Your Ultimate Guide To Media Localization

Posted by Gummy Tran on April 15, 2022.

Media localization is a big business. Global media spending reached $2.14 trillion in 2015, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Platforms such as Netflix and Hulu (video content) have seen people consuming more media than ever before — not just on their TVs and computers, but also on their tablets and smartphones.

Hence, if you are seeking out new markets in other countries, you should pay attention to media localization. 

In this article, we will run through what media localization is, what its advantages are, and what you should do to have an effective media localization plan.

1. What Is Media Localization?

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Media localization is the process of adapting a product/service from one language to another target language, as well as from one culture to another, in order to reach worldwide audiences. Media localization might be as simple as translating subtitles for a TV show or as complex as developing a completely new version of a video game for international distribution.

Media localization is typically performed by professional translators who understand the target market’s language and culture. The goal is to ensure that the media is understandable to the new audience like it is created for them and that it does not cause any offense to anyone in the new location.


2. Which Types of Creative Media Content Can Be Localized?

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When it comes to content, creative media has a lot to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of creative media content that may be localized:

  • TV Content

Television has been around for a long time and is still quite popular among people of all ages. If a company produces TV content for digital platforms and wants to reach new audiences, they need to do media localization. 

In Portugal, for example, a well-known real estate company sells properties to English buyers. One of its marketing tools is its own digital TV show, which contains everything from the local legal framework to Portuguese culture, as well as showcasing properties in each episode. If that company opts to begin selling to Germans, it could utilize media localization for its TV program as part of its plan, transforming content created for English audiences into shows targeted at Germans.

  • Film

Companies that use films to promote their products or raise awareness of their brand also need to localize their content. The investment involved in high-quality filming can be a huge amount. Therefore, maximizing the value of that filming by spending comparatively little on media localization makes a lot of sense.

  • Radio

Not all creative media forms include a visual element. There are companies using radio show format to market their goods or services, and media localization can do much to support their international expansion.

  • Other Video Content

There are a variety of other forms of video content that a business might use in today’s increasingly digital world. Whether running a popular YouTube channel or acting as a prolific vlogger, translators may help companies employ media localization to transfer their content across to new audiences in a way that it resonates with them.


3. What Are the Business Benefits of Media Localization? 

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  • Domestic Growth

Businesses might benefit from adapting creative media content to suit varied audiences. This expansion may be measured both in terms of the geographic region in which a company operates and in terms of the number of customers it serves. And it might be domestic as well as worldwide.

Consider the case of a London-based company. A company that wants to expand its customer base may not need to look outside of the country for new customers; there are plenty of opportunities to engage new customers right in London. 

According to Project Britain, London is the world’s most linguistically diverse capital city, with Londoners collectively speaking over 250 languages. This means that a company trying to reach out to new customers in London might use media localization for domestic purposes, tailoring content to suit Londoners who speak languages other than English as their first language.

As such, any company located in a city or country where many languages are spoken has the potential to expand its customer base without changing its geographical area of operation.

  • International Growth

Companies that want to develop worldwide might benefit from media localization as well. The same process applies, with localization specialists tailoring the content to the target audience’s language and culture.

Building a global reputation has more advantages than merely growing customer numbers. When handled carefully, international expansion may help a company avoid becoming too reliant on a single country’s economy. The risk of an economic crash in one country is balanced by the economic performance in others by working across multiple environments.


4. What Does Creative Media Localization Involve? 

  • Find Out What Your Audience Wants

Before translating creative content, you have to define what your audience wants. By researching an audience’s expectations, you have a much better chance of meeting those expectations. 

For example, does the target country commonly consume content from overseas with dubbing and voice-overs or with subtitles? You need to know which option is more appropriate, rather than making assumptions.

  • Translation and Localization

The translation and localization process will cover any spoken dialogue in the file, along with any on-screen copy. The translators should be native speakers of the target language and should have a thorough grasp of the target culture. By applying this expertise to the text they are working on, they can ensure that the content delivered will sound natural in the target language and is culturally appropriate.

  • Dubbing and subtitling services

After the text has been translated, any voice acting work or writing of subtitles should be done. This will guarantee that it is incorporated in the final file.

  • Cultural Adaptation 

When you are localizing your creative content, pay special attention to the cultural aspects. Delivering a precisely translated video is meaningless, for example, if the people speaking in it are not dressed in a way that is appropriate for the target audience. An unfitting cultural detail in your content could damage your reputation, instead of the international growth you had envisioned. 

  • SEO Optimization 

Google is paying a lot of attention to video content these days, so if a business doesn’t yet have an SEO strategy in relation to its media localization, it might be time to think about it. 

You should address SEO optimization for international audiences with your translators at the very beginning of the translation process, not during the final proof of the adapted file.


5. Top Vital Tips for Creating Media Content that Resonates with International Audiences

  • Create content with localization in mind from the outset: This means before sending any new audiovisual content to translators, you should use clear, simple language and avoid idioms, jokes, or references that only make sense in one language or to one culture.
  • Remove ‘one size fits all’ assumptions when it comes to language: If the content is not localized to fit with the specific group, you reduce the likely impact of that content on the target audience. The language of Spanish provides a good example of this. The Spanish spoken in Spain is not the same as the Spanish spoken in Mexico or Chile. To increase your chances of attracting an audience’s attention, you have to make your content appealing to them and as if it has been developed specifically for them.
  • Leave plenty of time for the localization process: It can be intricate work that you should spend time planning, checking, and possibly tweaking the final product.


Work with a professional media localization company

To have effective media localization campaigns, you should have a professional Language Service Provider to help you out, as the process will require a lot of expertise in translation, localization, SEO optimization, along with an in-depth understanding of the target audience’s culture, lifestyle and behavior, and much more.

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GTE Media is a trustworthy company that offers high-quality media localization services such as subtitling services, transcription services, etc. We bring many exceptional values to our clients, which include:

  • GTE Media ensures human translation, proofreading, and delivery within the specified time. 
  • With a wide pool of top-rated and experienced native translators, GTE Media delivers outstanding media translation and localization services. 
  • As a technology-driven translation and localization company, we have up-to-date tools and systems to smooth our translation process while lowering expenses for our clients.

Get in touch with our specialists right now to kick off your media localization campaign in new markets and gain new customers globally.

If you want to know more about translation and localization services, you can have a look here.

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