The age-old question creeps up when companies start looking at international markets: should I create custom content for each market or just write one text and translate it into many languages? Unfortunately, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, but we do have a handy checklist that you can use to better understand which option works best for you.
Look at your audience
The first step is to understand which markets you are targeting and what their needs are. Does your audience share similar traditions, habits, and culture? While different regions can have language difference, your potential customers may have similar requirements and environments, which could allow you to use the same content translated into different languages. Take a snow plowing service in Canada – their customers in French-speaking and English-speaking areas will generally have the same needs, no matter what language they read the website in.
On the other hand, if you customers have very different needs, it’s important to reflect that through custom blog or web content. An international travel site would focus on top ski destinations for its European customers in December, while for its Australian customers it would talk about the best beach vacations.
Look at your resources
Before you start creating a customized website for every country, it’s important to be realistic about your resources. The important aspect to keep in mind is that custom content for each market also requires a separate strategy. Your content marketing topics in one country will be completely different from country #2 and #3 and #4. Do you have the skills, time and money to invest in such a project? When it comes to content creation or translation, you have several options
- In-house writers or translators
- Freelance writers or translators
Take a look at our in-depth blog posts here and here about these different options. Remember; don’t spread yourself too thin because you could end up trying to create mediocre quality custom content for each market, when it would be better to translate the same content for all audiences.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up
Just because you decide to translate your blog from one source text into many languages, doesn’t mean that you need to stick with that strategy for all of your marketing materials. What’s stopping you from customizing your promotional emails for each country or region to reflect local holidays and sales? It’s important to stay flexible to ensure that your content has the highest impact. Test the waters and find the right combination of localized content creation and general translation.