Website Localisation – it’s More Than Just Translation!

If you have never exported your goods or services and are thinking about doing so, you may have encountered the idea of localisation. While it sounds like the opposite of globalisation, it’s related to translation. Instead of simply translating your content from one language to another, localisation goes several steps further, and involves every aspect of your business, from the technical and financial, to the marketing and customer service.

Brand translation

When you’re talking about marketing, a straight across translation is typically not sufficient to create real engagement with your offshore customers. Think about all of the work that goes into carefully creating your English copy, with attention grabbing titles, catchy slogans, and engaging stories. The same attention to all the little details needs to go into your translation, so that your titles are just as attention grabbing, your slogans as catchy, and your stories as engaging to your overseas customer as they are to your domestic customers. It is very important to us that we work closely with your marketing team so that our translators can get a thorough grasp of your brand, and your key message, so they can translate your materials in a way that resonates with your offshore customers just like it does with your local customers

Develop a smooth customer experience

Aside from your website, packaging, and other obvious areas where your customers interact with your brand, how have you adapted your other other aspects of your brand? Have you adapted your images to ones that are culturally relevant to your target audience? What about the currency? Are visitors able to interact with your social media presence in their native language? What about customer support emails? Do you have customer service available in their language? Creating that smooth customer experience is vital to making certain that your customers stick with you.

Evaluating the cost vs the return on investment

The primary drive to expand your business into new markets is so that you can access a greater audience, increase your sales and revenue, expand your brand, and eventually, increase your profits. Many companies underestimate how much it will cost them to expand their business into overseas markets and translation is only one aspect to consider. Your marketing team will need to work on offline materials for your overseas customers. Your IT and web development teams will be working on creating new online materials, including marketing content, landing pages, and shopping cart software. Your legal team will need to research local laws affecting your products and services. Developing a comprehensive localisation strategy that covers all of the aspects of your business and more will give you a better idea of how much the expansion will cost and how long it will take to implement the strategy. This will also allow you to prioritise tasks and stagger them so as to avoid cash flow issues. It also gives you an idea of what kind of sales flow and customer count you need to recoup your investment and to make your expansion profitable over time.

Lastly, keep in mind that localisation is not something you do once and forget about; it’s a continuous effort to provide outstanding customer service to all of your customers, wherever they may live, and to keep your content up to date and interesting. Granted, the initial localisation effort is the biggest and the greatest cost is in the beginning, but you should be allocating a portion of your annual budget to maintain your efforts.

If you need more information regarding translation, transcreation, native tongue copywriting, or localisation in general, please drop us a line.

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