More and more of our clients are asking us to translate video. It’s not surprising. Content marketers and customers love video. It increases engagement and boosts sales. Search engines also love video because they consider it high-quality content. With proper optimization, video can work wonders for SEO (search engine optimization).
Businesses also prefer video for skills and safety training. Many people are visual learners, and video is easily integrated into e-learning programs. In some types of jobs, workers may not have high literacy, even in their own language. Video safety training presents an efficient alternative to written or face-to-face presentations.
For global businesses who need to reach viewers in multiple languages, video translation and localization is essential. Localization includes translating audio content, using either subtitles or voice-overs. It also might include revising visual content to maximize the appeal to the sensibilities of other cultures and minimize the risk of offending them.
As with any materials intended for an international audience, planning ahead will speed the process and produce a better result. Writing the script and planning the visual content with localization in mind eliminates the need to make major changes in localized versions. However, if the content comes close to traditional consumer advertising, you may need to create different versions for different markets. For more neutral content, such as product demonstrations and training, follow best practices for creating a translation-friendly source.
Never use machine translation or non-professionals for any type of marketing materials. You want your message to be as grammatically correct and fluent as the original to have the greatest impact. In addition, when professionals translate video, they take into account issues such as space for subtitles or time for voice-overs. Some materials may require transcreation. Professional language partners understand the process and will make sure your translated video has the same impact as the original.
If you use voice-overs, cultural preferences for type of voice will differ. Choose a voice that will resonate with the local audience and meet your professional standards. You will also want to be sure that foreign-language voice-overs are clearly enunciated and clearly recorded. A professional language partner can advise you on the best voices, give you choices of voice-over artists, and deliver a recording done to professional standards.
You want your intended audiences to find your videos. SEO is just as important for your foreign-language videos as it is for local videos. Tag, write, and translate descriptions separately for each language version of the video. Don’t forget to optimize the metadata. Also, don’t assume that you can simply translate the keywords and phrases you used for your original version. Your localization provider can help you validate the best keywords and phrases for drawing users in your target market to your video content. They can also advise on the major search engines in the countries and their particular SEO requirements.
If you plan to use social media to promote your videos, find out about the major social media platforms in your target market and their demographics. Then choose the best platforms to focus on.
When properly produced, localized videos can be just as effective a marketing or training tool for foreign-language audiences as for your local audience. Certainly, the cost to translate video will exceed the cost of translating text. However, the extra cost is well worth the investment when you consider the superior impact of video on both internal communications and marketing efforts.