Digital Summit LA 2017 was an exciting two days of all things digital online marketing – SEO, data analytics, content personalization, and online branding. And yes, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was there as a keynote speaker. But #DSUM also had some exciting news for online marketing multimedia localization – as the conference went on, it became clear to us just how much online marketing will change video translation in particular.
This post will look at the three key translation & localization takeaways from Digital Summit LA 2017.
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Two days of digital marketing
Digital Summit LA is dedicated to “digital marketing best practices, latest trends and strategy.” This year it was held on April 4-5, at the Skirball Cultural Center nestled in the gorgeous Santa Monica Mountains. Speakers included the aforementioned Wozniak, as well as online directors and strategists from MGM Resorts International, BET Networks, Adobe, the Atlantic Magazine, Forbes, LinkedIn, AOL, Google, and many other companies that have pioneered the digital marketing space, many of them in very different ways.
While the conference didn’t focus specifically on audio and video localization, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the industry is in digital marketing media, and especially online video content. We’ve already blogged about the effects this is having on video translation production in our previous post, How marketing dollars moving online is affecting video translation. But speaking to experts on data aggregation and email marketing gave us a few insights into just how much digital marketing will change marketing localization workflows. Specifically, the sophistication of data aggregation and audience customization will drive these changes in the following ways.
1. Segmentation by language is here
Online marketers traditionally have used locale as the primary data when deciding what language to use in a marketing email, banner, or even online pre-roll. This meant that users in Paris saw content in French, users in Berlin got German, users in Beijing got Traditional Chinese/Mandarin, and so on. Needless to say, this is less than ideal, since most parts of the world have speakers of many different languages, especially in countries or markets like the United States.
But now data aggregators can analyze a user’s digital footprint in much more sophisticated ways, including browser language settings, language settings of sites visited, and other data from which it can deduce the native language of a user. This means that digital marketing content can be targeted with a person’s native language as a factor, rather than his or her locale’s majority language. In a city like Los Angeles, this means being able to target users who speak various different native languages like Korean, Tagalog, Armenian, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Farsi – and of course, Spanish.
2. Video in email is already happening, and it will be big
Gmail and Mac/iOS Mail already support video playback directly from their inboxes. There were multiple vendors at the conference offering video-in-email solutions, and their services were reasonably priced. Moreover, Michael Barber of barber&hewitt spoke at length about how video will become a must for email marketers, since they lose a lot of potential customers when they have to click outside of the email to watch content. In fact, he used the term “mailable microsites” to describe what email will turn into – rich, customized, dynamic web pages, which of course will contain video and GIFs.
You won’t see this very soon for B2B, however. Why? Outlook and a few other email programs still don’t support video-in-email. But it’s already here for B2C.
3. Personalization & intimacy is what will drive digital marketing
Content creators like YouTube influencer Elise Strachan (of My Cupcake Addiction fame and founder of MCA Productions) stressed the directness and intimacy of the most successful content online. Many other email and online marketing specialists stressed the need for personalization based on data gathered from a user’s digital footprint – everything from when they open emails, to what they browse for online, and that’s right, what language he or she speaks.
So what does this mean about the content that will win the digital marketing race? It won’t be the glossiest content, or the most attention-grabbing. It will be content that speaks to each user directly, with humor, and of course, which will speak the user’s language – whether that’s in cultural, generational, or linguistic terms.
So what does this mean for translation & localization?
More sophisticated data aggregation will mean content that’s customized in more ways. Likewise, that content will almost certainly require vast amounts of personable, impactful, relatable, and topical videos. In linguistic terms, in means that the content will need to be localized in ways that don’t make it lose its immediacy. After all, that’s the only way that any piece of digital content will be able to stand out in the tidal wave of information online. Moreover, because this content will have to be topical and hit very small optimal delivery windows, the localization workflows will have to be very tight, to ensure fresh and reactive media.
So what can audio/video translation & localization professionals expect? For starters, more online video content, even more than we’re seeing now. We’ll also see tighter turn-arounds – in fact, we’re seeing them already for reactive, topical content. And in some cases, more challenging content itself, because it will be sophisticated in regards to the online space, but may also not be created to broadcast standards, meaning no split music & effects tracks for lip-sync dubbing, or textless versions for subtitling. But this is the revolution that’s coming – indeed, that’s already here.