The Importance of Culture When Translating Your Marketing Content

Design, Marketing, Translation Services

Translating your marketing content is an important step in reaching new customers who speak a language other than English.

The benefits of translating this marketing content are numerous and, when handled correctly, can have a positive impact on your overall return on investment (ROI).

However, it’s not just the written language that needs to be accounted for.

When preparing your marketing material for your target audience, it’s crucial to take their culture into consideration.

Factoring in an audience’s cultural preferences and what is important to them will improve your company’s chances of making a genuine connection with them, resulting in a positive experience for your consumers, and the potential for an increased ROI for you.

The connection between culture and translation

Culture is a common set of customary beliefs, social forms, and characteristic features of everyday life shared by a group of people.

These characteristics can include language, religion, art, music, traditions and customs.

Because a group’s culture ultimately forms language (and changes to it), translation and culture are intricately connected.

For that reason, a translator must take the cultural context of both the source and target language into consideration when translating a text from one language to another.

To do so, a translator should be competent in his or her understanding of the culture of both the source text’s audience and the culture of the target audience.

This will help the translator find the best balance between language and culture so your company’s marketing materials will reach the target audience more effectively.

This process, called localization, requires adapting the material to be culturally appropriate for your target audience.

Localization can help fine-tune your final translation

Localization, often abbreviated in the industry as L10N, is the process of adapting a product to a specific locale or culture.

Localization is handled not only through the translated copy, but also through the colors and imagery you use, the formatting and design you implement, and how you approach what is culturally important to your audience.

Focusing on the overall experience your customers will have with your final translated and localized marketing materials will help you develop a marketing campaign that is more appropriate for your audience. This is something a word-for-word translation of your English content simply cannot achieve.

How your English-language campaign might differ when you account for culture in translation

When you account for the culture of your target audience and ensure your marketing campaigns are properly localized, the final product can be quite different than your original English-language campaign.

That’s okay!

Just because your ad campaign performs well for an English-speaking audience, that doesn’t mean that simply translating the copy and leaving the rest as is will achieve the same results for your new target market.

Content that has been properly localized to account for the culture of your target market can make it easier to connect with your audience. Here are some things that might change as you finalize content for a foreign market.

When you localize your marketing content, you’ll not only take the translated language into consideration, but also a number of other items, such as, but not limited to:

  • Layout and design

  • Images

  • Color schemes

  • Checkout experience

  • Multilingual SEO strategies

  • Font choices

  • Etc.

Of course, if there’s anything that’s crucial to your company’s image or brand that you don’t want a localization team to localize, you can always let them know in advance.

Factoring in cultural differences can help boost your ROI

To say localizing your marketing content can lead to potential growth for your company is an understatement.

In the past 15 years, Common Sense Advisory (CSA) conducted two surveys about language and web browsing behavior.

Both times, CSA found that internet users are around 72% more likely to purchase a product from a website in their own language than if the website appeared only in English . . . even if they believe themselves to have a solid grasp of the English language.

Reaching your new target market in their native or primary language, and with a marketing campaign designed specifically with them in mind, will go a long way when it comes to expanding into a new market and building customer loyalty.

You’ll increase your customer base more rapidly if your materials are properly localized with the target culture in mind, which will give you an advantage over competitors who have not provided such attention to detail for their new target audiences.

Your customers will feel valued and appreciated by having such a tailored experience on your site, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and sales growth for your company.

In fact, studies show that for every $1 you invest in localization, your ROI will be roughly $25!

If you’re expanding to international markets, you simply cannot afford not to localize your marketing campaigns.

The importance of hiring professional translators

Translating and localizing marketing campaigns aimed at your customers is a great way to reach them. But it’s vital to make sure it’s handled by professionals. After all, you don’t want to lose a customer as soon as they land on your website or come across your ad campaign.

Although investing in a professional high-quality translation may cost more up front, it’s worth it for your brand in the long run.

You’re more likely to retain the customers you reach with your translations, as they will feel confident in your brand, building trust and potentially helping you to secure more sales as this relationship grows.

Investing in a multilingual experience that emphasizes the importance of your target audience’s culture is a wonderful way to strike a balance between customer needs and your business goals.

Not only will you be able to reach new audiences just by having information available to customers in their native language(s), but you’ll be on your way to gaining their respect and trust while seeing a return on your investment.

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