Best Practices in Marketing Localization Part One: Localizing Video Content

6. Dezember 2023y

Localization, especially in marketing, can be a true make-or-break moment for many companies. There are various factors and aspects for businesses to consider, from video to content and beyond. 

To dive more into this topic and explore best practices in marketing localization, we hosted a three-part webinar series focused on different marketing areas. In this installment, we spoke with Dominik Narres from Fresenius Medical Care where he shared real examples of how he’s overcome the localization challenge as well as best practices. 

Let’s dive in.

Considerations When Localizing Video Content

When undertaking the translation and localization of video content, a comprehensive approach is essential. This involves addressing various aspects such as subtitling, voiceovers, on-screen text, and, crucially, cultural adaptation.

From Fresenius Medical Care, Dominik emphasizes the global nature of their company’s outreach. He notes, “For us, reaching the widest audience is a priority. Particularly in the realm of medical and scientific content, comprehension is greatly enhanced when the material is presented in the audience’s native language or supported by subtitles.”

In summary, effective video localization goes beyond mere translation, incorporating thoughtful consideration of linguistic nuances and cultural context to ensure a genuinely impactful and inclusive viewing experience.

Ensuring Accuracy in Subtitles

Subtitles are often the first route marketers take when translating video content, but considerations can be quite different for this process. As such, there are five key aspects to consider when it comes to subtitling:

  • Is there a script that we could use as the basis for subtitles or as a reference? 
  • Are there any length restrictions that we need to follow?
  • What languages are you translating the text into, and is the tone of the translation appropriate for the culture (for example, formal vs. informal)?
  • Where should the subtitles appear on the screen (for example, if there is on-screen text, you don’t want the subtitles to overlap, etc.)? If there is any on-screen text, does it need to be translated? If it needs to be translated, do you have the project files so that we can implement the translations into the video?
  • What format will the subtitles be delivered in?

In addition, Dominik shared that getting it right, especially when it comes to medical terminology, is vital.

“We really value factual accuracy very highly, especially when it comes to medical terms because here a small change of only one syllable in a word can really immediately give a completely different or even contrary meeting, so you need to be very careful there,” Dominik shares.

Delivering the Message via Voiceover

The next consideration of video localization is voiceovers. Like subtitles, businesses need to determine if they have a script ready and what languages they’ll need. However, in addition, there are a handful of extra considerations, including:

  • Delivery Format: Will it be delivered as an audio file or embedded in the original?
  • Talent Selection: Does this voiceover require a male or female voice?
  • Regional Needs: Should a business choose someone with an accent  that viewers can relate to
  • Tone of Voice: Businesses should consider what is being conveyed in the image and does that require a soft tone or loud and emphatic?

Localizing On-Screen Text

Voiceovers and subtitles are a great way to connect with an audience. Still, viewers can appreciate the content more when they notice a brand has taken into account every aspect, and this includes on-screen text. When translating on-screen text, there are several factors to consider, such as text accuracy or if the translation will fit on the screen where it is currently placed.

“When it comes to medical scientific content, I will have a very close look at the presentation given by a certain speaker,” Dominik explains. “Are they not overloaded? Is the font size enough?”

And most importantly, when done correctly, localizing videos can have a direct business impact.

“Once our video sessions were translated, people could select from their own languages,” Dominik shared. “After we promoted the video with subtitles, the click numbers did rise, and we received a lot of good feedback from the countries that were really appreciative of us making the videos more accessible.”

Interested in learning more about best practices in marketing localization for video? Watch the entire webinar here and stay tuned for parts two and three of our webinar series recaps.

About the Author

Profile Photo of Content Team
Content Team

Unbabel’s Content Team is responsible for showcasing Unbabel’s continuous growth and incredible pool of in-house experts. It delivers Unbabel’s unique brand across channels and produces accessible, compelling content on translation, localization, language, tech, CS, marketing, and more.