Have you localized your website yet? Here's how it's done and why.
In the day and age of COVID-19, which will be, according to many, the new normal, it might be best to get your business up online, and fast. Also, it's the prime time to think about globalizing your product, making whichever service you are offering to the world as opposed to a specific country. Switching from a more brick-and-mortar approach to online can be hard work, but it's worth it in the long run, especially if you invest in localizing and translating the content.
Which markets are worth it - Germany
On the world scale, when you think of lucrative countries where business is usually booming and the economy is stable, with high average incomes, you think Germany, especially in Europe. While living there, masses upon masses of people would immigrate there from other countries hoping to get in on the bounty. This is still very much the case today. It's for this reason that Germany is a great place to promote your business, meaning that you WILL have to translated ALL of your content into German. Why? Because German people historically prefer German content. They trust it more, they understand it better, and it seems more close to home. Not only do you need to advertise in German, but the entire customer sales funnel must be in German too. Then the websites, products, help desks etc. must be in the German language.
Another great place to start your business - English for Canada, UK and the US
English is a language you must have on your site. You run the chance of extremely hampering your success if you choose to have content in Germany, French, Serbian, Montenegrin, or the like. Make English (and German) key languages on the your sites, if you plan on doing business in Europe, in addition to other important languages like, Spanish and French. Try Portuguese to tap into both Brazilian and the Portuguese audiences. Latin America will also be in your grasp if you choose to translate into Spanish.
How do I localize my content?
First, you need to evaluate for your company's needs which demographics make sense, and whether a specific country is comfortable speaking and absorbing content in English or not. There are many countries, like Sweden or the Netherlands, that feel more at ease at reading content in English, than others like France or Germany, research has shown.
Second, you need to find the right manpower. This can come in the form of a translator who knows the in's and out's of the culture, and of course speaks the target language, which is the language you are translating into, at a native level. There are some translators that can do languages that they have learned over many years of learning and practicing, but choosing a native speaker in a fail-safe choice, providing they of course are professional translators with enough years of experience under their belt.
Adapt, transcreate and localize the content
Once you have chosen the right person, you should decide how much freedom you'd like to give this person. A good idea is to allow the person to review the content, and they would give you some pointers on how they would further localize the content, whether it be cultural or societal examples, local news, historic events, etc. This way the content seems more localized and targeted to the clientele of that country. You might also want to change the tone of voice that is more suited, for example, German audiences may prefer a more formal tone of voice, while Americans are more open to informal manners of speech.
Which marketing approach?
After having translated all of your content to a new language, you can consult with a marketer whether your previous marketing approach would be successful in the new location you wish to now target. Tweak what you need to tweak, and then get your plan in motion. You will notice that the translated content into the new language will pay off in finding brand new clients from new origins.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any further questions on this process.