Marketing translation services: How to prepare your source content

Marketing translation services: How to prepare your source content

As you enter new language markets, localizing content for foreign audiences can seem overwhelming. Certainly, translating your website is the first and most obvious step in the process. But what about blog posts, social media, and other types of inbound marketing content? Localizing these will present challenges as well. You’ve established a brand voice or personality in your own language; now you need to replicate it in another. Following these steps can help you leverage the content you already have. Preparing for marketing translation services results in more effective foreign language content and better return on your localization investment.

Triage

If you maintain an active blog in English, decide which blog posts to translate first. Sort the posts that should be translated from posts that aren’t worth the effort. Consider timeliness and relevance; some posts might concern issues that no longer matter. Look for content that helps your readers solve problems that matter to them. This is also a good time to assess the value of your keywords for your foreign audiences. Each post should already have been written to feature a particular keyword or phrase in the source language. From a list of existing posts, choose the posts that help prospects find and make decisions about the services and products you offer. In addition, white papers, how-tos and other assets such as client testimonials and infographics are less likely to go stale.

Simplify

Once you’ve identified candidates for translation, some English-language editing is necessary. If you wrote the posts to be catchy and fresh, there’s a good chance they use slang, business jargon, and idiomatic figures of speech.  Posts that were explicitly crafted for your home audience need to read naturally when translated. Simplify your language, being as literal as possible, using bullet points and lists to help clarify your essential message. Even if the source feels less lively to you in its stripped-down version, its translation will be better. Focus first on the information your audience needs. Your marketing translation services team will handle matters of style.

While preparing content for blogs or web pages, clearly highlight the source keyword or phrase each time it appears. Additional research by the translation team may be necessary to identify which key phrases work best in the target language. Instruct the translation team to translate key phrases consistently throughout the post, following best practices for on-page SEO.

While preparing your content, you should also include all the additional pieces of content connected to each item, including social media posts, headlines, subject lines for email blasts, tags, and metadata.

Transcreate

If your brand has a strong voice and personality, and your assets need to have a strong local flavor, you may need transcreation, a combination of translation and copywriting. Transcreators are professionals with close familiarity with both your industry and the local culture of your target market. If you have a style guide, share it. Also, a creative brief helps transcreators in the same way it helps monolingual copywriters. It gives them a sense of your brand personality. Explain your brand strategy and identify the personas or the types of readers you wish to target. If you clarify who you want to reach and why, transcreation specialists can provide compelling translations. Your foreign language content should catch the attention of the reader, using culturally appropriate concepts as well as the correct key phrases.

In summary

Marketing translation services involve much more than simply translating content word-for-word.  Careful preparation on your part is key.  Work with a language service partner who can help you launch your brand in any market and any language.