Successful Localization Starts at Content Creation

Lay the foundation of localization in the beginning stages of any new content project.


It’s spring here in New York. Despite COVID-19 ravaging the city and world, there are still moments where we can stop and appreciate the beauty of nature to, albeit briefly, distract us from the harsh reality of what life may look like for the foreseeable future.

Just as each blooming flower starts as a seedling, so does each bit of content we take in. From online ads to an impromptu shopping spree (support your local businesses!), the content that guides us to podcasts and YouTube videos is rooted in localization.

What is Translation and what is Localization?

Translation is the process of reworking text from one language into another to maintain the original message and communication. It’s literally the translation of words.

Localization takes translation one step further: that same translated content is reworked to appeal to a new audience by taking into consideration details of the culture, aspirations and references of a particular locale so your content is ready to be received in meaningful, resounding ways.

Localization is the key to gaining the trust of overseas customers because it appeals to them on a very basic level, allowing them to feel heard and seen just as they are.

What is Content Creation?

Content creation is the blossom, the petals: these can be interactive bots, traditional ads, the copy readers see on social media posts (and the images themselves), and more. Whatever we see online that is made by a company or brand is the content they have created to speak for themselves.

Seth Godin, marketer extraordinaire, calls content marketing “the only marketing left,” because this form of content is expertly suited to reach and resonate with the internet generation.

Our e-book, The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Global Content Creation, can help you create international content to attract new customers, boost customer satisfaction and control your global brand appeal - take a look.

How can we marry content creation and localization?

There are always going to be challenges while creating localized content. Cultural nuance, translation errors and basic communication are three common pain points for brands on this journey. But when we lay the foundation of a solid team with clear objectives, as Smartling is wont to do, the strategy and communication help prevent the typical bumps in the road.

So, how can we marry content creation and localization?

Simple: ensure the content you are creating will sit properly with the region or locale you are aiming to reach via localization. When you create content with localization in mind, you’re ensuring your efforts will be culturally-sensitive and the audience you are composing content for will feel comfortable, seen and heard.

When you strategize from the beginning (the seed, if you are following my very obvious metaphors here) you are aware of all the ways your content will be taken in beyond simply the translation of words.

For example, if you know the aim is to reach speakers of Hindi, American English, Chinese and German your team will go into the content creation with that knowledge and work to weave in localization considerations like the intricacies of presentation, cultural faux pas’, and associations that may be drawn.

With a team of dedicated translators who are tuned into the global audience, you are one step ahead of the competition.

Changing Seasons within Translation

Whether you want to breathe new life into already existing content and reformat it for a certain locale and audience or if you want to start a campaign at incubation, always keep in mind that assembling a professional team of translators and account managers is the key to success.

Localization and content creation are two of Smartling’s passions. We would be more than happy to help you get your localization game on point.

Reach out to us for a demo or to speak to a language service expert who can get you set up with our global staff of top tier translators. Smartling wants to see you not only grow, but thrive!

About Laura

Laura Wyant is a freelance digital strategist and writer/editor. She is currently working with start-ups, tech companies, and health and healing spaces. Laura has been contributing to the Smartling blog on topics around cloud translation, digital strategy, and overall creative translation process. When she isn’t working in media, she is working to educate herself on matters such as intersectional women’s health and advancements in technology.