Hyper-localization is a method of market targeting where your translation is designed to speak to a particular group of consumers. It’s similar to marketing focused on target audiences, like a marketing message specifically designed to resonate with consumers aged 18 to 25 in a specific part of New York City; hyper-localization is simply the linguistic version of that. You’re attempting to cater your translation to a very specific group within a particular region.
Of course, it is not always a workable strategy; in some cases, it could be a major localization mistake. Knowing its limitations and when it works best is vital to ensuring a successful plan. It may be more suitable to focus on broader audiences and then tweak messages based on the information gathered during those efforts instead.
Why You Might Need Hyper-Localization
Hyper-localization is a highly targeted process that goes beyond translation. For example, an overall localization strategy might be to expand your reach into Argentina, but a hyper-localization strategy would be explicitly focused on Buenos Aires or even just certain parts of Buenos Aires. It’s generally only useful for three situations: niche sales, consumer-facing products, and major conglomerates.
If your product or service is niche, then hyper-localization is generally the optimal strategy. Consider something like an architecture firm, targeting a demographic of affluent individuals looking for renovations in the Palermo section of Buenos Aires; the content would have to speak to those individuals.
If you sell a product directly to consumers, your marketing will need to have a tone that creates an emotional connection quickly. Consumers make decisions fast, so targeting content helps to guide buying decisions. Business-to-business sales are the exact opposite; they take longer to make decisions, and they’re more focused on the features of a product or service, so hyper-localization isn’t as effective.
If you’re localizing an international corporation, your content will need to change for each market. Consider a company like Verizon—they have content strategies for all the different generations and segments within those generations. Hyper-localization is a means of connecting with all those diverse consumers.
In these instances, hyper-localization makes sense because the business owners must connect with consumers on a deeper level to stand out. Of course, knowing when to hyper-localize is just the first step. There are also some critical factors to consider before getting started.
What You Need to Know about Hyper-Localization
Hyper-localization is a unique strategy that can be very effective in some cases. However, there are some things to consider relating to both due diligence needs and future marketing opportunities:
- It requires extensive due diligence: We once worked with a company that wanted to complete a hyper-localization strategy related to all variants of German, as their product was very popular in some specific regions. However, they started the process without enough due diligence—specifically with regards to app capabilities. Apple’s App Store does not support German variants. In an effort to hyper-localize their content, they accidentally excluded a significant portion of their market.
- It’s exclusive: The choice to focus on one market happens at the exclusion of others. For example, if you chose to hyper-localize for Buenos Aires, you may refer to the reader as “Bos” as this is a widespread term of address in that region. However, all your other Spanish readers from different markets are used to being referred to as “Tu.” The decision to hyper-localize that content might make them believe that the product or service is specifically for Buenos Aires and choose a different company.
- There’s a point of no return: Targeting a specific market requires brand alignment that’s often irreversible. The choices you make in your content will feed into the reputation of your business. So, if you’ve chosen a more informal market to target, it will be hard to connect with consumers who expect a more formal tone. It’s a bit like if you spent years writing for consumers in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, but now you want to reach out to those in the Midwest; you’d have to rethink the marketing strategy completely.
You have to be very careful about who you target in a hyper-localization strategy. Otherwise, you might have to manage multiple hyper-localization campaigns, which requires many different collaborative teams working on marketing messaging specific to those consumers. A broader localization strategy that’s slightly tweaked to target consumers is often a far more suitable option than hyper-localization.
Hyper-localization is a method of market targeting where your translation is designed to speak to a particular group of consumers....
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