The term “localisation” is becoming familiar to increasingly more people. In addition to translating text, localisation also takes into account the integration of the text into the language and culture of the target country. Localisation is typically discussed in connection with software and user interfaces, but integration is done for all types of content with the purpose of achieving the best possible user experience.
But what is hyper-localisation, a phenomenon adopted by marketers in particular?
What is hyper-localisation?
Hyper-localisation takes localisation even further. In hyper-localisation, data from both linguistic and geographical areas as well as from individual users are taken into account in content creation in order to adapt the products and the offering better for the target group.
For this kind of targeting to be possible, hyper-localisation always requires in-depth research data on the target group. In addition, hyper-localisation is always based on a clear hyper-localisation strategy. For example, a company’s localisation strategy may cover German language areas and localisation in German, but if you want to hyper-localise and strategically target marketing to 18–24-year-old Swiss people, the content must be targeted at them, and the language variant and style must be just right.
A hyper-localisation decision should not be made lightly, as by adopting this strategy you might turn your back on many other target groups or end up running a number of different hyper-localised marketing campaigns.
Canva – Truly local
Canva is an online design tool that enables businesses and private users to create professional-looking graphics. Canva contains over one million images and a great variety of different graphics and fonts. Canva, which was founded in Australia, has grown and expanded overseas very strongly over the last few years: Currently, more than 82% of Canva’s net sales come from non-English-speaking markets.
As Canva is available in 190 countries in over 100 languages or language variants, Canva’s localisation is managed by an entire Global Services team. According to team leader Rachel Carruthers, Canva’s strategic mission is to ensure that every Canva user’s experience of the service is “truly local”. In practice, this means hyper-localising the content and localising the user interface and usability according to each country and language area.
Hyper-localisation based on market data
For Canva, hyper-localisation means a shift of focus from breadth of access to the full depth of experience. The design tool has not only been localised in different languages but it also takes into account, for example, the needs and preferences of the target groups in addition to conventions in different countries.
Based on the collected marketing data, Canva has found that there may be significant differences in preferences within the same language area. While Argentinian users, for example, prefer a more minimalist style for images in line with the preferences of Japanese and German users, Mexican and Colombian users prefer a more maximalist style, despite also being Spanish speakers. That’s why the content of Canva may vary even within the same language area.
Canva has also divided countries into those where it is more customary to respect the country’s own culture and traditions in the selection of images and graphics. In this sense, Canva wants to communicate to its Japanese, Italian and Brazilian users that the program can also be used to express oneself and one’s own culture. For this reason, the image bank contains more local colours, images and graphics in these areas. However, in Germany and Korea, for example, the markets are rather outward-looking, and users like to adopt international influences. In these market areas, Canva focuses more on informing users about the features of the program and the possibilities it provides.
In some countries, such as Japan and Germany, a more formal language is used, whereas in Mexico and Colombia, for example, the register is informal. The linguistic differences have been acknowledged in Canva’s Instagram ads, where texts have been hyper-localised based on the marketing data.
The benefits of hyper-localisation
According to Rachel Carruthers, Canva has clearly benefitted from hyper-localisation. With hyper-localisation, the use of Canva has increased by 8.9%, and there is a nearly 39.3% uplift in trial conversions. Similarly, hyper-localised Instagram ads have seen an increase in revenue of over 200%, while Cost Per Trial (CPT) prices have fallen by up to 80%.
There is a difference between localisation and hyper-localisation. Hyper-localisation is particularly suitable for targeted marketing within a defined group (niche) within a market segment. Hyper-localisation is also useful when selling to consumers directly. In other cases, however, carefully implemented localisation is likely to be enough, as standard localisation also acknowledges specific features, such as the language variant, conventions and the more specific target group.