Video Localization – Going Beyond Translation to Captivate Your Audiences

Localization - Going Beyond Translation

As an international company, making your marketing efforts available for a broader audience is extremely helpful. Catering to different markets is a challenge of its own that encompasses almost all activities of the organization. And when it comes to marketing, there is no exception. You want to make sure the different markets you serve all feel approached and invited to do business with you. With the huge potential of using videos in your marketing mix, video localization is a great way of approaching several markets with your message – but in an individualized style that will resonate with the various cultures.

What is Localization?

Localization basically means making your content available for different markets. It goes beyond strict translation and considers cultural factors that impact the way your customers will perceive the content. Due to cultural differences, the perception of several factors varies greatly. Things such as colors, signals, or expressions can have different meanings. Cultural norms vary. The appropriate way to say things might be different even beyond the language. People from different cultures express themselves differently. So in order to individually approach these different audiences, the process of localization factors in these cultural nuances.

How Can Localization Help You?

Approaching different markets in the way that will be the most fruitful individually is perhaps the main benefit of localization. Talking to your customers in the way they want to be approached and that feels culturally familiar to them creates an inviting relationship. It also prevents cultural mishaps from occurring that might otherwise make your audience in a certain market uncomfortable. Localization is thus a more targeted approach that will help you in winning over the hearts of different markets in various cultures. Without requiring the resources to create entirely new content, localization allows you to leverage the existing content to reach and captivate new audiences.

What Are the Challenges When it Comes to Video Localization?

Video Localization requires an extensive knowledge of the target culture and the target market. This also makes it rather complex. Especially when it comes to localizing marketing, having a deep understanding of the target culture is extremely important. This will be necessary for you to appeal to the peoples emotions in a way that connects them to your brand. Also, you definitely want to avoid any cultural or linguistic mishaps. At the same time, you want the localization to be specific enough so that the people targeted feel personally approached by your message. And in order to meet these two objectives, knowing how the people in that specific market think and how you can best approach them is key. Let’s take a look at 3 important factors you should pay attention to during video localization.


Language is perhaps the first aspect that comes to mind. However, this goes beyond translation when it comes to localization. People from the target culture might express themselves in a different way than the ones from the source culture. When it comes to different markets, cultural nuances can have a big impact. Thus, you might need to adjust the tonality, change expressions, and rephrase some parts of the text in order to communicate your message efficiently in the new culture.


Since videos have an audio component as well as a visual component, localization of a video should consider both of them. You might have to adjust the visuals for them to better resonate with the target country. Perhaps a color you are using is associated with an entirely different emotion in the target culture. Or maybe the characters in your video are using cultural signs – such as hand gestures – that have an entirely different meaning in another country. For example, hand gestures such as a thumbs up might be used to say “good luck” or “well done” in some cultures, but are the equivalent of a middle finger in other ones. Thus, make sure to be careful with these kinds of physical expressions when it comes to different cultures.


Oftentimes, we include cultural references for humor, relatability, or as an example. When localizing a video, however, you need to ask yourself: Will that reference still resonate with the new audience? In a globalized world, there certainly are some references most cultures will understand. But they still only make up a small fraction of all references. If you have a lot of knowledge about the target culture, perhaps you can find an equivalent or a counterpart of the reference that will resonate better with the target culture. Ensuring that your different audiences all understand your message and nuances is crucial to meaningful B2C communication.


Videos are an amazing tool in the modern marketplace. However, with the help of localization, you have the opportunity to amplify the impact it will have. Catering to your different audiences in a personal and culturally adapted way will not only significantly increase the number of people you can reach, but it will boost the influence it will have on these people. Localizing your videos will make more people feel included by your brand – Which they are sure to appreciate.


Are you interested in creating your own localized video content? Contact us now and let our team of experts assist you every step of the way!


For more in-depth information and insights into the world of localization across several industries, also check out the TransPerfect blog!