How to Develop a Content Localization Strategy and Make Your Content More Relevant

Sep 20, 2021 — Adela Belin, 8 min read

Reading Time: 8 minutes

There’s a lot for marketers to learn from a brand like Netflix. But if there’s one thing to take away — it’s content localization.

After its success in the US and Canadian markets, Netflix explored various English markets first and then established its dominance in varied cultural settings. 

From translating content and contextualizing the design to using pseudo localization techniques, Netflix’s content localization strategy is a template to follow.

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More importantly, Netflix’s success shows what it takes to build a globally recognized brand.   

This is where the importance of content localization comes in. If you’re new to this side of marketing or want to dive deep into it, then this blog post will walk you through the steps to follow for creating a solid content localization strategy for your brand.

What is Content Localization? 

Content localization essentially means making a brand’s content relevant to the local culture of a new market. The new market is often starkly different from the brand’s original or primary market.

Let’s say, you are marketing a brand of chips from the US, then you have to look at what chips are called and how they are consumed in your target market, in say, Spain.

But the true essence of content localization as a marketing tactic lies in creating a customized brand experience immersed in the local culture. 

Salvatore Giammarresi from AirBnB remarks that localization “sits at the intersection of communication, culture, technology, and operational excellence.

Here’s how this marketing tactic can benefit any brand:

  • Greater engagement: When you deliver tailor-made brand experiences that are relevant to the target audience, you are likely to receive better responses, more customers, and more engagement on your channels as being an “inclusive brand.”
  • Increased conversions: Hitting the right chords with your target audience can naturally lead to more interest and sales. Studies confirm 86% of localized campaigns outperform English ones.
  • Competitive edge: Expanding to newer markets and localizing your brand allows you to be a step ahead of your competition, thus giving your audience another reason to purchase from you.
  • Cost efficiency: Instead of spending time and money to create local content from scratch, it will always be beneficial to repurpose the existing content in the local context.

8 Steps to Build a Solid Content Localization Strategy

Content localization is synonymous with customer satisfaction.

By tailoring your brand to the target audience’s language and culture, you show that you care. This ultimately leads to better connections and greater sales. 

So, if you are looking for the best ways to localize your brand, here is an 8-step plan for you.  

  1. Define your target market and perform consumer-centric research

If you want to create content that hooks your audience and makes them want to take action—you need to dig deep into your target market and understand what triggers their behavior  in different parts of the world.

So, before you begin designing elaborate strategies about conquering foreign audiences, identify your target market. You can begin by locating your best performance outside your primary presence. Then, perform consumer-focused research to identify the same.

Emphasizing the customers will give you reliable data to find markets with scope for growth.

For example, the American apparel giant VF bases its localization research on geo-demographic factors and lifestyle preferences. It also factors in competitive analysis and sales data, giving the marketers a holistic view. 

Some of VF’s research findings concluded that women residing in South California prefer shorter denim skirts than those in North California.

To execute this perfectly, you should collaborate with local experts to get an in-depth and clear understanding of your target buyer.

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  1. Go beyond translation and focus on the local culture

Translation is important but not be-all and end-all of content localization.

Marketers commonly equate localization with translation thus, overlooking other significant aspects. To create a successful content localization strategy, you should think beyond translation. Explore the culture and background of the market you’re targeting and understand what’s important to your customers.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder, explains this by saying, “each city is unique in its transportation pain points, its density, its transportation alternatives, regulation, even its transportation culture.”

So, study the local demographics, experience the local culture, and discover the local people. The real trick to succeed with brand localization is to make yourself relevant. Here are some crucial details you should consider when venturing into a new market:

  • Sound knowledge of the local customs and norms
  • A clear understanding of the purchasing habits
  • Insight into popular payment preferences
  • An in-depth idea about language usage

H&M’s new collection for the Chinese New Year is a classic example of this strategy.

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  1. Plan the content you want to localize

Locally targeted content receives over six times more engagement than content designed for a global audience—imagine running a multilingual blog that caters to all the major languages in your target audience, wouldn’t that get great engagement, and build more trust?

This amazing statistic, coupled with the varied benefits of localization, proves the importance of deciding the content you want to localize.

Mapping out a plan for this focused content for new markets is important to ensure you’re heading in the right direction. While most marketers consider this as the main step for localization, they often end up without the right preparedness on this front.

It can be tempting to simply translate everything. But blindly spending a budget on translation will not secure any results. Take targeted content to your new markets and see how effectively it works.

When it comes to creating a plan for content localization, here are some things you can include in your strategy:

  • Branding content
  • Legal content
  • Technical content
  • Marketing content
  • Backend content
  • Contact information

To ensure you don’t miss out on any of these crucial content types, go through this step-wise process:

  • Choose the branding content you should translate first
  • Find your best performing content formats
  • Pick the content pillars with the best search engine ranking
  • Take what your audience prefers
  • Factor in your competition and see what they’re doing right

Here’s a glimpse of what Nescafe Japan’s website looks like.

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  1. Work with a mix of machine and human translators

After you’ve picked out the content for your localization strategy, find the most suitable translation services for your brand.

In a world brimming with AI-powered tools, technology can save you a ton of money when it comes to translating your content for localization. However, do thorough research on translation tools before investing a sum.

Here are some of the most popular translation software:

  • Smartling: Equipped with a translation management system and various automation options, Smartling is a leading name in the domain.
  • Lokalise: Built for localization and used by big names like Amazon and Starbucks, Lokalise comes with a project management platform and design tools to localize content with development.
  • Transifex: A cloud-based localization solution trusted by tech companies like Trello and Atlassian, Transifex offers an open-source avenue for translating content with ease. 

In addition to picking the best software, collaborate with reputed native translators. . Choose someone from the region instead of just a language translator, this way you can have firsthand knowledge of the local culture too. Take their advice on what people would like and dislike to design and develop your brand accordingly.

  1. Build a multilingual social presence

If you search for Ikea—a multinational company that deals with furniture and kitchen accessories —  on any social media platform, you will come across individual accounts for different regions/countries. Each account is starkly different from the other, representing a distinct theme and appeal. Yet, each account enjoys millions of followers—that’s the power of content localization.

Creating multilingual content for local markets is important because it:

  • Helps generate interest with content in users’ native language.
  • Builds greater credibility and encourages the local audience to develop a better connection with your brand.
  • Enhances cultural sensitivity by creating a local identity for your business.   

When building a localized social media marketing strategy, some brilliant techniques are—using culturally appropriate slang, relevant pop-culture references, and celebrating popular occasions and festivals, like IKEA here.

  1. Customize landing pages for the target audience

Personalizing your landing pages for new markets is a powerful practice that can make your site pages, and website more accessible to the audience. 

Nifty Marketing’s research discovered that 80% of the best-performing landing pages use localization.

Before optimizing your landing page(s), think of how you will go about it.

Look at the performance statistics, decide the extent of localization, implement your tactics, and consistently test your page performance.

For starters, here’s a checklist for creating a solid local landing page:

  • Hyper-localized content
  • Locally relevant keywords
  • Reviews from the locals
  • Contact information for that specific location
  • Add a store location and map
  • Pricing in local currency as per trends
  • Customizing offers as per local holidays 

The process of optimizing your landing pages for different locations involves deep research. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Use data: If you have chosen a location, you should look at which page is performing the best. Then, go through the Google Analytics data and see the numbers for different stages in your conversion funnel.
  2. Ideate local content: Localizing a landing page involves adding local pictures, adjusting the pricing, and showing social proof from the locals. So, carefully outline the content you want to add to these pages.
  3. Implement and Test: Put your customized landing pages to test after ticking off every element in the above checklist. Once these pages are live, it is crucial to keep track of the performance and iterate based on the results.

7. Factor in the locally relevant marketing channels

Targeting the local media is your key to unlock the unlimited potential of a new market.

If you are going to a foreign country, you cannot stick to the same marketing channels you were using for your primary region.

People in the UAE, for instance, are more active on Facebook, Whatsapp, and YouTube than most other social media networks. On the other hand, every 1 in 4 Americans is an avid podcast listener.

This clearly shows the difference between people’s preferences and cultures in different parts of the world. Therefore, focusing your efforts toward identifying and targeting locally popular marketing channels should be an important part of your localization strategy.

Here are a few things to consider when finding the best marketing channels for a new market:

  • What is the most popular social media network in this region?
  • What do the local people like to hear in terms of advertising?
  • What are their likes and dislikes in terms of content?

8. Keep a close check on the success of your content

A good localization strategy will always focus on the results. Tracking your progress is vital for making productive revisions and strengthening your localization efforts.

Here’s what you can do to measure the success of your localization efforts:

  • Create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to see how close you are to your localization objectives and goals. These can be—an increase in organic traffic to the blog from different regions, purchase of products on social media through localized channels, ranking of location-specific keywords, etc.
  • Use Google Analytics to study where your traffic, user base, and sales are coming from—measure how much it has changed since you structured your content localization efforts.
  • Study your content engagement—analyze how much of it is coming through the regional population based on the target market. Also, keep a close eye on how they are engaging with you to understand how you can improve the content to suit their needs better.

Some key metrics you should look out for are conversion rate, bounce rate, page time, exit ratio, and unique users.


Different audiences demand different branding. If you are diving into a foreign market, localization is the powerful weapon you need to build a thriving global brand.

As a multifaceted strategy, content localization requires effort on multiple fronts. Right from deciding your content and translation services to researching the most popular marketing channels and landing page optimization—there’s a lot to do.

Without the right strategy to move forward in a focused direction, you might end up focusing your time, efforts, and resources in the wrong place. So, follow this 8-step process to make a content localization strategy for your brand and make a memorable entry to a new region!

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

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