When a company seeks to expand globally, one of the main concerns is communication. Serving foreign markets means connecting with people from different cultures. It equates to communicating with people who do not speak English.
A global company’s growth and success hinge on connecting with all stakeholders through the language they speak and understand.
Localization is the most viable solution because you can have your company website in your target markets’ languages. With website localization, you will appear local while retaining your international company identity. The extent by which you localize – your website, products, marketing, and advertising, and all corporate and brand information depends on your business and its particular needs.
You draw up your localization strategies from the local environment, competition, consumer preferences, type of business and products, and various other aspects.
How important is localization to your business strategies?
Localization has been around for some time, but many companies are still hesitant to localize their websites and other information. Localization is a corporate investment and an addition to your overhead costs. It takes time to localize a website correctly, so you should plan every step you take because you should include localization in your plans for global expansion. The localization process may take time, but the advantages and benefits it can bring to the business go beyond the initial investment and will be worth the wait. Here are some of them.
Improves customer satisfaction
Localization is part of translation services. However, it is a more involved process that includes adapting content to the local culture and customer preferences. It may involve slight or significant changes in the brand name, slogans, colors, images, written descriptions, etc. Localization involves following local laws, rules and regulations, name, number, time, measurement, date conventions, and more, so your website and your brand will have a stronger appeal to local customers.
Increases your customers
Localization helps you to expand your customer base, which is essential for global growth and success. With the high level of competition from local and international brands, you need to be always on top of consumers’ minds. Suppose your website’s content is available in the local language. In that case, potential consumers in your target market are more likely to be drawn to your business and keen to learn more about your company and your products. Localization bridges the cultural and language barriers, making your products more desirable to local consumers because they understand your message.
Allows for faster penetration of local markets
It takes time to conquer new markets, which is why you should have your website localized before you launch into a new market. When you’re ready to launch, all your materials will already be in the local language, making it easier to connect with consumers.
Localization gives you a higher competitive advantage through the flexible and faster distribution of your products. Consumers will get to know your company and your products in the language they prefer. They will be enticed to try your product and spread the word quickly if they are satisfied.
10 ways to ensure success in company website localization
Successfully localizing your website starts with planning your localization strategies. Without a plan, it won’t be easy to find your direction, primarily since you will be catering to individual international target markets.
Here are some localization strategies that you may consider.
- Create the right localization team. Putting together the right localization team is vital. The team members play different roles, and their abilities, knowledge, and experience should complement each other. The group usually consists of people from your sales and marketing department, website developer and website designer, and professional translators.
- Research. One of the things you need to know is whether your business will have a fair chance to succeed in the new market. You want to see the strength of the market opportunity available to you. You must identify the market’s particular needs and find how your products or services can provide a solution for their needs. Determine if alternative products are existing in the market, the sales channels that fit your brand, and the competitive positioning you will take. Your research should focus on the target consumers because you will be catering to their expectations.
- Find the right language services partner. Finding the right linguistic partner is vital to the planning of your website localization strategies. Ensure that your linguistic partner has the right experience and understanding of local culture and industry niche. The company should be willing to work with you from the beginning of your localization journey.
- Stay ahead of the competition. In any market you enter, there will always be competition. What will make you stand out is to recognize the competition and look for ways to be different. It would help if you accepted that when a target market is competitive, you could be sure that it is a strong one. But this means that you should have a detailed knowledge of your competition and your brand. You should find the features that other brands do not have. Highlight those features your customers are looking for that competition cannot provide. It could be reliable services, excellent customer support, and other value-added services that customers expect.
- Fit your content to every foreign market you enter. Localization adapts your content and brand to the needs and preferences of the local market. This means that your localization efforts should cater to every market you wish to enter. Each market has different needs, so approaching each market should not be similar. It does not mean you have to make drastic changes. It could be slight variances in your brand messaging’s language and tone, and a change in color, and images.
- Know and follow local customs and laws. Localization’s objective is to appear local, which means you must adapt to local customs and laws. Following the rules means that you are operating within the legal boundaries of the target locale.
- Check your branding. Your brand logo, tagline, and marketing and advertising materials are skewed to the country of origin. When entering a new market, you should check if your logo fits the local market, it does not have a negative meaning, and that it will translate well in the local language.
- Prioritize the content to localize. Determine the content that is critical to your business and localize them first. Include the content that supports your sales activities, such as the content on our website, packaging, product information, advertising materials, and marketing collateral.
- Choose the right payment gateway. Even if your products are available in physical stores, do not forget that some people still prefer to shop online. Offer your target customers different shopping options. Study how other businesses in the locale process payments and determine which gateway payments local customers like better.
- Quality and linguistic testing. You do not want to discover mistakes when you’ve already launched your website. You should ensure the quality of the localization by having experts from the target market review your website content. At the same time, see to it that the translation company has qualified quality control staff to check the translation’s linguistic quality and accuracy.
Industries that can benefit from localization
Nearly all industries can benefit from localization since most enterprises want to penetrate existing and upcoming global markets. All industries need to properly communicate with their target audience, which is why the language service industry reached US$46.9 billion in revenues in 2019.
Some of the priority sectors that could use localization include:
- Market research
- Insurance, banking, and finance
- E-commerce, consumer and retail
- Medical, pharmaceutical, and healthcare
- PR, advertising, and marketing
- Leisure and tourism
- Software development
- Training and education
Any company in any industry niche that caters to a diverse customer base needs localization to ensure that its products or services meet a specific market’s unique needs.
Go with the localization experts – Partner with us!
Ensure that your localization project gets the full support from your localization partner. eTranslation Services has hundreds of native-speaking localization experts ready to take on your project anytime. We assure you of high-quality translation and localization at competitive prices. As our translators live in-country, you can have faster access to our professional linguists who understand the local culture. You can quickly get in touch with us via email through [email protected]. You can also give us a call at (800) 882-6058.