Developing a strong global presence is a dream come true for many businesses, and translating your website is an important step toward achieving this goal. But don’t forget, breaking into a new market is a lot of work and there is much you need to consider before you can open your doors and start selling. Below are 6 points you need to keep in mind before translating your website and localizing your business to unique markets. For more articles like this, remember to follow our blog and contact us to find out more about translation and localization.
1: KNOW WHAT YOU’RE WORKING WITH
There is no way to sugarcoat it: Successfully localizing your business is no quick-fix. Instead, it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. Before you launch your products or services in a new part of the globe, make sure you have what it takes to do so properly. Localizing involves translation, testing new ad campaigns, producing novel content strategies, and much more. Still, you need to make sure you have the manpower to handle all this work. If you don’t have the resources at present, it’s okay. You can always expand in the future when you have a confident team on board to handle new growth.
2: KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO
Once you’re confident you have enough resources to localize your business, it’s time to learn about your audience. Successfully translating your website and localizing your business is all about maximizing your potential to flourish in a new market. In order to do so, it is absolutely crucial you understand the audience you’ll be targeting. Remember, customers change from one market to another. And that means your entire business strategy will need to adapt to the different needs of your potential new customers. Just because your customers in the US respond well to a particular kind of advertising, that doesn’t mean your new customers in Germany or Japan will react the same. To understand the differences between your new and existing audience, it is vital you research your new target audience thoroughly before you start translating and localizing. There are countless ways to get to know your new target market. Unfortunately, we won’t explore all of them in too much detail, but here are some great ideas to get you started:
- Look at your close competitors; consumers buying similar services or products from existing businesses are the kind of people you want to attract.
- If you don’t have direct competitors, you can look to products and services within your niche and see how they are being marketed. This will generate some creative ways to launch your product to your new audience.
- Consider launching large-scale quantitative surveys covering the widest possible cross-section of your assumed target audience. This will help generate hard statistics about your audience.
3: RECONSIDER YOUR BRAND
So, you have enough resources and you’ve gotten to know your target audience. Time to launch, right? Wrong. Don’t be tempted to think you can set up shop in a new market and your products/services will walk themselves out the door. Before you can start selling, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve just learnt about your new market and audience. Use this information to think critically about how your brand will be received herein. You may find that, in order for your brand to succeed, it may need a makeover. Think of your market as a puzzle; your brand is a piece of that puzzle, and you need to find the best way to get it to fit.
A classic example of this is KitKat. Most customers in the UK and US think of KitKat as little more than a delicious snack they pick up at the store with a bit of loose change whenever they want to tame a sugar craving. In Japan, however, Nestle launched their iconic snack bar as a kind of luxury product specially tailored to the unique confectionary market in the country. The brand literally reinvented its iconic product, launching a whole new variety of KitKat flavours only available in Japan. These include edamame soybean, passion fruit, matcha green tea, wasabi, blueberry cheesecake, chocobanana, sweet potato, and many more. Nestle also launched unique KitKat concept stores where customers can order KitKat bars in unique shapes like croissants, sandwiches, or train tickets, as well as an e-commerce store where customers create customized KitKats complete with photographs and messages. Nestle didn’t do this based on guesswork; instead, they did so after critically analyzing their new target market and finding the best way to be competitive within it. This reinvention of one of their most iconic products was an instant hit in Japan and even attracts tourists from other countries as well. You can read more about the KitKat launch in Japan here, along with other case studies about how global businesses use localization to ensure success. All of these studies show the importance of taking your time to reflect on how your company fits into a new market.
4: GET FAMILIAR WITH THE CULTURE
Culture is a fascinating part of society. Just think about the excitement of stepping off a plane and finding yourself in a completely different part of the world. Well, just like understanding and valuing culture is important for travel, it is also important for business. You can’t expect to successfully launch your brand in a new part of the globe without carefully considering the culture(s) of your new market. This is very closely related to our last point, but it goes a little deeper. Instead of focusing on how your brand may fit into a new market, you’ll want to take note of the unique cultural considerations in this part of the globe. Then, you’ll want to make sure your brand adheres to them. Every brand needs to respect cultural considerations. Taking note of these considerations early on and finding creative ways to deal with them will save you a ton of work in the future. In fact, if you don’t take the time to do this, you might find parts of your brand or advertisements to conflict with local norms, in which case you may as well get packing.
5: FIND THE BEST MARKETING AVENUES FOR YOUR BRAND
Now that you’re familiar with your new audience and culture, it’s time to start building up your reputation. To do that, you need to advertize. If your online business is experiencing enough growth to expand into new markets, chances are you’re well on top of advertising, branding, and online marketing concepts like social media, quality content, SEO, etc. However, just because your content strategy draws in tons of traffic in your existing markets, don’t assume the same strategy will be equally successful somewhere else. Remember, localizing is about giving your business a “local” feel. And you can’t achieve that by simply taking your regular processes and strategies and repeating them in all parts of the globe. Customers in Germany have different needs, habits, and expectations than customers in the US. After all, that’s why you spent so much time investigating your new consumers in the first place. Use the information you have about your new market to find the best ways to reach your target audience and make sure your message doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Again, there are countless ways to find the best marketing techniques for your business. While we won’t go into too much detail, here are some important avenues every online business needs to try:
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the key to helping your customers find you online. Make sure you understand how the intricacies of your new market will affect this practice and review your existing strategies to stay on top of the changes.
- Social: Social media is huge and chances are, you’re well aware of its value. Again, make sure you understand how your new audience uses social media to find out about the brands they love, and leverage this info to craft a new, killer social strategy.
- Content: Content is king online. As you expand into a new market, make sure you understand what kind of content your new customers are into and how to use that to your advantage.
6: KNOW THE LANGUAGE
Last but not least, if you plan to open your doors in a new market, you better hope to know the language. And by know the language, we mean REALLY know it. To localize your business properly, you’ll want to ensure all your content (from your website and product listings to blog articles) are translated into your customers’ native tongue. To do this, make sure you work with real, human translators and localization experts. Trust us, Google Translate won’t save you here. Human translators are experts in their field and command a deep understanding of how to employ language to make sure your message gets heard the way you want it to. At Yuqo, we pride ourselves on bringing together the best translators and authors to help you effectively localize your business in any market. To find out more about how we can help you break into new territory and get the global presence you’ve always dreamt of, contact us today.