For startup companies, breaking into international markets and competing with established brands can be intimidating. In this article, we’ll look at how you can use translation and localization to successfully penetrate lucrative foreign markets and reduce your competition.
You’ll need to research the best market areas for your products or services. When conducted successfully, that research can lead you directly to online audiences who are hungry for your products. According to Ofer Tirosh, CEO of Tomedes, the best strategies for using translation services are driven by data and built on real world experience and expertise.
Using native translators and localization experts is also key if you want your messaging to resonate fully with your target audience.
1- Why Is Translation Important?
Some people think that translation is nothing more than exchanging one word for another, but it is actually much more complicated than that. Consider the range of idioms and pop culture expressions that are used in everyday conversation. Messaging can get lost even between different generations, let alone when text is translated to another language.
You need translation to speak in a language that your target audience can understand. However, you also need localization. Localization extends far beyond language. It is the process that will really connect your messages with the target audience. The more specific the target audience is, the more localized the marketing efforts should be.
2- How to Determine the Best Languages to Use
Should you use only English in your digital marketing campaigns? 60% of all online content is in English, making this by far the most commonly used language. However, there is huge competition in English speaking markets. And according to Business Magazine, there are other considerations to take on board if you want to learn how to create a successful ecommerce or digital marketing campaign.
Using translation services to market your goods in another language means only having to compete with single digit percentages in each language you choose. This can make it substantially easier to rank well on foreign language search engine results pages (SERPs). The level of benefit, of course, depends on whether or not there is a viable market in the language you are using translation services to target.
As was noted by Business Magazine, people from around the world are more than willing to purchase your products and services, but they want to be able to do so with a certain level of comfort and familiarity. Buyers are more likely to purchase from foreign vendors when they can peruse videos and read reviews and other content in their own language. They also like to make purchases in their own language.
Given the vast number of languages and the even larger variation of products and services available online, you need to determine the best markets for your digital marketing campaign. Once you’ve done so, you can determine your translation and localization requirements.
3- What Can Website Translation Achieve?
Some web designers recommend the use of translation plugins and extensions for your ecommerce website. However, in most cases this is not the best approach. While the ease of use may seem tempting, the translation from these plugins is rarely even close to the quality of human translation services. Furthermore, they also lack the ability to shape and optimize your content in order to help it rank in the SERPs.
In the early phases of testing your foreign language digital marketing campaign, focus on the translation of web pages that result in conversions. Once you have determined viable foreign language markets for your products or services, you can undertake a complete website translation to deliver a full version of your website in the desired language(s).
One of the best ways to build a multilingual website is to use the WordPress MultiSite feature and create different language websites in sub-directories. Brand consistency is important here, as is localization.
One of the primary reasons for using a translation agency is to ensure that the translation is complete and accurate. The agency can also focus on localization and brand consistency. This means considering a wide range of details, including page sizes, picture sizes and ad placement, as well as the translation itself.
You’ll need to think about the pictures you use for your translated website. A photograph of people grilling steaks and pork may go over well in many English speaking markets, but could offend some foreign language visitors. Pictures, just like content, can be localized to better attract new and expanded audiences.
4- Learn How to Conduct a Multilingual Social Media Marketing Campaign
While it should be much easier to rank well on foreign SERPs, not everyone is going to be looking for products, services or other information there. Many people focus on social media platforms instead.
Social media advertising can be effective, but it can also be very expensive, especially in the opening phases of an international digital marketing campaign. Find a native speaker of the target language to help with your campaign and be sure to open social media accounts in the relevant language.
This direct interaction is an opportunity to communicate personally with your target audience and determine what solutions they are looking for. It also offers you the opportunity to advertise your products and services in a more subtle way, directly to potential consumers.
Videos, pictures and other promotions are widely shared on social media sites. While this doesn’t happen in the same way on YouTube, it’s still worth learning how to create a multilingual video marketing campaign for YouTube and similar video sites.
YouTube is the most popular and largest video site. It also makes it very easy to create a multilingual video marketing campaign. You can create separate YouTube channels for each video translation and upload the same video to different YouTube channels without penalties.
Stay away from subtitles and create closed caption or srt files instead. The srt files can serve as the basis for video translations, allowing you to easily translate your videos into as many languages as you want. Why? Because the closed captioning files for your YouTube videos are completely indexed by the search engines and will rank better on the foreign language SERPs.
The use of video translation services, in addition to the creation of closed captions, makes it likely that your videos will rank well for more keywords, appear higher up on the search engines and be seen more frequently in YouTube Recommended Videos listings.
All of this combines to deliver the best strategies for creating a successful multilingual ecommerce campaign, with all the tools you need to build an international marketing strategy for your products and services.
Ecommerce sales have increased exponentially since the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic, though competition has increased at an even more rapid pace in some sectors. What better way to beat the competition than to get rid of them altogether by using translation services?
By following the strategy above, you can use localization and translation services to dodge the competition and get your goods in front of larger, hungrier markets through a robust international digital marketing campaign. What are you waiting for?