A year after the pandemic hit, we’ve started to see how people have changed the way they live, work, and even shop. More and more businesses are starting to become accustomed to being online, and remote work practices have found their way to everyday life.
However, for any business, there is always room to grow and expand into international markets, even remotely. In order for any business to increase sales online, they have to focus on globalizing and localizing their brand–be it through international marketing campaigns, strategies to localize domestically, or other marketing strategies. The use of translation services can boost sales through technical language expertise, and businesses may see ripe opportunities for going global.
1. Professional Translation Services For Successful Multilingual Marketing Strategies
In its most basic form, successful multilingual marketing strategies focus on the ability to speak to people in their own language. This is not just true between different languages, however, but based on a great many different factors even within the same languages. Different areas within nations will have their own unique idioms, expressions, and sayings, many of which will vary locally depending on the generation gap between the speakers.
Translation services that specialize in services that localize know this. When providing translation services, they also understand that this extends beyond verbal communication into additional, more local cultural sensitivities as well. Translators that specialize in these strategies do not generally work with as many restrictions as someone providing help with documents.
There are some major advantages to dealing with translation services that employ translators. Machine translation is good for some uses, but certainly not sufficient to meet the needs of most businesses. Some people who provide translation of documents will be capable of providing little more than a literal translation. While this can be quite sufficient, it may also leave the business (and its reputation) quite lacking.
Smart human translation services that have a better understanding of the nuance and subtlety of language are much more well prepared to deal with these types of marketing strategies. This is due in large part to their ability to capture the actual context and lexical meaning of the words and not just replacing one word with what is hopefully the correct counterpart in a second language.
There are many common words that have numerous different meanings. This is one reason that people providing translation services need to be exceptionally careful and why translators and interpreters are always the best options. This is just one of many reasons that translators who localize should be used when building a business online, especially during the impending global recession.
2. How Translation Services Can Expand Online Businesses Into International Markets
Translation services are key not only to expanding the online business into the international markets but also in capturing and retaining the right audience. When eCommerce marketing strategies are successfully implemented, translation services will help the business owners not only to attract new customers but to ensure that customers remain loyal to the business brand.
The COVID-19 pandemic last year has quite literally changed the way people shop, with many people now making an increased number of purchases online. Well, it has been for many years now as according to this research from Statista, global e-commerce sales have gone up exponentially, reaching $3.53 trillion in 2019. While that study is itself not indicative of the increase in online sales because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, it indicates that online sales were already increasing before the current global pandemic became an issue of concern for the average person.
Among the most notable data revealed, even in the older studies for online sales, was the propensity of people to shop online when given “multichannel shopping” options. Since then, online sales have increased steadily. Multichannel shopping” merely means that people have the option to select how they will ultimately purchase products, with one option being through online sales.
3. Why Translation Services Are Necessary for Domestic and International Marketing Campaigns Online
Whether creating a business online for domestic or international sales, being able to convince the people that the business is intimately familiar with the local area and its needs is the first step necessary to expand the customer base and increase online sales more directly.
The translation services provider that specializes in localizing will have the people to translate all of the materials, using people living in the same geographic area to ensure that everything is written in accordance with any localized idiosyncrasies, linguistic or cultural in nature.
This ability to have people who are intimate, both linguistically and culturally familiar with the relevant area is imperative for increasing online sales. This process ensures that all of the materials requiring translation, will be translated not only into the local language but using the local vernacular and with local sources of pride and even cultural taboos all brought into consideration.
It is important to remember that everything from the website to the video marketing to the advertising must be fully and professionally translated and localized in order to maximize the potential returns and a notable increase in sales online domestically and internationally. The online presence for any business is virtually the same as their brick and mortar counterpart. When moving any business into an international market, it is important that everything be properly adjusted accordingly.
4. How Translation Services Can Increase Online Sales
Localizing for domestic markets online is challenging. The same online advertisements that work well in a large city, may not work so well in smaller towns. The local vernacular is usually very specific to a corresponding geographic area, with the same words often having entirely different meanings in other parts of the country.
Moving to international marketing online leads to even more similar concerns on a larger scale. This means that there is an increased need to get translation services that specialize in localizing to improve the international marketing campaign online. In a broader and more general sense, this is how translation services can increase online sales.
According to Statista, the primary language used on the internet is English with over twenty-five percent of all internet users using English as their primary language online.
(Mandarin) Chinese is the second most popular language on the internet with almost twenty percent of people online. It should be noted here that Mandarin, also known as Putonghua or “The People’s Tongue” is different than the Cantonese spoken in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan (or more accurately, the Republic of China) and in portions of Southern China.
Spanish is the third most popular language being used on the internet with nearly ten percent of netizens using primarily Spanish to communicate online. After this, the percentages go down substantially, with numbers four, five and six or Arabic, Portuguese and Indonesian (or Malay) respectively, each comprising just over four percent of the netizens.
Contrast this with the fact that YouTube offers its navigational menus in seventy-six different languages, and it would be that there is still a relatively large market for more obscure languages as well. One could hardly call the European markets online inconsequential, merely because the number of people using their languages online is more limited. This seems to be more directly attributable to the ability of most Europeans to speak numerous languages, though such a theory remains speculative in nature.
When it comes to strategies for international markets online, the picture becomes a bit more convoluted as each language will have minor or even major variations depending on where the target market is located. Americans traveling to Scotland may have an equally difficult time speaking with the Scot as they do with any British or Irish people in the same land.
In the same fashion, someone from Spain will likely have just as difficult a time understanding someone from Mexico as the Mexican would understanding someone from the Caribbean. This is where a process known as Marketing Research and Analysis will become invaluable to anyone looking to increase sales online, even during the upcoming global recession.
5. Translation, Marketing Research, and Successful Marketing Strategies Online
Someone who is looking to take their online business internationally simply to avoid the upcoming global economic recession needs to do much more than just a little translation work online. Having everything translated from English to Spanish or vice versa, or any other language combinations for that matter is not enough. First, it is imperative to learn how to find the best international markets for the products or services being marketed.
The most important factors to consider when conducting international market research is which locations have a need that is fulfilled by the product being offered for sale. An oversimplification would be trying to sell ice to in the frozen tundra or trying to sell winter jackets along a beautiful tropic beach. The product or service should fulfill a local need.
This is one of the most easily overlooked aspects of the international business without the use of any marketing research. Once the potential markets have been determined, it will be much easier to begin the implementation of the localizing strategies for increased sales online.
As the potential markets are decided, more marketing research should begin in order to learn as much about the local vernacular, cultural sources of pride and social and cultural taboos. These are not exactly trade secrets, but they are the key to finding translation services that will be successful with localizing strategies for international business online.
Finding such a company can also greatly reduce the amount of research that a single individual or department will have to conduct as well, offering financial savings to the online business. While there may be some upfront costs, they are generally offset by the increased market gains for the international business online.
Whichever way it is collected, once the marketing research has been conducted to a sufficient extent, the online marketing campaigns can begin in earnest. This will move the business directly into the phase where translators become even more important.
6. Implementing Translation and International Marketing Campaigns
Marketing is little more than an effort to connect as directly as possible with the audience in order to establish a bond, trust and a conviction that the product or service being marketed, provides the solution needed by the audience. The current global coronavirus epidemic and the “imminent” global recession are certainly a potential area to find common ground for people from all over the world. However, some issues and concerns will be more local in nature, as will some of the solutions.
For the sake of this article, a focus will be placed on an international internet marketer selling informational products. If the website is up and operational, it is a very broad approach, a digital storefront. As such, the website can be professionally translated in a more general sense, focusing on the major languages of the target markets.
As was noted in the examples previously, this would include a website translation into English that is generic enough to be readily understandable to anyone from the UK or the US or even India, the Philippines or other largely English speaking nations. Likewise, the Spanish website translation would be generic in nature and readily understood by someone from Mexico, the Caribbean, or even Spain. As the information becomes more precise, so should the translation and the cultural and historical aspects of the localizing strategies.
One of the most popular methods for marketing online is through the use of videos, but there are some other key points to consider for video marketing. According to Facebook, roughly eighty percent of all of the videos watched are watched without sound. This may be attributed to the fact that autoplay for the videos is turned on by default and the sound is likewise turned off in the default settings, but that is not the case with YouTube.
YouTube notes that a great many of the almost five billion videos watched every day, that a large percentage are watched without the audio turned on, most notably on portable devices. Closed captioning as part of the video marketing campaign is an opportunity to get more local and establish a more direct connection with the potential audience. Closed captioning files are also indexed on the search engines and provide a ranking for a much larger number of the relevant keywords.
Closed captioning files, generally in the form of srt files, that are attached to the videos in different languages, meaning that the video is now fully accessible to larger audiences, but will rank for more keywords in every language where the srt file has been translated using video translation services. Since over eighty percent of the potential audience learns more and is more interested in learning with video marketing, this can help in creating a major increase in online sales through translation services.
Google Ads, formally known as Google AdWords, can allow the international business owner online to target even more locally and more directly through the use of geographically based and even time-based options for running Google Ad campaigns online. It is necessary to remember that the more localized the targeted audience is, the more localized and accurate the translations must be.
Even the best translation agencies working online cannot guarantee the success of an international marketing campaign online. However, they can (and do if they are a good translation agency) guarantee that all of your translations strategies will be on time, on budget, and tested by people intimately familiar with the localized vernacular and culture.
As for the success of the ad campaign itself, that may depend as much on the copywriters as anything, but that would be another article. However, professional translation services can and do work together to help ensure an increase in sales online, even (or maybe even especially) during times of global crisis, when all of the worlds are already seeking a means to come together.
** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in May 2021 **