There are many reasons to expand your business internationally.
Once your brand is well established in your historical market, international expansion can be an important growth lever.
For younger companies, international expansion is often an opportunity to prove the replicability of the model.
In short, the motivations are diverse.
But as Laurent explains:
The challenge remains the same: to convince a new market and conquer new customers. And as you know, to do this, Digital Marketing plays an essential role.
But if you enter a new market, one golden rule must always be respected: talk to consumers in their language.
Nothing is more credible and reassuring for the consumer than to have a brand that understands their culture, speaks their language and knows their problems.
And it’s a convincing argument when it comes to making a purchase: 75% of consumers prefer to buy a product presented in their native language, according to a study by Common Sense Advisory.
That’s why marketing translations are a key step in your international expansion!
Here are the top 5 tips from Ludivine of TextMaster to make your project a success.
1. Identify your audience accurately
Who do you want to reach?
What is the typology of your prospects in this market?
What are their problems and what solutions can you bring them?
To answer these questions, you will have to do some in-depth work: the development of personas.
In this way, you will determine your priority targets in the new market, and thus determine which marketing content to translate.
You don’t have to translate your entire website, nor all your white papers and case studies.
You need to prioritize!
Personas help you to identify which translations are necessary and/or urgent in order to offer your target audience only the marketing content they are interested in.
For example, imagine you are an e-tailer specialized in sports accessories.
You have a company blog on which you publish articles about sports news and major events.
Be careful to think about your readers’ interests in each market, and don’t translate all your articles without thinking!
Ice hockey competitions are of great interest to Canadians, but not so much to South Americans… just as petanque is not the favorite sport in England.
2. Prepare a good translation briefing
You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs!
To get quality translations that are relevant to your target audience, start by writing a comprehensive brief.
- What keywords do you want to position yourself on?
- What tone do you want to use in your marketing content?
- Should the vocabulary be sober, colloquial or formal?
- Do you want to be on first-name or last-name terms with your audience?
- Do you prefer long or short sentences? short?
Before having your site translated, ask yourself these questions so that you can share them with the professionals in charge of translating your marketing content.
Also, from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective (whether natural or paid), many companies are unaware of the considerable benefits of a good translation.
Literally translating your keywords from the source language to the target language is not enough, or even completely ineffective.
A well thought-out international SEO strategy requires the complete localization of your keywords and marketing content, especially those on your company website.
3. Have your marketing content translated by native speakers
Despite the undeniable progress of machine translation engines in recent years, translation remains a human job.
Only a human translator, and a native one at that, knows the subtleties of his or her language and is able to transcribe the essence of your brand into the target language.
Multiple online translation services give you access to a large network of carefully screened and tested native and professional translators.
It is also important to choose translators who are comfortable with marketing, or even specialized in marketing translations.
Marketing content often needs to be not only translated, but also localized (i.e., adapted to the target market and culture), or even “transcreated” in the case of an advertising slogan or a marketing pitch.
A native translator knows how to optimize the translation of your marketing content in order to :
- Position yourself as an expert in your field of activity,
- Gain the trust of your target audience in your new market,
- And ultimately convince consumers to choose your brand.
4. Optimize budgets, quality and deadlines with translation technologies
Although translation remains a fundamentally human profession, there are fortunately many technologies and computer tools that support translators in their work.
First of all, Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools: those known as “CAT-tools” in translation jargon are indispensable for segmenting texts to facilitate translation.
They also support translation memories, which are translation databases made up of segments of previously translated texts that can be reused.
Among other things, translation memories reduce your translation costs by identifying repetitions, but also ensure the consistency of your marketing translations.
CAT tools can also host word lists related to your company and/or industry.
These glossaries are designed from the extraction of terminology specific to your company:
- Most frequent terms,
- Fixed expressions,
- Specific vocabulary…
The terms are then translated into your target languages.
Then, these translations are automaticallyYou can also integrate translation services into your future marketing content translation projects to ensure consistency with your brand image.
In addition, to stay focused on your core business and value-added tasks, you can save a lot of time on your projects by using translation services’ APIs with your content management systems.
If you have a WordPress website, the WPML extension integrated with a translation service sends all your content directly into translation, without going through the tedious and time-consuming process of exporting content and reintegrating translations.
Many professional online translation services have the advantage of combining human expertise with the power of technology for quality marketing translations. These services and their technology save you considerable time and guarantee the quality of your marketing content translations.
5. Keep your content up to date
Have you followed all of our tips?
Your marketing content is now translated into your target languages, ensuring that your targets are convinced in each of your new markets?
But be careful: make sure your marketing content and translations are relevant over time.
For example, a blog article on a current topic does not age well. Think about updating it and do the same for its translations so that it remains relevant to your target audience regardless of the country.
Same thing for an ebook with many key figures.
For example, the key figures of e-commerce in Spain in 2012 are no longer relevant today, given the constant evolution of the market!
Make regular updates (once a year, for example) so that your marketing content is not too dated.
And this applies to all your markets, and therefore to all the languages in which your marketing content is available.
Content is only effective if it doesn’t become obsolete.
FAQ – 3 frequently asked questions about web content localization
What does localizing content mean?
In a nutshell, it is the process of taking any content produced in your native language (specifically, the language you use to communicate with your primary market) and transforming it so that it is understandable by other relevant markets. Localization is more than just a translation. It also takes into account culture, history, tastes, customs and tone to make a text shine in another market.
What are the main elements of localization?
When localizing web content, many elements are changed such as text, layout, graphics and multimedia, fonts, character sets and regional settings. By localizing all of these elements, you are making your prospects care. And they will notice. Localization also embraces the target culture and delivers a personalized experience, earning the trust and increasing the engagement of your customers.
How do you localize a website?
Here are 10 simple steps. Think global d
Get started and choose the right content management system. Use a flexible and ‘universal’ design. Use symbols, icons and images. Register local domain names for your target countries. Localize by country, not by language. Make SEO an integral part of your site. Use native translators. Localize your products and marketing message. Pay attention to details like currency and shipping information. Promote your site. Plan your launch carefully and monitor the results.
Translating your marketing content is a project that may seem complex and time consuming:
- Content selection,
- Briefing, choice of target languages, style and translators,
- Updating of content…
But it’s crucial to your success in new markets!
To get your company in front of consumers in a new country, marketing and content are essential, just as they were in your historical market!
Therefore, there is no reason to neglect translation and adaptation to your new targets.
But don’t worry, today’s professional translation services are able to accompany you in these steps and can help you optimize your project in order to meet your expectations in terms of budget, deadlines and quality.
Then, whatever the language, once published, remember to promote all your content!
Do you target several countries? Have you used an external translation service? What are your experiences?
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