3 Steps to Getting Your Global Content Ready for International Markets

March 26, 2018
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Global Content is the bread and butter of a successful international marketing strategy. If you get it right, your company can enjoy heightened success in overseas markets; but if your Global Content is lacking, then you risk jeopardizing not only expansion into new markets, but your overall brand reputation as well. This is why it’s so important to ensure that all of your Global Content is designed for international use right from the start.
Here are three easy steps you can take to ensure this is a smooth process:

1. Build international flexibility into your new content

When you create or commission content, always specify that it may need to be adapted for international markets at a later stage. When this is communicated early, the additional costs incurred will be negligible. You will also save having to backtrack and rebuild content from scratch when the need for international use arises.
Here are a few examples of how to build flexibility into the design of Global Content:
  • Save images with text as file types that allow text to be stored in a separate layer from the image, such as AI or SVG formats. Files like JPEG and PNG can’t be edited and are thus less flexible for international adaptation.
  • Link to images in text files instead of embedding them, as this will eliminate the need to send unnecessarily large files back and forth when adapting text for new markets.
  • Ensure that the date and time format of software can be adapted to local requirements, and avoid relying on English grammar rules when creating phrases from separate snippets.

2. Validate that existing content can be modified for international use

When content has been created, always test it to make sure that it can indeed be adapted for international use as and when needed. The best way to do this is to translate all the visible content—things like manuals, brochures, and websites—then generate the output and verify everything has been translated.
This is most easily done through pseudo-translation, a process that mimics translation into another language for the sole purpose of verifying that the translation process works. Pseudo-translation can be fully automated and done at scale, which makes it relatively cheap to perform.

3. Ensure all relevant components are available for content adaptation

No matter the type of content, it’s essential that every component is available to the team in charge with tailoring it for a new international market. If this is not the case, then you will likely encounter bottlenecks in the adaptation process that create delays further down the line.
The components of printed documentation, for example, include fonts, images, styles, as well as the written content to translate. Software, on the other hand, is more complex and considerably harder to replicate. As such, it is good to create and maintain a software build environment in which the translated software can be recreated and modified with ease.
If you’re interested in getting more from your organization’s Global Content for a greater international impact, please contact us. We’re always here to help.

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