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5 Tips to Build Your Global Business Localization Strategy

by   Han Mai, Demand Generation Lead  ·  Thought Leadership
5 Tips to Build Your Global Business Localization Strategy

With advancements in technology and widespread access to the internet, the global marketplace has become accessible from almost anywhere. Global consumers can now shop for products and services from anywhere in the world, at the touch of their fingertips. With an almost endless number of purchase options and choices, consumers are increasingly discerning and are more likely than ever to choose brands that offer an outstanding customer experience in their own language. In fact, 87% of multilingual customers won’t buy from an English-only website.

With that in mind, it’s more important than ever for global enterprises to implement a business localization strategy that outshines their competitors and reaches customers in the language that they speak.

What is Business Localization?

Communication is the foundation of any good relationship, including an enterprise’s relationship with its customers. Ensuring a positive, end-to-end customer experience requires translating any customer-facing copy into local languages and ensuring accessibility for all language speakers.

However, business localization goes beyond translating content such as web copy and product descriptions — it employs translation that reflects cultural attitudes, buying behaviors, and local preferences. Common phrases that may be brilliant marketing in one language could be extremely offensive in another. From websites to product images to logos, content can and should be adapted to fit a target market to create a customer experience that feels native.

Localization also applies to corporate communication assets such as training manuals, invoices, and templates. If an enterprise is planning to do business with local manufacturers and clients or is hiring employees in a new locale, it’s essential that translated documents maintain brand consistency and company objectives.

Why Business Localization is Key to Staying Competitive

Big businesses used to have a corner on the global market, but the digital playing field has eliminated many of those advantages. Every business now needs to guarantee its customers a localized experience or risk losing out in traffic and conversions. Enterprise businesses that implement localization are 2.5 times more likely to see YOY growth and 1.8 times more likely to report an increase in revenue.

Business localization cultivates positive customer experiences by appealing to customers in their own language. Unlike simple translation processes, localization safeguards inclusivity by being mindful of cultural differences and preferences. This has a direct impact on customer loyalty and willingness to purchase. For example, localizing apps can result in a 128% increase in downloads in each country and 8 times more downloads per month.

In addition, localization stages a business to more quickly enter new markets. This means you can get there ahead of your competitors and begin building brand loyalty before they even start.

Types of Content to Localize

Almost every form of enterprise communication can benefit from localization. Business localization in the following areas results in better ROI and more effective market roll-outs, keeping an enterprise competitive and scalable.

1. Corporate Communications

Corporate communications refers to any internal and external communications issued or received by a company. Interdepartmental memos, style and branding guides, and client correspondences all benefit from localization by decreasing the likelihood of misalignment. Localizing company documentation also helps translate global brand messaging into new languages without sacrificing consistency and ensures everyone working with and for the company is on the same page.

2. Marketing

When a company engages customers in the language they speak and with the sensibilities of their own culture, they’re more likely to purchase and less likely to churn. For example, localized ads can increase conversion rates by 20%. In addition, localized content like blogs and social media expands a brand’s reach and can capture a significantly wider audience. According to Facebook, localized social media can double follower growth rate and increase engagement by 50%. In addition, localized websites increase international sales by 70%.

3. eLearning & Training

Most enterprises breaking into a new geographical market are also hiring employees from that region. Localizing employee materials helps to decrease potential miscommunications that can derail efficiency. Videos, training courses, and handbooks in the employee’s native language can empower every employee to effectively operate within company standards.

4. Product

Business localization includes building inclusive products that are accessible to all language speakers. That said, UX/UI needs to be tailored to fit the cultural norms of a locale. Translated product descriptions are more important to many customers than price point. Localized data sheets and product documentation also help customers clearly understand a product, so that they’re in a position to make fast and informed purchasing decisions.

5. Customer Support

Customer support that’s offered in a customer’s own language is not only more effective, but also creates a sense of trust in the company. Positive customer support experiences are highly correlated to overall customer satisfaction and loyalty. Localized customer outreach like onboarding emails and how-to articles are a great way to engage customers more deeply.. To ensure favorable customer experiences, help centers, live chatbots, and FAQs should be made accessible to all language speakers.

5 Best Practices to Implement in Your Business Localization Strategy

Select the Right Vendor

Growing enterprises need localization partners that can scale with them. Look for a localization vendor that leverages technology and automation, so that no matter how many new markets you enter or how much content you need translated, their platform can keep up. Localization partners should have efficient systems in place to quickly translate content and return it to your existing systems with minimal errors.

Consider Localization Early in Content Development

Business localization can vastly increase your brand’s reach. Incorporating a localization strategy as you develop content makes your brand accessible to a much wider audience from the get-go. For example, creating locally relevant content like featured local stories or influencers builds legitimacy with your target audience. As you grow your content marketing, appealing to each language demographic with culturally appropriate references and tone will establish your brand quickly in a new market.

Optimize Your Linguistic Assets

As you expand your localization efforts into new markets, you’ll need to develop assets that support consistency across languages. Translated style guides and glossaries make sure your brand’s messaging and tone aren’t lost or misinterpreted. Term bases that cover multilingual translations of industry terminology and brand phrasing promote company-wide cohesiveness. Each asset amplifies the effectiveness of your messaging, so that every local market is aligned with your global strategy.

Understand Your Target Audience

The biggest difference between simple translation and a business localization strategy is the research needed to make the end-to-end customer experience as inclusive and appealing as possible. In order to do that, you need to understand who you’re translating for. This means developing analytics that can guide brand decisions about localization, including understanding cultural norms and local customs. Each asset may also be aimed at a different demographic – customers, employees, or local vendors – and will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Maximize ROI with Automation

Automation supports quick turnaround times so your enterprise can quickly penetrate new markets and stay up-to-date in familiar ones. Turnkey content exchange to and from your existing systems maximizes efficiency, while workflow automation helps you track each localization project and assign translators and project managers.