Why target foreign language speakers in your online efforts? What are the benefits of building an international multilingual marketing campaign online? The answers may surprise you, at the same time showing you an incredible way to increase your target markets and reduce your competition to increase your chances for success. Here is why localization is important in business strategy.
Why build an international marketing campaign? The fact of the matter is that you can use localization services to reach an entirely new, expansive and hungry audience, while at the same time greatly reducing any potential competition to a very low number. According to the CEO of Tomedes, a professional services company that focuses on language and localization services for companies and individuals around the world, an international marketing strategy is the best way to ensure a successful online marketing campaign.
It is possible to use localization services in order to tap tens of millions of potential new customers and at the same time, to greatly reduce virtually all of the competition online. While they also noted that it is never possible to eliminate the competition, the statistics do point to a massive reduction, making any international marketing campaign more successful.
And how do I use that to build an international business strategy online?
In order to create a successful, multilingual, international ecommerce marketing campaign, it is important to understand what localization services are and why they are effective when they are integrated well into the campaign. The language for marketing is very specific and precise, designed to elicit an emotional response from the target demographic. The principles behind marketing language is largely based on inductive reasoning that reaches the audience on a personal level.
It is imperative that the audience see and feel that you have an understanding of their issues and concerns from a local perspective, and that way, can provide solutions that will more directly relate to their needs. The process to accomplish this moves beyond mere translation and into the sphere of what is more commonly known as localization.
Translation is the process by which you can create marketing content that will rank well on the foreign language search engines and provide information to foreign language audiences. Localization is the process by which you can establish a more personal and direct relationship with the audience, and which serves to increase the potential for a positive gain.
Looking at the infographics that are included in this article, it should be noted that there are only 11 languages that each make up more than 1% of all the content online. It therefore becomes possible to use even a single translation in order to reduce competition from literally more than 99% of all the content online. Digging a little deeper into that data reveals that there are roughly 24 languages with more than 50 million native speakers and more than 80 languages with more than 10 million native speakers. This should provide ample room for creating a successful international ecommerce campaign focusing on tens of millions of new visitors who have scarcely any content available in their own languages online.
Taking heed of additional information from the infographics here, it should also be noted that people are more than happy to purchase products from foreign vendors, but digging a little deeper into the data, it also shows that people want to be able to read reviews and other information about products or services in their own language, before they will purchase these items. This provides a strong indication that localization services are not only an option, but a necessary and integral part of any successful international ecommerce strategy and marketing campaign. Care should be taken however, for an international ecommerce marketing campaign to be successful, there should be a strong focus on localization, and not just a focus on even specialized translation.
There are many types of specialized translation, most commonly in the form of legal translation or medical interpreters as well as in other industries where the terminology is industry specific. The language for successful marketing must be able to generate an emotional response, but this does not exactly qualify as a specialized type of translation. The focus of marketing translation should be largely on the principles of localization. Localization services should also extend beyond language and must be included in virtually every aspect of the marketing campaign in order to make it more successful. A strong focus on localization services in addition to the marketing strategy and the translation of the marketing materials should greatly increase the probabilities for success.
One of the most crucial aspects for creating a successful international and multilingual ecommerce campaign is using website localization in order to create a different version of the website’s content in selected languages.
The majority of ecommerce websites are built using content management systems, many of which offer translation plugins and extensions to handle the website translation process. However, these options are rarely a good choice for successful marketing campaigns. The translation services are generally questionable, resulting in many errors in the content.
There is also the issue of SEO or search engine optimization which must be considered. First, it must be noted that the push-button translation plugins and extensions do not create foreign language web pages that can be indexed by the search engines. Since it is not overly common for people to search in one language to find web content in a different language, this is going to make it much more challenging to attract new viewers to the website.
There is also the issue of ranking on the foreign language SERPs which is directly related to this same need for a complete website translations. Based on the infographics and the fact that this article is in English, the website may or may not rank well on the English SERP depending on the competition. Even a single website translation will reduce the search engine competition to single percentage points of total web content. It also gives the expanded audience a good deal more information about your products, services and the solutions to their needs, encouraging them to keep returning for more.
YouTube is the second most popular website on the internet and the second largest search engine, which is a minor little detail many video marketers tend to overlook. Competition for video marketing can be extremely fierce and many people find it difficult to master, but in reality, once again localization services can help save the day.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to include subtitles that are hard coded into the video file. Why? Search engine optimization is the best way to get your videos to place well on the search engine results page and to increase the number of times it appears in YouTube’s recommended video lists. So how do you get your videos to rank better?
The first answer is to create srt or closed captioning files for the videos rather than using the subtitles. The srt files are going to be indexed by the search engines and going to result in the video ranking for many more keywords. Add video translation to the mix and you now rank better even on the foreign language search engine results page where there are fewer videos and less competition.
If you are going to use translation in more than one language, you can also create separate channels for each language. This provides a single location for the foreign language viewers to find all of the video content in their own language without having to sort through added materials that may discourage them and prevent your videos from being discovered.
In order to avoid any major expenses in the first rounds of testing your multilingual, international ecommerce marketing campaign, you may elect to use some social media platform advertising. Ultimately however, a more ideal solution involves creating an actual account using the language translation as the default language for these social media accounts. You may eventually benefit from having a professional translator actively maintain these accounts in order to directly communicate with the potential audience, though it should be someone who is also from the local area at the same time.
Hiring a person native to London, England would probably not be the best choice for running social media campaigns for people in the rural United States. While both of these people speak English as a native speaker, the local expressions and vernacular may be challenging to overcome, again, taking into consideration the need to use professional localization services.
Add all these steps together and you now have a complete strategy for going international using localization services.