If only it were as simple as translating your voice over. Then you could easily expand your local video marketing strategy into a global video marketing strategy. But most things that are worth doing are not easy. So if you’re planning to make a corporate video or animation for a global audience, you’ve got some serious thinking to do. Here is our global video marketing checklist.

Research every market

Spend some time researching every market in which you plan to show your video. You’ll need to look at tech adoption first. For example, if your video features a smartphone, what is the most used smartphone in that country? Because that should be the phone used in your production.

Then it’s worth exploring local customs. The best was to do this is to speak to a local. Ask them to review your script and discuss your concept with them. They will easily be able to spot opportunities to localise your content and ensure you don’t alienate or confuse viewers in this market – for example, while “pants” means “trousers” in the US and South Africa, it means “underwear” in the UK – leading to many an hilarious miscommunication.

Take the time to ensure these errors are spotted when they can be easily fixed – which is usually before production starts.

Decide on how to tackle voice over

If your video uses voice over, you will need to consider how this will work in multiple languages. You have two options here.

If you’re on a tight budget, it is okay to use subtitles. It’s not ideal though – subtitles detract from the viewer experience, especially when viewed on a smartphone screen where they are smaller and harder to read.

If you would like to give viewers the best experience of your video (which leads to the most engagement and the best results), you will need to re-record the voice over in each of the different languages. This will usually mean hiring multiple voice over artists (and remember you need to pay for a recording studio for each one) which will drive the price up. 

Figure out what to do about your script

If you’re recording voice over in multiple languages, you need to be prepared for the fact that the script length will change. For example, a 60-second English-language script might become 70 seconds when translated into Mandarin. Your production team needs to be able to skillfully adapt for this, possibly by lengthening certain scenes to facilitate the extra narration time. This could mean slowing down transitions, extending scenes or adding visual flourishes.

Review text and symbols

Any text in your video will then need to be translated into each new language. That means you need to think carefully about which signs and symbols to use. And keep in mind that a direct translation might not always be appropriate, in which case you will need to work with your production team to find ways around that.

Change currencies

While the dollar is the universal currency, most people who don’t use the dollar don’t think in dollars. It’s therefore important to update any references to money to look more like the local currency.

Localise the visuals

If your videos is going to be used in different regions, it’s best not to use localised visuals. As an example, if you’re producing an explainer video for a new tech company that helps you book taxis, you would animate the taxis as black cabs for a UK audience and yellow cabs for an American.

Make the characters relatable

If your video contains characters or people it’s important to ensure that your viewers can relate to these characters. You might decide to design animated characters or choose acting talent that represent a broad range of ethnic backgrounds. If that doesn’t work for your production, then an alternative is to use neutral characters, in which your production team designs characters that are abstract, so don’t relate specifically to any one ethnicity, age or even gender.

Do you need multiple videos?

You might decide after answering these questions that the requirements in the different markets are too far apart to be served by one video. In which case, it is worth re-examining your budget to see if it could be used creatively to produce a number of videos – to cover a number of regions.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to remember that the quality of your video reflects your brand, which means quality always matters. And if you need help, we’re here for you – just get in touch.

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