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Why Does Media Localization Matter?

Why Does Media Localization Matter?

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Touted as an intrinsic part of worldwide brand promotion, “localization” applies to all activities involving interaction with international users. But what is media localization, and why does it matter? Let’s jump into the deep sea!

Media localization decoded

Ever heard about “creative media”? The Arts Council England defines “creative media” as a collection of “artistic and cultural works and content created for digital platforms or distributed digitally to reach the public”.

This is a very general definition of the concept, and we’ll run through a few examples of creative media later. For now, let us dwell on media localization.

As highlighted in our previous articles, localization is the process of adapting any type of material to the specific expectations of a new audience. Hence, media localization is nothing else than the adaptation of creative materials to meet the expectations of a new audience.

That’s probably logical. But what is media localization from the viewer’s or the reader’s seat? From their perspective, it means that the material they are exposed to makes sense. In other words, it leaves the impression it was created with them in mind, and their experience with it is authentic.

Done right, media localization can propel your brand more than any other form of marketing. Let us look at the various types of media content that can be localized.

What types of media content can you localize?

Creative media is a deep ocean of content just waiting to be adapted to new locales. Here are some of the most common types of creative content that brands commonly localize.

Television content

Netflix series like the Squid Game or Money Heist are typical examples of localized TV content. Watching these series and other streaming media classics have proven that language/subtitling plays a central role in localization.

Yet, language is only one of the plethora of elements coming together under the broad localization umbrella. Read on to discover more.
Streaming media platforms are the perfect launch base for any brand seeking to reach new users across borders quickly. Expatica, for example, came up with the perfect solution to offer expats a home away from home experience across borders.
The platform explores essential aspects of living in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, the UK, Russia, and other attractive destinations, covering everything from culture to traffic, housing, working, and even accessing local TV programmes for US and European audiences.

Documentary-style ads

Companies using short film or documentary-style content to promote their products or services could also get the most benefits of localization. The amount of capital funnelled into professional filming is sometimes in the nine-digit count. So, allocating a budget to localization makes perfect sense.

Uber Eats Australia is an example of a documentary-style TV ad done right. Featuring Miss Chow stylish Asian cuisine restaurant, the ad walks you through the history of the place as Ms Chan tells its story spruced up with shots of steamy, mouth-watering dishes and sneak peeks behind the scenes.


Creative media is not limited to visual content. Podcasts and radio-format ads are also popular among international marketers. Translating your podcast script can bring your brand in front of more local buyers of your products or services.

The benefits of media localization

You must have got a clear picture of the different types and forms of creative media content by now. It’s time to delve deeper into why you should consider it and what it involves.

Local growth

Adapting your digital media content to suit different audiences supports your business growth locally. In essence, going local allows businesses to scale in a geographic area by offering users tailored products and services that fit their specific market needs.

For example, a company operating in London looking to increase its user base might not necessarily need to look for new business opportunities across the pond. There’s plenty of fish in the City’s waters.

According to Project Britain, London is the world’s multiculturally-richest capital city, with over 250 languages spoken aside from English as their native language. Technically, if you conquer London, you conquer 250 more regions -if you localize to Bengali, Silheti, Punjab, Tamil, Hindi, Arabic, Greek, Italian, Cantonese, Gujerati, Urdu, Yoruba (spoken in Nigeria), Italian, Vietnamese, Somali, English-based Creoles, Ashanti, Portuguese, and more.

Want to scale more? Take the global leap.

Global growth

After conquering the local market, scaling globally is the next step. And media localization can help you do that. Translating your creative content into multiple languages helps you build trust, raise awareness about your brand and strengthen your footprint worldwide.

The global expansion gives you the edge to grow your business without relying so much on the economy of a single country or region. By scaling across multiple markets, you balance out the risks of underperforming in one region with success in others.

How you do it is entirely up to you. Although there is no set-in-stone rule for scaling across borders or “how to localize your media content”, there are specific steps you can take to ensure your brand’s success. Here is what our localization experts advise.

Media localization steps to follow

To adapt your audio-visual content to suit multiple audiences, you need to do some detective work:
● Discover what your audience wants. Research what your prospective clients are attracted to. To help you map your international user journey, answer these questions, “What do my users search for?” “What need do my products or services satisfy?” “How do I stand against local competitors?”
● Work with a localization agency. Working with a localization agency gives you a better perspective and understanding of the localization process. While language is at the heart of things (as explained above), it is backed by a sum of other factors coming under the umbrella of cultural knowledge, which a localization agency can bring to the table.
● Content curation & extraction. Once the elements above have been identified, the localization agency curates and extracts the content to be localized from your material.
● Translation & adaptation – the linguistic side of things. A team of linguists and translation experts will work on your project. This involves translation, adaptation (sometimes transcreation of your content to make it sound and feel natural to the local audience), and proofreading to ensure consistency and accuracy.
● Culturalization. When localizing your audio-visual material, you must pay attention to cultural aspects such as humour, sarcasm, idiomatic expressions (if part of your brand message), which must be transcreated or re-written in the target language. To know exactly what may or may not come across as offensive or hilarious in the target language, the localization team will conduct cultural research, which will help them determine which transcreation works best in which context and why.
Subtitling. After the translation/transcreation is complete, the next step is to add and sync the subtitles to the voice-over.
● SEO. SEO plays a crucial role in your material’s online visibility. Nothing escapes the all-seeing eye of Google these days, not even video content. As such, when localizing your creative media content, it is worth checking and including a few local search terms in your pitch-perfect copy.
Need help with all this? Let us know; we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you succeed.
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