Companies often localize their web sites to generate awareness, engagement and sales in new domestic and global markets. But they often overlook a big opportunity to serve customers in other important channels.
With worldwide retail e-Commerce sales expected to grow from $3.5 trillion in 2019 to $4.9 trillion by 2021, retailers should localize their omnichannel contentto increase in-market discoverability and revenue. International customers are more likely to discover a brand’s image, voice and messaging through non-web site channels such as social media posts, localized pay per click (PPC) or promotions and much more.
Are you putting your global brand’s best face forward among customers who might encounter it beyond your web site? What kind of experience and vibe are these customers getting from your brand? Consider these questions as you serve customers in global markets:
Why Localize Omnichannel Content?
Just like the customers in your domestic market, today’s global customers are far more likely to encounter — and explore — brands, products and services in non-web site contexts, such as:
- Social media;
- Mobile apps;
- Search engines; and
- Email marketing.
And they demand rich and robust engagement through these channels. They also expect these experiences to be available in their preferred languages.
What Should Be Localized, And Why?
It’s important to understand how localizing different omnichannel assets can benefit your brand. This can help you prioritize the most important assets to localize for global customers.
Social media: Localizing social media posts for international customers captures customer attention, increases global discoverability and boosts product and brand sharing.
You know that social media use is widespread in nearly all markets. What you might not know is that international customers prefer different social networks, depending on their markets. Become fluent in the unique capabilities of these networks — such as South Korea’s Kakao, Japan’s LINE and Russia’s VK and OK — and the expectations of the users there.
Mobile apps: Many emerging markets are mobile-dominant, or mobile-first. Localizing your brand’s mobile content — from your web site to apps — increases brand visibility in keyword searches, and boosts discoverability in international app stores.
Email and e-newsletters: Keeping in touch via email can increase your credibility with international customers as well as generate interest and engagement. Returning customers can boost revenue by nearly 25%, so staying in contact is powerful.
Digital and printed documents (brochures, PDFs, etc.): Sales brochures, signage, e-Books and other documents that exist offline or straddle the digital-physical divide support the customer journey. Customers expect this support material in their languages and localizing it can create a lift in organic search rank, in regionally preferred search engines.
Multimedia assets (images, videos, interactive web apps, etc.): Don’t neglect global customers in terms of your highest-performing and most engaging multimedia content. Retail web site visitors who watch videos stay on site two minutes longer and are 64% more likely to buy than visitors who don’t. These localized videos can be distributed to social channels or can complement your localized PPC efforts.
Avoiding The Challenges Of Omnichannel Localization
Localization provides your brand with powerful advantages…when it’s done correctly. Make sure you’re getting the most from your localization spend by avoiding these three common pitfalls.
1. Great localization is more than just linguistic fluency: Culturally relevant content is the key to engaging global customers and expressing your unique brand voice and messaging. This takes native-level cultural and linguistic fluency, translation experience, marketing expertise and familiarity with your brand and industry. It’s the only way to ensure you’re delivering powerful, persuasive experiences to international customers.
2. Maintaining brand consistency is challenging: Coordinating content across multiple channels in multiple languages is complicated. It’s easy to lose track of where translatable content is stored or tracking how similar (or different) assets might be from one another. There’s risk of both overlooking content, and unnecessarily re-translating content that’s already been localized. Both waste time and money.
However, translation memory — a database that stores all a company’s previously translated content — can help. When this is combined with mature content-detection/indexing technologies, you can apply previously translated phrases to any omnichannel content that shares the same messaging. This ensures brand consistency across channels, and dramatically reduces translation costs.
3. Costs can get out of control. A desire to stay on budget causes many companies to hesitate to translate their omnichannel content. For instance, multimedia translation requires specialized production or design teams to localize content found in images, videos, dynamic PDFs, interactive applications and more. Juggling multiple vendors slows down production and drives up costs.
Localized Omnichannel Is Key for Global Expansion
If you want to expand to global markets, omnichannel localization should be a key element in your strategy.
Reap the benefits of increased international brand awareness, organic traffic, customer trust and revenue by engaging your global customers with authentic content in their preferred channels — and in their preferred languages.
Craig Witt is the Executive VP of Global Sales and Marketing at MotionPoint, a company that solves the operational complexity and cost of web site localization. He has 28 years’ experience in building, leading and scaling high performing Go-To-Market teams at global enterprises.