Navigating the Online Content Translation Maze: Unravelling the Challenges
In today’s globalised world, where business knows no physical boundaries, the question isn’t whether multilingual online content is necessary for business success, but rather how, when and with whom to create or commission it.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a company website, a product landing page, an Instagram photo, a Facebook ad or social media post, a Google Ads ad text or a TikTok video, such translations are not just about converting words.
They’re about conveying the essence of your brands, products and services in a way that resonates with diverse audiences. That’s why crafting effective translations of online content requires a fusion of language mastery, cultural finesse and technical prowess.
By understanding the challenges and adopting strategic solutions, marketers can successfully navigate the intricacies of global content adaptation, ultimately enhancing brand visibility and engagement on a global scale.
Let’s see what these challenges are:
Challenge #1 – Maintaining your unique brand voice
Translating catchy slogans on your product landing page, video titles or blog headlines, creative taglines, call-to-action sentences in an ad and brand-specific terminology requires not just linguistic prowess, but also a deep understanding of cultural nuances. Each culture has its own norms, values and preferences. Adapting content to align with local customs and sensitivities is crucial. A phrase that works well in one language might carry a completely different connotation in another. Translating word-for-word can lead to misinterpretations.
Skilled, native translators with experience in content localisation can ensure that your brand’s voice shines through in every language.
Challenge #2 – Technical jargon, company terminology
Industries often employ technical jargon that might not have a direct equivalent in other languages. Translators need a solid grasp of the subject matter to ensure accurate and coherent translations that resonate with the target audience.
A language services agency boasting a large pool of translators with sector-specific knowledge ensures that complex technical terms are accurately conveyed, maintaining the integrity of your content across platforms from your company blog and YouTube channel description through to your paid ads and Reels videos.
Challenge #3 – Multichannel content consistency
Maintaining uniformity across different platforms with numerous webpages, social media content and multimedia solutions is a hurdle.
Establishing translation guidelines and a clear project plan managed by an experience project manager, using translation memory tools (text, terminology etc.) and a trained QA team following your company style and brand guides can help achieve uniformity in messages, terminology and tone.
Additionally, if you collect all the translatable files (txt, docx, csv, xls, xml, etc.) and send them to the selected translation partner for an exact price and turnaround time, the actual translatable wordcount could significantly drop – and so will your expenses.
Challenge #4 – Improving local organic views and visits: keywords, SEO, hashtags, meta descriptions
Online visibility matters. There’s no point in producing content if your target audience can’t see it. In order to achieve good organic views or visitor results, it’s worth having multiplatform keyword research and hashtag research performed by the appropriate specialist before starting the translations. The results of the research, together with the necessary instructions (e.g. keyword strategy), should then be shared with the translation agency so that they can be incorporated into the translated content where necessary.
Before translating websites and landing pages, it’s worth collecting the metadata in the source language, i.e.
– meta title
– meta description
– social media title
– social media description etc.
These metadata are crucial for findability so you should have these translated as well to ensure better visibility and greater reach.
The same applies to the detailed meta descriptions of images, videos and pdf documents appearing on social media platforms or on websites.
Challenge #5 – Responsive design, responsive layouts
Translated content might impact the design and layout.
Text length variations, character alignment rules or the alphabet used in the script can affect visual appeal and functionality, requiring collaboration between copy writers, translators, graphic designers and web developers.
- When a global marketing campaign is run in the Google Ads system or polls are started on local company LinkedIn pages, character limits should be considered both by the copy writer and translation team.
- In the case of screen-responsive websites or mobile apps, it’s possible that both source and translated text content (menu points, product descriptions) should be created and translated in two or three versions due to the relevant character limits.
Challenge #6 – Content updates and maintenance
Nowadays content should be updated frequently. Coordinating translations for new online content or follow-up of small or large changes requires efficient project management to ensure timely and accurate updates.
How can we tackle these challenges?
Collaboration and project planning:
Effective communication between
– a sector-specialised language services agency providing project management experience and
– quality translators (see the details in the next point) and
– technical experts – developers, PPC managers, web designers
Regular discussions ensure everyone’s on the same page regarding brand guidelines and content expectations.
They are not only native/fluent in the language but also have expertise in the industry. This ensures accurate translations that resonate with local target audience.
Implement rigorous quality control processes to catch any linguistic or cultural inaccuracies before content goes live. (At Eurideas, QA is the part of the translation process: no translations are delivered without a QA check.)
Testing when and where required:
Prioritise user testing with representatives from the target market to identify any issues and gather feedback for improvements.
Encourage feedback from local teams or local target audiences and don’t forget to forward them to your contracted translation agency as well. This ongoing dialogue helps us refine your translations and adapt to the evolving needs of different markets.
Written by Csilla Dömötör, marketing communication manager, Eurideas Language Experts