Transcreation 101: all you need to know to maximize your content efforts


We live in a globalized era, when many times, as content producers and marketers, we create content for a campaign in one language and then translate it to reach a multicultural audience in the U.S. or consumers in other countries.

While translation may be suitable for certain types of content forms and disclaimers, for example  in most cases it is better to go a step further and transcreate content. Transcreated content will help your brand connect with your target audience and maximize your content efforts. The points below detail the importance and impact of transcreation.

1. Transcreation vs translation: know the difference<

Translation is mainly about language. It is mostly literal, although good translators often times are not, they understand context. Transcreation, however, focuses on tailoring the content to the location in which it will be distributed, making every detail work for the target audience.

Where translation is mostly content-focused, transcreation looks at content AND context. Transcreation is about understanding the local culture, brand voice and messaging when creating content in another language. It requires the talents of a copywriter or content creator, where creativity and knowledge of language and culture play equally important roles.

2. Transcreation may require more time and money, but it’s worth it

With the many translation tools and apps available these days, it is tempting to use them to quickly translate content. But this is not good enough when you want to reach your audience in an accurate, authentic and culturally relevant way.

A good transcreation takes time and money. Remember, lo barato, cuesta caro; so you’d better invest. Transcreated content will speak to the heart of the target audience, and a good transcreator will research and understand the target market and how best to reach them. He will avoid embarrassing mistakes and will take the time to adapt the message with not only the right words but also the right context. The result is first-rate content that connects with your target audience at every level – language and culture.

3. Transcreation will help improve your SEO

Translation won’t help you with your SEO optimization strategy, because it does not take into account local keyword volumes and keyword usage by the target audience.

Plus, Google sees translated content by machines as duplicate content and it is likely to de-index this type of content that makes its way into Google’s search results.

So companies should invest in content transcreation to succeed not only with consumers but also with search engines. In other words, your online content always has two audiences: the human consumer and the search engines.

Lastly, the transcreation of not only copy but images, symbols and colours, for a website can help increase engagement and conversion rates in local markets. By working with a dedicated transcreation team, businesses can build, test and optimize their digital offering in the target market, improving on all metrics.

Keep in mind these three points when you think about how your content will work best with a new local target audience. Nine out of ten times, a transcreation will take your content further.

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