Localized Video: A Guide to Maximizing Impact

Maximizing Impact with Localized Video: Your Complete Guide

Video can significantly boost your eCommerce sales. Case in point, 84 percent of people say they’ve bought a product or service after watching a brand’s video. However, viewers must understand the content to be affected by it. If your videos are only available in English, you’re missing out on 76 percent of the global market.

To reach customers worldwide, you need a video localization strategy that accounts for the language and cultural preferences of the target audience. Why? Because 76 percent of online shoppers prefer information in their own language. And a localized video can build audience trust, increase engagement, and drive conversions.

Whether you’re a beginner or want to brush up on best practices, this guide will show you how to create a video localization strategy that maximizes your reach in any market.

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Understanding Localized Video

So, what is video localization and how does it differ from video translation? Simply put, it’s the process of adapting content to account for cultural norms and expectations. It includes altering the spoken language, visuals, and cultural references to better resonate with the target audience. Unlike video translation, which recreates the message in another language, video localization creates a new, culturally-relevant experience.

Elements of video localization

With this basic definition in mind, let’s break down the six major elements of video localization. These will serve as the building blocks of your strategy.  Please note that a combination of intelligent workflows, continuous localization and AI-powered processes can be used in most stages to speed up delivery, save costs and optimize quality.

includes translating the original script and on-screen text.

Cultural adaptation

involves modifying cultural references, graphics, images, and other aspects of the video to align with local audiences’ norms.


djusts currency, units of measure measurements, dates, and other information to match the target region’s conventions, e.g., metric and imperial or the current currency.   


are the most affordable way to translate media, but subtitles can be difficult to follow when a video includes important visual details. A mixture of on screen translated clues can help the user experience.


is an effective option for videos with more than one talking head and/or people conversing.


is a re-recording of off-screen commentary or narration. It works well for videos with one talking head or an off-screen narrator. This can also be done with synthetic voices. See the Adobe case study for details.

How much you alter a video depends on several factors, including the target market, the type of content, and your budget. For example, you can dub product videos to keep the focus on the demonstrations, while also including subtitles for viewers who turn off the sound.

Ultimately, video localization is more art than science as it requires a combination of technical skills, cultural knowledge, and linguistic expertise.

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Why Localize Your Video?

As you can see, video localization requires input from multiple stakeholders and professionals. And it can be time-consuming and expensive. You may be wondering if it’s worthwhile for your business. The answer is a resounding yes! Here are just three measurable business benefits:  

  • Positive brand perception. Localized videos show your commitment to understanding your audience, which improves customer perception in new markets.
  • Higher SEO ranking. Adding localized video titles, descriptions, and tags boosts your video’s search engine optimization (SEO) and visibility.
  • Increased engagement. Audiences are more likely to engage with videos that match their cultural norms and preferences.
  • Visual explanations. With remote and hybrid workforces, being able to self-service has become key.

For example, Adobe Experience Cloud localized its library of educational content and courses to offer global customers a personalized experience in their own language. Users can learn how to maximize the platform’s benefits by accessing over 8,000 videos in nine languages. This allows Adobe to reach a much larger, global audience and increase customer engagement with the product.

Challenges in Video Localization

So far so good, right? Well, before you dive into video localization, it’s important to understand the challenges involved. Here are four of the biggest obstacles and how to overcome them.

engage with your audience touchpoints

Cultural differences

Adapting content to cultural norms, values, and preferences can be challenging. What is acceptable or humorous in one culture might be offensive or confusing in another. To get it right, you need an in-depth understanding of the local culture. Consider hiring a language services provider (LSP) like Jonckers who has award winning customer service and a host of very loyal customers. Together they can help you develop a winning strategy.

UI and UX

Each language has its own nuances, idioms, and colloquialisms, which may not exist in the target language. Finding equivalent expressions with the same tone and meaning, whilst adhering to the character count limitations can be very difficult. Jonckers fluid relationship between the engineering team with the translation team enable your design work to shine in all languages.

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Timing and synchronization

Dubbing or subtitles must be synchronized with the original audio. But different languages have different sentence structures and lengths, which affect timing. Skilled audio and video editors can ensure accurate synchronization.

Cost and time constraints

Video localization is resource-intensive, especially for large-scale projects involving multiple languages. Keeping quality high while adhering to budget and time constraints is challenging. You can optimize the process with proper planning, streamlined workflows, and technology.

How to Localize Your Videos: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know the benefits and challenges, let’s walk through how to create a localization strategy. Think of this as your blueprint for launching video content in any market.

Step 1: Research and planning

Start by researching which international markets offer the greatest potential. You’ll use this information to create a localization plan that includes:

  1. 1.Target language(s) and location(s)
  2. 2. Types of videos
  3. 3. Timelines
  4. 4. Budget
  5. 5. Resources required
  6. 6. Metrics for success

Step 2: Transcription and translation

Transcribe the original audio to create a script. You’ll need the transcript to translate the dialog into the target language.

Step 3: Subtitling or Dubbing

Localize the video through subtitles, dubbing, or both based on local preferences and budget considerations. Here are some ways to do it:

  1. 1. Create manual subtitles using free software such as Aegisub or Subtitle Workshop. Applications like these save you money, but the process is time-consuming.
  2. 2. Use a localization platform such as WordsOnline to generate automatic subtitles and/or synthetic voiceovers. This is the quickest, and most scalable alternative to traditional video localization.
  3. 3. Hire an LSP like Jonckers to create manual subtitles and/or record audio with voice actors. This method is typically reserved for high production value projects such as television commercials.

Step 4: Cultural adaptation

Review the video for any cultural references, symbols or gestures you need to alter for the target audience. Make sure you remove anything offensive or inappropriate.

Step 5: Quality assurance (QA)

Conduct a thorough QA to identify any linguistic, cultural, or technical issues.

Step 6: Launch and monitor success

Launch the video and track its performance across platforms. You can also collect audience feedback to improve future localization efforts. 

The Role of AI in Video Localization

Technology also plays a key role in your localization strategy. AI-powered tools can automate parts of the process, making it more efficient, accurate, and cost effective.

Here are four the tools you can integrate into the localization workflow:

  • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). ASR transcribes spoken content into text. Subtitles and captions can then be generated to make videos universally accessible.
  • Machine Translation (MT). Machine translation systems translate video scripts or subtitles into multiple languages quickly and accurately.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP algorithms interpret video context to perform context-sensitive translations and localizations.
  • Text-to-Speech (TTS). TTS enables localized voiceover narration for videos by converting scripts into natural-sounding speech.

With AI-driven video localization, you can effectively reach global audiences and cater to different cultures. As a result, viewers worldwide can enjoy a high-quality and relevant user experience.

Go Global Faster with Jonckers

In short, localized video is an invaluable tool for brands seeking to maximize their impact in an increasingly interconnected world. By tailoring videos to match an audience’s language and cultural preferences, you can break down barriers and forge genuine connections in new markets.

Yet unless you have the right technology, scaling your strategy can be daunting. Fortunately, there’s WordsOnline, our full-service localization platform that offers ready-to-publish videos in your target languages. From transcription to audio recording, our experienced teams can handle everything. Plus, our editing and review services ensure that your videos are polished and ready to go live.

With Jonckers, you can confidently scale your localization strategy with ease. Contact us today to get started!

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