Three tips for better video localisation

Video localization

Video marketing is the key to grow your business on the local and foreign market. And there’s no doubt about that.

In fact, 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it according to the survey run by Animoto. Short, visual content is much easier to digest and that’s why video marketing is here to stay.

But to make sure your video with tutorials, tips or behind-the-scenes shots reaches the right audience, you’ll need to localise it. This is how your brand can quickly gain trust of your international consumers and grow beyond the local market.

Before you start adapting your videos to another cultures and languages, consider these three tips to make sure you’re on the right track.

1. Get to know your target audience

To shoot or localise a marketing video you’ll first need to define your target audience. It doesn’t have to be identical with your ideal customer profile. Chances are that your videos will be watched only by one or two groups that build up your target audience. Find out what could be their interests, average age or profession: Do they have enough time to watch a video longer than one minute? What social platforms do they use? Do they prefer formal or informal communication? Would they prefer animations or short movies? Funny or serious?

Once you know the preferences of your target users, you’ll be able to adjust your content to their needs. Depending on the differences between your ideal video viewer in the local and foreign market, you might want to adopt a totally different attitude and create a new video from scratch: with different content, style, language and cultural elements. In some cases you’ll be able to use the same video with slight adjustments implemented once the video is produced.

2. Choose the right audio localisation method

Along with defining your target viewers in the foreign market you’ll also need to find out how they usually watch foreign videos: with a voice-over, subtitling or dubbing. Subtitling is usually the cheapest method and most widely used in short marketing films. However, your target consumers may not be used to reading the text and they may prefer to actually hear their native language. If you have enough resources, you can prepare dubbed videos (e.g. for Spain) or invest in voice-over (e.g. for Poland). In some cases, especially if the original video includes many local references, the best option will be to shoot a new video with native speakers, so that the tone, style or cultural context was fully aligned with that of your viewers abroad.

3. Be where your viewers are

What works for your local market might not be equally effective if you want to promote your brand abroad. So don’t assume that any particular social media platform will be the best channel to share your videos. First you’ll need a short research to find out where your target viewers hang out. If the best method to reach your local viewers is by publishing the videos on Facebook and Instagram, double check if your potential customers abroad use the same platforms. Maybe your target audience would be more likely to watch a video if it’s embedded in a newsletter or on a trusted third party website?

There are many different distribution channels where your target viewers may hang out, including local platforms that don’t exist in your home market. And don’t forget to stay up to date with the social media news to know which platform enables new functions for sharing or recording videos (e.g. recently LinkedIn introduced this new feature) to be the first to reach out to your potential viewers before they become overflooded with other marketing videos.

Adjusting your marketing material to a new audience might be a time-consuming process. But the right research and a carefully selected expert team will help you quickly get ready for a new adventure. Localising your marketing videos is a key part of this process, so make sure you know your target viewers well enough to fully use the power of video marketing on a foreign market.

Are you planning to localise your videos to attract more international viewers?

About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota Pawlak is the owner and managing director of Polish Localisation. She enjoys helping business enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages and technology.

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