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Localisation Strategy: Understanding When & How To Implement

Posted 08 May 2024

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Businesses looking to expand into new markets can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach for their global marketing efforts. To resonate with customers worldwide, a well-crafted content localisation strategy is essential. This involves moving beyond literal translation, to tailor experiences to the specific needs, preferences and cultural nuances of your target audience.

Table of Contents

Embracing Content Localisation Is A Strategic Imperative

Content localisation is a game-changer, and its impact can’t be overstated. Here are just a few powerful benefits to consider:

Increased Reach & Engagement

Breaking down language barriers allows you to connect with a wider, global audience, opening new channels for potential growth and fostering deeper connections with users worldwide.

Elevated Brand Perception

By demonstrating respect for cultural differences and a willingness to adapt to local needs, your brand becomes more trustworthy and likeable within diverse markets.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Localised content makes users feel understood and valued. This improved customer experience translates to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand advocacy.

Competitive Advantage

A nuanced content localisation strategy sets you apart. It showcases your brand’s commitment to the market and dedication to providing localised experiences.

Getting Started with Content Localisation

Why Do We Localise Content?

Businesses embark on content localisation projects for various strategic reasons:

Businesses choose to invest in content localisation for many strategic reasons. One core objective is expanding into new markets. By localising your website, marketing materials, and even product packaging, you introduce your brand smoothly to new audiences. This tailored approach makes your offering inherently more accessible and welcoming to potential customers in those markets.

Localisation also fosters deeper engagement with your existing customer base in global markets. Providing localised resources, such as support manuals, FAQ pages, or even social media interactions in their native language, demonstrates commitment to excellent service and builds stronger bonds of trust.

Localised content offers a significant SEO advantage. Multilingual content optimised for local keywords helps your business rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) within specific regions. This drives organic traffic and attracts leads who may not have discovered you otherwise.

Content localisation supports successful product launches in new markets. By localising launch campaigns, product descriptions and educational materials, you generate excitement and accelerate adoption among your target audience. Finally, localisation plays a crucial role in regulatory compliance. Ensuring your content aligns with local laws and industry-specific standards in each market helps you seamlessly navigate the complexities of doing business globally.

Assumptions & Realities

Be aware that each market operates within its own unique cultural context. Avoid assumptions that translate your own cultural understanding directly to new audiences. Idioms, humour, colours and symbols can carry vastly different interpretations depending on the market. To avoid embarrassing or potentially offensive misunderstandings, thorough research is crucial. Enlist the help of native speakers who offer valuable cultural insights to help you navigate these nuances.

This approach requires a shift from solely translating content to crafting experiences that resonate meaningfully within target markets. Local expertise is your key to ensuring imagery, humour and messaging align with cultural sensitivities and effectively land with your new audience.

When to Say “Yes” To Content Localisation

Determining when to invest in content localisation takes a discerning approach. Here are scenarios where it’s a clear win:

Scenario 1: Amplifying Quality Content for Greater Impact

If you have stellar pieces of content already proven to perform well in your primary market, consider the power of localisation. Translate your best-performing blog posts, evergreen videos, or high-converting marketing campaigns to broaden their reach.

Scenario 2: Strategically Rolling Out Localisation Initiatives

A phased rollout can be smart and cost-effective, especially for large-scale operations. Begin with your most important markets or focus on localising key customer-facing content – your website, product pages and essential onboarding material first.

Scenario 3: Piloting for Precise Audience Response

Test the waters in new markets by localising a small campaign or a series of content pieces. Assess audience response and tailor your larger approach accordingly.

Scenario 4: Comprehensive User Journey Localisation

For long-term success, think holistically. Ensure a smooth, culturally appropriate experience at every touchpoint: browsing, purchase, shipping, customer support and beyond.

Scenario 5: Culturally Informed Decision Making

Localisation isn’t just about output. Gather deeper market insights by localising survey forms, customer feedback channels and market research efforts to truly understand the wants and needs of your audience.

Optimising Localised Content For Search Engines

Content localisation isn’t just about translation; it’s about ensuring discoverability within your target market. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes into play. By optimising your localised content with relevant local keywords and search terms, you significantly increase your chances of ranking higher in local search engine results pages. This organic visibility drives qualified traffic to your website and attracts potential customers actively searching for products or services like yours in your target region.

Localisation Checklist For Crafting A Winning Strategy

Here’s where we transition from the ‘why’ to the ‘how’:

  • What are the top three outcomes I want from content localisation?
  • Can I define a detailed persona for my ideal customer in each target market?
  • Which 3-5 pieces of content are the most essential to localise for maximum impact?
  • What content is absolutely fundamental to the customer journey and needs priority localisation?
  • Do we need a blend of translation skills and cultural consulting expertise for our project?
  • Should we invest in external partners (agency or freelancers) to support our localisation goals?
  • Would a Translation Management System (TMS) significantly improve our efficiency and quality?
  • How can I access reliable cultural insights about my target market to avoid missteps?
  • What are the 2-3 most important KPIs I’ll use to track localisation success?

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More than just translation. Transcreation is a multilingual copywriting service that drives better performance for your brand by tailoring the message to your target market's buying preferences and culture. ALM creates content directly in the target language or adapts existing content for anything from websites to PPC ad copy.

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