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Global Audience: Best practices for localized channels

As your audience continues to grow and your channel reaches global communities speaking varied languages, it’s common to consider whether it makes sense to separate content by language into individual, localized channels, or continue to maintain one larger (global) channel with multiple language content. Brands and advertisers often turn to one of three models to address their global audiences but ultimately it’s up to you to decide what works best for your channel and audience.

To help reach a more global audience, you can have your community add subtitles in their own languages or manually add translations.
One channel with multiple language content

In this model, brands establish one main channel where content is uploaded in multiple languages for multiple geographies.

Branding

With one channel to represent your brand presence, your brand and any associated assets will be consistent across regions. If your audience uses the same terms for search across languages (ex. a product name) this channel will be highly relevant and easy to discover.

Engagement

Driving your audience to one global channel will consolidate your viewership and channel subscribers and make it easier for users to find your channel in YouTube search.  Once discovered, it may prove more challenging to engage with your subscribers from across the world as a single audience since content can be available in varied languages.  As such, your channel’s audience will be fragmented by language, and your channel community will see posts, comments, and feed updates in many different languages. To help your audience stay engaged, you might consider adding subtitles and captions to your videos to make your content more accessible and available to a larger audience. You might also create unique sections and playlists on your channel for each key market to provide a consolidated offering by language and drive watchtime.   

Management

With all of your content in one place, your team can focus all resources on managing this single channel and make it easier to maintain consistent global branding and tone. Of course, the actual number of resources needed to manage a channel will depend entirely on the regularity of uploads planned and the intensity of your individual channel strategy. Being consistent with uploads, ensuring brand equity and audience management is critical to growing a successful channel.   

Multiple channels each with unique language content

Here brands create multiple channels, each featuring different language and geography content. This can be very helpful for languages with various alphabets or search terms.

Branding

With a unique channel for each geography or language, brands will have the opportunity to customize each channel to the local audience and easily incorporate local events and promotions. If your brand identity varies slightly in different regions, this will allow you to respect those differences and incorporate them into your channel strategy.

Engagement

While your viewership and subscribers will be split across multiple channels by language preference, this does allow for you to have focused communications with a specific, engaged audience. All items on the channel will be targeted to a language specific audience which may result in an improved user experience. Users may be less likely to get confused or disengaged because of varying language content once they discover the brand channel in their preferred language. Don’t forget that you’ll want to specify which language a particular channel targets since users may see various channels available in search and typically larger channels trump smaller channels.  It will be important to cross-promote your various language channels amongst each other to help improve discoverability.  A great way to ensure that you’re cross-promoting effectively is to add channels of interest to the “featured channels” section your channel’s About tab. 

Management

With your channel content spread across multiple regions/languages, each local channel will need to allocate resources to manage the channel on an ongoing basis. Whether your channels follow a predefined framework or rely on local teams to manage, you’ll want to be sure your brand can devote enough resources to launch and maintain each channel with a regular upload and engagement schedule. 

One global channel and supporting local channels

With a single channel to serve as the main brand hub to feature global campaigns in the main brand language and territory and supporting local channels targeting different languages and regions, brands can foster a larger global presence while still connecting to their local regions with specific content.

Branding

With this distribution of channel content, you can still showcase consistent global branding in your hub channel while using the various local channels to feature local events and promotions. It may be helpful to adopt templates for your video metadata and video thumbnails to help maintain brand consistency across your various channels.

Engagement

With so many channels, viewership and subscribers will be segmented across multiple channels but users are able to find the relevant content for their specific language and receive a consistent experience when viewing content and engaging with the channel community. It will be important to use the main global channel to help drive viewers to your local channels using video metadata, channel descriptions, and featured channel programming. Depending on upload frequency, more frequent uploads on the local channels may result in those channels receiving a more prominent placement in search.

Management

This channel organization structure requires coordination between global and local teams but allows for flexibility when it comes to customizing the brand message for local markets or featuring local campaigns. This may be the most resource-intensive channel organization structure as you will need to dedicate time to both a larger global channel and several local channels but the actual number of resources will depend on the regularity of uploads and engagement strategies implemented on each channel.

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