Localization is the lifeblood of global content creation.
It means more than just good translation – it’s about connecting with your audience in a meaningful way, understanding their tone of voice, and demonstrating that you understand cultural nuance.
It’s about truly understanding your market audience and respecting their values.
During the holiday season, marketers in the US and UK tend to focus on widely celebrated holidays and events like Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this— seasonality is a good opportunity for content marketers to connect with audiences! But seasonality presents itself differently to each country, language and culture.
Identify your target audience, and then figure out what seasonality means to them. This sensitivity will allow for you to capitalize on your marketing efforts no matter where they are concentrated.
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating seasonal content:
1. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays.
Any decent marketer knows it’s essential to research and understand your audience before creating content, and seasonal topics are no different. Keep in mind that the holidays and events your area may celebrate might not be as relevant to your audience.
If you’re writing for a large, diverse audience, try to write inclusively whenever possible. If you know your target audience celebrates a specific holiday, it’s a great opportunity to localize and create content that’s relevant to them.
For example, due to its complete mix of East meets West, Singapore celebrates a whole host of cultural festivals including Chinese New Year, Hindu festival Thaipusam and Malay festival Hari Raya Puasa.
So the team members working with our Singapore office know to keep this diversity in mind when considering holiday content there.
It’s also a good idea to offer an appropriate amount of context when dealing with a global audience. Don’t assume that everyone has background knowledge of the holidays you celebrate!
I learned this firsthand when my American coworkers were perplexed at the mention of Bonfire Night, since it isn’t celebrated in the U.S!
2. Your target audience probably takes time off for big seasonal events.
Each season brings a new assortment of special activities and traditions, many of which revolve around family or religious rituals.
This means people are more likely to be out of the office spending time with their families or enjoying the festivities, so they may be away from email, social media and the Internet in general.
It’s a good idea to have your marketing team create a calendar with an exhaustive-as-possible list of events and occasions that might be relevant to your target audience.
Try to take these “out of pocket” timeframes into consideration when scheduling your editorial calendar or creating marketing strategies.
Don’t post important or time-sensitive content when your audience is busy celebrating a once-a-year event!
3. The climate is different for different audiences.
This point might seem a bit obvious, but it’s important to remember, especially since many seasonal events are just that— associated with a season! But depending on your hemisphere or distance from the equator, holiday weather can vary wildly, which affects seasonal clothing, activities, decorations and even food.
Here in the UK, we’re used to seeing Christmas being accompanied with images of snowy landscapes, Yule logs and hot cider. However, Christmas falls in the summer for, say, Australia, Chile or South Africa.
So an image with sleighs and coats and holly might stand out as localized to the northern hemisphere.
Plus, even an English Christmas may not actually look like these traditional images… much of the UK hasn’t had a white Christmas for years! It’s just another factor for global digital marketers to consider.
4. When in doubt, ask a local.
No matter how much research you do, there’s often no substitute for experience! Want to know what Black Friday is like in America? Ask an American. Wondering how Christmas is celebrated in Italy? An Italian can give you the most accurate picture.
Native speakers and locals are used at EVG to translate and customize location-specific content whenever possible. This is the best way to ensure you’re truly capturing the right tone and nuance for a designated audience.
So this year, when your team is brainstorming for a seasonal marketing strategy, stop and think about localization before you move forward into production!
A little more preparation during this stage will maximize the global results for your marketing efforts and bring a very happy holiday to your company.