Yes, digital content was, is and will always be the king of digital marketing.
Yet, who can ignore the rising trend of using visual content to cater to the needs of nearly 100 million people across the world who watch videos online every day?!
Text-only content, like black-and-white TV, is a thing of the past, as today’s content should be comprising the right mix of text and images. Sometimes, the visuals-only text might reign in content marketing.
With images and videos dominating almost all social media platforms, and with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest taking their position as the most popular social networks around the world, we need to admit it outright: Visuals are becoming part of the royal family of content and a picture can speak a thousand words. Forgot, however, to admit that a video clip will be speaking a billion words!
Why Go Imaging?
In reply to the above question, isn’t it enough to remind you of the globally well-known NO SMOKING sign, which we frequently come across at any restaurant or airport in Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, and Tokyo?
If not enough, don’t we all admit that nobody in this world ─ where we’re continually bombarded with digital content of all types─ will be happy nowadays with reading paragraph after paragraph of written content? We need to admit that when it comes to the consumption of digital information, humans (including your current and prospective clients!) are stimulated more by visuals.
We, Thank God, live in the web age, with a global culture that’s driving us to focus on the aesthetic dimension of what we see and hear. Therefore, images, visuals and video clips are increasingly playing a great role in how we choose the digital content we daily consume.
However, when it comes to the perceptions and values related to visual content, every culture will definitely have its individual orientations, tastes, likes, and dislikes.
Nowadays, with the globalization of business, every company that wishes to expand globally will be facing the challenge of how to successfully deal with new markets, new target audiences who speak new languages, and new ways of life and thinking ─ why not call them “new cultures”?
So, take this fact very seriously: The one-size-fits-all visual content is a relic from the Marketing Stone Age! Forget this outdated approach and always bring to mind the important lesson that Coca-Cola has learned the hard way when they translated their brand name into Chinese to “Bite the Wax Tadpole” ─ even though the translation didn’t really happen the way the story reported it!
Whether it’s real or fictional, the Coca-Cola story shows that cultural differences matter. In consequence, when it comes to your website, your manuals & brochures, your graphical user interface (GUI), and your signage, they all need to be adapted according to their specific audience.
Localization is a must! That’s a fact that successful global companies, with expert marketers, know quite well, and hence they pay utmost attention to such plus points as visual localization, content localization, and, overall, content localization services.
What Are Visual Localization Best Practices?
With that being said, we’re now sure that visual localization is becoming an integral part of any solid content marketing strategy. To take just one example, your website that appeals to the predominantly Anglo-Saxon culture of the UK may not attract the Samurai Culture in Japan, or the Zulu in South Africa, or the Buddhist across the Indian subcontinent, or the Islamic culture across the Middle East.
So, how will we carry out content localization, especially visual localization, appropriately and in the best possible way? More importantly, how shall we avoid cultural mistakes in content localization? Let’s take it one by one and look for some common insights and recommendations.
When it comes to symbols, the do’s and don’ts are a bit clear down the road. You first have to avoid all religious symbols that are not recognized worldwide. Also, you need to forget hand symbols and body parts. “Thumbs up” is good in one culture, but both indecent and offensive in another culture! In the Islamic world, to take another example, the images of females are subject to strict traditions.
Therefore, try to always be on the safe side, using the images of nature, abstract & geometric shapes, and such internationally accepted symbols as consumer goods, equipment, devices, professions, modes of transportation, etc
With regard to colors, you have to extensively research, as the meanings of the same color are different in different cultures. For example, red denotes danger in Japan and joy in China! So, research, please!
Sorry, nobody is using flags nowadays. It’s becoming sort of old fashion, as a flag rarely reflects a language in its entirety. How can you use the Indian flag when India has 22 official languages?! Moreover, professional localization companies are aware that using flags in digital communication could result in political sensitivities. Will you use the flag of Palestine or Israel – to take just one example?!
With users all over the world consuming more and more video content every day, localizing video should be part of your solid marketing strategy if you wish to reach larger target audiences.
Why Future Tans?
It’s been our job for over 20 years.
We understand how digital marketing works and are thus keeping pace with all trends. We know quite well, for example, that around 100 million internet surfers watch videos online every day. Therefore, we’ve established a worldwide reputation for delivering superior content localization solutions to hundreds of global giants who regard digital video as the top online marketing tool and rate video as the type of content with the best ROI.
Future Trans is an ISO 17100 certified language services provider that has been working in multimedia localization services and localization engineering for more than 20 years, building up a wealth of knowledge and insight, as well as a database of satisfied customers.
We stand out from the crowd of other companies by our proven record of meeting customers’ tight deadlines, finalizing large volumes of work, and providing expertise in a wide range of languages and disciplines.
Contact us today to get a free quote.