How to Localize a YouTube Channel

Learn how to localize your YouTube content and reach a global audience.

One effective way to expand your reach on YouTube is to take your content global by translating your videos into new languages.

For example, MrBeast—one of YouTube’s most popular creators—created a localized channel called MrBeast en Español. The results? Over 25 million new subscribers to his content. 

He’s since merged that channel with his main channel via multi-track audio, but it just goes to show the power of localization when done right. 

The localization process involves more than just translation. You need to consider cultural nuances, different internet speeds, subtitles, and more. Thankfully, with the right localization strategies, you can adapt your YouTube channel to effectively engage audiences worldwide. 

Localized content will feel like it was created specifically for overseas viewers, helping increase watch time and subscribers from international audiences. While localizing your YouTube channel requires some upfront effort, it’s one of the best ways to tap into the platform’s truly global reach. 

In this article, we’ll walk through a step-by-step guide to localizing a YouTube channel for global growth. 

What Does YouTube Localization Mean?

Localization on YouTube means making your channel and its content appealing to viewers in different regions by adapting it to their languages and cultural preferences. This is more than just translating words—it's about making your content feel relevant and relatable to people with different backgrounds. The aim is to make viewers feel like the content was created just for them, no matter where they are in the world.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Localizing YouTube Content

Let’s explain how to identify your target audience(s), choose the right languages, and translate YouTube content into other languages. 

Identify Your Target Audience

You must first understand your target audience before venturing into localization. Who are they? What are their interests? Where are they from? YouTube’s expanded analytics report provides insights into your viewers’ age, gender, and geography, offering a closer look into the most engaged audience segments.

Once you understand these demographics, you can then create localized content that resonates with their wants and needs.

Choose Your Target Language(s)

Selecting the appropriate target language(s) for localization is a strategic move that can significantly boost your YouTube channel’s viewership, number of subscribers, and potential for revenue gain. This involves understanding the global market potential and selecting languages that cater to a broad viewer base.

For example, you might choose to localize your content into any one of the world's most commonly spoken languages:

  • English - 1.45 billion speakers
  • Mandarin - 1.18 billion speakers
  • Hindi - 602 million speakers
  • Spanish - 548 million speakers
  • French - 280 million speakers
  • Modern Standard Arabic - 274 million speakers
  • Bengali - 272 million speakers
  • Russian - 258 million speakers
  • Portuguese - 257 million speakers
  • Urdu - 231.3 million speakers
  • Indonesian - 199 million speakers
  • German - 134.6 million speakers
  • Japanese - 125.4 million speakers
  • Nigerian Pidgin - 120.7 million speakers
  • Marathi - 99.1 million speakers

These languages are among the most commonly used for reaching diverse audiences in multiple languages. However, don’t just localize content into these language for the sake of it. If you have more viewers in other regions then prioritize the languages they speak.

Remember: the ultimate goal is to connect with your audience in their own language they understand and prefer, which will build trust and rapport.

In short, to make your YouTube channel more global, start by understanding your viewers: where they're from, what they enjoy, and what languages they speak.

Consider Potential Advertising Revenue (CPM)

If you're looking to maximize the revenue your channel generates, then you should also pay attention to the cost per mille (CPM) rates. In other words, how much ad revenue you can generate from a thousand views.

According to Blogger Nexus, these are the average CPM rates you can expect across different regions.



Country

CPM (USD)

Afghanistan

$3.11

Åland Islands

$0.35

Albania

$0.74

Algeria

$2.57

American Samoa

$0.35

Andorra

$0.35

Angola

$0.15

Antigua and Barbuda

$0.45

Argentina

$0.77

Armenia

$3.91

Aruba

$0.00

Australia

$1.66

Austria

$6.71

Azerbaijan

$0.59

Bahamas

$0.35

Bahrain

$0.35

Bangladesh

$0.70

Barbados

$2.00

Belarus

$3.31

Belgium

$3.43

Belize

$3.00

Benin

$0.35

Bhutan

$6.30

Bolivia

$0.73

Bosnia and Herzegovina

$1.25

Botswana

$8.87

Brazil

$0.32

Brunei Darussalam

$0.80

Bulgaria

$1.10

Burkina Faso

$1.00

Burundi

$2.00

Cabo Verde

$1.50

Cambodia

$0.52

Cameroon

$1.78

Canada

$2.63

Cayman Islands

$1.00

Central African Republic

$1.00

Chad

$0.00

Chile

$0.54

China

$1.00

Colombia

$0.87

Comoros

$3.00

Congo

$0.35

Congo

$0.40

Costa Rica

$2.62

Côte d’Ivoire

$2.24

Croatia

$1.85

Cuba

$1.40

Curaçao

$0.35

Cyprus

$3.16

Czechia

$2.95

Denmark

$2.88

Djibouti

$1.00

Dominica

$0.45

Dominican Republic

$2.67

Ecuador

$1.53

Egypt

$0.29

El Salvador

$3.03

Equatorial Guinea

$0.35

Estonia

$0.35

Eswatini

$0.45

Ethiopia

$1.01

Faroe Islands

$0.35

Fiji

$1.00

Finland

$2.57

France

$4.51

French Guiana

$0.00

French Polynesia

$0.35

Gabon

$0.35

Gambia

$2.14

Georgia

$3.46

Germany

$0.36

Ghana

$1.91

Gibraltar

$0.35

Greece

$6.23

Grenada

$4.25

Guadeloupe

$2.00

Guam

$2.38

Guatemala

$1.14

Guinea

$1.00

Guinea-Bissau

$2.00

Guyana

$4.50

Haiti

$3.00

Honduras

$3.32

Hong Kong

$1.94

Hungary

$0.90

Iceland

$4.33

India

$0.70

Indonesia

$0.20

Iran

$5.67

Iraq

$0.71

Ireland

$0.52

Isle of Man

$0.35

Israel

$0.58

Italy

$0.89

Jamaica

$4.94

Japan

$2.46

Jersey

$2.00

Jordan

$1.50

Kazakhstan

$1.77

Kenya

$3.02

Korea (Republic of)

$0.30

Kuwait

$1.12

Kyrgyzstan

$1.23

Laos

$5.09

Latvia

$2.82

Lebanon

$1.70

Lesotho

$0.35

Liberia

$2.00

Libya

$4.69

Liechtenstein

$1.00

Lithuania

$6.10

Luxembourg

$0.35

Macao

$1.25

Macedonia

$1.27

Madagascar

$0.50

Malawi

$0.35

Malaysia

$1.40

Maldives

$2.01

Mali

$8.41

Malta

$5.34

Martinique

$0.00

Mauritania

$3.80

Mauritius

$7.05

Mayotte

$3.00

Mexico

$0.56

Moldova

$3.80

Mongolia

$5.85

Montenegro

$0.35

Morocco

$0.34

Mozambique

$6.78

Myanmar

$1.22

Namibia

$2.00

Nepal

$2.14

Netherlands

$2.00

New Caledonia

$1.33

New Zealand

$11.81

Nicaragua

$1.92

Niger

$6.00

Nigeria

$2.89

Northern Mariana Islands

$0.45

Norway

$1.95

Oman

$3.78

Pakistan

$0.59

Palestine

$2.50

Panama

$1.73

Papua New Guinea

$2.27

Paraguay

$2.48

Peru

$1.24

Philippines

$0.48

Poland

$0.76

Portugal

$1.66

Puerto Rico

$1.15

Qatar

$1.11

Réunion

$0.35

Romania

$1.85

Russian Federation

$1.45

Rwanda

$1.09

Saint Kitts and Nevis

$0.45

Saint Lucia

$0.35

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

$1.67

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

$1.33

Samoa

$0.00

San Marino

$1.50

Saudi Arabia

$0.33

Senegal

$0.80

Seychelles

$1.75

Sierra Leone

$3.50

Singapore

$2.90

Sint Maarten (Dutch part)

$0.50

Slovakia

$0.67

Slovenia

$1.00

Solomon Islands

$0.35

Somalia

$1.24

South Africa

$2.37

South Sudan

$2.00

Spain

$4.38

Sri Lanka

$4.06

Sudan

$2.82

Suriname

$7.03

Svalbard and Jan Mayen

$0.35

Sweden

$0.84

Switzerland

$3.87

Syrian Arab Republic

$1.32

Taiwan

$0.59

Tajikistan

$1.67

Tanzania

$1.96

Thailand

$0.27

Timor-Leste

$0.67

Togo

$1.87

Trinidad and Tobago

$2.39

Tunisia

$1.00

Turkey

$3.08

Turkmenistan

$1.00

Turks and Caicos Islands

$0.45

Uganda

$2.22

Ukraine

$1.27

United Arab Emirates

$1.37

United Kingdom

$2.67

United States of America

$0.38

Uruguay

$3.17

Uzbekistan

$0.94

Vanuatu

$0.35

Venezuela

$3.75

Vietnam

$0.25

Virgin Islands (British)

$1.00

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

$3.29

Western Sahara

$0.35

Yemen

$1.11

Zambia

$13.00

Zimbabwe

$3.00

Translate YouTube Content Into Other Languages

Advancements in technology have simplified the process for YouTubers to overcome language barriers and engage with global audiences. Innovative localization strategies, such as using AI technologies and automated tools, streamline the translation process and improve content accessibility. 

For instance, YouTube’s auto-translate feature can provide quick translations for subtitles in the video’s default language. But translations alone aren’t enough. What if you want to narrate videos in another language?

How To Use the YouTube Multi-Language Audio Feature

YouTube's multi-language audio feature can significantly enhance your video's accessibility and global reach. Here’s how you can effectively use this newly released feature.

Upload Multi-Language Audio Tracks

An example of multi-language audio tracks from one of Mr Beast’s videos

  1. Sign into YouTube Studio
  2. Click subtitles (on the left menu)
  3. Select the video you want to edit
  4. Hit ADD LANGUAGE and choose your language
  5. Click ADD under “Audio”
  6. Click SELECT FILE
  7. Choose the file you want to upload. Note that files must be in a supported audio-only file format and obviously be approximately the same length as your video
  8. When you’re ready to upload your audio track, hit PUBLISH

Replace Previously Uploaded Audio Files

What if you’ve uploaded a multi-language audio track and want to replace it with a new version? In this case, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into YouTube Studio
  2. Click subtitles (on the left menu)
  3. Select the video you want to edit
  4. Rinse and repeat these steps if you’re uploading a new multi-language audio track

Head to “Audio” and click the Delete button for the appropriate language 

Note that the multi-language audio feature on YouTube isn't yet accessible to all users. For instance, Mr Beast is an example of a high-profile channel that utilizes this feature to reach a global audience.

However, for creators who don't have access to this functionality, there are alternative strategies to consider. For example, Steven & Parker opted to launch separate channels in Spanish and Portuguese to cater to their diverse viewer base. This method allows creators to broaden their reach and engage with international audiences, even without direct access to the multi-language audio feature.

It’s important to be aware that this YouTube feature doesn’t automatically generate dubbed audio tracks—creators have to record dubbed audio tracks before uploading. For example, by using ElevenLabs' Dubbing Tool.

ElevenLabs’ Dubbing tool allows creators to near-instantly localize high-quality voice content in 29 languages. It’s quicker, easier, and cheaper than hiring a voice actor. It’s the future of localization.

Get started today with ElevenLabs’ Dubbing tool.   

Remember: It’s About More Than Jut Words

Adapting your content for different markets may involve more than translation. Consider cultural nuances, local trends, and regional humor. The goal is to make each video feel like it was created specifically for that audience. This might mean altering or creating content based on local interests or local events.

Utilize YouTube's Built-in Localization Tools

YouTube offers several features to support localization. Use these tools to your advantage:

  • Subtitles and Closed Captions: Add subtitles in multiple languages to make your YouTube videos accessible to a broader audience. This is a cost-effective way to start localizing content.
  • Video Titles and Descriptions: Translate your YouTube video titles and descriptions into your target languages. This not only makes your content more accessible but also improves visibility in local search results.
  • Channel Description and Keywords: Localize your channel's description and keywords to attract viewers from targeted regions. This helps your channel show up in searches by users in those areas.
  • Use Thumbnails: Make thumbnails that catch everyone's eye and connect with viewers worldwide. Use symbols, colors, and words that grab attention and show what your video is about.

Decide on Whether to Use a Single or Multiple Channels

You might question whether it’s better to retain a single YouTube channel with multilingual content or establish separate channels for different languages. Both approaches have their pros and cons.

  • Single Channel: A single, multilingual channel can centralize content management, foster a diverse community, and maintain brand consistency. It can also make content more accessible and acknowledge regional or cultural differences, potentially building greater trust with an international audience.
  • Multiple Channels: Creating separate channels for language-specific content can lead to highly targeted viewer experiences and potentially higher engagement within language channels. However, this approach can limit your local audience base and reduce overall reach when compared to using one channel. Moreover, when you create separate channels, it requires more resources and may dilute brand authority.
  • Hybrid Approach: A possible middle ground is adopting a hybrid approach, with a main global channel featuring international content and additional local channels, to maximize reach and provide a regionally relevant experience for viewers through the main channel while reaching global audiences.

Create Personalized Ads

Creating personalized ads will increase conversion rates, deepen customer relationships, improve brand loyalty, and lead to a higher ROI from advertising efforts.

These ads are more scalable than direct one-to-one video targeting, as they allow you to edit existing content to suit different audiences in a specific language. You can also use geolocation settings to show personalized ads depending on where viewers are based. This will ensure your videos appear in search results and recommendations for viewers in those locations, depending on your settings.

Moreover, you can use YouTube’s end screen features to promote videos and tailor recommendations to international viewers based on their cultural interests. 

Creating these ads enhances the personalized experience for an international audience on YouTube. Showing ads that are relevant to the viewer’s interests increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion. This allows your audience to easily find and consume content that resonates with their interests and cultural context, while also helping you track outages and protect your platform’s performance.

Engage With Local Communities

Interacting with local communities is a potent method to boost visibility and pique audience interest. This could involve:

  • Creating content that reflects local interests, events, and causes
  • Active responses to community interactions
  • Using geotags and local hashtags in your content to increase visibility and join local conversations.

Engagement can also be enhanced by hosting Q&A sessions and local meet-ups, providing opportunities for direct, community-focused interaction. Remember that building a diverse and welcoming online community involves actively moderating comments to promote inclusivity and make sure the international audience feels included.

Organize Your Localized Content

Localization also entails customizing the user experience on your YouTube channel. This can be achieved by:

  • Organizing content into playlists and sections that cater to diverse geographic or linguistic user groups.
  • Having multiple YouTube channels for different languages to improve the viewer experience by allowing them to select content in their preferred language without sifting through irrelevant videos.
  • Facilitating a better focused and tailored content strategy, allowing for a stronger community around each language.

Why Is Localization Important?

Localizing your YouTube channel is crucial for several reasons:

  • Enhancing Viewer Experience: Content in a viewer's own language is easier to understand and enjoy, leading to more views and longer watch times.
  • Wider Audience Reach: By appealing to non-English speaking audiences or those who prefer content in their native language, you unlock new markets and audience segments.
  • Improved SEO and Visibility: Localized content ranks better in YouTube searches and recommendations in different regions, helping you get discovered by more people.
  • Building Trust and Loyalty: When viewers see content in their language that reflects their culture and values, it builds a stronger connection, fostering trust and loyalty to the channel.

Measuring Success: Analytics and Feedback Loops

Localization is a continuous process that necessitates regular monitoring and revisions. Using YouTube Analytics, you can track critical performance indicators such as:

  • Watch time
  • Average percentage viewed
  • Average view duration
  • Audience retention
  • User engagement metrics like comments, likes, and dislikes

These metrics offer insights into user interaction with localized videos and help measure content reach, engagement, and site statistics.

Subscriber growth reports and re-watches provide quantitative data on audience growth and interests, signaling the effectiveness of the localized content. With YouTube Analytics’ Advanced Mode, you can create custom charts and comparisons, and export analytics for a comprehensive evaluation of your localization strategies. This data analytics helps identify what’s working, what’s not, and where improvements can be made.

Final Thoughts

Localizing your channel is a powerful strategy to unlock global potential, increase viewer engagement, and cater to diverse global audience. From understanding your target audience and choosing the right target language to adopting innovative localization strategies and leveraging YouTube’s advanced features, each step plays a crucial role in the localization journey.

Ready to begin localizing your content? Get started with ElevenLabs’ AI Dubbing tool to effortlessly translate your existing videos. 

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