Video Localization: How to Take Your Videos Global

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Video remains one of the most popular tools for brands who want to share their message with consumers. Video can be used to share information about your products, tell stories, and reach out to customers in order to meet their needs. Even better, video can go nearly everywhere, and it can improve the results you get wherever you put it. Video is engaging and shareable. It’s widely considered to be the future of content marketing.

If you’re expanding your company’s reach across the globe, you can use video to help with those efforts. Just remember that your success depends on your ability to make your video content relevant no matter who your audience is. That takes a well-planned localization effort.

Poor Localization: Everything That Can Go Wrong with Video Localization

What does localization mean? Localization isn’t just translation. It’s all about meaning and relevance. If those aren’t preserved, you won’t get the results you want. Any mistake you make in this process can make the final product a failure.

Good translation and localization efforts are a matter of respect. Show an audience a sloppily translated video that isn’t relevant to them, and you’ve essentially communicated that you don’t think they are worth the time it takes to do things right. Worse, if the video content, subtitles, or voiceovers show a lack of respect or cultural understanding that will be interpreted as disrespect.

If you present a translation that is inaccurate, that can lead to very erroneous assumptions about your products and services. Your target audience may even get the wrong ideas about your brand as a whole. Grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, even subtitles that obscure important parts of your video can frustrate your viewers.

Finally, there’s the matter of messaging and intent. Poor localization processes often fail to capture this. For example, a video that uses sarcastic, irreverent humor that is easy to recognize in one culture, might seem disrespectful and mean in another. Good localization practices retain that important subtext.

4 Tips for Localization Best Practices

It is nearly always a good idea to hire a professional service to localize your videos. If you do, a translation and localization review site like PickWriters can help you find the ideal service provider.

In any case, whether you choose to localize in house or hire a service, it’s important that you apply some best practices to the localization process.

  1. Pay Close Attention to Detail

A reputable localization company will have a well-established methodology for quality control. Their checks in this area should emphasize:

  • Messaging: They should have a process in which they verify that your intended message is retained through the localization and translation steps. This should focus on the proper translation of idioms, maintaining the proper tone, and ensuring that nuance and intent are not lost in translation.
  • Accuracy: After it is localized, your video should remain factually accurate. In addition to this, it should be linguistically correct.

Tone and Presentation: Different types of video are effective when they are presented with the correct tone. For example, an earnest message delivered by your CEO is going to be serious and authoritative. A fun, behind the scenes video meant to make your team seem relatable and interesting is going to have a more casual, even youthful delivery. Your scripts should reflect that, so should your voiceover talent.

    2. Hire The Right Talent

The right service provider will have access to all of the talent required to localize your video. This includes actors, writers, transcribers, and translators. Don’t hesitate to ask about credentials before you make a final decision.

Remember that video localization is more complex than localizing text. Visuals and vocalizations must be done properly in order for your video to resonate with your audience.

Finally, representation matters. When your audience watches your videos, they should see and hear things that are familiar to them, and that represent their culture.

    3. Localization Experts Should Prioritize Planning and Organization

This is a complex process. Everything must be done on time and in the right order for a localization project to succeed. Completing one step successfully often depends on the completion of a preceding step. Your provider should have a detailed plan of action. They should provide you with a plan of action, and commit to having deliverables ready for your review as the project unfolds.

    4. It May be Time to Create Something New

Video is important enough of a means of communication and such a valuable marketing tool that you might consider taking things a step further. By producing videos that are specifically made for your new audience, you can reach out to them in ways that you may not be able to accomplish by localizing your existing video content.

Consider working with a localization provider to plan and produce video content such as testimonials or explainer videos that are created to be relevant for the local audience you are trying to reach. What better way to ensure that your call to action is answered.

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About the Author

Kristin Savage
Kristin Savage has graduated from Columbia University where she was majoring in Germanic Languages. Besides English as her mother tongue, she also speaks German and Dutch fluently. Currently, Kristin is studying Spanish and planning to obtain her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics since she is interested in how to use her to some extent practical knowledge of language processes in everyday life.

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