How to Create a Video Content Localization Strategy
As a content creator, you want your content to reach people far and wide. The more eyes on it, the better.
To get that content to resonate with people all over the world, you need to localize it: put it into terms they understand.
It’s imperative for teams—both internal and external—to have a discerning eye on what content to pull forward for localization.
So, from a strategic standpoint, how do you know which content to choose? And for which markets? Put another way—what is your vision for localized content?
Localizing Video Content
Video outputs are breaking records daily and show no sign of slowing down.
In fact, 94% of marketers who currently use video content plan to continue to do so.
Here are some immediate questions to consider when choosing which video content to localize:
1) Which markets are showing the most interest?
This is not the same question as which ones have asked for localization. Often, you’ll find that markets only ask when it’s too late. Then, they are either incredibly frustrated (internal) or going to your competition (external). It’s important that you do research and remain diligent to determine where you focus your resources.
2) Which videos are most relevant to these markets?
Once you understand who is most interested, it’s key to focus on the appropriate assets. Perhaps you have a product that is selling like hotcakes in Spain. Focus on getting that product’s associated videos into Spanish for Spain versus focusing on general branding videos that address your (perhaps much larger) Latin Spanish audience.
3) What are the associated assets?
Critically, you need to consider the holistic experience of the consumer. Whether it’s external or internal, you want to avoid looking at the video localization effort in a vacuum. Instead, consider the journey of the customer. Anything pre- (and post-) video experience should be considered for localization efforts. Then, build a strategy accordingly.
How to Localize
Once you have made a judgment call on which content to prioritize, you need to make decisions about what kind of localization strategy to use.
In fact, 84.6% of all video views on YouTube come from non-English users. Additionally, nearly 22% of US residents speak a foreign language at home. In other words, your touch points need to be both significant and intentional. Here are some strategy considerations:
1) Subtitles – probably.
Subtitles are the most common method for video localization. It’s a cost-effective mechanism that is well-suited for SEO and indexing. It’s also a highly recommended workflow for large-scale requirements. As your volume increases, you’ll want to consider an MAM integration or something similar to automate the ingestion and management of content.
It will also be important to determine what kind of subtitling file your current systems support. Many allow for ingestion of SRT, VTT, and other formats, which will further streamline your asset management options.
2) Voiceover – maybe.
Corporate clients should consider targeted opportunities for voiceover. Branding videos, complex training materials with on-screen visuals, and highly branded content should consider a complete mirror of English to match the look and feel of the source content.
Some markets prefer voiceover (France is noteworthy for this). If you have a larger range of reading comprehension to be mindful of, voiceover can be an excellent choice for larger scale messaging.
3) AI-based, fully human, or hybrid – it depends.
The specificity of your audience, visibility level (internal and external), and specific language will be major drivers in this decision. Your expected volume of assets, sophistication of content, and intricacy of translation strategy will also help guide this decision. For instance - AI-based workflows might be very appropriate for boilerplate instructional videos, or long form training content with straight forward messaging. Conversely, I wouldn’t recommend AI-based workflows for highly creative, nuanced messages.
This is just the beginning of the decision tree that should be mapped out for your organization around content localization efforts. You’ll want to consider other factors too—the timing of your content launches and the platform where it will be consumed are critical—but the most important thing to have is a vision. Build a plan, and connect your assets accordingly. If you go into your content library and start hacking away by simply translating your most commonly used assets, your success is not guaranteed. Having a thoughtful localization approach based on your KPIs will help you produce results.
TransPerfect’s MediaNEXT has a combination of consultants and professional services teams to ensure you have a strategic approach to your video localization decisions. Contact us today to learn more details.