Even though there’s no such thing as a perfect system that works across industries or businesses, the goal with any translation process should be functional localization. Instead, your focus should be on getting to a level where your content resonates in every language you approach. When you reach functional status, you can reap all the benefits of localized content marketing.
Many companies rely on lackluster programs that don’t effectively recreate their marketing for foreign audiences. Instead, they translate content word-for-word and assume it will work since that’s what most translation agencies support. They’re rarely able to offer marketing guidance on top of linguistic expertise, which is why we take a more in-depth approach to localized content marketing that helps our clients enjoy a wide range of advantages.
The Importance of Keywords in Localized Content Marketing
While campaigns and taglines seem important, the truth is a good online international marketing strategy centers on keywords. These act as the breadcrumbs that bring users to your site. When they search a word or phrase, they view the sites at the top of the search results as the most authoritative and trustworthy.
Often, keywords in localized marketing are overlooked because project managers may assume that their SEO strategy in English will carry over when in reality, it may not work for that market. Consider a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider who uses the word “platform” when referring to their product. English consumers will use this word when seeking out something to satisfy their needs.
However, in some languages, the word platform has no direct counterparts in the SaaS market. It’s used to refer to a structure and if you were to use the equivalent of “platform” in those languages, your SEO results would do poorly. Either no one would search for that product, or you’d market to the wrong consumer group. If you want to succeed with a keyword strategy, you’re going to have to adapt or recreate.
When you adapt, you map out all your keywords and then research the foreign markets to find the most relevant equivalents. In the platform example, you may choose to treat that word as “online services” to connect with those in the market for a SaaS program.
This is the less preferable option, as it’s expensive. You’d hire an SEO team in that market and have them recreate your entire content marketing campaign specific to that region. In some cases, that will offer better results, but it is a major investment, so it’s vital to target a high-potential region.
Bad keywords can even impact the tone of your content and have a negative impact in certain markets. For example, if you write a very informal blog, a direct translation may result in an equally informal foreign language result. This might not work in markets where clients expect highly formal communications from a business. For that reason, the best strategies adapt when they can but recreate with consideration for their specific target demographic.
We take this approach by reviewing our clients’ current SEO strategy and mapping those keywords to the most effective ones in their target language instead of directly translating them. We add that map to a glossary within our platform so that when linguists update content, they will get suggestions from that glossary, allowing them to adapt or even recreate content as necessary. Through this strategy, we can help our clients enjoy a wide range of localized content marketing benefits.
The Benefits of a Strong Strategy
With proper keyword tracking, companies can see many advantages from content marketing localization that will pay dividends.
- Preserved SEO: People pay thousands–sometimes millions–of dollars for SEO and content marketing strategies. Using a translation program with a heavy focus on keyword mapping helps to preserve those efforts and extend budgets.
- Streamlined market entry: Website content may be your foreign audience’s first experience with the brand. A robust strategy will help make a good initial impression that will drive the success of new market launches.
- Increased ROI: A word-for-word strategy most likely won’t provide significant returns, and recreating the entire campaign will be expensive–either scenario results in a low ROI. A program that takes keyword mapping into account offers the best ROI as it leverages what you have while still adapting your content to the market.
- Brand consistency: Content conveys a tone that provides an impression of your brand. If you want a consistent brand reputation, you should focus on a strategy that preserves the keywords you used to build it.
- Simplified management: Using tools that leverage a glossary powered by mapped keywords makes it much easier to create a strategy that incorporates SEO, brand integrity, and the overall project ROI.
Localized content marketing can give you quite a boost as you expand. If you focus on the right keywords to resonate with your target market, you’ll see benefits related to cost savings, more impactful marketing, and greater overall success.