Digital marketing if the content is king, video is the crown and the scepter by which the kingdom is ruled. According to YouTube, more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to the service each minute, with more than 5 billion videos totaling more a billion hours watched each day. Cisco projects that upwards of 80% of Internet traffic this year will be video.
For the digital marketer, video is key to unlock consumer attention. A whopping 97% of marketers find video content helpful for product marketing. 81% of businesses use video as part of their marketing mix. That’s logical, considering that more than nine of ten consumers use video as a preferred way to make decisions about product purchases.
Remarkably, a mere 5% of videos use multiple languages. What this means in practical terms for digital marketing is that the vast marketing potential of video is underexploited. The return on investments in creating video content is limited by failing to translate and title videos in additional languages. We’ll consider how you can use the latest translation services, products, and titling tools to increase your market share of consumers and customers who speak a language other than your own.
How can you use translation services to make multilingual video?
Let’s say that you have quality video content that has proven effective in reaching customers in your native language. What is the best way to adapt that content so that you can use that same video cost-effectively in additional markets? As usual, the key factor is budget. If you have the funds to afford translation services, linguistically adapting your content can be efficient and painless. Translation companies provide a one-stop shop for multilingual content marketing, starting with strategy, localization in multiple languages, then to execution of dubs or subtitles, and finally to video uploading, distribution and metrics.
Ideally, you should provide link to your video clip, or an attachment, or at least a transcript of the text that needs to be translated. You should get a response within a day. Then follow up with your shortlist of responders, evaluate the contenders and make your choice.
Can you use freelance translators to save money when making multilingual video?
If your budget is constrained and you only intend to translate your video into one or two additional languages, then you can consider turning to freelance specialists who translate videos. Go to one of the freelance service marketplaces like Upwork or Freelancer.com. You can either actively search for listed freelancers there, using key phrases like “video translation” and the relevant languages.
Expect to pay a fraction of what translation companies will charge. But also expect that working with freelancers will take more time and effort, with a higher risk of failure. Even though you can check ratings and reviews, and discuss your project with the candidate freelancer, working with individuals involves getting involved in their personal lives to a degree you may not prefer. If they or a family member gets sick, or they get unexpectedly busy, your deadline may slip. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to work with pairs of translators, one to check the work of the other or to serve as backup in case the other flakes out.
Can You Make Multilingual Video Using Free Online Software?
If your digital marketing budget is tiny or non-existent, and you are not afraid to invest your time in learning new skills, then you can do some, if not all, of the steps required to create a multilingual video. But take heed: translating and adapting a video into additional languages is not for the faint of heart. Still, if you want a basic primer, either to get started in a DIY project or just to understand the process of a professional video translator.
The big choice to make: Do you want to dub or subtitle your video?
Dubbing involves creating a new audio track in an additional language and replacing the original audio track with it. Translate the script carefully and then find or hire a narrator or actors to record the translated audio track. Needless to say, it’s not easy to match up audio and facial movements in the video. If the video has multiple actors, just forget this option – it’s too hard. Use dubbing only for explainer videos with a single narrator and no actors.
The subtitling option is easier. Commission or write the translated subtitles, then insert them using video editing software. Don’t overload the wordcount: it will crowd the page and be unreadable. Time appearance of subtitles so there’s time to read them. Always have titles proofread by a native speaker.
Don’t rely on machine translation: Google Translate is better than it used to be but not good enough. If you’re not fluent in the foreign language, hire a translator. Otherwise, your money, and your reputation, are likely to get lost in translation.