How to drive global expansion and reach new audiences through localization

George Kasiouras, Content Manager at Transifex, discusses the importance of localization and how it can be used to help companies expand globally.

It’s no surprise that as technology advances, the global market is growing while the world is getting smaller – bringing businesses and consumers closer than ever before. Thanks to digitization, customer-business interactions are now possible across physical borders.

But building a digital presence may not be enough. You need to provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience, which translates to greater growth opportunities, better local presence, and in turn, increased revenue.

One way to ensure this is with localization – an approach that integrates local touches into the experience of your global users.

Findings show that now may be a better time than ever to get into localization, given the growing demand for it, in part due to the impact of the pandemic. Not to mention the fact that the number of native Chinese and Spanish speakers alone is more than 7 times that of native English speakers, and yet 54% of the websites are only available in English.

There is a lot of potential to unlock.

With that in mind, here are some things you need to know about localization and how it can pave the way for your business to expand globally!

What exactly is localization?

Localization means curating your content, services and products to fit local markets. Although it involves much more than simply translating language, creating a targeted user experience can be enhanced by integrating native content.

With localization, you may also need to adapt to different media, user interfaces, units of measurement, and even currencies to make your purchases more user-friendly.

Why should you consider localization for your business?

Imagine meeting a local shopkeeper in a foreign market – the same language and tone of voice immediately creates a sense of familiarity and trust. There is also a greater understanding that can facilitate the ultimate sale. Makes sense right?

Similarly, your global customers also prefer a shopping experience that is more accessible and personalized to meet their needs.

Here’s why you should consider localization for your company’s global expansion:

  • Tapping into customers’ emotions: Localization helps you break down cultural barriers and connect better with your customers. A good localization strategy can engage your audience and boost brand growth.
  • Gain a competitive advantage: Global competitors that don’t offer a localized experience are at a disadvantage. Research shows that 40% of people never shop on websites in other languages, which you can use to your advantage here with localization.
  • Personalized Marketing Targeting: Growing your brand in global markets with the presence of other local players is not easy. Localization allows you to create content targeted to specific audiences.
  • Improving Customer Experience: When you listen to customers’ needs, they are more likely to buy your product. By improving the user experience, you will also attract more customers to your brand.
  • Increase Sales: When consumers make purchasing decisions faster and remain loyal to your brand, your business revenue is more likely to grow.

Localization strategy for the global expansion of your brand

Localization is a great tool for expanding your business globally – but how do you create a strategy that will support your brand’s global expansion?

To help you solve this problem, let’s look at six actionable steps you can take today.

1: Prioritize your target markets based on ROI

The main purpose of localization is to provide personalization at scale. You may want to look at your analysis and data to identify markets that offer the potential for maximum growth.

This step will help you determine your target region and sell specific products that are more likely to meet their needs.

Determining which target market is best for you may change depending on a few factors such as:

  • What type of product or service you have
  • How many types of services or products you have
  • There is a demand for each and every one of them
  • The regions from which you get the most traffic, leads, and sales

2: Understand your audience

A clearly defined target group is what generates revenue. The better you understand your customers, the more likely you are to build a long-term relationship with them.

In the early stages, it is imperative to conduct extensive research to determine how your brand is perceived and to develop a strategy to build your unique place in the market.

3: Work closely with translations

Experiment with translations in your content and make sure it works well with your designs to convey a clear brand message to your audience. Hiring trained experts along with intelligent automation can streamline the entire process and contribute to effective localization.

4: Use a localization tool that does the job

The year is 2022. You wouldn’t be running email or social media campaigns without the right marketing software. So why localize without localization tools?

Localization software can help you manage your global content and its localization. This goes beyond spreadsheets and shared documents because you are not dealing with static content, but with an ever-evolving customer experience.

A translation management system (TMS) is one of the most robust tools you can get, as it gives you the ability to manage multiple versions of your content and the teams involved. However, it should be noted that not all TMS perform equally and should be chosen carefully.

5: Measure and iterate

To maximize your brand growth, you should continually measure localization ROI, collect feedback and refine your strategy.

More specifically, some common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used by localization professionals are:

  • Percentage of localization revenue versus spend
  • Projects completed on time
  • Percentage of reduction of translation errors

6: Use a continuous localization strategy

For a long time, localization and marketers have worked with a so-called waterfall localization strategy. Waterfall means you can create the content for your platform first and then think about localization.

And that mostly worked well. But in the modern world where we have ever changing platforms with continuous updates like apps and websites, you need a more flexible solution. This is where the continuous localization approach comes in!

Continuous localization grew out of the CI/CD (Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery) approach.

This is helpful in three ways:

    • The content is always ready for publication, which ensures that the localization process is not interrupted
    • It bridges the gap between development and localization by being integrated with agile development.
    • Faster releases can occur with minimized errors, which is especially helpful for constantly evolving content

Wrap up

These are our top 6 tips to keep in mind on your global expansion journey, along with the basics of localization and what it means. How to drive global expansion and reach new audiences through localization

Fry Electronics Team

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