When it comes to translating materials, your sole focus shouldn’t be only on the product packaging and FDA-required copy. Marketing, too, is essential in the translating process.
That being said, most companies assume that getting their website translated is all they need to do. Far from it. If you truly are trying to market to an audience in another country, it is imperative that your reach extend a bit further by including more marketing tools in your arsenal.
But translation won’t be enough to properly market to a new audience. Localization, instead, should be your aim.
Why localization matters in marketing
Consider how you would feel if you pick up a product in a pharmacy, and then later go online to see what you could learn about it. Unfortunately, the blog isn’t in English, and neither are the YouTube videos. You feel left out, because this company clearly isn’t considering you as a potential client it wants to cater to. And so you go with a product manufactured in your country.
You see the potential pitfalls of ignoring your audience in another country. Not localizing your marketing content can turn them off and send them to your competitor.
But, you ask, isn’t enough to simply translate marketing materials into the local language?
No, translation isn’t sufficient much of the time. Localization, in addition to translating your material into the language spoken in a given country, also factors in culture. Culture is key in marketing, as it helps you communicate with your audience in an effective way. What works to reach an American audience may not work in rural China.
What to localize
Before you launch your product in another country, consider adding these to your list of items to localize.
This should be a given for translation, but take it one step further to success by localizing your copy. Keep your audience in mind and find someone who knows how to market to them to rewrite your copy to better capture that market.
If you use video marketing to reach your audience in one country, first research to see how effective it is in the new market you are entering. And before you decide that the Developing Country you’re entering isn’t worth using videos, look at the numbers for how Internet growth has skyrocketed globally in recent years. Many people access the Internet through mobile phones, and video is highly popular with these users.
Consider creating new videos to reach this audience, or at least providing a translated transcription, description, and keywords to reach potential customers.
When building out your localized web content, don’t overlook the behind-the-scenes copy. SEO tags and descriptions are what help people find your website, so you’ll want those to be in the local language to boost your placement in search results in those countries where you’re selling your product.
Blogs remain one of the best resources for people looking for information on a product, but that’s only the case if it’s in their language. If you’re building out separate sites for each market, hire a writer who knows that audience and can write intelligent blog posts for your brand.
Keep consistent in your marketing efforts by also localizing your email newsletters and promotional emails. Again, remember culture and write in the tone that your audience prefers, as well as provide content that they want.
By truly focusing on your audience, no matter what the country, you’ll better connect with potential customers and begin to build trust in a new market. The more resources and content you localize, the better you can engage any audience.