A new year is upon us and now that we have recovered from all the indulgence of the holidays, the time has come to shake off and start looking to the future!

For this edition of the blog, we are going to look at how you can use localisation – a favourite subject of ours – to revitalise and enhance your brand in the new year.

What is localisation?

Let’s begin with a quick refresher on the definition of localisation.

Simply put, localisation is the process of adapting texts to a particular market, country or culture.

Beyond simply translating from one language to another, localisation means stepping into the shoes of your customer or reader and looking at a text through their eyes.

What units of measurement do they use? What cultural references do they understand? And what sort of language speaks direct to their heart?

That, in a nutshell, is localisation!

Now that we’ve straightened that out, let’s take a look at some practical localisation tips we can implement in 2022.

Tip 1: Identify Your Markets

Before you can get started creating great localised content, you first need to know exactly what local markets you want to target.

You might feel like your business is global or European, but take a closer look at where the bulk of your customers are actually based. And then consider what markets are particularly lucrative right now – which parts of Europe or the wider world would you like to do more business with?

Once you’ve drawn up a realistic and solid list of regions or markets, you can then make your decision to create that many versions of your website and to tailor your marketing and website materials towards each region.

Be sure to also consider regional and linguistic borders as part of this process. For example, if you do a lot of business with customers in Catalonia, you may want to develop a Catalan version of your website rather than Spanish.

Or say there is a company in Switzerland you would like to target – that’s great, but now we need to know whether they are based in German, French or Italian-speaking part of the country.

Tip 2: Engage with Local Happenings and Developments

Besides having your static website content translated and localised for each market, consider also your options to engage dynamically with local happenings, concerns and events. Particularly through your social media and blog posts. This will allow your brand to appear fresh and on the ball, and you can latch on to local trends and engage with them in order to boost your brand and attract more business.

For an example of what this can look like, head over to the WWF website which has been recognised by many writers for its excellent localisation.

At first glance, the various iterations of its website look quite similar. But on closer inspection, you will see that they contain specific links to articles on local issues in order to best capture the attention and interest of readers in a specific country.

Rather than relying solely on one-size-fits-all content developed primarily with one market in mind, the team at WWF goes the extra mile to engage with their readers on a localised business in order to best engage and inspire them.

Think also about big brands like McDonalds and how they are always seeking to align themselves with big events such as sporting competitions or huge film releases.

You don’t need a huge sponsorship deal to benefit from a similar kind of cross-promotion – simply keep your eyes peeled for relevant events and engage on Twitter, or write a blog post.

For example, if you are an independent fashion retailer and there is a big fashion show taking place in one of your markets, consider writing your own round-up of the event for your blog in that market.

Tip 3: Consult (or Hire) an Expert

When it comes to localisation, there is a lot you can do yourself. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty, it sometimes takes a honed brain entrenched in the local culture to pick up on all the minor details. Like tweaking spellings or converting units of measurement, for example.

These small details can seem insignificant to outsiders but they can make all the difference if your target customer is unable to work out whether you have shoes in their size, or an outlet within walking distance from their accommodation.

The best way to make sure all the minor details are ship-shape is quite simply to partner with an expert who can keep you on the right track, identify areas for improvement and give you the peace of mind that nothing has gone unconsidered.

At Comunica, we have extensive experience within the field of localisation and we work closely with expert localisers in a number of markets including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and more.

What’s more, we also have our own in-house SEO experts, so we can help you not only to create localised content for all of the markets you want to target, but to also ensure it turns up in localised search results across multiple languages.

Good luck with your localisation efforts in 2022, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any help building a stronger, more localised brand in the new year!