In order to reach a broader market these days, leveraging your online presence is a necessity. However, this requires more than just simply translating your content. To adapt your online content and its message to a distinct region, specific steps are needed to ensure your websites are communicating effectively with your chosen audience.
A website’s content should speak to users in a familiar way — beyond just the language basics. A company that fosters success in other countries does so by adopting the vernacular, thus establishing their entry into the market and creating the foundation for long-lasting growth. At its core, brands targeting global audiences need to include localization to create a seamless shopping and web user experience to drive conversion rates.
Below, we discuss how you can devise a professional localization strategy that resonates with your consumers.
Go for minimum viable content
Content is king — that’s no industry secret. But when we look at localization, not all content should be treated equally. When you begin creating your localization strategy, minimum viable content (MVC) is an important concept to understand.
MVC refers to the technique of translating the minimum amount of content needed to clearly present your services or products to customers as a seamless experience. Again, to clarify, not everything needs to be translated right from the start. Instead, MVC refines your website content to its fundamentals and presents it in a way that can be easily comprehended, allowing you to effectively test a new global market before deciding whether an entire website overhaul is practical.
In terms of eCommerce, your website’s MVC should include your most popular products, your checkout button and any content related to your users’ purchase, such as a confirmation email. MVC is the critical content needed to confirm if your brand will appeal to customers in your new target location.
Use the right translators for clear and consistent messaging
After selecting your minimum viable content, the next step should be to decide what type of translation method to use. Cost and types of translation methods can vary greatly and careful consideration is necessary when creating your localization strategy. You may find that you need different translators for the different types of content within your website.
The cheapest option is to use machine translation combined with post-editing (MTPE). While it may not quite meet the stylistic quality of full human translation, for content that is not crucial to your brand message or voice, such as product descriptions, MTPE may be fit for purpose.
If you are looking for the highest quality, human translation (using both an editor and reviewer that closely follow style and terminology guides) will meet your needs. This option should always be applied to the most important content — your minimum viable content. Linguistic nuances are often missed with machine translation, so using a human translator to make knowledgeable choices on tone will reduce this risk.
High-impact, creative content often needs transcreation (the process of translating content while maintaining style, tone and context) to effectively communicate with your target audience without losing your brand's voice. For example, transcreation is ideal for the conversion of content such as slogans that include idiomatic expressions unfamiliar to speakers of another language. This method completely changes the phraseology or wording to carry the meaning through to the local language without missing the message of the brand. It's important to note that transcreation predominantly requires human translation due to the large amount of nuances in language that AI is so far unable to identify.
Personalize your omni-channel strategy
A customized omni-channel marketing strategy needs content to be deployed across platforms such as landing pages, websites, payment systems, emails, social platforms, video and mobile apps. When a company requires translation across multiple platforms, manual processes, lagging time to market and issues in measuring impact are all concerns. These challenges drive most brands with an omni-channel strategy to look for a comprehensive Translation Management System (TMS).
When deciding on a TMS, consider the following:
- Ability to centralize all of your content in one location.
- Quality tools and features, such as automated workflows to ensure all team members involved have control and visibility.
- Visual context tools to ensure the translator can see where translated content is showing, what it refers to and how it will look on the page.
- Translation memory is a valuable tool to save your team time and money. It works by storing previous translations in the one database, so you’ll only need to translate content once.
Prepare for the future — today
As technology continues to evolve, so will omni-channel methods. What currently works now may not do so in the not-too-distant future. It is crucial to check how adaptable and future-proof the TMS technology you choose genuinely is. Select a system that provides a platform with optimum functionality and is continuously upgrading to improve its features.
Devising a fool-proof localization strategy will take time and effort, but it can provide you with a sustainable and trustworthy process to drive success for your brand. Incorporating minimum viable content, clear and consistent messaging, and a personalized omni-channel should see your website localization process run both successfully and problem-free.
The Andovar solution
If you still aren’t convinced you can pull off an in-house localization strategy or if you need any advice on where to start, Andovar is here to help!
We have provide top-quality localization solutions to clients around the world, with services that cover localization strategy and engineering, as well as voice and text translation services for numerous industries.
The Andovar global HQ is in Singapore, with additional localization production and sales branches in India, China, Thailand, Hungary, the United States and Colombia, giving our clients round-the-clock global coverage.
Please feel to get in touch with our teams at Andovar to speak with our experts about localizing your content for any international market. We're here to help you expand your services to the global target market!
Find out more about website translation strategy in our Ultimate Guide to Website Translation.