When companies and organizations expand their business operations across the borders, they often think they are ready. They think about their content strategy, customers, brand, and style of languages as well. But often they forget about localization and translation. If you want your customers in different countries to interact with your brand/business, you definitely need a localization strategy.
Localization and translation help the local audience to adapt to your brand more smooth and respond to your content and marketing strategy like your original local customers do in some country do. Here are seven tips for successful localization strategies but before we dive into these tips, let’s briefly understand the difference between localization and translation.
The two terms – localization and translation – are often mistakenly interchanged. Localization is actually the process of adapting a product to a particular market or a location. Translation, on the other hand, is one of the several steps of the website localization process.
Making a successful localization strategy involves many steps and considerations. Here are the 7 tips for successful localization strategy.
Choosing A Target Market After Deep Research
The first step is to think which markets you want to target. If you already know, that’s great. But if you don’t then you can look into the analytics of your app or website to know which location your customers are logging in from. A good research goes a long way. It is important to conduct deep research about a target market you wish to enter because you will need to know exactly how to adapt your brand and marketing to that particular market. The research will help you determine whether your brand is appropriate for the target market. In your research find out answers to questions like what do competitors do? What is the style and tone of their marketing content? You can write down these details for your translation partner to look at later on.
Preparing Your Product Technically
Once you have shortlisted your target market, you can look at the technical practicalities of your product or service. Things to think about in this step are times, date, currency, symbols, numbers, pluralization rules, payment gateways and social media integration. Your localization partner will be able to advise you best when looking at the technical aspect of your product.
If you’re making a website, it is important to develop it with technical research. You can translate website and localize it for the target market. Its language, currency, date/time, format, the layout will be according to what the local audience is used to if you want it to be successful.
Content Translation That Works
In this step, you need to translate all your content in the languages your customers best understand and relate to. Partnering with a trust worthy translation agency in Dubai can really help you go through this step very easily without a hassle. Content translation may be a little bit tricky depending on the target market. For example in the MENA region, Arabic has many dialects and spoken differently. Your translation partner will be able to identify these details and translate your marketing content accordingly. Taking care of cultural nuances is also important because how words are perceived in one language or culture may not be perceived the exactly way in another.
Testing Your Content for Success
Translating content is not enough. You need to ensure it was done correctly and will work for your brand in your target market. One way to do that is to test the content. Your translation partner should be able to send the localized version to test audience in the target market. The local audience can affirm its authenticity and then you are good to go.
Optimizing for Mobile Audience
Translating content just for a website may become the focus in your localization strategy but that is not enough. Equal focus must be given to smartphone applications. Creating localized content for app is very important because it gives your business a chance for growth. Studies have shown that brands tend to convert more sales if their apps and websites are optimized for mobile audience.
Standing Out from the Competitors
The local markets maybe saturated with products or services that you’re offering. You can still beat them all and stand out by offering additional services or features that are the core of your brand’s strategy and still new for the target market. You can keep testing concepts from time to time to make sure they are culturally relevant and adaptable.
Customer Support and Dealing
An inevitable and happy consequence of bringing business in any new country is that you will begin to received queries and emails from customers who don’t speak your language. You have to be prepared for it. A support strategy along with localization strategy is imperative for local and international customers.
One smart way to go about is by creating helpful manuals or content in the local market’s language that your team can share over and over against FAQs, support documents, canned responses. Professional replies in your customer’s language can really connect your brand with them and ensure good word of mouth.
Planning a successful localization strategy is a daunting but very important step for your international business. You definitely owe it to your brand by ensuring that you’re doing more than just content translation. If you really want to be successful in the international market, a good localization strategy along with translation is the way to go.