If you want to expand your global business footprint, you might want to explore an emerging market. This means you can take advantage of a growing middle-class population with more available money to spend. You can quickly become a market leader with products that customers need.
However, in order to this, you will need to attract customers and keep them engaged. You will need to use marketing strategies which include the basics of a website and localized content. Do not make the mistake of thinking all you need to do is translate the material you already use for your domestic audience.
When doing business with another country, it is vital to know about its language, traditions and culture. Yes, you need to translate into the target language, but you also need to make consumers feel comfortable and valued.
How do you do this? By localization. In other words, you should make your website, manuals, user content, social media platforms and any other marketing materials relevant to your target community.
Social media has become an established marketing staple. But what if you are doing business in another country? Do they use Facebook and Twitter? Research is required to ensure you understand where to find your customers. For example, you will find the equivalent of Facebook in China is called WeChat. It has around 1.08 million active users a month. The Chinese market also uses Sina Weibo for Twitter and Toudou Youku instead of YouTube.
This means if you want to get your message out to social media users in other global markets, you should be using the most popular local platforms to give your company a wider reach.
Localization means using a native speaking translator who lives in the country and understands the nuances of the language and current culture. Literal translations are avoided when you choose a translator who understands and localizes the content. However, you still need to review your content to ensure all of it is relevant to the target audience and to modify it accordingly before the translation step. Colloquialisms or idioms will not translate well. Taglines often need their own approval process and creation because of this issue. You should also consider supporting phone numbers or addresses for that market.
Colors and images should also be evaluated to ensure they will not signify something different or offensive in the target culture. For example, in China if you put a black border around someone in a photograph it means that they have died. It is worth doing some cultural research before you design your global marketing materials.
It is a proven fact that consumers are more likely to buy a product or service from a website in their own language. How does your website appear to consumers abroad? Is it easy for them to navigate to their language? Do you have support contact information listed for targeted countries? Ensure that your website platform is built to support different fonts and characters sets. Your translation partner can assist with advising what tools are needed in order to achieve a global site, including plugins or navigation assistance. Having your site built to support other languages, even if you are not ready at this time to translate content, will prevent many headaches down the road.
Expanding to other markets is less of a risk with a trusted translation partner in place. Proper localization of your brand message and presence will guarantee that you are starting off with your global customers on the right foot.
Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation company. If you would like to learn more about our translation and localization services, please visit our website for further details.