video localization

There is a better and cheaper way to do video localization

Table of Contents

TL;DR: Video localization is vital if your business has an international presence and uses video as a format to build brand awareness, boost sales, and increase customer loyalty. With video automation software, you can localize faster, optimize your costs, and shorten your time to market.

Because of our Western-centric point of view, we assume that English is some type of Esperanto that actually made it, i.e. that it’s a universal, global language everyone knows. However, statistics say that 75% of people don’t speak English at all. This is why localization is crucial if you want to reach your international audience successfully.

I’ve noticed that there are no valuable resources online about how to efficiently do video localization from a technical standpoint. Most of the articles come from translation vendors who offer the service of video localization, but as far as I noticed, the end client is expected to implement these translations into the video on their own or use translation management software to do so.

But there is a far more efficient and cheaper way to do it, especially considering the fact that video localization is not just about bridging the language gap.

Did you know that Plainly is one of the leading video automation software that can be used for localizing your content? Book a 15-min demo to learn more.

Understanding the complexity of video localization

When you think of video localization, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Translated captions or subtitles? Dubbing the video? While this might be how some companies do it, there’s so much more to localizing videos. In fact, just think about all the video elements that are left: music, in-video text, colors, and more.

Many people use the terms translation and localization interchangeably, while translation is only one part of localization. Localization is about adjusting your content to your target locale by taking into account the cultural specificities, different social norms, consumer expectations, and even color symbolism.

Companies that want to localize their videos take into account representation in their videos and ensure that diversity is there. That’s how you do video localization – by making sure it will resonate with the end customer, i.e. helping them recognize your effort to get close to them and allowing them to identify with your content.

Example of the importance of video localization

Are you maybe familiar with the YouTuber that calls himself Mr.Beast?

His channel is beyond nuts, but the reason why he has 119M subscribers is obvious: he’s doing something completely unconventional, creating all sorts of crazy challenges that allow people to win huge amounts of money.

However, I’m not here to comment on his channel and what Mr.Beast does. I’m here to emphasize the fact that he also has subchannels and alternative channels, one of which is Mr.Beast en Español with 23.1M subscribers.

mr beast spanish channel

Simply by localizing his videos, he has managed to expand his audience to more than 23 million new subscribers. I believe that this was not random, but rather a strategic decision given the fact there are over 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide.

He also has channels in Russian, Portuguese and French, and collectively they have over 10M subscribers.

Types of videos can you localize

Looking for a short answer? Every type of video can be localized. But I’ll give you a longer answer as well. 

Localize product videos

Say you’re a B2B SaaS company and you have a product video. That’s one of the main marketing materials you can produce, but it’s also challenging to do it. You have to create a meaningful storyboard, decide whether it’s going to be an animated video or a real shoot, and compress everything about your product in under 5 minutes. But once you’re done with the original, localization can be automated. But more on that in a bit.

lego localizing product videos on amazon

Lego localizes product videos on different Amazon marketplaces. Credits to Lego on Amazon

Localize video tutorials 

Tutorials are another type of videos you can localize. Explaining something step by step in a video format can be incredibly valuable for the end user. Oftentimes, it’s easier to learn and follow the instructions when you’re watching a video than reading through a manual of sorts. Here’s a blunt example: ever tried nicely wrapping a gift or cooking a new type of meal? Would you prefer if someone showed you how to do it or if they write it down for you? Yep, I thought so.

Localize video ads

Video ads are perhaps the most important type of videos you can localize, at least from a business standpoint. I already wrote about dynamic video ads a while ago which represent the best way to ensure your video ad is localized and truly personalized for the end recipient. This means you can increase conversions and decrease your cost-per-click, while the entire process of video localization that I’m about to explain will save you both time and effort.

syncron youtube video localization

Syncron localizes video explainers for different markets. Credits to Syncron Youtube channel.

Did you know? One of our undisclosed clients, a record label company, managed to decrease CPC on TikTok simply by using Plainly to create dynamic video ads automatically.

Localize video testimonials 

Video testimonials play a key role in building credibility for your company and helping your potential customers trust your brand. It’s possible to automate video testimonials and localize them by adding captions, or translating any in-video text or other elements.

Bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of all the types of videos you can localize. You can localize literally any type of video you come up with. But a lot of other articles on this topic covered the types of videos you can localize, and why you should do it.

Now finally, let me show you how.

How to successfully localize your videos while optimizing costs

Undoubtedly, you need someone who will decide which parts of the video will be localized and you need someone (or a team of people) who will actually do the localization of the content. 

I’m here to tell you that the actual technical part of how you handle video localization doesn’t have to be difficult and that you can localize literally every part of the video, including in-video text.

In fact, you can automate most of the process and save up to 85% of your time.

Your linguists are probably already used to using spreadsheets to translate content or maybe they are using some type of translation management system or CAT tools. 

So, let me make an assumption: up until now, you’ve probably localized different parts of your video, but it mostly came down to dubbing or inserting captions.

However, you had to create a new video from scratch for every foreign market separately. With the video automation software tool, you don’t have to do this.

Here’s how it works:

  • Create your original video version in After Effects
  • Create a big spreadsheet (as you would normally do), with all of the elements that need to be localized
  • Plainly (or some other video automation software of your choice), automatically renders your localized videos based on your inputs (spreadsheet + After Effects project file).

And that’s it! There is no need for you to create a video from scratch for every target locale. You can connect your data source with your After Effects project file with Plainly and automatically render localized versions in just a few clicks.

Think about the amount of time and money you’d save this way. Not to mention your video designer wouldn’t have to lift a finger except to create the initial template. 

While freelancing, I was personally localizing videos in Japanese, German, and Italian. Of course, I wasn’t doing the translations, but I was responsible for the technical part – inserting content into Plainly and letting the tool do all the heavy lifting. And it worked like a charm.

Ready to do video localization powered by automation?

The benefits of automating one huge part of video localization are more than obvious:

  • You’ll reach your target markets faster
  • You’ll downsize on the resources needed to render the videos
  • You won’t need to create separate videos from scratch for each locale
  • You’ll have more freedom and time to work on your video localization strategy
  • You can reorganize your budget and invest in other business areas


I would love to show you how Plainly can help you get there. We created our tool with creatives, no-code lovers, and developers in mind, so you can choose the less technical path to video localization or talk to your dev team and utilize our powerful API. 

Either way, let’s talk: book a 15-min demo with me, I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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person using a video generator