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Video localization consists of taking an original video and adapting it for a target audience in a particular region or country. This could encompass dubbing it in a different language, adding subtitles, adapting cultural references, and formatting units of measurement. Localization gives a video cultural context and familiarity so that its message translates to a target audience.

Videos that are great for localization include (but are not limited to): corporate announcements, employee training, e-learning, commercials, product training, and much more.

In this blog we will share how video localization increases engagement, improves search engine optimization (SEO), expands your market reach, and other key benefits.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

YouTube screengrab

photo by Kon Karampelas

Video Boosts Engagement and SEO

As we mentioned in a previous blog, video is the go-to medium for boosting traffic to your site. A recent study stated that 82% of global Internet traffic this year will be from video. Last year YouTube reported over 2 billion monthly active users, with viewership dramatically increasing during the pandemic.

Until virtual reality becomes more developed, video content is our closest representation to reality that engages viewers on an emotional level. In business terms, this emotional connection translates to more sales: audience members are 64% more likely to buy a service/product after watching a video.

Video localization can also give your online content a big boost in views and outreach by improving your SEO. SEO makes your web content more likely to show up on search engine results and to appear higher up on the list. Search engines like Google cannot “watch” your video content–however, they can search and find keywords in the text associated with a video. By adding subtitles or closed captions to your video, you add another layer of metadata that Google and other search engines can see and read. Subtitling and captioning are great, cost-effective ways to improve your SEO so that clients will be able to find you easier.

Once clients find your website, they’re more likely to click and spend more time on it if there’s video content, especially if it’s in their native language.

people walking on road near well-lit buildings

photo by Jezael Melgoza

Expand Into Different Markets

As we saw in the last section, localization like subtitling can increase your online content’s SEO. Also, by adding subtitles in different languages, it will increase the likelihood that your content will be seen by potential clients searching in that language, thus opening up your video to different markets around the world. International clients are more willing to purchase products and services that are exhibited in their native language: it shows that your company has taken the time to adapt your products and services for them.

If your online presence is only in English, it’s missing out on large, growing markets. Online English content is still the majority, however, content in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and other languages is growing at a faster pace. Only about 20% of the world’s population speaks English as a first language and it’s estimated that 72% of consumers spend a majority or all of their time on sites in their own language. Therefore, each localization gives your business an opportunity to connect to a new, potentially bigger market.

With each market, care must be taken in the localization and marketing process so that you can successfully expand your business in that area. As mentioned before, many countries in Europe and Asia prefer their content dubbed due to historical factors and the ease of listening to dubbed videos (such as not having to look at the screen the whole time). Be sure to research your target countries to find the best localization approach for each one. Reaching more customers in different areas of the world means more return on investment as well as strengthening your brand’s global presence.

Amazon, considered one of the most valuable brands in the world, has expanded and localized their services to many different countries. Whether it’s London or Tokyo, local residents recognize Amazon as a convenient, fast service for getting the products they want delivered to their homes. Their local commercials can also be quite heartwarming: a popular Amazon Prime Japan commercial shows a Japanese family ordering an item on Prime to help their infant daughter and family dog get along.

It’s hard to compete against Amazon, however, you might be able to get a competitive advantage in your industry by being one of the first to localize their online content for a particular market. Also, once you’ve gone through the localization process for one language, it’s much easier to localize a video into other languages, thus opening up the outreach of your content to an even wider audience and thus being even more competitive in the market.

man in blue shirt sitting on brown wooden chair under yellow umbrella during daytime

photo by Thong Vo

Other Benefits and Summary

Video localization also has a number of other benefits:

  • Cultural sensitivity: you’ll create a positive relationship with your company and the local audience by making sure your videos are localized to avoid culturally insensitive topics, colors, etc…
  • Customer rapport: by taking the time to understand the cultural nuances of a country, you’ve shown your customers there that you care and are willing to support them in their own language.

These are just some of the many benefits of video localization. Hopefully this blog has shown you how video localization can help grow your business and reach clients that you might not have otherwise.

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