How to localize your images with AI
Local content is powerful.
It can turn your one-time visitors into loyal consumers.
However, to make your content local it’s not enough to localize your website into multiple languages or adapt your product package for different countries. Culturally specific visuals play a key role too.
Images with the local touch are usually more powerful than generic pictures that are meant for “everyone”, but in fact speak to none. With culturally relevant photos and graphics you can build trust and boost your consumers’ engagement in new markets.
There’s only one downside: creating such images takes time and skills.
Luckily, there’s one way to streamline this process.
You can use AI image generators to create culturally specific images.
How to do it skillfully?
1. Define your goal
Before you jump into the endless world of AI tools, first pause and think. Consider your target audience, define the goal of your image, and the message it should convey. Is it for a social media campaign, for a website, or maybe for your app?
Make sure you learn about the preferences of your target audience and evaluate any cultural aspects that could be displayed on images.
2. Do your research
Once you know the goal of your image, you’ll need to decide on items your visual should include. Do you want to present people from the local culture? Maybe a local tradition or landmark? Perhaps you’d rather refer to popular local trends?
That’s where thorough research comes in.
If you’re unsure about which cultural items to include, you can find inspiration in books, catalogs, postcards, or online sources.
Make sure to brainstorm your ideas with your marketing or localization team and don’t forget to evaluate the results of your previous local campaigns. Alternatively, find out how other brands approach local content and what images they serve to their local markets.
3. Choose your powerful tool
The world of AI image generators is exciting. And powerful. It’s tough to decide which tool is the best, most user-friendly, most localization friendly. Each of them has its pros and cons, and each of them delivers different results depending on the prompt. But before you take any recommendations as your guide, first spend some time exploring the key tools. Don’t limit your explorations to features only, but read the fine print as well to make sure you can use your images commercially. Some tools are free, for some, you’ll need a subscription. Look around to choose the tool that meets your needs.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been testing several AI image generators to explore their potential for image localization. Here are my tested and preferred tools for creating culturally specific images (click on the tool name to check the results of my experiments):
- Ideaogram – great for images with text
- Midjourney – perfect for nearly every possible use case
- DALLE-3 – seems to lead the pack
- Adobe Firefly – ideal for vibrant, detailed images
- Leanardo AI – great for adding extra effects to your images
4. Take action
Once you know:
– who is your target audience;
– what to include on your image;
– how to use the features of AI image generators to write prompts that will give you precisely what you want
it’s time to act.
Start generating images, tweak, modify, and generate again. Don’t just ask the tool to generate “A typical family from country X” or “A typical city from country Z”. Describe exactly how your image should be painted and avoid the words “typical” to stay away from biases.
Finally, don’t act alone. Show your results to your team or a selected group of beta testers to make sure your images resonate with the target audience.
5. Evaluate and repeat
If your AI image-generating skills combined with your local market expertise brought satisfying results, you can repeat the process again to create more local visuals. Remember, however, that the line between “culturally relevant” and “stereotypical” is very thin. Be careful not to cross it.
AI image generators are powerful tools, but you need a human touch to make sure your creations are appropriate for your target audience.
Are you ready to infuse your content with a cultural touch? As localization experts, we can guide you on this exciting journey.
About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital and Web 3.0 brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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