In the world of Digital Ordering, content localization is often an afterthought, or never one at all. By its meekest definition, content localization as it pertains to digital ordering refers to an online ordering system that has built-in support for other foreign and non-natively spoken languages.
In more technical terms, content localization is the process of culturally translating marketing content into a new and completely different language. It involves adapting original content to a new target audience while being respectfully aware of each consumer’s cultural differences and the understanding that each consumer possesses their own unique identity and set of interests.
If you have ever had any aspirations involving expanding your digital ordering operations abroad, or simply looking for ways to improve digital experiences for your customers, you have come to the right place.
Below are some helpful advice, takeaways, and common content localization mistakes to be aware of, ensuring that your digital ordering multilingual journey is one of success.
Understand Your Target Region’s Culture, Symbols, and Colors
Understanding your target region’s culture will help you truly resonate with your audience, allowing you to effectively convey your message in the proper context and create the desired impact of your message(s). It is also critical to consider that different cultures may have different interpretations of symbols and colors.
For instance, “What” is said, as well as “How” your message is conveyed can pose a detriment to your digital ordering program’s success. Take for example, the color red. In many Asian countries such as Vietnam, or China, red symbolizes prosperity. However, in other parts of the world such as South Africa, the color red is often associated with violence and chaos.
So, what is the point and big takeaway? Always be mindfully aware of “How” your content is being displayed and consumed by online ordering customers who are accessing your platform from different regions of the world. This will help ensure that content readability (including visual components and colors) will be well-received and inviting to digital ordering guests.
Consider Hiring a Language Translation Professional
The internet marketplace is vast and full of wonderfully talented resources and if you ever find yourself in need of language translation support, consider hiring a professional. There is never a need to go at it alone.
Working smarter and differently will guarantee a return on your digital ordering investment in the form of happier digital ordering customers, which directly translates [no pun intended] into an increase in check averages and order count.
Avoid Literal Translations
Language plays a big part in localization and content conversion, but it is not the end-all solution. One major content localization mistake is failing to understand differences and/or similarities in the language of your target region. For example, “body” could translate to “corpse” in the Belgium language; or “finger-lickin’ good” might be misinterpreted as “eat your fingers off” in other Asian dialects.
There is another term that is often left by the side of the road and that is, Transcreation. This seemingly simple, yet cryptic word goes beyond basic translations and has the power to help deliver a value-added punch to improving digital ordering adoption.
- Rewriting content on your digital ordering site/app in a new language
- Entirely changing digital ordering messaging, including imagery
- Adapting digital ordering content and delivering marketing messaging that is unique and respectful to each consumer’s cultural preferences and differences (i.e., which menu items should appear, display meat and veggie menu selections or veggie-only, observance of spiritual/religious occasions such as lent, etc.)
- Maintaining context, intent, style, and tone, consistent with the company’s corporate image and branding style guides
As digital markets broaden, brands face emerging challenges to stay relevant, competitive, and engaged, as well as continually remain connected with the hearts and minds of online ordering guests. Transcreation is a process that can help serve a vital role for many companies endeavoring to increase engagement with digital ordering audiences. A successful transcreated message can evoke powerful emotions while carrying the same implications in the target language as originally intended in the source language. The ability to transcend language and cultural boundaries is critical to achieving effective marketing strategies.
Word of Caution
Just a kind word of caution, a literal translation will never do your digital ordering marketing messaging justice, as cultural differences may lead to completely meaningless or confusing expressions. As a result, this may discourage some online ordering customers from utilizing your digital ordering system. Moreover, a literal translation of copy is often never enough, as words and phrases can often unintentionally take on other meanings.