Since the rise of social media, the world has become more interconnected than ever. So many platforms support global interactions and are, therefore, goldmines for content creators.
Creating global content successfully, however, is a nuanced process. When companies attempt expansions into international markets, they are often met with a culture shock and fail due to a lack of preparation in various areas.
Whether in audio, visual, or written form, content creation for exposure or advertising is a key component in plans to expand into international markets, and careful translation choices are often the keys to their success.
So, whether you’re looking to hire a content creator or create for yourself, here are some of the basics of translation and some of the industry’s hottest trends.
The Basics of Transcreation
For anyone dipping their toes into the waters of translation, it is best to explain some key terms.
First, it is worth knowing that the most successful content creators are more than mere translators. Translation is simply shifting from one language to another. There is much more involved.
This is where localization comes into play. While translation sticks strictly to language, localization adjusts the meaning and connotations of content to achieve the desired effect.
The process of transcreation (a compound of translation and creation) refers to a combination of these two processes. It is a more accurate description of the steps required to create successful, universal content.
Transcreation is complex, so many content creators hire external operators for assistance in this area; more on this later. Now, after that quick detour, a couple of initial concepts to consider before translating, localizing, or transcreating content include:
Understanding the Market(s)
Before taking the plunge into creation, it is essential to understand the selected market. Research here will depend on how broad the intended audience is.
For example, content aimed directly at a Mexican audience will differ significantly from content aimed more widely toward a South American audience. However, some steps are beneficial when catering to audiences of any shape or form.
Three things that will always matter, regardless of the market chosen, are:
- Consumer/audience Behaviour: Quality content responds to its audience’s specific needs and demands. Keeping a finger close to the pulse of the chosen demographic is crucial when attempting to create dynamic content.
- Competitor Analysis: A content creator should always look to stand out from the rest. Understanding what is already on offer is essential when creating something unique.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Different cultures have different ideals, outlooks of morality, and values. Any content should, therefore, be adapted to them.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s entertainment, education, or promotion; nowadays, we are spoilt for choice when choosing a platform for content. Despite this, however, choosing the right platform for international content matters.
The decision here should be based on the knowledge acquired after market research. Many countries, for example, have their own preferred social media platforms. Identifying these platforms and establishing a presence on them will assist in engaging with local audiences.
Global platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have wide international user bases and offer tools for targeting specific regions. Even though they are often the go-to for content creators, it is worth noting that there are plenty of alternative platforms available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
A Look Into The Future
The translation industry is dynamic due to the ever-changing nature of language and audience preferences. It is an industry which has already seen massive change and will continue to do so within the coming years. Some developments to look out for include:
In today’s market, quality content is demanded at a fast turnover. This demand often creates a heavy burden on creators, particularly those who are inexperienced in translation.
Translation agencies respond to this problem by offering expert services to help with translation processes.
Within recent years usage of AI has skyrocketed. Starting with language models and then progressing with video, art, and audio creation, AI, if it continues this development, allows creators to create instantly in whatever language they desire.
As technological advancements continue to connect people from country to country, the opportunities to share stories, advertise, and entertain audiences will only increase. This accessibility comes with its downsides, however.
Translation is just one problem of many. For influencers, entrepreneurs, and businesses alike, the increased ease of transmitting messages worldwide will only create more competition in the global market, meaning content creators will have to possess a great deal of innovation and meticulous planning to stand out.
From language to culture, there are so many problems to solve, but once solved, the potential for growth in the areas of exposure, profit, and reach is endless.