Having a successful global marketing strategy can help grow your business.
Basic inbound marketing techniques have been around for a while. Know your audience and the problems they have that you can solve, provide content that drives traffic to your site, use social media to engage people and widen the funnel, and optimize with SEO.
Not even close. Even if machine translation could offer a perfect, word-for-word translation of your content (which it can’t), there are many more factors to consider when translating your site besides just the words on the screen. Here are four points to consider when localizing retail websites for foreign markets.
2. Fulfillment – How will you ship your product to your customers? Will you ship internationally, or have local shipping facilities in each country? If you’re shipping internationally, what are the extra international shipping costs, and what customs fees or import duties are applicable? If you don’t inform your customers in advance, they’re likely to be surprised when checkout time comes around, and the extra costs could be problematic. If you’re shipping locally, what shipping service will you use? What services are available/popular in the area, and are they reliable for getting the customer their product in a timely manner?
Social media and content marketing are two important channels that have reinvented the way brands think about international marketing. Thanks to the rise of social and content marketing, businesses can now easily interact with prospects all over the world.
The development of the social platform has been an overwhelmingly positive one for companies looking to take their brand global, but it has also created a lot of competition. Here are some points to keep in mind for brands and agencies that are looking to use social media to successfully connect to customers around the world.
Pay attention to cultural sensitivities in your global content
Social media is a place where communication is usually informal: people use a lot of slang, expressions, and abbreviations to interact with each other. The amount of this informal communication you choose to engage in will depend on your brand's culture and specific goals for social media, but remember that even if you don't plan on using it, other people will: your social media content will always be viewed through this lens.
A good example of how not understanding slang can go very wrong for globalizing brands is Puffs, a line of facial tissues produced by Procter & Gamble. Upon entering the German market, Puffs quite embarrassingly learned that in Germany, the word "puff" is a slang term for a “house of ill repute”.
Properly reuse videos and graphic content
Where most of your written marketing materials will need full translation when you take your brand international, you might be able to use some of the existing graphics and videos currently used in your home market with only minor adjustments. For video content, you might consider using subtitles as a relatively low-cost way to adapt your marketing materials to social media.
However, prominent brands face their own unique challenges when it comes to global marketing. Let’s look at a few of the most recognizable brands in the world, the challenges they successfully overcame, and what agencies can learn from them.
Airbnb is a sort of Craigslist for travelers; people who are looking for a place to stay in a new city but don't want to book a traditional hotel can browse Airbnb’s listings to find a room, cottage, guest house, or couch for their travels. Those who are interested in renting out part of their living space can place a listing on the site to entice travelers.
Since its inception in San Francisco in 2008, Airbnb has seen tremendous growth. In 2011 alone, it experienced 425% growth in France, 719% in Spain, and 946% in Italy. How did they go from the startup phase to nearly 1000% growth in a completely foreign market in only three years? Some of this growth can be attributed to social media and the global connections forged by the rise of the Internet.
The use of manuals, inserts, guides and supporting documentation content is important in all industries, and especially the healthcare, medical device, and pharmaceutical fields. If collateral pieces are not created accurately, users may fail to understand how to interface properly with the product or equipment, causing some serious dangers to patients and staff members.
One of the principles for maximizing the success of localization in the medical field without investing a huge amount of extra time or money is content reuse. Content reuse strategies can help companies effectively localize important content used by patients and staff members.
Effective Localization through Content Reuse
Content reuse can improve the localization process by reducing the amount of content to translate, allowing the translation team to produce results faster. By reusing content that has already been translated with Computer Aided Translation tools (aka CAT tools), such as Translation Memory, they can localize repetitive and similar content more easily. And this typically leads to much lower localization costs.
Companies pursuing localization will also find that content reuse strategies allow translators to make updates faster when they’re called upon. The more they can reuse a particular piece of localization content, the easier it will be for translators to learn about the appropriate context for that content. For example, after seeing a particular marketing strategy applied on a any given product, a similar usage on future products becomes easier to identify and express with clarity.
DITA is a model for using the XML markup language to write and publish content. DITA was developed by IBM as a way to make reusing content more efficient. Incorporating the DITA method can be a very effective tool for quickly creating content for enterprise projects. One of the biggest benefits of using DITA is that it allows users to easily organize content and optimize it for re-use in the future, and hopefully never having to pay twice for the translation of any content. A key part of succeeding with DITA as it relates to localization is proper planning and resource selection.
The agile methodology is a method of managing a project where many different tasks are completed at the same time in short bursts or “sprints”, as opposed to the traditional waterfall method where they are completed one after another. Agile is important to localization because it is one of the most common techniques used by those who need a fluid, dynamic translation solution. The main difference between agile localization and the more traditional waterfall variety is that agile localization allows the different parts of a project to get completed in shorter sprints, instead of one after the other. This means that agile localization is more responsive to changes that come up during the course of the project.
While pursuing an agile strategy, it is important to consider the content framework of the localization project. Without the right kind of framework it is difficult to attain success with agile localization: these tips will help you strengthen your agile framework for content and translation.
It seems that everywhere you turn, you hear the same message: content is king. It’s true: content can be found almost anywhere, from the blogs that we read on a daily basis to instruction manuals to the social media updates posted by our friends and favorite brands.
However, companies looking to globalize their business model often run into a big content-related challenge: localization. It can be tricky to translate certain words and phrases into other languages, especially colloquialisms. While it is critical to have dependable localization professionals working on your localization project, it might be possible to simplify the process through content strategy and standardization.
Standardizing a Localized Content Strategy
In basic terms, a content strategy is a standard or process that defines content in three areas: creation, delivery, and governance. Creation refers to the why element of a specific piece of content: for example, a brochure for a new car created by a car company to tout its benefits over last year's model. Delivery refers to the medium with which the content is delivered: will it be a print brochure, or a web page? Governance refers to the way that content is reviewed and changed, and the workflows that are used in the strategy: one aspect of governance, for example, is whether or not content will be created using agile or traditional workflows.
The concept of intelligent content will be critical to the future of information management. Content that is structurally rich, reusable, and includes metadata to identify what it contains is the wave of the future. Thought leaders in several fields, from marketing to technical communications and life sciences, are currently talking about intelligent content and what it will mean for the way we manage translated content in the future.
This type of content is also projected to have a big impact on localization efforts. To understand exactly how intelligent content will affect localization, we must understand what defines effective intelligent content.
Structured, Semantic, Reusable
According to Ann Rockley, content pioneer, and founder of information management firm The Rockley Group, intelligent content must display these three basic characteristics in order to be effective.