When translating marketing materials, you have to be aware of aspects of language that you might not have to consider for other translations.

Translating marketing, unfortunately, isn’t as easy as just translating copy word-for-word. You need to think about the impact that you’re hoping to have on an audience, plus any puns that may not translate well into some languages, as well as digital marketing aspects such as SEO.

Often, you may need professional marketing translation services to ensure that you get all the aspects of marketing translation correct. But to give you a helping hand with your marketing translation, here are our 7 tips for translating marketing materials. But first, let's start with the basics.

What is marketing translation?

Marketing translation is the professional translation of marketing materials. When translating marketing campaigns, aspects you need to be especially mindful of include localisation, particularly for puns and idioms, humour, brand, videos and imagery, and for digital marketing, technical elements such as SEO should also be considered.

7 tips for translating marketing materials

Now the question ‘what is marketing translation’ has been answered, let’s dive straight into some top tips that you might need.

1 - You must localise content

Localising content is where language choices are adapted to a specific country or region. It’s a crucial process for all translation services, but can be even more important when considering marketing content. Small details change in every country, and sometimes even within the same country.

For example, the number 3,000 in the UK would be read as three thousand. However, to write three thousand in German, you would replace the full stop with a comma, reading 3.000.

Getting basic numeracy right can be crucial for translating marketing materials, particularly for offers or promotions that are frequent in marketing copy.

Even more so, language can change in different regions within the same country. Within Wales for example, the North Walian language varies hugely from the South Walian.

If you’re planning a marketing campaign in Cardiff, therefore, you want to ensure that your translation is localised to a South Walian dialect, rather than a North Walian, as this language style won’t appeal to a Southern audience.


2 - Be mindful of puns and idioms

Puns and idioms are common in marketing copy. Idioms such as it’s raining cats and dogs, bite the bullet, or beat around the bush are typical in the English language and can be used in marketing materials to make sense to an English audience.

However, these don’t always translate well into other languages. For example, if you directly translate “it’s raining cats and dogs” into French, this idiom won’t make sense to a French audience. The equivalent idiom in the French language is “Il pleut des cordes” which directly translates into “it’s raining ropes”.

When you’re translating marketing materials, you need to be aware of these differences and whether the translation will make sense to your foreign audience.

3 - Be careful with humour

Much like puns and idioms, humour and humour styles aren’t global; what’s may be funny in one language and culture, might not be in another.

The popular brand, Crabbies, markets its ginger beer with a heightened English accent which is funny to a English audience. This however, is unlikely to translate well into other languages, meaning the marketing impact will decrease, and you won’t get the results your marketing campaign is striving towards.

4 - Don’t forget to translate captions on videos or imagery

For print materials such as posters, flyers or leaflets, you may have captions on your imagery. Even small and basic print on images such as a stop sign or banner for a florist will need to be translated into your desired language.

Similarly, for videos on any digital marketing materials, such as websites and email marketing campaigns, don’t forget to translate your captions. Video captioning is hugely important to increase accessibility to the deaf and hard of hearing community, as well as leading to higher engagement from hearing audiences.

Your marketing materials won’t perform well with a foreign audience if, for example, you send a video to an Italian audience but the captions are in English.

5 - SEO

It’s not just your physical and promotional activities that need to be considered. Your digital marketing will also need to be adapted when translating marketing materials.

Each individual country and region has its own internet searching habits, meaning the search engine optimisation needs will be different. To ensure that your digital marketing content, such as blogs and web pages, are found online by the right clients in the appropriate search engine, you’ll need to start by conducting keyword research in each language.

Following your research, you’ll need to update your site’s SEO settings in line with your research. Read more about different website translation services in our blog.


6 - Brand

Ensuring that your brand and its message translates well across languages is crucial. Your brand should be your pillar that supports all of your products and services, plus your appearance to audiences through imagery, colour, and of course, messaging.

When you create branded marketing copy, such as slogans, you want them to have an impact on your audience. Some of the most famous snappy logos include Nike’s ‘Just do it’, McDonald’s ‘I’m lovin’ it’ and L’Oreal’s ‘Because you’re worth it’.

When you translate your marketing materials, you need to ensure that every single aspect of your brand, such as the slogan, is translated accurately so that it still represents who and what your brand is.

7 - Still getting your intended message across

What the previous six tips all lead up to is ensuring that your message is still getting across accurately.

When creating, developing and implementing in-depth global marketing campaigns, you want them to have the best possible impact to achieve your results.

Think about what you want your marketing campaign to look like and achieve in its original language, and then analyse your final translation to ensure that the messaging carries across perfectly.

Contact us

Now you know the answer to the question ‘what is marketing translation’, you know that there’s a lot to bear in mind, and if you don’t get these crucial aspects correct, it could ruin your marketing campaign, as well as your brand’s credibility and reputation abroad.

Offering leading professional translation services, the team at Wolfestone delivers high quality and accurate translations every time, even for marketing purposes.

Interested in how our years of experience can help you in translating marketing materials to reach wider audiences?

Get in touch with the team at Wolfestone to get a free quote, and let us take care of the rest.