Author: May Thawdar Oo
It was a watershed year for the global iGaming industry in 2022. The legalization of online casino gaming and sports betting enabled the sector to emerge on a bullish footing in 2023.
New jurisdictions are going live with iGaming across all continents and regions, creating an abundance of opportunity for operators and businesses to take a piece of the multibillion-dollar pie.
Needless to say, localization and translation all play an inseparable role in the success of your iGaming content marketing strategy when you’re trying to expand into new markets as an online casino and/or sportsbook.
With globalization and the demand for iGaming at all-time highs, so is the need for professional iGaming localization that permeates across all your visual, content, and marketing assets.
The process is the same for every industry across every vertical: anytime a new product, campaign, or service is introduced into the market, a marketing plan will be implemented to hit its target audiences.
iGaming is no different.
But since the industry is so highly regulated, online casino and sportsbook marketing teams are responsible for ensuring that their overall iGaming content marketing strategy remains consistent and accurate across all formats.
Since language is constantly evolving and dynamic, no two cultures – not even those sharing a common native language – consume and perceive content alike. That’s not to mention the plethora of country-specific requirements regarding online casino and sportsbook advertising regulations.
Therein lies the challenge for iGaming operators, because every player in every region must receive the same marketing message, lest they run the risk of losing their target audiences in translation – or run afoul with politically, socially, and culturally-accepted mores and folkways surrounding gambling lingo and marketing speak.
Why Should iGaming Companies Translate Their Marketing Assets?
Marketing for online casinos and sportsbooks is more than just coming up with the most competitive spreads and deposit bonuses.
It’s also more than just creating witty, creative copy that converts or promoting their games and services in the best light possible.
That’s why iGaming companies need to get their marketing materials tailored to the specific language and cultural context that their new audiences experience and sense the world in.
Poorly translated and localized marketing materials may send new prospects mixed messages – or worse, send baffling or completely inaccurate ones that do not reflect their brand.
What Marketing Materials Should Be Translated by an iGaming Company?
Localization is more than just doing a perfunctory word-for-word translation – it also requires you to modify visual assets to reflect (and respect) local culture and ensure the consistency of your marketing messages with the local milieu.
One that they can fully embrace, understand, and get behind.
Converting everything to the target language and creating native-language advertising is the first step in breaking into international markets – the effort it takes to do so demonstrates your brand’s commitment to servicing new clientele in their own language.
Here, you’ll find a list of marketing materials you need to concentrate your localization efforts in as an online casino or sportsbook as follows:
1. Ad Copy
Ad copy has a unique predilection for localization that goes beyond literal translation.
It also requires a deep understanding of the sophisticated nuances of positioning your copy or visual assets in a way that translates the same powerful marketing message to your desired cohorts.
That’s not to mention the unique gambling idioms, lingo, jargon, puns, and related wordplay in advertising that might be tricky to navigate in foreign languages.
2. Website Graphic Layout
The graphic design of a website plays a massive role in influencing the user’s experience.
This makes it an important localization target so that it delivers optimal user experiences across a wide spectrum of international clients.
This means reviewing the length and orientation of content pieces, graphical layouts of different languages, and color palettes associated with the brand, among other visual elements.
3. Color Schemes
Colors often symbolize different meanings and emotions depending on cultures.
For instance, red is associated with luck in China. Not surprisingly, plenty of casinos catering to Chinese clients use it liberally in their visual assets. However, the same color is associated with ill fortune in Germany and Nigeria.
The lesson? Always research your color schemes before launching in new markets to ensure they don’t have any negative connotations linked to them.
4. Game Info Sheet/ Game Banners
The game info sheet and banners form part of your casino’s visual and textual assets. The info sheet displays pertinent information about the game, as well as minimum and maximum bet sizes.
5. Social Media Graphics
Social media is a ridiculously powerful tool for boosting conversion rates and fostering customer loyalty – allowing you to break into new markets without needing local teams.
Different markets use different social media platforms – from Facebook and Twitter in most English-speaking markets, to WeChat and VKontakte for Chinese and Russian-speaking markets, respectively.
Plan out your iGaming social media strategy first and create after.
6. Landing Pages
Landing pages serve as the epicenter of your marketing efforts as the first point of contact for your leads. It’s where players sign up, leads are generated, and generally serve as the fulcrum of your company’s growth.
7. Email Newsletters
Email is a complex yet potent conversion channel that can be complicated to optimize for on its own, much less when localizing for international markets comes into play.
For instance, email drip sequences need to be tested on a variety of operating systems, devices, and email clients. Factor in the translation and localization aspects and it can look like a tall task.
8. Digital Content
Every single piece of content – images, videos, graphics, and typefaces – displayed on a multilingual website should adhere to the cultural context of your target market.
Thus, localizing content to match the tastes and expectations of players in new markets is of paramount importance for your new clients to identify with your brand narrative. Make them contextually appropriate for the audience you’re marketing to and that their impact isn’t lost in translation.
For instance, if you’re launching iGaming products or services in the African subcontinent, you should use visual elements, models, and actors that are representative of the market for better reception.
9. Textual Content
Pure translation isn’t enough – it’s mission-critical to tailor textual content while retaining linguistic conventions, brand voice and tone, and colloquialisms in most situations.
10. SEO Elements
Last but not least, multilingual SEO helps boost a site’s search engine ranking and online visibility.
From keywords, and meta tags to HTML for country-specific search tools, SEO elements need to be localized and translated into their equivalents in different languages.
This is so that your content can be personalized for your audience, and it is easier for local search engines to rank your localized content.
💡 Did you know that 20% of French web users rely on Bing, compared to 9% in Spain?
Thus, understanding the nuances between these cultural specificities and the hard data is crucial to iGaming SEO success.
Content Localization Best Practices
Regardless of what marketing materials you need to localize – whether it is game banners, info sheets, advertising copy, evergreen content, news, features, catalogs, or any other pertinent content under the iGaming umbrella – the end goal is to ensure your messaging is consistent and accurate across all of your iGaming marketing materials and for all markets you wish to enter.
That said, here are some of the best practices you can incorporate into your iGaming localization process:
⭐ Collaborate With Translation and Localization Teams Closely
One of the best ways to ensure that your content remains culturally relevant and contextually accurate is by agreeing to use particular collaboration channels and conducting regular check-ins with your language translation/localization capability. Start small and bring in content creation and language teams to work on a pilot project.
⭐ Research the Target Culture
All good localization efforts stem from uncompromising research – particularly that of the target culture to create bespoke content that truly strikes a chord with the target market. This is where your human capital comes in – leverage your ties with linguistic experts, content strategists, and cultural savants to nail this crucial part of your iGaming localization strategy down pat.
⭐ Conduct Regular Content Reviews
Language always evolves. That makes content reviews a necessary evil for iGaming marketing teams. Content reviews enable marketing and specialist teams to identify which content needs improvement and tweaking as a response to evolving regional or market trends. Bearing in mind its reception across cultures, adjust the content’s tone, style, and message as necessary.
⭐ Customize Visual Assets According to Cultural Norms
As we mentioned earlier, digital assets need to be personalized based on local nuances and cultural sensitivities. Avoid making embarrassing cross-cultural gaffes by keeping visuals simple, intuitive, and easy to understand for your target audiences.
⭐ Spend on Quality Assurance
Quality assurance is part and parcel of localization.
The use of linguistic terms, gambling jargon, and colloquialisms evolve over time – therefore, having an experienced pro reviewing your localized content is invaluable at this stage of the game to ensure your content is accurate and relevant.
Make it a point to only work with vetted iGaming localization and translation pros to ensure you get it right the first time, every time.
Localization Is the Key to Unlocking New iGaming Markets
If you’ve read all the way to this point, then you might already have one foot in the door to a promising international market – if not planning to penetrate into a new one altogether.
And if either is the case, then translating and localizing your iGaming marketing materials for foreign audiences is practically unavoidable, even in this day and age of AI-powered translation and content production tools.
There are no two ways about it.
The ultimate goal of localizing your iGaming marketing communications and assets is to transmit the company’s brand messaging regardless of linguistic or cultural barriers – all while retaining every single smidgen of meaning along the way.
iGaming brands must translate and localize their website and marketing materials to connect with international audiences in compelling, value-added ways. To make sure your content stays on top of global and local trends, you must incorporate localization strategies, collaborate with language translation specialists, and implement quality assurance measures.
Translation is just one half of the battle – and the other half is tailoring information based on different cultural tastes and varying degrees of sensibilities, values, and beliefs.
It’s all part and parcel of connecting with international audiences.
Localization is, quite frankly, the unlock to expanding your iGaming brand into foreign markets. We’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t exactly a walk in the park – in fact, it takes serious amounts of time, effort, research, and human capital to prepare your brand for global domination.
But if you plan your iGaming translation and localization strategy right, results are virtually guaranteed.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “iGaming Content Localization: Which Marketing Materials Should You Localize?”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂