When brands operate in multiple markets it can be difficult to know the best way to cater for them. Hiring a local agency with little connection to the other service lines can be risky as aligning on any project will inevitably take longer. When working with e-cigarette brand blu, we assumed responsibility for not just its UK content, SEO and email marketing strategy but those for the USA, France and Italy.
Research, Localisation and Translation
Creating content for different regions is about much more than simply translating copy from one language to another. Tone, cultural norms, consumer attitudes and small variations in linguistics all play a part.
For example, when producing content for the UK on April Fools’ Day, we worked with its translators to gauge the social and cultural significance and identify differences. This research found a significant variation in how this day is celebrated and incorporated this into the content.
This kind of insight isn’t something you can get through Google Translate, so we conducted extensive and continuous research and hired freelance translators who were native to the countries themselves to assist us. Our French and Italian content was richer and more accurate as a result.
While the language is the same, we also needed a bespoke approach for the USA. Here, the task involved understanding the customer profiles and how they differed to the UK. Through research, we found that US customers generally preferred a more conversational tone than those in the UK and that the product had greater brand awareness, so the blu name could be spoken about slightly differently.
Adding another layer of difficulty, we also had to account for legal differences across the different territories. As a newly regulated product, there was no ‘one size fits all’ approach, so we had to learn the often granular differences and take them into account when writing copy. A style guide was developed to make this, and all the other considerations for creating multilingual content, as straightforward as possible.
Talk the talk, walk the walk
Across the period December '16 - December '17, organic page views for the content sections increased by:
- 68.7% in the US
- 106.52% in Italy
- 1,042.6% in France