George Kasiouras, Content Manager at Transifex, discusses the importance of localization and how it can be used to expand businesses globally.
It is no surprise that, as technology advances, the global market is expanding as the world gets smaller – bringing businesses and consumers closer than ever. Customer-business interactions are now possible beyond physical boundaries thanks to digitization.
But building a digital presence may not be enough. You need to provide your customers with a seamless purchase experience, which will result in bigger growth opportunities, better local presence, and, in return, higher revenue.
One way to ensure this is through localization – an approach that integrates local touches into the experience of your global users.
Insights show that now may be a better time than ever to get into localization since there is a growing demand for it, partly due to the impact from the pandemic. Not to mention the fact that the number of native Chinese and Spanish speakers on their own is more than 7X times higher compared to native English speakers, yet 54% of websites are only available in English.
There is a lot of potential to tap into.
With that said, here are a few things you need to know about localization and how it can pave the way for your business’ global expansion!
What exactly is Localization?
Localization is curating your content, services, and products to fit the local markets. Although it includes much more than a simple translation of language, creating a targeted user experience can be enhanced by integrating native content.
Localization may also require you to adapt to different media, UI, measurement units, and even currency to make your purchases more user-friendly.
Why Should You Consider Localization For Your Business?
Imagine meeting a native shopkeeper in a foreign market – the same language and tone build an instant sense of familiarity and trust. There’s also a greater understanding which can make the ultimate sales easier. Makes sense, right?
Similarly, your global customers also prefer a shopping experience that is more approachable and personalized to suit their needs.
Here’s why you should consider localization for the global expansion of your business:
- Tapping into customers’ emotions: Localization helps you overcome cultural barriers and connect better with your customers. A good localization strategy can win over your audience and boost the brand growth.
- Get the competitive edge: Global competitors that don’t offer a localized experience are at a disadvantage. Research shows that 40% of people never buy from websites in other languages, which is something that you can use to your benefit here with localization.
- Targetting marketing in a personalized manner: It’s not easy to expand your brand in global markets with the presence of other local players. With localization, you can create content that caters to specific audiences.
- Improving customer experience: When you address the customer needs, they are more likely to purchase your product. By improving the user experience, you will also keep more customers loyal to your brand.
- Increasing revenue: When consumers make their buying decisions faster and remain loyal to your brand, your business revenue is more likely to grow.
Localization Strategy For Your Brand’s Global Expansion
Localization is a great tool for expanding your business globally – but how do you create a strategy that feeds the global expansion of your brand?
To help you solve this, let’s look at six actionable steps that you can take today.
1: Prioritize Your Target Markets Based On ROI
The main purpose of localization is to provide personalization at scale. You may want to look at your analytics and data in order to determine markets that hold the potential for maximum growth.
This step helps you determine your target region and sell specific products that are more likely to serve their needs.
Determining which target market is the best for you can change depending on a few factors, such as:
- What kind of product or service you have
- How many types of services or products you have
- The demand there is for each and every of them
- The regions you get the most traffic, prospects and sales from
2: Understand Your Audience
A well-defined target audience is what generates revenue. The better you understand your customers, the more likely you are to form a long-term relationship with them.
In the initial phases, it’s imperative to conduct extensive research to determine how your brand will be perceived and strategize to build its individual place in the market.
3: Work Closely With Translations
Experiment with translations in your content and make sure they go well with your designs to give out a clear brand message to your audience. Hiring trained experts along with intelligent automation can optimize the entire process and help create impactful localization.
4: Use A Localization Tool That Serves Your Purpose
The year is 2022. You wouldn’t run email campaigns or social media campaigns without the right marketing software, so, why localize without localization tools?
Localization software can help you manage your global content and its localization. This goes beyond spreadsheets and shared docs as you do not deal with static content but an ever-expanding consumer experience.
A Translation Management System (TMS) is one of the most robust tools you can get since it gives you the power to manage multiple versions of your content and their associated teams. However, it is to keep in mind that not all TMS perform the same and should be chosen carefully.
5: Measure & Iterate
To maximize your brand’s growth, you should continually measure localization ROI, collect feedback, and refine your strategy.
To be more specific, some common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that localization experts use are:
- Percentage of revenue generated from localization compared to the expenses
- Projects completed on time
- Percentage of cutting down on translation errors
6: Use a Continuous Localization Strategy
For a long time, localization and marketing experts worked with what we call a waterfall localization strategy. Waterfall means that you first finish creating the content for your platform, and then can start thinking about localization.
And this mostly used to work fine. But in the modern world, where we now have ever-changing platforms with continuous updates, such as apps and websites, you need a more flexible solution. That’s where the continuous localization approach comes in!
Continuous localization originated from the CI/CD (continuous integration, continuous delivery) approach.
This is helpful in three ways:
- The content is always ready to be published which ensures there’s no interruption in the localization process
- It bridges the gap between development and localization by integrating it into agile development.
- Quicker releases can happen with minimized errors which are especially helpful for ever-evolving content
These are our top 6 tips to keep in mind for your global expansion journey along with the basics of localization and the importance of it.