Marketing professionals know well that very few companies start off with a proper international marketing strategy in place. Growing the business into new markets is a gradual process driven by fresh revenue opportunities, new partnerships and networking relationships. But, even if these companies do not have a strategic marketing plan with a view to entering different markets, there’s a huge chance they can get immediate and juicy benefits from translating the website and other collateral material.
The first thing you need to do is identify the languages spoken in those countries you are doing business or looking to do business in. Sometimes, company’s executives may feel reluctant before the perspective of investing too much (even if it’s not a scary amount) in website localization. That’s where you need to play your role as a top marketing professional and make them understand that the potential ROI the company will get from providing a top class customer experience is way larger than the actual costs of website localization. The marketing department really has the power to make a difference and make its contribution to the company success. If you want to know how to get started, stay with us because this post is for you.
Common Sense Advisory conducted a survey of 3000 consumers along 10 non-English speaking countries. The research outcome is actually quite convincing. They found that 75% of those polled prefer to buy products in their native language and 60% rarely or never buy their products in websites that are only available in English. According to Forrester Research, in China they conduct 95% of their online business in their native language Chinese. However, the online business presence from North-American companies in China is 99% available only in English. Just do the math and you’ll realize this is a just one example of a sadly overlooked opportunity.
If your website or your company’s website is available only in English and you’re working towards expanding your business in non-Anglophone countries, you may start by translating the content of your site to each of the languages spoken in those countries where you currently have a established customer base or those countries in which you are looking to reach to a potentially significant customer base. Now, if you want to take it to the next level, tailoring your content to meet local requirements is a winning idea. This implies adapting not only your written content, but your visual space (such as colors and imagery) to synch your website to your customers’ cultural context. This is known as Transcreation in the translation industry.
To make sure you don’t fall behind in competition, you must have your products and services optimized to appear in the search engines in each of the markets you are targeting. Although Google is often ranked at the top of popular search engines worldwide, in China, for example, over 70% of the population uses a search engine called Baidu, and Google is used by less than 2%. In Russia, almost half the population prefers a search engine called Yandex. The message is pretty clear. If you’re looking to expand your business in China, Russia or any other country, you must ensure your site can be indexed and found by customers regardless of the language in which they run their searches. This is where you’ll need to have a strong multilingual approach to SEO and work on a consistent and accurate keyword research and translation as part of the SEO strategy.
Researching and finding the right keywords in other countries is as important to end up at the top search results as it is in the United States! Keep that in mind!
Translation may be tricky sometimes and there’s the risk of losing your message and brand through the process if your marketing and advertising collateral isn’t localized accurately. It goes without saying that such thing will have a direct and probably negative impact in your team’s bottom line. Therefore, it’s vital having an experienced language expert on your team. He or she will help you enhance and establish an accurate communication with your customers and achieve positive results such as:
One of our top suggestions is building a strong relationship with customers via company newsletters that will generate excitement about your products and services and keep you connected to them. This is the kind of emails that will let your customers know about your products and services, company news and new upcoming products. Now, a great way to show how much you care and how much you are investing in your customer satisfaction is making sure you have these publications localized correctly.
Maybe your product has a demo version. Let’s make it easier for sales rep to promote it and sell it! You should consider the value added to your product by localized online eLearning modules. Localized training modules will ensure your product is beautifully promoted to its fullest potential.
There’s a whole unexplored market you could tap into right away just by translating and localizing your website. The great news is that you don’t have to make a huge money or time investment for it to pay off. When compared to the possibility of reaching a large customer base and positioning your company for a significant growth within the international market, we must admit that translating and localizing your material is reasonably inexpensive. Just think about all the exciting revenue opportunities you might be missing out and dare to conquer those foreign promising markets!