Create cost-effective localized audio with a content audit

February 23, 2018by Rebecca Metcalf

With almost 5 billion video ads watched each year, audio-visual content has become one of the most effective ways to engage customers. This is a global trend, so it’s no surprise that leading businesses are increasingly looking to incorporate localized audio into their global content strategies. Developing your audio repertoire can seem like a daunting task, but the process can be significantly streamlined by performing a content audit of your existing material.

Here are some tips on how you can save time and resources by reusing existing content and focusing global audio efforts where they will have the greatest impact.


Make the most of existing content

Even though multilingual audio might be a new piece of your global content puzzle, that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. By conducting a comprehensive content audit, you should be able to identify many opportunities to adapt existing written content into audio. By eliminating the need to create and translate entirely new scripts, this reuse can both deliver major cost savings and ensure that your audio content is consistent with your wider content portfolio.

This approach also highlights the importance of optimizing your source content from the outset. By authoring English content with localization in mind, you can prevent downstream issues before they arise – enabling seamless translation and adaption to audio. CSA Research’s Content Source Optimization Checklist offers an excellent guide to getting your source content on-track.


Establish priorities

No business has the resources (or the need) to adapt all of its content into localized audio. A content audit will help you prioritize which information to include in your global audio strategy, and which markets to target. To best focus your efforts, we recommend a content tiering approach. Develop data-driven, fleshed out marketing personas and customer journeys, and use them to make informed decisions about how to prioritize your audio content.


Is audio necessary?

When creating and localizing videos, it’s important to remember that audio isn’t always necessary. Audio – especially voiceovers and music – is often the largest contributor to video localization cost, so if you’re going to include it, ensure that it is delivering value. In many cases, translated subtitles are a viable and cost-effective alternative to fully localized audio. This is particularly true of videos created for social media feeds, since 85% of Facebook videos and two thirds of Snapchat videos are watched on mute.


Keep the number of voices down

When creating audio content, it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. Usually, this means only using one voice – and ideally, the same voice for each project. This will make your audio content cheaper to adapt and record; it will ensure consistency from one piece to another; and it will minimize the time and cost required to find voice actors. A high number of voices can rapidly inflate costs and take away from the overall impact of your content.

To learn more about how you can optimize your audio-visual global content strategy, check out our in-depth report on Best Practices for Video Localization.

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Rebecca Metcalf

Rebecca Metcalf

Rebecca is a Global Content Business Analyst at Rubric. With a wealth of experience in the localization industry, Rebecca’s focus is on expert business analysis of clients' global content needs, content and data architecture, globalization strategy and working practices. Key to her role is understanding a client’s process, what success and value mean to them, and what outcomes are required for quality content and ROI. Focusing on outcomes rather than outputs, Rebecca partners with clients to design solutions and frameworks that deliver long-term globalization success.

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