Mobile app localization

How to get started with video localisation

Online video marketing has become a powerful tool and a must-have for nearly every business.

With videos you can successfully promote your products and services, boost your sales, foster customer confidence in your brand and encourages social shares. But if you’re planning to expand your reach and attract consumers from other markets, you’ll need to implement one more strategy: video localisation.

Why video localisation?

When you want to tap into new markets and expand your business internationally, you’ll need to invest in effective marketing. Online video is a great tool not only for your home market, but also for your customers abroad. But first, they need to understand your content.

Obviously, you can’t use the videos in your home language, or even only in English, to engage with your international users. And this is where video localisation comes in.

Localising your videos, that is, adapting the content to the local language and culture, will help you strike the right chord, engage with your potential customers in foreign markets and boost your international sales more effectively.

How to get started?

To make sure you’re on the safe side, you’ll need to carefully analyse your target audiences, adapt the content to their needs and languages and then pick the right distribution channels. Sounds like a lot of work? Well, let’s break it down:

1. Who are your future viewers?

The best way to start your localisation process is to analyse the behaviour, expectations, needs and culture of your future viewers. You’ll need to define the target audience for your products in the new market and bear in mind that it may differ from your target audience in the home market.

Consider the demographics of your viewers, their interests, education, workplace, location, language and shopping habits. Don’t forget to analyse how and where they usually consume online videos: on their mobile devices or desktops? Which social media do they use? What type of content is the most appealing to them? Do they prefer animations, interviews, presentations, webinars or testimonials and product reviews?

Finally, think about the goal of your online videos: what is it that you want to achieve with your content?

Finding an answer to these questions will help you create engaging video marketing campaign for the target market or fine-tune your existing videos before going global.

2. Which localisation method is the right for your market?

Once you know what are the preferences of your target viewers, you’ll need to think about the right localisation strategy.

For example, you can shoot new videos with new content adapted to your target market and featuring native speakers of your customer’s language. Another option is to use subtitles or voice-over in the videos created for your home market. But don’t simply use the same content.

Even if you don’t want to or can’t create new videos with native speakers, try to add some local touch or adapt some elements to your foreign users before you move on to subtitling. Little modifications or tiny additions may work wonders with your videos.

Also, bear in mind that different cultures are used to different ways of consuming movies and videos. Sometimes it’s not all about your preferences, but more about the habits of your target customers. Voice-over will not work equally well in all countries, some regions will prefer subtitles, some dubbing and some would rather see and hear native speakers of their language.

So, don’t assume that subtitles are the best choice, but analyse the preferences of your target viewers and choose the right localisation method.

3. What is the best platform to share your videos?

Finally, once your video is localised, you’ll need to reach out to as many viewers as possible.

The best way is to simply hang out where your target users are and share your videos on the platforms that are the most appealing to them. For some markets, distributing videos via Facebook or YouTube might be enough, for other audiences you’ll need to use platforms such as Meerkat, Periscope or Blab.

To determine the right distribution channel don’t focus only on the general preferences of online users in the specific country. Remember: your target group might have different preferences and use different social media than the general country statistics show.

Of course, social media are not the only platforms to share your localised videos. You can include them on your website in the right language version, embed in e-mail campaigns and e-mail signatures, add to your press releases crafted for the specific market or feature in your blog or in your partner blogs.

In any case, make sure that the content is relevant to your viewers and consider if they are likely to engage with your brand via the selected platform.

Once you include videos in your marketing campaign, you can easily boost your results by localising the content to your target markets. By following the simple steps above, you can make sure that your adventure with video localisation will begin smoothly and yield good results.

Dorota helps digital brands infuse their content with a local touch. She is a localization consultant, translator specialized in IT, prompt engineer, and a book author. Dorota teaches online courses on localization, writes for her blog and a Medium publication. She also runs a Small Biz AI, a Substack newsletter for freelancers and small business owners ready to discover handy AI tools.

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