content localization – the answer to ensuring your global audience feels heard, understood, and valued. For businesses that want to go global, investing in content translation services is the key to effectively connect with and serve diverse audiences. 

What is Content Localization? 

Content localization isn’t just about translating words. It’s about capturing the essence, emotions, and cultural nuances that come with those words. It’s an intricate process of adapting content in both language and cultural context to align with local audiences.  

By considering culture, humor, idioms, and more, businesses can ensure that their message isn’t just understood – it’s felt. This goes beyond mere translation; it’s about creating an emotional connection with the reader, ensuring the content resonates genuinely with its intended audience. 

What Content Needs to Be Localized? 

You should always focus on website localization as part of a global content translation strategy, but content localization goes beyond the website. It includes marketing materials, branding assets, product descriptions, customer service interactions, and even imagery that accompanies content.  

For instance, you may need to localize a marketing campaign that includes a logo, slogan, and ad assets for social media. It’s essential to recognize which elements play a crucial role in the audience’s perception and understanding of the content and prioritize their localization. 

Be sure to include the following in your content localization plan: 

Videos and Graphics: Images, infographics, and other visual content should be culturally relevant and might require alterations. 

Currency, Dates, and Units: Update all numeric references, including currency symbols, date formats, and measurement units to local standards. 

User Interfaces: If you’re localizing a website or app, elements like buttons, menus, and navigation may need adjustments to fit translated content and adhere to local usability norms. 

Formats and Layouts: Local scripts might require changes in text direction (like right-to-left in Arabic) or design layouts. 

Local SEO: Adjust keywords and metadata for search engines specific to the region. 

Contact Information: Update local addresses, phone numbers, and other contact details. 

When Should You Localize Your Content?  

We’ve established that you should localize your content. Now, let’s get into some indicators that it’s time to start: 

  1. International Website Traffic: Your website brings in a lot of traffic from other countries, meaning there’s demand in those regions. If very few of those visitors currently become customers, content localization would change that. 
  2. Multilingual Content Requests. You get requests for content in different languages. Patterns in such requests from potential or current customers will give you a good idea of where to start with localization. 
  3. Competitive Landscape. Your competitors are expanding into foreign markets and investing in localization. This is a sign of untapped opportunities, so staying on par with the competition—if not outpacing them—is crucial. 

Why You Need Content Localization 

It’s very hard to succeed in multilingual markets if you’re not speaking the right language. It’s not all about translation, though. Localization is important for many reasons: 

  1. Cultural Relevance: Imagine reading a joke or reference that makes no sense to you. That’s how content can feel when not properly localized. But when done right, localized content mirrors local cultures and traditions, leading to content that resonates and feels personally tailored to the reader. 
  2. Market Expansion: The world is a marketplace waiting for businesses that can communicate effectively. By offering content tailored to each region’s unique needs, businesses can enter new markets more seamlessly, ensuring they’re speaking the language of their customers – both literally and culturally. 
  3. Increased Engagement: A message that resonates leads to engagement. When content feels familiar and relatable, audiences are more likely to engage, share, and act on it. 
  4. Building Trust: A brand that makes the effort to speak its audience’s language, in more ways than one, is a brand that cares. This demonstrates a commitment to serving all customers, irrespective of their geographical or cultural background, fostering trust and loyalty. 

A poor content localization strategy can have a negative impact on your brand. For instance, Coors’ Brewing Company wanted to bring their “Turn it Loose” campaign to Spain. But when their team did the Spanish translation, they did not do any local fact-checking. They came up with a phrase that locally translated into “suffer from diarrhea.” That’s not a great selling point when you’re trying to entice buyers to buy more beer! 

How to Localize Your Content 

As we mentioned, localization and translation are different. Your team may be able to handle a few small translation projects, but you’ll likely need professional content localization services to keep up with the demand for localized content. We recommend taking these actions to complete your content localization projects: 

  1. Identify Target Markets: Before diving into localization, understand who you’re localizing for. Research to identify where your potential audience is, their preferences, habits, and cultural nuances. 
  2. Find a Content Translation Company: Google Translate won’t cut it. Work with a content translation company with linguistic experts who know the language and understand the culture it emanates from. 

MotionPoint’s Content Localization Services 

Content localization is more than just a business strategy; it’s a commitment to understanding and valuing diverse audiences. It’s also the best way to reach and grab the attention of more interested customers.  

With the importance of producing new and exciting content, it’s invaluable to localize that content for multilingual markets. That’s why investing in professional translation and localization services is crucial. It means publishing culturally relevant content faster, cheaper, and accurately. 

Reach out to us today to learn about our content localization services. For a limited time, we’ll help you localize content for two new markets for the price of one! Take advantage of our BOGO offer and get more translation for less. 

Last updated on September 14, 2023
Emily Sorrentino's avatar

About Emily Sorrentino

Emily Sorrentino is MotionPoint's Marketing Copywriter. With her background in digital marketing, social media, and paid media, she brings a unique perspective to the translation and localization tech world. She understands the importance of localization in a marketing strategy and uses her writing skills to help MotionPoint reach businesses in need of translation.

Emily Sorrentino's avatar
Emily Sorrentino

Marketing Copywriter


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