How to get marketing content translated

Language

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Here, we will go a step further with our language versions by looking at the unique demands that come with getting a great translation of your marketing content.

In our earlier blog post, we looked at how multilingual SEO helps ensure that your customers can actually find your content once it has been translated.

Marketers spend a lot of time creating and refining their content so that it hits the mark with their desired target audience, because personalized content performs better. That makes translating marketing content different from all other translations.

Here is a list of things that you need to consider when ordering a translation of your marketing text.

  • On top of the SEO needs, a typical marketing text is usually targeted at a certain customer group and needs to consider their location or culture-specific details. Is it the translator’s job or the marketer’s job to know the equivalent culture-specific details for another country or another language?
  • Marketing texts typically use specific terms – or even entirely new words or expressions that don’t yet have a specific equivalent in the other language. Do you need a translator, or a native-language marketing copywriter, or both?
  • Marketing content often has references to local trends, news, popular culture, media influencers, and so on – do you expect the translator to know if these should be localized for another language or territory?
  • When it comes to digital content, let’s not forget character limits: meta-text (160 characters), programmatic advertising headlines (30 characters)… The list of technical requirements goes on and on. Have you gotten a translator who understands all of them?

So, it stands to reason that the solution for marketing translations is different from other translation solutions, and that solution goes by two names in the industry (yes, we love words!) – creative translation, or “transcreation.”

Instead of aiming for a linguistically accurate translation, the goal in creative translation is to find the best way to deliver the marketer's intended idea and creative concept in another language.

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Like any creative work, the transcreation process starts with a creative brief.

At a minimum, your creative brief should include:

1. The background to the content

2. The objective: What is the goal of the marketing activity, ad or campaign?

3. The target audience: Who are we talking to?

4. The focus: What's the most important thing to say or show?

5. The key selling arguments

6. Which channels will the content be used in?

7. Are there any visuals in the source material that should be localized too? It will help if you add guidelines for them, as well.

8. What other details about your content can you provide that might help the creative team?

For digital content, you should include:

9- The keywords. Does the text need to be SEO-optimized first?

10. All character limits – and don’t forget to include limits for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on if you will use all or part of your content on social media.

You will also have to include the standard items in a translation brief:

11. The languages: the source and target languages. Don’t forget to include any variants (e.g. US or UK English, or European Spanish or American Spanish)?

12. Finally, a clear deadline for when you need it.

A detailed creative brief will help the translator to recreate the text so that it meets their purposes and talks to the right target audience. The more detail you provide, the better your translator can recreate the text to suit the needs of your content.

Did you know? Acolad has an extensive network of native copy-editors and translators who specialize in marketing texts. You can upload a document using our translation quote form, or contact our sales team directly to arrange a test translation.

And finally, here is our advice based on best practices within the industry.

  • Allow enough time for the process. Specialized translators especially are often fully booked for days, if not weeks, beforehand.
  • Bundle most of your campaign materials together, if you can. This way, all the text for one language can be done by the same translator, which will ensure that it is cohesive – the keywords, tone of voice and writing style will be uniform.
  • An additional bonus is that with larger amounts of material for translation at one time, it opens up possibilities for volume discounts.

Would you like to know more about extending your marketing reach into other languages?

At Acolad, we produce engaging, creative, and multilingual content for ourselves and our customers around the world. This blog is adapted from our eBooks on content marketing and language versioning, and what we have learnt through experience when creating multilingual content for marketing automation.

You can download our free 55-page eBook on multilingual SEO and content marketing, and learn how to engage with your audience in their language. In addition to the topics explored in this blog, you will find great content and tips on:

  • Why go multilingual?
  • Strategy and the buyer’s journey
  • Multilingual content promotion
  • Multilingual SEO