Having a translation and localization plan in place is a natural fit within an organization’s digital transformation strategy, writes, Annette Obermeier, Head of Marketing, Global Marketing at Smartling.
Out of the world’s 7.5 billion residents, just 20%â€“â€“1.5 billionâ€“â€“speak English. If you are only producing marketing and product copy in one language, you’re missing out on profitable new customer markets simply by not localizing your content.
Yes, building marketing content for people who speak other languages requires translation, which was once a pain point for global marketers. In its infancy, the translation process was manual and tedious. There were challenges in reviewing translated content and ensuring its accuracy, and there were plenty of delays in getting it to market (remember Quill to QWERTY?Opens a new window ).
Having a translation and localization plan in place is a natural fit within an organization’s digital transformation strategy. The industry has evolved from analog processes to the adoption of cloud-based translation management platforms, taking the complexity, cost, and time out of the content translation process, and ensuring high-quality, multilingual messaging for international audiences.
At the end of the day, people won’t buy a product if they can’t understand what they’re buying. Seems obvious, right? Investing in localized experiences is a proven way to drive your organization’s global growth. Here are four key benefits of content localization that are less obvious but also really important.
1. Improves international SEO
As a marketing expert, you’re well aware that longer, more informative content tends to rank higher in Google’s search resultsOpens a new window . Though content creation is a significant time investmentâ€“â€“most marketers report spending an average of one to six hoursOpens a new window per pieceâ€“â€“the good news is having your content translated into other languages can provide your company with a major SEO boost because search engines see these translations as unique content. If a German-speaking home-buyer Googles â€œImmobilien New Yorkâ€ and your real estate listings are only in English, guess what? This user will not land on your web page through search.
That said, don’t think you can get away with using a free online tool to translate content. While the goal is improved SEO, content must be created with the target audience in mind in order to improve rankings. It’s essential to provide your audience with the highest quality experience possible, which you can only accomplish by using professional human translators.Â
2. Increases global reach
We live in a global economy. Meaning, you must be speaking to your audience in their native language in order to capture and convert them. Common Sense AdvisoryOpens a new window found that, in order to reach 97% of the total online market, you need to have content available in 31 languages, and by 2027, this number will rise to 37 languages. If your organization receives a significant amount of traffic from international locations and multilingual visitors, content localization is the key to increasing conversions.
3. Increases customer acquisition
Content localization is essential to entering new markets and acquiring new international and multilingual customers. Research conducted by IDG found that 51% of companies surveyed benefited from an increase in lead generation, and 71% saw an increase in sales thanks to their content localization efforts.
While the same survey reported that nearly three-quarters of survey respondents mostly or completely agreed with the statement, â€œContent localization is a revenue driver,â€ all marketers should agree that content localization is a revenue driver.
4. Boosts customer satisfaction
Converting your international and multilingual customers is just the beginning. It’s vital that you have a strategy in place to retain them. If you’ve only translated a small percentage of your content, these customers likely won’t stick around for long.
Unfortunately, with so many different types of content to translate, many companies are challenged by the investment and scope of such an undertaking because not every piece of content will deliver the same ROI. That’s true, but don’t be intimidated. Start with pieces of content that perform bestâ€”likely, your website, marketing emails and product pages. Take it one step further by translating more as you get deeper into the process to round-out the entirety of the user experience.
In the process of localization, machine and human translations can be used for different content, too, to maximize efficiency and spend. For example, your website homepage likely receives the most visitors out of any on the site, so it should be translated by humans. Consider a product page promoting SKUs available in Germany. You’ll want to translate the content into German with humans, but since it’s not available in Spain, machine translation for Spanish may suffice.
A critical part of embracing digital transformation is investing in the creation of localized content at scale by using an advanced cloud-based translation management platform. Leveraging a platform can help your company access more markets, deliver better experiences, and build stronger relationships by transforming the way your content is created and consumed around the world.