Video Production

How To Create Video For A Global Audience

Amy Onorato 08.07.2018

Creating video for a global audience has the power to push your brand to new levels, and connect with customers on an international scale. According to eMarketer, 2.38 billion people consume some form of video content monthly. That’s a massive audience, with a massive amount of potential.

Expanding your reach can reap great rewards. In order to truly be successful with international video, there are several things you need to consider — from how you frame your video narrative, to making sure your video is optimized. In this post, we’ll explore how you can achieve both, so you can start promoting your video in the global arena.

Creating Video For A Global Audience

The beauty of digital channels is that you have the ability to get your video out to the masses, wherever they may be. But in order to make sure your video translates (literally) to a global audience, you need to make sure you have a few processes in place on the backend of your video publishing platform first.

Video Captioning, Translations, And Metadata

If your video uses spoken word, providing captions, and translated versions of captions, allows viewers a chance to read along to your spoken narrative in their native language of choice. This way, you can open up your video to global audiences in a way that speaks to them.

There are several ways to add video captions. You could create the files on your own, or with the help of a video production company or captioning service. Some video publishing platforms, like Facebook or YouTube, can also create video captions automatically, although you will need to proof the results.

However, when it comes to translating video captions, it can get more complicated. You may need to upload different text files with captions in several languages. In this case, you need to consider how many different versions of your captions you need to best serve your target audiences.

You also need to apply the same principles to how you treat your video metadata. This includes video titles, descriptions, and alt text. If you choose to upload a unique video thumbnail, make sure the metadata within the image file is optimized, too.

For more on how to create video captions and translations, check out our complete guide here.

Connecting Your Narrative

YouTube’s Creator Guide suggests three types of video narratives that can be easily translated for a universal audience: 

Universal Topics

This seems rather broad, but you can look at this a number of ways. Some culturally-inclusive angles include music, sports, holidays, technology, and worldwide news. You could, for example, create a broadcast commercial to air during the Olympics or the World Cup. If your company has a volunteer program, you could create a company culture video showcasing how your efforts create an impact worldwide. Or you could create an explainer video that educates viewers on your industry, technology, or product.

Remember, the customer is the hero of your story. Emotional values, like family, overcoming hardship, and the joys of success, are feelings that transcend all cultures. In the workplace, there are common challenges all companies face as they build a business. Consider the problems your potential customers may have — how can your product or service help solve them, and make life better?

Brand Example: Adidas tapped into their global audience during the 2018 World Cup, with a star-studded advertisement that featured soccer stars from around the world. Complete with captions, compelling imagery, and an uplifting narrative, Adidas created a video experience that any sports fan can relate to.

Localized Videos

Localized videos can tap into more specific themes or challenges individual audiences face. Think about localized videos as part of a larger campaign. You may want to start with a video that connects all audiences, and then create a smaller series of videos tailored to a specific country, or culture.

Brand example: GE did a great job with this on their “Together We Work” series. As we’ve written about before, the videos do a fantastic job highlighting the company’s brand values worldwide. Each video focuses on the work they do in a different country — from healthcare initiatives in the Amazon, to empowering young women in Pakistan. The videos take place in their country of focus, and are captioned, so any viewer can understand the narrative. 

Breaking The Barrier: Animated Video, And Video Without Spoken Word

The perks of animated video is that the characters or imagery you create can be universally recognized and relatable. A fictional character, or mascot, can cut down on the cost of casting different actors for localized campaigns. However, if your animated video uses voice, you may need to consider casting the right spokesperson who will best represent your brand in different markets — especially if you’re going to track the animated video narrative in different languages.

Another option is ditching spoken word altogether. Video without sound is easily digestible, and can be viewed on mute — which is more accessible for social media platforms, and mobile audiences. Captions can help fill in the blanks. Or, you can create different versions of your video with text in different languages. Numbers are a universal language, too — incorporating statistics could be a strong selling point here.

Brand Example: Check out this 30-second spot from Aeropostale, featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman. The video has no words, but it clearly conveys how flexible their jeans are through fantastic gymnastic feats — and who doesn’t want to watch that?


Global video consumption is exploding — and it’s only going to grow. Creating video for a global audience can help expand your reach, and your international impact. With a combination of technical skill and narration savvy, you can create a suite of videos that translate effortlessly.

Learn more about how IdeaRocket can help you get there.

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