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5 Translation & Localization Services Global Marketers Need

Make the most of your message, everywhere

If you want to promote your company in foreign markets, you need more than savvy spending to get your slogan on billboards and your ads on television. Translating your marketing materials poorly, or without regard for cultural sensitivities, could mean you’re spending department dollars on actually damaging your company’s reputation and lowering market share.

How can you avoid these pitfalls and ensure your marketing content performs? Read our blog for five key translation and localization services global marketers need and discover how AI can assist with these items.

How Lionbridge Helps You Reach Customers and Boost ROI

Content Localization and AI Services

What is the difference between translation and localization services for marketers? Straight translation converts text from one language to another. On the other hand, localization considers every component of global marketing campaigns. For example, localization considers questions like:

  • Do we need to comply with any local marketing and advertising laws that would apply here?

  • What formatting needs to change?

  • Does the new market use different units of measurement, ways of writing dates, or phone numbers?

  • Will the content still appeal to the new market and its different cultural norms?

  • How will the new audience interpret the graphics and photos in the source content?

  • Does the campaign include any messages or representations that would be taboo in the new market?

With these considerations, localization helps you globalize your marketing message by making it locally relevant for each target group. By employing localization services, you can improve the resonance of your content and avoid costly marketing blunders.

AI is perfectly primed to assist with content localization. AI tools, when used by experienced experts, can automate localization. Language services companies that use AI can cut costs and localization timelines dramatically — sometimes as much as half.

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#1 Global Brand Strategy and AI Tools

All your customers must recognize and trust your brand. That means your brand identity needs to resonate in every market where you do business. Global branding is a highly challenging task. It requires the development of a unified marketing strategy that will be relevant in markets with varying values, norms, and tastes.

However, when done correctly, a global brand strategy cultivates consumer trust. A unified global brand emphasizes dependability, consistency, and accountability — all of which consumers highly value. Furthermore, companies typically find that customers will pay a premium for a product they have confidence in or a brand they trust.

Again, AI can assist with implementing a global brand strategy. AI tools can check content for brand voice inconsistencies and even replace them. As with localization, AI usage secures a faster, automated process that significantly cuts costs.

#2 Consistency, Not Uniformity

A successful global marketing campaign balances a central duality; it must adapt to the needs of different markets without sacrificing brand recognition.

For example, consider the Red Bull energy drink brand. Its global brand strategy is so well conceived that customers worldwide consider it a domestic product. (It’s not; it’s headquartered in Austria.) Red Bull manages this impression with a brand image that’s both consistent and easily adaptable to varying cultural tastes.

Associated worldwide with athleticism and drive, Red Bull sponsors professional teams in countries, including Ghana, Austria, and Germany. The company even participates in extreme sports and televises many of its events. Red Bull’s brand voice and overarching slogan (“Redbull Gives You Wings”) remains the same in every country. Only the details of the content shift to suit each culture.

blurred urban view

#3 Digital Experience Adaptation

Successful global marketers don’t just localize word and print campaigns. They also painstakingly localize their customer’s digital experience. This is perhaps even more critical for brand familiarity and continuity, considering how often most customers are online.

Localizing digital content secures high-quality translations that are appropriate within new cultural contexts. This covers everything, from the formality of the website copy to the local resonance of graphics.

Global digital marketers shouldn’t forget to consider elements like layout, especially if they’re transcreating content from a left-to-right reading language into a right-to-left language, like Arabic or Hebrew. As a result, marketers must shift the text and be sure their design accommodates the reader’s focus on the right side of the page.

Successful marketers will consider dozens of other variables, including:

  • Will call-to-action buttons be the right size if the translated words become longer or shorter?

  • Is software encoded to display all of the characters in the target language?

  • What happens if the target market speaks more than one official language?

Savvy marketers will have answers to these questions, or they’ll work with companies like Lionbridge to figure it out.

#4 Multimedia Translation and Localization

Users in more global markets increasingly demand video content. In the US, 85% of Internet users watch online videos at least once a month, and in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, 95% of users prefer video to print content. This information is critical for marketers. Internet users are 95% more apt to remember a call-to-action received via video than text alone. These statistics also mean that global companies can’t treat multimedia translation as an afterthought. Marketing localization teams must include experienced audiovisual professionals who can localize video content, animation, and audio.

Like website localization, effective multimedia localization goes beyond translating dialogue and narration. Teams have to decide whether subtitling would obscure nuances of meaning. If it would, someone familiar with the content and the language must develop a dubbing script. Then, technical experts must check that the voiceover coincides with the video.

#5 Multilingual SEO Auditing and AI

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a challenging process, even in a company's native language. Globalization adds several complexities to the mix.

First, marketers need to know the search strategies and phrases common in the target culture. AI can help identify powerful keywords in a variety of markets and languages. Using these keywords, marketers need to optimize their content according to the preferences of native search engines. Finally, they must drive traffic through paid ads and backlinking in the digital environment.

This last step can be the most complex. Different cultures will respond to different traffic generation incentives. Effective multilingual SEO requires a complete strategy, and sometimes even a distinct site for each market, highlighting the need for a skilled multidisciplinary team.

Don’t Forget: AI Solutions for Better Localization

AI services are fast becoming a key tool for global marketers. They can assist with ensuring the brand voice is carried through in any translations. A professional translation company will feed a style guide into its Large Language Models (LLMS) to ensure any translations use the correct terminology, words, tone, etc. AI solutions can also significantly speed up the translation and localization process. This makes it easier and cost-effective for brands to localize even more of their content for more markets. When choosing an AI services provider, picking the right one is essential. Generating trustworthy content is both vital and challenging. Using AI without the right human-in-the-loop could trigger a significant loss of business.

Get in touch

The more types of media you have in your global marketing campaign, the more complex your localization and translation will be. At Lionbridge, we have thousands of experts who can transcreate your campaign into any culture and any language. We can arm your team with an unlimited capacity for expansion. Reach out to us today to get started on your next marketing content translation project.

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Samantha Keefe