There are 359 million people who speak English as their first language worldwide and there are millions who speak it as a second language or have some basic knowledge. It is tempting therefore for business owners to keep their websites in English no matter where they do business. After all, with great product photographs and simple website content interested customers will get the gist of it, right?
Yes and no. Yes, they will understand what the product is and where they can buy it; but no, it will not garner you brand popularity or customer loyalty.
According to Forbes writer Micah Solomon, building a loyal customer base is the “single most important thing you can do for your business.” As he points out in his article, a business needs to know their customers and use the knowledge they gain to build a relationship.
How is this done through your website? Mainly by engaging your customers with interesting and relevant web content that will have them coming back for more.
Create posts that they will want to share, which means having quality content, rather than spam type soundbites. Make them want to read every word.
Use visuals like photographs, videos or infographics along with text. People react well to visuals. Lynell Burmark is the author of a book called “Visual Literacy, Learn to See, Learn to Learn.” She is an expert on the use of visuals. Lynell says that visuals are processed by the brain 60,000 faster than text and using color enhances retention by 75%. That makes a visual presentation a powerful marketing tool and a great way to get noticed.
Make the most of social media. Create a Facebook page for your business and use it to promote your goods or services as well as to engage with customers. If they ask questions, answer them as quickly as you can. Then you get a reputation for being receptive to customers’ needs.
Translate your web and Facebook pages. Coming back to the beginning of this article, along with content, translation is one of the most important aspects of your business; especially if you want to do well in a global market. Use a professional translation company who utilize native speakers. They not only understand how to create target language text, but they also understand how to use the language so it does not look like a translation.
Localize. Get to know the culture of your foreign customers, learn about their likes and dislikes and what they expect from you. Use Facebook or the country’s equivalent social media sites to communicate with them in their language, while respecting their culture.
Do not forget that, when writing text, the cultural relevancy is crucial. For example if you would have content related to female driving or how beautiful the color white is, if you want to do business in Saudi Arabia or China this could have disastrous results for any future business relationships. Women do not drive in Saudi and white symbolizes bereavement and bad luck for the Chinese.
Customer loyalty is built through knowledge and trust. Having your website professionally translated and localized are the first steps towards gaining a loyal customer base and properly presenting your products in a global marketplace.
Terralingua is a professional translation and localization agency, who can help your company create a plan to maximize your localized content. We have worked with some of the world’s top brands and can assist your company with effective communication in a global environment. Please visit our website for further information.