Your brand might be getting lost in translation: 3 tips for crafting effective and authentic digital content.

Creativity and storytelling are key in crafting meaningful and authentic pieces of work: No matter if it’s a film, an episode, or an advertising campaign. Weeks, if not months, are being spent trying to find the right angle and the right story. Our clients and their creative agencies take care of subtleties, create focus groups, and beta test ideas to see if they are truly impactful and meaningful.

When we work with global brand campaigns, we have to make sure all this effort is properly transcreated so that it also considers the cultural intricacies of our audiences, no matter where they are in the world.

It’s not that long ago, when TV and print were the main formats around and the turnaround then allowed for a different pace. However, with the rise of social media and mobile phone usage, things are happening at the click of a button, and the pandemic only accelerated this trend. In fact, global online content consumption more than doubled in 2020, passing from an average of 3 hours per day to six hours and 59 minutes, including phone, TV, and other forms of digital media. (1)

These expectations don’t change whilst we are keeping up with the pace of digital content consumption which is exponentially growing and doesn’t allow for lengthy turnarounds. As a result, translation and transcreation remain an afterthought, which may dissolve the original creative while making the brand feel detached and possibly even foreign to a local audience. This is a symptom of the current times and a shared problem between consumers wanting fast content and companies trying to fulfil the demand.

So, how can we strike a balance between compelling transcultural storytelling and asset efficiency? Here are three pointers which will help create local, authentic content whilst ensuring a truly global impact.

  • When creating global assets, focus on quality and message congruence with local markets.

Clients focussing on the best creative and doubling down with industry-leading transcreation services will result in better engagement whilst reducing cost. Cultural consultation services are our best bet to ensure that any multi-market campaign will reach consumers with its original creative intent whilst also ensuring brand guardianship for our clients. When time is of the essence, performing a quick disaster check on concepts or visuals to identify any red flags can help our clients avoid cultural blunders. For larger global campaigns, however, localisation should never just be an afterthought. A thorough cross-cultural analysis during the ideation stage is crucial to ensuring message congruence with local markets and hitting that sweet spot locally.

  • Use technology to speed up processes and communications.

Today, there are many tools at our disposal that help us get organised, manage content, and accelerate the localisation process. New technologies such as AI powered transcription and machine learning are here to stay. When it comes to quick-turn production it’s workflow automation, approval tools and other cutting-edge solutions paired with the right human expertise that can help clients provide efficient, thumb-stopping content.

  • Leverage the borderless network.

With the pandemic, we realised physical borders are no longer an issue. We can have the best talent available no matter the location, working as a close-knit team providing round the clock service due to integrated tech and workflows. A seamless global network allows for a great work-life balance allowing our team more flexibility, servicing different time zones from the same team, and a solid and agile process. This means your brand gets to have the best of both worlds: global interconnectivity and local impact.

In the creative industry, we always have to strike a delicate balance of quality versus budget and timing, and as transcreation and translation experts, we sit in the middle. Luckily, we are now in the midst of exciting times when translation, technology, and creativity finally integrate to deliver an authentic message that will stand out in the sea of digital content.

At Craft, we have over 3,000 in-market linguists who are all managed by dedicated internationalisation project managers located all over the world. If you are interested, feel free to drop us a message, and we will come back with solutions for your brand. We don’t just offer translation and transcreation services, but we see ourselves as your consultation partners, complementing and improving your current processes and ways of working in a flexible manner that suits you.

(1) DoubleVerify report entitled: ‘Four fundamental shifts in media & advertising during 2020.’

Jane Brendler is Director of Language Services at Craft and has been in the translation industry for 12 years. She is a state-certified German translator and graduated with an MSc  in Conference Interpreting & Translation from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Jane started her career at SDL working closely with translation technologies and then worked for various transcreation agencies in London.

At Craft, Jane has been part of multiple large account onboardings, including training and implementation for clients, copywriters and technology. Her team specialises in capturing the essence of a creative campaign and localising content that resonates with the target market.