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Why Ignoring Content Localization Will Cost You Time and Sales in Africa

Content localization is a big deal. If it wasn’t, brands like Coca-Cola, Apple and Google wouldn’t implement it in their strategies.

When operating a business, it’s critical to look at people who have gone before you to not only learn from their mistakes but also to learn the strategies they used and why they were successful.

If the goal for your business is expansion, look to companies like TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, Coca-Cola, and even Netflix. These companies have honed their business expansion strategy.

To cut down on your research and homework, we discovered that one thing these companies have in common in terms of global expansion is their localization strategy.

So, if you truly want to achieve international success, you must prioritize it. 

In this post, we’ll cover: 

  • How localization influences sales in business
  • Why localized marketing matters 
  • Having success in African markets
  • How to build an effective localization strategy 
  • The best content localization company 

How Localization Influences Sales in Business 

CSA Research polled 8,709 global consumers from 29 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. And its findings are extremely important for businesses worldwide. 

The study examined online language preferences and its impact on consumers purchasing decisions. 

According to the survey, 76% of online shoppers prefer to purchase products that include information in their native language. 

Emphasis on the word “prefer” 

So, there’s no argument that consumers won’t buy things if it isn’t in their native language. But they would PREFER products to be in their native language.

However, still, according to the survey, 40% of consumers stated that they will NEVER buy from websites in other languages. And 65% prefer content in their language even if it’s poor quality. 

The bottom line is that without localization, you can have decent success in expansion, but your success will most definitely be limited. 

Why Localized Marketing Matters 

For starters, it can influence your ability to create genuine connections with your customers. 

Assume you’re sharing content about a Winter sale with Russian customers. In your content, you’ve got heavy coats, thick gloves, thermals, scarves and hats for sale. You’ve also got tutorials on how to layer just to keep warm. 

If you advertise to Africans in the same way you do to your Russian customers, you’ve completely wasted your time and effort because Russia has the coldest winters in Europe, and African countries do not get as cold even during the rainy season. 

This is a basic example of a localization strategy gone bad. Not only have you wasted your time and efforts but you’ve also demonstrated that you don’t understand and cannot connect with your audience. 

Worst case scenario, your customers won’t notice it but if they do notice, your brand will be completely ignored because you’ve proven that you just don’t understand them like other brands. 

When you translate and localize your content for specific customers, you show that you understand and care about them, and you also get to build stronger bonds with them. 

Having Success in African Markets

Despite the survey being conducted majorly in European countries, wanting content that is in your local language is something that resonates with everyone including Africans. 

The Internet World Stats stated in a report titled Promoting Content in Africa by Internet Society that only 28.6% of Africans are online, owing to infrastructure deficits and high connectivity costs.

However, despite recent improvements in infrastructure availability, the Internet Society still stated that internet adoption in Africa is low and slow.

Eventually, they found that the reason for this low and slowing rate is due to the absence of content in local languages. 

According to their report, less than 10% of the Tanzanian population speaks English, which, along with Swahili, is an official language in the country. This is also true in Senegal, where the majority of the population speaks French.

They also stated that few African government websites offer complete translations into other spoken languages.

They believe that a greater emphasis on local languages would better engage users in all aspects of the internet. They also suggested that as much relevant content as possible be translated into local languages. 

How To Build an Effective Content Localization Strategy

A lack of content in local languages can thwart and jeopardize any type of business expansion strategy. So before you draft your next localization strategy, you should consider these factors: 

  • Consider the different types of content 

Content localization covers all kinds of content. This includes web content, blogs, emails, social media content, guides, ebooks, video content, webinars, case studies, white papers, software, press releases and much more. 

So, when it comes to localizing content for a specific market, you should consider the various types of content you have and whether you want to localize all or some of it.

  • Consider the type of content that resonates with your target audience 

Here you’ll need strong marketing analytics to understand your target audience. You should be able to answer questions like their age, gender and country. These answers would help you choose the best outlets/content to localize. 

For example, content for adults between the ages of 30-45 will not resonate with youths of 18-25.

  • Consider the platforms your audience use

Are they most active on social media? Do they visit your website more often than your other online platforms? If you run an e-commerce business, do they use your apps more than the web? These answers will help you streamline your content localization strategy. 

  • Consider implementing locales in your strategy 

Although there are many web and consumer analytics tools that can help you understand your target audience, there’s only so much they can do. 

An online post can tell you that Halloween is widely celebrated in Europe and even give you the ages, gender and countries of the people who are very much interested in Halloween content. 

However, this is not the same as having locals who live in these countries or geographies and can tell you for sure, in addition to your online consumer/behaviour analytics tool, that people are interested in Halloween content. 

Benefits of using locales 

Communicating with people in the country or region where you want to expand your business is a fantastic way to truly UNDERSTAND your customers.

Using locales in your content localization gives you a competitive advantage because it allows you to understand and relate to your customers on a level that other brands cannot. 

As a result, your brand may become one of those that people look up to when they want to expand to a country that you’ve already expanded to.

Using the Best Content Localization Company 

It can be overwhelming to get locales in every African country when expanding to several countries, especially in Africa where there is a lot of linguistic diversity. This is why it is best to partner with African content localization companies like iVoiceAfrica.

iVoiceAfrica is a translation and localization company based in Sub-Saharan Africa with a reach within and beyond Africa. Based on our location, we have locales in all African countries that provide useful and authentic information that can help brands looking to expand across the continent. 

We understand that language is more than just a collection of words; it is an expression of a people’s culture, beliefs, history, and identity. With this in mind, we assist our clients in reaching African markets by connecting them with their audiences and providing the best customer experience in any African language. 

Contact us at or give us a call at +234 7026276411 to plan your content localization strategy today. 


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