Blog or content marketing is a hot topic among companies looking to localize, that is, tailor their content for the Japanese market. If you already have original blog content in English and sufficient web traffic, this task may appear easy. However, it’s not. There are some critical factors to consider when localizing content for the Japanese market.
Below are some vital tips for blog marketing, especially when translating original content from English into Japanese and targeting customers in the Japanese market.
Pay attention to writing style
One of the most important factors to consider when crafting content is whether the writing style or tone of voice you are using is suitable for your target market. If you outsource the translation of content to a professional translator, it will (hopefully) be grammatically correct. However, this is not enough. In Japanese as in other languages, writing styles vary depending on the situation or audience. Your writing style will be completely different when you create marketing content for high school students as opposed to when you produce a business document for high-level professionals. If you (or the translator you are using) are not a native speaker of the language you are writing in, you may not be able to recognize the appropriate tone of voice. In addition, a translator must consider the product image and atmosphere of the website. This is why in-house marketers, who have a deep understanding of the relevant products and company, are highly-valued in the digital marketing industry.
Pay attention to technical terms
You also need to consider the technical terms utilized in your industry. Translators are experts in languages, but they are not experts in up-to-date industry terminology. One challenging aspect of Japanese translation is that technical terms in Japanese are not often directly translatable from their English equivalent. The Japanese market applies unique technical terms in certain cases. Thus, once the translation process is complete, you need to carefully double-check the content, ideally with the input of a native Japanese expert. Although I have many years’ experience in the internet industry, even I am still often confused by the technical terms used in the web market because the Japanese terms do not correspond with the English terminology. This is one of the trickiest parts of making blog content appropriate for the Japanese market.
Pay attention to trends in the local market
Last but not least, you should also pay attention to local trends in the Japanese market to ensure that your articles are relevant. A typical error that the person at headquarters will make is that s/he will publish an article across all Asian markets simultaneously. Before publishing content for a target market, you must consider the local law, customs, and ideally the latest trends in that market. The legal regimes of Asian nations are significantly different. Some products have not been launched in Japan yet, and some products cannot be launched there due to the country’s legal regulations. Alternately, some products are customized for each market prior to launch. It is important to ensure that your blog content reflects the unique situation of your target market.
At Digital Havas, we offer localization services as well as digital marketing services for enterprises entering the Japanese market. Please get in touch for detailed information.