Localization is a team sport. At its best, there’s a seamless collaboration across cultures and languages. But at its worst, can end up with a heated squabble on the pitch. A content toolkit can help your brand keep a clean sheet – and prevent dressing-room meltdowns.

Reworking a translation is never pleasant.

It’s often down to avoidable issues with terminology or copy style. But after hours of corrections and difficult conversations with local-market offices, you can still be left with content that’s behind schedule, over budget and underwhelming. It doesn’t have to be this way.

A content toolkit can smooth communication and save time. It helps your team understand your brand, prevents mistakes and makes your content easily scalable. Here’s how to build a solid defensive line-up for your brand.

NAME: TRANSLATION MEMORY

Strengths: cost reduction, speed, sentence-level consistency

A translation memory (TM) automatically stores translated sentences in source and target-language pairs.

These sentences can then be reused in future translations, so you don’t have to translate them from scratch each time. And the substantial savings that can result is good news for your bottom line.

Get more from your TM:

  • Go all in. More content means more savings.
  • Think feedback. Send all your changes through at the same time. Drip-fed comments and post-delivery changes must be manually added to the TM – with a higher margin of error. Otherwise, the translator will reuse the (now out-of-date) text.

NAME: GLOSSARY

Strengths: quality assurance, accuracy, term-level consistency

A glossary is a definitive guide to your company’s vocabulary.

It can include proprietary words, such as product features or industry-specific terms. This is important because there are almost always a few ways to say the same thing. Inconsistencies can be confusing for your customers. And changes after publication will take time to apply. A glossary protects your brand from these headaches.

Get more from your glossary:

  • Start early. The more content you create, the more difficult it will be to keep an overview and stay consistent.
  • Open access. Glossaries help everyone writing for your brand: copywriters, translators and reviewers.
    Stay involved. Appoint a glossary advocate for your company. Consensus is easier to achieve when someone has the final say.

NAME: STYLE GUIDE

Strengths: clarity, readability

A style guide drills down into the details.

Think measurement units, date formats, punctuation, preferred expressions and so on. This improves readability, because it stops readers from being distracted by inconsistencies. And it makes it easier for your team to grow with your brand.

Get more from your style guide:

  • Localize for each market. Different languages have non-English grammatical features, which you’ll need to consider.
  • Be TM-friendly. Sweating the small stuff will result in consistent source texts – which are easier for TMs to reuse.

NAME: TONE OF VOICE GUIDE

Strengths: defining an authentic brand voice

A tone of voice guide illustrates how your brand should sound – and how to adapt this for different audiences and channels. It can also address tricky topics like how (and if) your brand uses humour.

Building a global brand can feel risky. You’ll want to protect your unique brand voice, while adapting to cultural attitudes in your target markets. Making key decisions upfront will help your team to get it right first time round.

Get more from your tone of voice guide:

  • Be practical. Include lots of before-and-after examples to drive your points home.
  • Get specific. Each new market and channel is different, so they’ll need tailored guidelines. Find out how to create a tone of voice guide that’s ready for any market here.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Each element of the content toolkit complements the others. But they all have a distinct role to play in controlling cost and creating quality content.

That being said, your tools are only as good as the people behind them. If you need help with your brand’s global marketing strategy, get in touch. Our specialist team has decades of collective experience – and they’d love to hear from you.

Photo by Geoff Scott on Unsplash

ABOUT Sarah Kerkache

I’m a localization specialist with over twenty years’ experience. I love collecting insights that help to deliver high-quality results. And I’m particularly interested in how language and technology can work together.

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