What Is Video Localization and How To Make It Work?

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Written by

Adedamola Ojedokun

According to recent research, localized video content can increase sales by up to 15%. The study underscores the importance of video localization as a strategy for increasing the impact of marketing videos. But what is video localization?

Video localization goes beyond mere video translation by considering geographical preferences, cultural norms, and language differences. It offers viewers a smooth and interesting experience that they can relate to, regardless of their language or cultural background.

Keep reading to learn:

Pro tip: Expand your brand globally with high-quality localized videos using an efficient localization suite, like Centus. Learn more.

What Is Video Localization?

what is video localization

Video localization is the process of adapting audiovisual content, such as videos, movies, or animations, to make it more accessible and understandable to customers in a target region.

Localization, in general, involves adapting content to the cultural, linguistic, and regional preferences of a specific audience. It entails tailoring the content to regional sensitivities, values, and customs.

In the same vein, video localization aims to provide a seamless and culturally acceptable experience that bridges language boundaries and engages a wide range of viewers.

Video localization is leveraged by organizations, businesses, and content creators that want to reach and engage a wider audience. For instance, consider a company that introduces a new product in a foreign market. To fully engage potential customers, it may not be sufficient to simply translate the text on their website.

The company under discussion can develop an emotional connection with its target market and communicate the features and benefits of its products by localizing its marketing videos. This personalized approach significantly increases the likelihood of engaging viewers and influencing their buying decisions.

3 Key Benefits of Video Localization

Benefits of video localization

Video localization is a powerful tool for businesses and content providers to engage and interact with a wide range of consumers. It has a significant impact on the success of a marketing campaign.

Here are some of the main benefits of video localization:

1. Reaching a global audience

Due to the widespread and effective avenues of digital communication, videos can reach a global market almost instantly. However, linguistic and cultural barriers often decrease the efficacy of a video's message.

To effectively reach a wider audience, businesses adapt their video content to appeal to specific locations, languages, and cultures. By speaking their target audience’s language, businesses can craft tailored brand messages that penetrate new markets and create loyal customers.

2. Increasing engagement and understanding

Video localization is more detailed than video translation. Rather, it aligns the content with the preferences and context of the target audience. By localizing their videos, businesses can provide viewers with a more engaging and interesting experience.

Another benefit of this personalized strategy is a stronger emotional bond with audiences that boosts trust and, ultimately, enhances comprehension. When viewers can relate to the information on a cultural level, they are more likely to engage, share, and take desired actions, such as making a purchase.

3. Enhancing brand perception and credibility

A good video localization strategy demonstrates a company's commitment to understanding and appreciating local cultures. Businesses that invest in video localization show their regard for their customers' languages and cultural identities.

This helps businesses to stand out from the crowd and also boosts their brand image.

5 Types of Video Content Localization

types of video localization

There are five key methods and strategies for adapting video content for multiple languages and markets:


In dubbing, native-speaking voice actors interpret the original audio recording and replace it with the translated version. Dubbing is widely used in movies, TV shows, and animations to allow viewers to hear the dialogue in their local language while still watching the original video.


This form of video localization preserves the original audio while displaying translated on screen text. It is a popular method for localizing videos since it preserves the original audio and allows viewers to follow along in their native language.

Adding subtitles improves the overall user experience by enhancing comprehension and engagement. It helps viewers to read and understand the dialogue more easily, thereby enabling them to fully grasp the intended message.


The original audio is played in the background during a voiceover, while a narrator or voice actor offers a translated audio track in the target language. This strategy is widely used for corporate videos, educational videos, and documentaries.


Versioning refers to the process of creating different versions of a video to suit different cultural contexts. In this case, certain scenes, images, or references may need to be modified to meet local preferences.


Transcreation is the process of adapting a video's message, tone, and other creative elements to make it more appealing to the intended audience. This strategy is useful when it comes to accurately representing cultural differences and humor.

How to Localize a Video

The process of localizing a video can be divided into 4 stages namely:

  • Pre-production planning

  • Translation and adaptation

  • Audio and visual elements, and

  • Post-production and distribution

Pre-production planning

Identify target markets and demographics

Before you start localizing a video, identify the markets and demographics you want to target. Consider aspects such as language, culture, and preferences to effectively tailor your content to the target audience’s needs and preferences.

Cultural research and adaptation

Conduct detailed research on the target culture's values, traditions, and taboos. Adjust the script and images to make them culturally sensitive and avoid misunderstandings.

Script analysis and adaptation

Examine the original script for parts that should be adapted for the intended audience. This includes humor, idioms, or references that may not be accurately translated.

Translation and adaptation

Use qualified translators and linguists

Choose skilled translators that are adept at offering video localization services and are native speakers of the target language. Their knowledge of both languages and cultures will help them communicate the required message.

Pro tip: To facilitate collaboration between your team members and manage the video locaization process, use a professional and cost effective localization platform like Centus.

Maintain linguistic accuracy and cultural sensitivity

During the process, ensure the translations are accurate and pay attention to the cultural differences. Avoid literal translations that may remove cultural context or meaning. The localized video must not deviate from the original content and must be adaptable to the target audience.

Audio and visual elements

Voice-over and dubbing considerations

You can choose between dubbing and voice-over for your localized videos. Choose voice-over experts that have the required linguistic skills and the ability to portray the desired emotions and tone. When dubbing videos, ensure that lip-syncing is accurate.

Subtitling and captioning guidelines

If you need to add subtitles or captions, create clear guidelines for text placement, duration, and structure. The subtitles must be clear, accurate, and in line with the spoken audio and visual components.

Synchronization and quality control

Check if the audio and visual components of the localized video are synchronized. If the on-screen action and the translated script don’t flow smoothly together, address thediscrepancies and run another quality control test.

Post-production and distribution

Edit the localized video

After the video has been localized, carefully review it to ensure that it is coherent and culturally appropriate. Make any necessary revisions or modifications to the final version.

Choose distribution platforms and channels

This step involves considering the platforms and channels for distributing your localized videos. The platforms and channels must be compatible with different video formats and streaming platforms to efficiently reach the target audience. For example,

Analyze and address audience feedback

Track the performance and audience’s perception of the localized video. Gather input from viewers and make changes as needed to improve future video localization efforts.

Best Practices for Successful Video Localization

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of video localization and lose its primary target – the new audience. Fortunately, by following the best practices below, you can avoid the mismatches between yours and your audience’s objectives to achieve successful video localization:

Consider cultural differences and preferences

Pay attention to cultural differences when localizing video assets for different regions. This involves understanding the target audience’s customs, cultural values, beliefs, and preferences. This helps you tailor the content to the cultural preferences of the new audience, thereby making the localized video appealing.

For instance, assume you are a global video streaming platform looking to expand your services into new markets. Before launching your platform in a new region, you need to devote time and resources to learning about the new language (and culture as a whole).

You also need to explore the target audience's values, customs, beliefs, and preferences. Your findings will help you localize your content.

As a result, the localized video assets align and resonate with the audience's cultural preferences. You have successfully tailored the content by paying attention to cultural differences, thereby making it more appealing, and building a strong presence in the local market.

Adapt visuals and graphics

Graphics, animations, and on screen text overlays are all visual components of video content. When localizing video, it is important to modify these components to appeal to the target audience. You can do this by using regional typefaces, colors, and artwork.

Ensure accurate lip-syncing in dubbing

When dubbing videos, it is important to ensure that the lip-syncing is accurate. The dialogue must closely mirror the lip movements in the original video to ensure that the localized video does not distract viewers.

Use professional voice actors and translators

Experienced voice talents and translators can improve the effectiveness of localized video content. Native speakers of the target language can ensure that the video translation is accurate, natural, and culturally appropriate.

For instance, imagine a scenario where a multinational entertainment company decides to release an animated film in different international marketplaces.

In this case, it is important to a hire native speaker of the target language who are well-versed in the local culture. Voice actors who are fluent in the audience’s native tongue and are familiar with accents will ensure that translations are natural and accurate.

Voice actors work closely with translators during the recording process to provide an accurate performance. These experts will use their skills to produce high-quality, culturally relevant translations that enrich the viewer's experience.

As a result, the video content will be able to connect with the target audience, resulting in a successful release in each international market.

Conduct quality assurance and testing

Quality control and testing are an important element in video localization. Thoroughly test the localized video before publishing it to ensure that the video and audio components are properly synchronized, the subtitles are accurate and easy to read, and the cultural adaptations are appropriate.

To Sum Up

Video localization is the process of adapting audiovisual materials, such as videos, movies, or animations, to make them more accessible to the target region audience. The adaptation involves translating the content and aligning it with cultural preferences to provide viewers with engaging experience.

To facilitate video localization and effectively reach global markets, use a professional localization platform like Centus.


What does ‘localize video’ mean?

Localizing a video is the practice of translating audiovisual content and adjusting it to match the cultural, linguistic, and regional preferences of a specific target audience. It requires modifying the language, cultural references, images, and voice-over to provide viewers with a consistent and authentic experience.

Businesses and content creators may interact and connect with their target audience more effectively by localizing videos, thereby improving brand perception and comprehension.

Why is video localization important?

Video localization is important since it allows businesses to reach a global audience by removing linguistic barriers. It boosts engagement and comprehension by making content available in viewers' native languages.

Video localization also increases brand perception and trustworthiness by demonstrating cultural sensitivity and a commitment to regional markets. It eliminates linguistic barriers by providing voiceovers, dubbed versions, or subtitles in different languages and contexts.

With proper optimization for search engines, the localization can also bring additional organic traffic.

What does localization mean in media?

Localization in media refers to the process of adapting movies, TV shows, and video games to meet the linguistic and cultural preferences of a target audience. In this case, you need to translate user interfaces, dialogue, and subtitles while paying attention to cultural norms and regional sensitivities.

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