We've explored the importance and effects of localizing text in several of our previous blog articles, but what about rich media, especially video? The second most popular search engine after Google is YouTube, and people are increasingly turning to video as a prominent part of their user journey in selecting products and experiences.
In the travel industry, video already plays a major role in converting users by being able to relay the travel experience much better than just text and photos (even 360s), and that trend is expected to keep growing. So, just as you may already engage with your customers in their own language in your product text descriptions, you should also localize videos, especially product videos that will resonate with your target markets much better than any other type of media.
Unfortunately, there is still quite a ways to go. As put forth in a recent Gartner report (“Gartner L2 Intelligence Report: Localization 2019,” 10/18/2019), while 79% of brand sites include videos, just 56% use local content elements, such as the local language and production assets or translated subtitles. Among China- and Japan-based sites, 35% utilize local talent in their videos, and 38% use subtitles or closed captions to enhance brand engagement locally.
When you localize videos, there are two ways to go about it: dubbing and subtitling. Some (language) markets prefer or are accustomed to watching videos and movies in the original language with subtitles, while others dub their media. This generally depends on the size of the market and—when the original piece is in English—the level of English spoken in that market. Subtitling is more cost-effective, but if your market expects dubbing, then you risk damaging your brand and having a strong negative impact on the media.
Finally, localizing videos will have a positive effect on your video SEO and SEO in general. Videos can increase organic traffic over 150% and on-site conversions by 80%. Having localized videos will increase length of time on your global sites (if you are hosting locally), which will improve your ranking, and if you've also localized the accompanying descriptions, titles, and metatags, you'll be optimizing the performance of your videos for all of your language markets.
So, when you start your next localization project, be sure you include videos in scope, and make sure you consider both dubbing and subtitling—if you are localizing into multiple languages, you should check to see which option makes more sense on a language-by-language basis.
Here at Translations.com, we have several production studios around the globe and have been subtitling and dubbing videos for a large number of clients for years. One example is a video for the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW trade show. IPW promotes their show through videos to international buyers. In order to target those markets more effectively, Translations.com assisted U.S. Travel in subtitling the videos into languages for some of their top markets, such as Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese. Watch an example of the Chinese videos.
If you are creating or already have videos that have not been localized, we’d love to speak with you and show you how we can help improve the performance of your videos in local language markets. Please send us an email at Travel360@translations.com with your contact details and we'll get back to you asap.