All companies that enjoy worldwide success speak their customers’ language, and the accurate translation of different company materials plays a crucial part in it. But expanding your company into new international markets isn’t just swapping one word or sentence with another in the target foreign language and calling it a day.
Convincing international customers about the advantages and benefits that your product or service puts on the table means that you must communicate with your target audience in a way that resonates with their ways of thinking and local culture.
And whether your company succeeds in doing so eventually boils down to how well you and your team plan and execute your localization strategy. On the other hand, if you fail to act without a carefully designed localization strategy, you put yourself at risk of tarnishing your brand’s reputation.
For that reason, you should put the time and effort into creating a comprehensive localization strategy, one that would help you adapt your company’s offer to suit the needs of the specific market or region.
This article will equip you with some expert tips on building a winning localization strategy. But before we get there, let’s explain what localization strategy is and why it’s so important.
What is a localization strategy?
Your company’s localization strategy, in a nutshell, is your business plan for adapting your professional communication methods to the cultural and linguistic customs of your target market.
In other words, your localization strategy is the pathway that sets the direction for how your business will adjust the contents of your website, social media profiles, marketing campaigns, and all other essential parts of the user experience to attract local clients.
Preferably, you would like the target user to engage with your company in ways that feel familiar to them, which would subsequently up your traffic and enhance your potential of converting leads to sales.
Tips to build a winning localization strategy
Perform an audit to determine where to start
Even when conducting a comprehensive localization strategy, it sometimes doesn’t make sense to translate and localize all your content for new audiences at once. Therefore, always start with performing a content audit and identifying your top-performing pieces that deserve to be fully and thoroughly localized first.
Of course, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t translate and localize everything on your website or your marketing materials, but rather focus on your top-performing pages and materials, which usually include your website’s homepage, high-conversion landing pages, product pages, and particular marketing materials—then start localizing.
Make use of the best localization tools and services
From cultural guidance tools to professional translation software, there are numerous valuable tools and services out there that you can use to automate the content localization process and workflow. And while there’s much more to content localization than just translation, the latter is still the most crucial part of the process.
With the help of a professional translation app, you can make your whole translation process more efficient and effective. For example, the software will substantially increase the speed at which you can translate your content; you will enjoy higher translation quality and increased transparency among team members because these apps store all relevant documents and files in one central platform. In addition, you can integrate most translation apps into existing systems to automate the workflows and decrease the chances of human errors, which is yet another benefit of these localization tools.
Localization is not only about correctly translating the text, you also need to consider other common local practices, such as the way your target market writes titles or dates.
For instance, although English is the native language of both Britain and the United States of America, these countries write dates quite differently. While Britain’s dates start with the day, Americans put the month first.
Considering local language nuances like this can make a huge difference, particularly if you want to ensure that people feel comfortable and not confused while visiting your website or going through company materials.
Don’t forget about mobile localization
With more than 4 billion active mobile internet users worldwide, you ought to ensure that your website localization efforts bears fruit across devices, not just desktop screens.
This means taking care of everything from avoiding low-resolution images to ensuring your translated content does not cause design breaks. For example, German words and phrases tend to be longer than their English counterparts, so you would need to make sure that call-to-action buttons and other UI elements are readable in all target languages across devices.
Expanding into new international markets is always an exciting time for companies. However, in order to turn entire populations into potential customers, the key is to get the localization process right. Localization isn’t only about translating the words on your website but creating a local experience for every prospective client.
To achieve that, keep the tips mentioned above in mind and create enjoyable experiences for people anywhere in the world. With a well-executed localization strategy, you’ll be able to reach new clients, foster strong connections with them, and become part of the increasingly globalized world.