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Global Marketing Tips for Connecting Creative and Localization Processes

istock_000075919685_mediumFor localization of digital marketing content, many global consumer brands turn to their advertising agency to help translate original campaign material. What is the mistake in that approach? The word translate.

Developing digital marketing campaigns for multiple countries does not simply mean translating words into a local language. It requires culturally adapting content to meet local nuances and tastes. Many global consumer organizations fall into the trap of simply firing off projects from ad agencies to translation providers with minimal instructions other than to simply translate into a target language. The context can be easily lost in translation.

An original language campaign developed in English and targeted for a Japanese, French or German audience, as an example, will not require basic linguistic translation in order for it to “relate” to the intended target market. Cultural adaptation of content is vital in order for the concept, message and brands values to remain the same, which are then supported with the words that are “recreated” to suit a new local market. In language services, we call this transcreation.

If the creative and localization resources are appropriately briefed on an overall global digital marketing campaign, then the overall content output will produce better results. Lack of in-context information and a proper localization creative brief can incur additional time and costs of global marketing campaigns. Beyond this, poor translations can result in a lengthy review processes and often ultimately lead to continually switching agencies and translation providers, which can cause even more inconsistencies in multilingual content.

Here are five ways you can improve the creative and localization process for developing marketing campaigns for multiple language markets:

  • Supply relevant style guides and branding guidelines. Basic company information such as acronyms, jargon, company facts, writing styles, tone of voice, logo specifications, original keywords, first or third person positioning all can be extremely helpful to a linguistic copywriter. A style guide provides a good foundation from which the writer can work.
  • Provide specific campaign information. What are the campaign objectives? Do you want to drive more leads or increase links and social media engagement? If a linguistic copywriter has access to the overall objectives, then this will positively impact the copywriting process.
  • Give access to in-context information and product experience. If a marketing campaign is focused around a particular product or service, then give the linguistic copywriter insights into the product itself. This may involve going through a similar customer experience and using the product or service itself.
  • Understand linguistic copywriting is a creative process. The development of campaigns in multiple languages is a creative process, just like the process that the original concept goes through. This means the same level of background knowledge and thought process is required for each language variant.
  • Provide information to reviewers too. As well as translation and localization resources, in-country reviewers need access to a creative brief and background information just as much as the copywriter. Each piece of content, irrespective of target language must have some form of in-context background knowledge for all parties who are involved in the development, editing and reviewing of new marketing content.

Developing multilingual content is not the last part in content development. It is an integral part of the overall global marketing process. For this reason, any language resources working on content must have access to the same creative and in-context information as marketing teams. This is the recipe for successful marketing.

Finally, work with a digital or creative agency that is experienced in multilingual marketing services.  Welocalize’s Adapt Worldwide agency specializes in transcreation and cultural adaptation across 175 languages, providing the right level of creativity and language support to deliver the best brand experience.

John

John.harris@welocalize.com

Based in London, John Harris is a Business Development Director at Welocalize.

Five Trends Impacting Global Content Marketing Strategies

Content Strategy ConceptWith 93% of marketers now taking part in some form of content marketing (B2B Content Marketing 2014, Content Marketing Institute), it comes as no surprise that content is a hot discussion topic for many global businesses. Driving a global content strategy is a vital part of the globalization process.

It is important to create relevant content that your target audience actually wants and in the right mix of format that gets attention and delivers the desired result. One of the key challenges facing global marketers is producing content that speaks to a local audience in a linguistically and culturally relevant way to create impact and generate revenue.

Here are five global content trends that will affect today’s global content strategies:

#1 – Long Copy Influences Purchases. In a study conducted by IZEA, blog posts were found to continue to drive traffic and generate impressions up to 700 days after they go live. Treating blogs like editorial will keep interest going, long after it is initially published. Even if you don’t translate and localize all blogs immediately, web analytics can show which blogs are popular, in different regions and therefore blogs can be translated at a later date.

Content between 3,000 and 10,000 words receives the most social shares. Publishers are producing 16 times more short-form content than long. Clickz.com

#2 – Digital Rules. 67% of a typical B2B buyer’s journey is now digital with buyers researching product and brand information online before purchase, Lenati.com. B2B buyers typically make “considered purchases.” They don’t make quick decisions and tend to conduct online research, investigate and deliberate on many platforms. How they conduct their online research may vary. Many use social media, join user forums, watch instructional videos and more. The common factor is digital. Buyers’ access digital information online from their mobile devices or desktops at all times, day or night.

#3 – Growth in Video Popularity. Instructional, how-to videos are very popular formats to promote brands and share product information. Although text is still a dominant form of content today, by 2017 Cisco predicts that 69% of all Internet traffic will feature video format. Publishing video is one of the fastest growth areas in digital content marketing. Video format is a content type that can easily be accessed by potential customers all over the world. Development and production of multilingual videos is also becoming easier and cheaper, thanks to advancement in language technologies like text-to-speech (TTS) and script subtitling. With images and video set to become the most popular type of brand content, global marketers have to look to integrate this format into global content strategies.

#4 – Harness the Power of UGC. According to statistics produced by Statistica, there are 2.307 billion active social media users. 65% of B2C marketers named Facebook as the platform single most important to their business with 41% of B2B marketers naming LinkedIn. As buyers research products online, they are often reading the voice and opinion of other buyers in the form of user generated content (UGC). UGC is a key tool for global content marketers. Having a social media is all target markets is important as is knowing what buyers are saying about your brand and products.

25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user generated content. Kissmetrics

Many savvy content marketers are using UGC content as marketing content. Republishing positive comments from customers is overtaking traditional advertising techniques because most customers value and believe the opinions of other customers, rather than clever advertising slogans or overly creative marketing messages. Translating UGC can be an excellent content marketing technique to build awareness and sales in local, multilingual markets.

#5 – Champion Content Internally. Only 23% of CMO’s feel they are producing the right information for the right audience and delivering it at the right time and correct format (Business2Community). Many organization struggle to develop good content that customers want in all target languages. Although content marketing is present in most global organizations, many do not fully understand the positive impact it has and how effective it is to achieve global growth. Many global marketers have significant pressures on budget and resource that can impair the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy. Content is often published to build brand and product awareness and to communicate company values, often in established and emerging geographical markets. The success of individual campaigns can often be measured by leads generated, which is great for ROI but is a short-term measurement and overlooks the impact of a content campaign on brand awareness.

Raising awareness of content internally can help drive a better global content strategy and gain improved C-suite level buy-in and support. Partnering with appropriate agencies can help create content that is right for the target audience and can also set in place long-term measures that can monitor performance.

Developing good content, destined for a global audience can be a challenge; however, it is such an important part of the overall marketing strategy. It is one challenge that cannot be overlooked by today’s marketers.

content marketing world 2016 blackMore global content discussions will take place at this year’s Content Marketing World Conference and Expo, September 6-9, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Welocalize is taking part as an event sponsor and exhibitor, providing expert input on developing global multilingual content to expand reach. We hope to see you there!

Click here for more information on Content Marketing World 2016.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

 

Importance of Social Amplification in Global Marketing

Social media icons hanging on stringsMany global content marketers create brand-oriented content to publish through existing company-owned channels, like their primary company website. Social amplification happens when this content is shared outside controlled properties to social media channels, through paid campaigns or to organically attract a broader audience.

Think of social amplification as a means for content to reach more people via a “digital word-of-mouth.” Social amplification is increasingly being used as a key digital marketing tool as it raises brand awareness and also boosts search engine optimization. It harnesses the power of social media to deliver relevant content and get it shared across networks and expand market reach. Translation and cultural adaptation of content important in publishing strategies. Key to maximizing social amplification is to apply a defined multilingual strategy to social campaigns for content distribution.

Amplification to Viral

Optimizing multilingual content marketing social amplification happens when good marketing content goes from social to viral sharing and “buzzworthy” status.  A viral effect can boost brand recognition and has even resulted in significant direct sales for brands. Viral marketing strategies can utilize all types of content, from video to branded content like ebooks, mobile apps, emails and web pages.  Producing this content in multiple languages expands the opportunity for an exponential viral effect and maximizing return on content investment.

Most organizations are active on social media and a relatively small team of socially aware employee advocates can build up quite a following and achieve greater exposure of content. It’s a good idea to set guidelines on topic, tone and style for branded social media and content distribution. The marketing team is often the main hub for social media activity and corporate standards, as they have a good sense of business strategy and know the style of company communications and brand guidelines.

Influence Marketing

Driving awareness using social media is fundamentally influence marketing. Global marketers need people with influence and a connection with your brand to endorse certain products and services. The more the influence your advocates have, the better your reach will be when you publish content. Celebrity endorsements on social media are now big business. If a pop star or actor has the attention of two million global followers and fans, all with similar demographics, then that is a perfect opportunity and channel to promote brand attributes and values. At a cost though. Many celebrities are paid large amounts for social amplification. For certain products and services, especially heavily branded consumer products, influence marketing is key.

Strategies for Global Social Amplification

Content

Social media knows no physical boundaries and for this reason it is important to develop social amplification strategies that can be effective in more than one language market. The key is to consider localization at the planning stage and perform A/B testing before the campaign goes live. By driving a social campaign with very local content, you are potentially alienating wider audiences. The words and pictures can be adapted for different geographies and social media networks, but make sure the overall concept can be culturally adapted and is translatable across markets.

Pick the Right Channel

Social media channels vary across the world. In North America, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook rule, in China, it’s Weibo, in South Korea, Kakaotalk. If you pay for amplification, pay for the right channel. For certain key geographies, Facebook and Twitter provide good media channels for paid amplification in many languages. Both platforms are used widely around the world, along with Whatsapp, SnapChat, Instagram and others.  There are definite advantages for social teams to understand the key social platforms for any given geography before creating the content.  Some countries use exclusive social channels that are restricted to geographic boundaries. Paid social amplification through Facebook and Twitter can be very targeted with tailored posts reaching a narrow or wide audience, by language and other key demographics and behaviors. Some consumer products may want to simply increase visitors and get them to like their Facebook page, while others may want to drive click-through traffic to the main website to generate leads and conversions through product sales.

Analyze and Monitor

Measuring success and failure of social amplifications campaigns is relatively easy compared to other marketing activities, such as public relations. There is a lot of data at your fingertips that allows you to calculate the return on your marketing investment. Most platforms provide insights and analytics for paid and organic traffic, as well as campaign results.  You can monitor change in site traffic, clicks, link behavior, shares, follower growth, cost per click (CPC) and cost per follower (CPF), total reach, total awareness and more. You can also monitor the social activity of your competitors to see how much content is posted and how much follower engagement is growing.

If you would like more information on driving global social amplification strategies visit www.adaptworldwide.com. Adapt Worldwide, Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, has extensive experience running paid amplification on social media channels global brands and multinational organizations.

Louise Law

louise.law@welocalize.com

 

Optimizing Localization Quality for Global Marketing Content

By Julio Leal, Head of Localization, Ciena Corporation

Julio LealThe localization of marketing content differs from other content types like technical, multimedia, legal and customer support and this affects how we measure quality. All those dealing with marketing translations know content marketing is considered a “special beast.”

Marketing content has to be culturally adapted to service many different local and regional markets. To produce high quality marketing translations, translators and linguists need a deep understanding of the overall brand and how this brand is to be portrayed in its global markets.

Approaching marketing translations in a purely linguistic way could damage the brand and potentially lose you customers. Marketing translators must focus on different aspects, such as brand values, concepts and tone. They need to transcreate content unlike, for example, technical documentation, which requires in-depth subject matter knowledge, high levels of accuracy and must remain true to the source.

Due to the creative nature of many marketing campaigns, quality can be difficult to measure. You’re not making a straight comparison to the source and it can be subjective.

The quality of any marketing content is defined by customer action and satisfaction.

DSC01295As long as the content is used, consumed and we get good feedback and response, then that’s a good measure of quality. This will surface in leads generated or increased revenue levels in certain markets. Having set KPIs on linguistic errors does not guarantee quality for marketing content. Even more importantly, keep any quality measurement system simple. If a quality system is too complex, you are not likely to get the engagement you need and it won’t probably add any value to the localization program.

Giving your translation teams the right environment plays an important role in achieving desired quality levels. For marketing translations, it’s not great if you’re getting a bad response at the in-country review stage. Getting the initial translation drafts right first-time is key to the final quality output. This means creating a good environment for all translation teams.

Tip #1: Give Translators Time

For all types of content, translation and transcreation is not about word counts and number of words translated per minute. You want the best output for your customers that meets your business and marketing objectives. Allow your translation teams the necessary time and be realistic about the time they need to produce quality output. If you’re rushing your translation teams and putting them under unnecessary pressure, then the output quality will be poor, however you manage it.

Tip #2: Supply Relevant In-Context Information

Good time planning also allows translation teams to receive the necessary product information to get a better picture on how their translated content will be used. The fact they have in-context knowledge will automatically translate into better outputs. Sharing central marketing information about product, brand and style will also help translators be better prepared before they start working on the localized materials.

Tip #3: Give Creative License

Translators working on marketing content are effectively linguistic copywriters. They need freedom to adapt marketing copy. Creative licence allows them to focus on concepts and brands rather than actual individual words. This takes time so be patient and engage with the in-country teams as much as possible at the initial stage.

Tip #4: Treat Translation Teams with Respect

Needless to say, respectful communication, realistic time frames and appropriate pay will create a happier working environment, which will result in better translations. This applies to any team, not just those working in marketing translations!

2000px-Ciena_logo.svgJulio

Julio Leal is Head of Localization at Ciena Corporation. Julio recently took part as a panelist for the session, Ensuring Optimum Localization Quality at Welocalize’s LocLeaders Forum 2016 in Dublin.

Get the Source Content Right for Best Localization Quality

iStock_000080747649_MediumQuality of source content was one of the topics discussed at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2016 and Localization World in Dublin. What is the impact of source content creation and quality on localization? The language services industry and global brands agree that GIGO reigns – garbage in, garbage out.

Clearly bad source content will always result in bad localization. Poor, nonsensical input will produce undesired output, frustrating everyone in the process. Irrespective of content type or target language, if the source meets required levels of quality and business objectives, then any subsequent translations or cultural adaptation will meet set standards.

A common complaint from in-country reviewers is that a delivered translation project may be “accurate” and because of errors and bad copywriting in the source it doesn’t “translate.” The brand and customer experience are at risk.  No matter how good the linguist or translator is, any localized versions will never be great when source content is poor.

What Factors Impacts Source Content Quality?

  • Structure of internal central and product marketing and content creation teams
  • Use of third party agencies for content creation
  • Access to central brand guidelines and style guides
  • Sharing of business and localization objectives during content creation
  • Inclusion of language service provider (LSP) at early stages of content creation
  • Content ownership by many different parts of an organization both centrally and locally and different functional business units
  • Budgets for content creation and localization

Many of these factors are best managed with content strategies and advanced planning, backed by solid internal communications. A close working relationship with a partner language service provider (LSPs) will also provide value-add to the content creation process and quality. If local divisions are aware of the importance and skills offered by a localization team, then they can work together at the early stages of content creation. An experienced LSP like Welocalize can input best practices for creating content with localization in mind and prevent time-consuming review cycles and frustrating quality meetings.

LSP’s Create Source Content

For many Welocalize clients, we actually create source content and localize content.  This is common for digital marketing activities that require full transcreation and cultural adaptation. If you have copywriters and creatives who are internationally savvy and aware that they’re working on content for global appeal, this can be factored into the source. For digital marketing content, transcreation and linguistic copywriting is used more than traditional direct translation. This also involves developing multilingual key word programs for search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) purposes.

10 Tips for Improving Source Copy

There are a couple of tips for improving source content in the overall copywriting and creative process:

  • Know your audience and content objects. Anyone writing content must know who they’re writing for and why the content matters. Part of the process must include reviewing other content that the target audience reads and consumes.
  • What’s your message? The specific words and linguistics may not be identical across all target languages but if the message is consistent, then content will work in all languages.
  • Make use of any central brand guidelines and style guides. Directing your resources to standards will eliminate subjective interpretation.
  • Gain input from key internal divisions before sign-off. Good content takes a team and collaborating on the strategy, plan and approval process will keep people engaged through the creation and localization process.
  • Use experts with global market experience. Don’t use local references unless you know the content will go through a transcreation process by a specialist copywriter.
  • Avoid humor and specific cultural references. They will often be misunderstood or lack cultural identity that expands geographies.
  • Create with global in mind. Nostalgia can work very well for certain marketing copy; however, it does not translate well.
  • Plan for your media. Be aware of any images, colors and graphics that could potentially offend or simply not work in certain markets.
  • Basic copywriting rules always apply!  Check spelling and grammar, vary sentence length, use fewer words and read copy out loud before finalizing.
  • Remember text expansion. Many languages take up more space than English so allow spacing for translation.

Focusing on source content can save time and money in the long-term. QIQO is by far the best strategy – quality in, quality out. It makes common and content sense.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

 

 

Creating Digital Content for a Global Audience

Interview with Robbie Reddy, Creative Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Agency

188_CreativeFocusIncRobbie Reddy is Creative Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Agency. In this blog interview, he talks to Welocalize Global Communications Manager Louise Law about the explosion of digital content and what global marketers must consider when creating digital marketing content destined for a global audience.

Why is digital content ruling today’s global marketing activities?

Digital content is now at the forefront of most conversations about global marketing. Rather than talk about conventional marketing, everyone now talks about digital content. Marketing has been repackaged as content to make it more accessible to consumers. Brands want to interact with consumers and have conversations, presenting them with content that they’re are actually interested in rather than just selling to them.

The reason digital content is exploding is the pace we can create, develop and publish it. Digital content can be quickly made available to a wide audience compared to more traditional offline and print methods. Some of the big global brands have made huge plays into content marketing and the smaller brands are following using blogs and social media channels to push out targeted digital content.

With digital content marketing, many businesses who would not have the budget or resource to take part in marketing activities can now promote themselves using new digital techniques. If you take an example of a small London café, before digital marketing they would maybe produce a menu and a couple of printed flyers. Now, they can publish blogs and establish a community of followers on Twitter and Facebook. Everyone has the ability to be a content producer.

Digital content has also exploded because of mobility of access. Everyone is carrying mobile devices and can be reached anywhere, at all times. Offline marketing can be restrictive. To see a billboard, you have to be there, walking past it. People are now obsessive content consumers, on the train or plane, people are constantly consuming information. Brands are harnessing this change and focusing in on it. There is no rest for consumers now as they have access to content wherever they go. Digital content is everywhere.

What are some of the emerging creative techniques used in today’s digital marketing campaigns?

There are all sorts of techniques being used in global digital marketing. What works well for organizations is to find a niche and tackle it head on. One big growth area has been the popularizing of content. All kinds of organizations have been publishing digital content that is snappy and less dry than more traditional content, even in the more conventional industry sectors. Internet media company, Buzzfeed Inc., news and entertainment publisher is well known for publishing “contagious media” that goes viral on the social media sites brought this type of approach to the forefront and inspired many brands to drive smart, easily digestible pieces of content online. Brands have to remember though that publishing popular content requires high standards of writing and grammar, in all target languages. You have to publish quality content to be taken seriously in all target markets.

Creating content outside of the traditional sales funnel is another technique used in digital media. Companies are investing money in creating entertaining, fun content with no obvious clear role or objective. Those marketers creating and publishing the content know the objectives and overall agenda, but for consumers, the content is simply cool and fun to digest and they engage with the brand in a really positive way.

Another growth area is the development of web based content that it just couldn’t exist in any other format other than digital. Some collaborations between design agencies, artists, illustrators and brand marketers are producing really cutting edge digital content. In both the B2B and B2C sector, there are some fantastic interaction techniques, even for more flat content types, like white papers, that organizations in all sectors can use.

What are some of the key considerations digital marketers need to address when developing global and multilingual digital campaigns?

  • Do the research. Don’t make presumptions that you know what will work in certain local markets. Global digital marketing requires specialist knowledge of each market. Understand all the relevant social platforms, know what levels of technology your target audience has access to. The social media landscape can vary across continents. For example, Twitter is more widely used in the UK than Germany – you have to understand the different nuances of each geography, for your target audience. Don’t invest in a huge Twitter campaign if no-one in your target local market can access Twitter.
  • Be found. Make sure content can be found in each market and will get maximum visibility – SEO optimization for multilingual markets is very important. Which search engines are used in China, USA and Europe? Not only do you need to know the statistics and analytics, but you also need access to technical knowledge of how to optimize content for the different engines.
  • Develop the right content. One piece of content will not fit all. Developing digital content for a global audience doesn’t just involve translating words but also culturally adapting messaging and content. Most digital content involves transcreation which requires a deep cultural understanding of target consumers and adapting content to suit their needs. Working closely with people who are “in situ” ensures the right language and sensibilities for local consumers. For every language and market, Adapt works with talented professionals who are native speakers and based in the target area.

Most marketers understand that content has to be changed to meet different language markets but are less savvy when it comes to the finer details. This is where education and consultation is needed to ensure the right research is conducted and the best digital content is developed.

Are there any examples of how important it is to transcreate and not just translate digital content?

Diamond manufacturers, Vashi, ran a great campaign around Valentine’s Day which demonstrated how some certain words simply cannot be just translated as they carry much greater, complex meaning. They published an infographic, More Than Just a Word – Untranslatable Words of Love from Around the World, which contained illustrations showing words of love and their more in-depth, complex meaning in English. This is a great example, showing how each culture and society has its own words, phrases, idioms and values which will affect how content is viewed and digested.

Everyone understands that you must change marketing content to suit different cultures and target markets – it is the finer details that many global marketers need to get savvy about.

Based in Adapt Worldwide’s London office, Robbie Reddy is Creative Director at Adapt Worldwide.

To contact Robbie, email Robbie.reddy@adaptworldwide.com

For more information on Adapt Worldwide services, click here.

Adapt_Logo_Color-72ppi-300Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency, helps brands expand their global reach across markets and platforms in more than 175 languages. Increasing demands for an integrated approach between marketing and localization, Adapt Worldwide assists through the cultural adaption of content across digital channels. Our broad range of specialized digital and language services include search engine optimization (SEO), app store optimization, copywriting, transcreation, mobile, web and paid amplification. Based in London, with operations in 19 global offices, Welocalize acquired Adapt Worldwide in 2015. Adapt Worldwide was formerly known as Traffic Optimiser. www.adaptworldwide.com

 

Six Ways to Protect your Multilingual Global E-Commerce Brand

Online Shopping Purchasing Commercial Electronic ConceptFor any e-tailer, the online brand is one of its most valuable assets and must be protected in all language variants.  As e-commerce and online retail expand operations into global markets, there is greater competition for eyeballs and clicks. We are moving at digital speed to get ahead of the competition and to stay relevant.

The fact is the volume of online digital content is exploding. Marketers must be diligent to protect their “global” online brand to ensure all customers have confidence in the way it is represented, in all channels. Security and protection of localized e-commerce branded content and digital marketing activities is part of the overall globalization process. Content and processes must be thoroughly tested to ensure the brand is correctly represented all geographies and all languages.

Here are six ways to ensure good security and protection for your e-commerce operation and global brand:

Own Your Brand Domain

The global brand is usually represented the main domain name and it is important to maintain this for all language websites to meet local requirements – .FR, .DE, .CN. Securing all domain variants will protect from other commercial operations diluting or misrepresenting your brand. It could also prevent competitors from blocking your online activities. Purchase all relevant domains to prevent “cybersquatting.”

Develop and Localize Brand Identity Style Guides

Documenting your branding and style guidelines and translating them into local languages will help support your in-country divisions who may be running separate marketing campaigns. This ensures that all global departments represent the brand and branding concepts correctly. Localize internal content and support in-house digital marketing activities in all countries.

Trademark your Identity

Trademark your brand and tagline so they are protected in all target markets. Local trademarking laws vary across countries so a good international IP strategy will help future trading activities and protect the brand. Protect your brand in all target markets. 

Use Brand Name and Logo on all Language Versions of your Websites

Copyrighting and putting your brand and logo onto all website content and documentation will ensure the information is correctly represented and online customers see consistency of the global brand in all communications. Logos are often global and are a good way to build brand equity in multiple language markets. Display brand and logo in all relevant communications.

Protect Your Sites from Hackers

Online security is a top priority to protect content and information processed through any website. Constant testing and monitoring all language variants will prevent security threats and ensure hackers can’t alter your site’s content. Keep a good watch on all your language sites through analytic tools and watch closely your platforms and channels to prevent any site problems.  Listening and watching are central to marketing today.  We are open to a global environment and that means a constant eye on conversations is critical in protecting your identity.  Keep site security a number one priority!

Implement Good Global SEO Practices

For any online multilingual activity, being found by the popular search engines is fundamental. Implementing a global SEO strategy is an important way to ensure top ranking, not just for Google search, but also for the top search engines in all target markets. Optimizing content for search purposes will ensure good ranking and also prevent competitors from pushing you off the top spot. Consult with a qualified multilingual digital agency to ensure your content is found in all target languages.  It is the only way to keep rank and stay relevant. Be discovered by all target and local search engines.  Click here for more information on Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide.

Working with a top provider in global e-commerce, web and digital content localization is important.  The expertise and application of best practices, across all regions and languages, will help you deliver better traffic and protect your brand identity.  We are truly a global economy today.  Preparation, protection and persistence in staying true to your brand will pay off.

The Growing Demands of Multilingual Digital Marketing

iStock_000016583067_MediumThe following article was recently published by Welocalize and Slator.comthe leading news website covering the language services and technology industry.

In the piece, Slator looks at the strategic convergence of global marketing and localization, driven by a rapid growth in online digital marketing activities. Slator worked with Huw Aveston, Managing Director of Adapt Worldwide, to gain some incredible insights on the challenges and best practices of achieving successful multilingual digital marketing. Adapt Worldwide, a multilingual digital marketing agency, was acquired by Welocalize in 2015.

Due to the extent and diversity of global digital communications developed by international brands, localization activity often begins with the marketing department, led by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The challenge is to recreate and tailor content to suit local audiences while retaining the overall concept and integrity of the global brand campaign experience. One of the components to successful global digital marketing in ensuring your brand content is discovered online and this involves localization of SEO and keywords for all target search engines.

You can click here to read the full article on Slator.com.

Tackling the Modern Multilingual Digital Marketing Challenge

Companies jostling to increase their digital footprint often find that internationalizing websites is no easy task. It’s not just translating website copy from one language to another.

“You can’t simply translate it,” said Huw Aveston, Managing Director of Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Digital Marketing Agency, “there are so many different things you can get wrong in terms of context, logistics, and how the content performs.” Adapt Worldwide is a multilingual digital marketing agency that delivers international campaigns through 22 different languages in-house and is supported by an additional 150 languages and technology capabilities within Welocalize.

When it comes to multilingual digital marketing campaigns, the subtlety and consistency of the brand messaging requires careful transcreation across markets. But transcreating multilingual marketing campaigns is a bit different. For one thing, the marketing field is much more focused on execution. For instance, you need to consider character limits within search engine marketing (SEM) or platform specifics in Facebook adverts. Also, instead of the accuracy of translation, the qualifying factor is the performance of the transcreated multilingual campaigns compared to the English ones.

“Transcreation in digital marketing is different in that everything is measurable and everything can be tracked, therefore everything is accountable,” Huw said.

Being Found in Multiple Languages

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the foundations of online brand discovery. And any SEO campaign starts with keyword research. “It is the heart of digital marketing transcreation,” Huw said.

Keyword research becomes more complex in multiple languages and regions. Phrasing and word sequence vary per language. The English keywords “red shoes,” for example, first need to be translated, checked for sequence (foreign language speakers could search for “shoes red” instead of vice versa), and colloquial relevance. Additionally, each target keyword in each language yields individual search volume analysis.

These analyses show what local consumers are after, hint at the size of your target market, and point you in the right direction when it comes to content development. These also allow you to track campaign performance – both yours and your competitors’.

The information provides an understanding of content to develop and goals to prioritize. Better yet, it can help marketing activities in other areas, such as social media. Put all the data together, align your strategy towards your objectives, and feed that back into the loop.

“Generally speaking,” Huw said, “especially for large international campaigns, when they take the effort to analyze the results, [Return on Investment is] relatively quick and tends to be very strong for SEO.”

And for SEM, ROI could in fact be 100% stronger.

“We are running a test at the moment where we are looking at an SEM campaign which has been directly translated versus [one] which has been built from scratch and transcreated by a local speaker,” Huw said, “the performance of the one built from scratch is probably 100% higher than the one that is directly translated.” Aside from better returns, Huw said the SEM landscapes of non-English speaking countries are less competitive.

In the US and UK, for instance, the cost per click (CPCs) on SEM campaigns are high and consumers are pretty much settled. In regions where the market’s main language is not English, on the other hand – places like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and even regions like Thailand – the CPCs are lower and competition is less fierce. “It pays off in terms of direct ROI in those markets,” Huw said, “because you have this double effect: if you really take care of the language you want to market to people to, you also benefit from a lower degree of online competition so the ROI tends to be very strong everywhere.”

Building a House

While Adapt Worldwide handles everything from search to social to conversion rate optimization, Huw understands that the joint services provided by Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize allows them to better help clients. “Welocalize is one of the best translation machines out there; they generally guide clients and improve relations and they normally help with huge volume translations,” Huw said.

“There’s nothing worse than a company that pretends to do what it’s not good at,” he said. “What [Welocalize is] good at is understanding client requirements,” Huw said, comparing their collaboration in working on internationalizing websites to redesigning a house.

“For me it’s a wonderful relationship when the client has a multitude of different problems and it’s kind of like redesigning a house – we’re very much the electricians. We don’t get involved in the building and plumbing and anything like that. Welocalize has broad capabilities and specialist expertise and is wonderful at bringing together the different components and our combination is really strong when [these components are] identified upfront and we can then divide the different services between us,” Huw said.

“Where Welocalize is very strong is in bringing both sides to the table: when Adapt Worldwide works on the digital marketing and at the same time, Welocalize is leveraging the technological solutions – the machine translation, the post editing, the human translations, depending on the various parts of the site,” he added.

Among the “houses” that this partnership has built include the multilingual SEO for Louvre Hotels Group. The Group needed to increase site traffic and conversions while improving user experience by providing relevant content in users’ native languages.

Welocalize helped with localization strategy planning and implementation – from identifying opportunities to improving search ranking and traffic to optimizing pages. The result was better process management, workflows, site traffic and bookings, and a 20% increase in search traffic and a 100% uptick in visitor conversion.

“In digital maAdapt_Logo_Color-300ppirketing, you actually absolutely have to fully understand [the industry] and the language where you’re looking to expand your campaigns.” Huw said, When a client is looking to not only translate a lot of their online content [but also] make sure that the online content is then found and read by users, you need a wide range of capability and expertise in digital marketing and localization to deliver the right solution.”


Visit
Adapt Worldwide for more information on Welocalize multilingual digital marketing services.

Click here to read the full article on Slator.com.

Localization Software Testing Provides a Global Competitive Advantage

software testingIn the software localization world, we realize that multilingual quality assurance (QA) and testing is an important element of the overall globalization strategy for global technology brands. Adapting software and technology for local markets goes beyond translation accuracy and the focus is on user experience.

How do you ensure the user has the same accurate and enjoyable experience in all geographies while still retaining what is central and core to the product and company brand?

It is the role of the quality assurance (QA) and testing teams to decide what translation of all software components fits and is appropriate to the local market. Many technology companies see localization as a key differentiator and competitive advantage. Unfortunately, simply translating the UI and online help content, word for word, won’t provide a distinct benefit in a heavily competitive market. Each localized software experience must suit the individual user and fit in with the local culture and language. Developers and software manufacturers need to ask, what translation fits the local market better than others? What creates the best software experience for all users?

Technology companies seeking localization often compete with many other companies who provide a similar technology service. They need to ensure that the product speaks the same language and has the same culture as their users, wherever those users exist in the world.  In the software technology world, customers are often very vocal in  online forums and product review sites. If the localization process has resulted in a bad user experience, then tech-savvy customers will share their opinions at a global level, which ultimately damages the brand, affecting sales and revenue.

There are a number of trends emerging in the multilingual testing world. Companies seeking to localize their product have started to focus on accuracy, as well as emphasize “better” translations. The focus is no longer just to find the most accurate translation of  English source terms. In fact, a deviation from the English is desired for those cases in which the translation of the English seems foreign from a conceptual perspective. Historically, these “better” translations would have been classified as “preferential” translation changes. However, these preferential translation changes are the elements that distinguish an error-free translation from a translation and if it accepted by the market, as well as binding the user to that specific product of the client. This creates brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

A strong team of qualified and experienced testers must be native speakers and they must also get intimate with the product and brand. This enables multilingual test programs to take place across a number of platforms, with the end-user in mind. Both functional and linguistic testing must be viewed from a user experience perspective, not simply looking at individual text or string segments.

Localization quality assurance differs from language quality assurance.  Localization QA services range from functional and linguistic software testing to content validation, across all types of platforms, including: mobile, browsers, virtual, desktop and servers. Finding a vendor that has proven capabilities to staff and manage a secure and robust testing environment, both onsite or at a test lab, is critical in the process.  LQA should be documented and verifiable through reporting at each step to reduce error and increase accuracy of testing.

With tens of millions of software products, apps and new versions available to download every day, staying competitive and successful is a challenge. Using software localization to differentiate your applications in the global market is a smart strategy.  In the end, the goal is to create exceptional software user experiences at a local level that gain acceptance and promote a distinct competitive advantage.

Sven.werner@welocalize.com

Based in Portland, North America, Sven is Testing and QA Manager at Welocalize.

Learn more about our Testing and QA solutions here.

Localizing Digital Marketing Campaigns for Germany

iStock_000017666117_MediumGermany is the largest national economy in Europe and the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world. With more than 51 million digital consumers in 2014, Germany enjoys the greatest e-commerce customer potential within Europe. Only China, Japan and the USA record higher digital consumers numbers. Germany’s prosperity makes it economically attractive to many international organizations and it also makes it a highly competitive marketplace. For the localization managers and global marketers, there are a number of factors to take into consideration before implementing a digital marketing campaign.

In Germany, business culture is very formal and direct. German business leaders, as well as consumers, expect complete trust from all parties and this can present challenges when using some popular digital marketing tools and techniques. There is a feeling of mistrust of Internet, email and social media security. Germans take the protection of the privacy and confidentiality very seriously and this must be taken into consideration when identifying the appropriate marketing tools and method of contact. Key to success is culturally adapting any content so it is appropriate to the local market. German consumers don’t like to be “sold to” and they appreciate informative and specific information.

Social Media & SEO

More than 75% of Germans use the Internet in some way and of these, 75% are registered on at least one social media site. As with many economies, most social media network are used by the younger generation, with 90% of the 14-29 year-old population registered on them. The use of social media in German businesses is rising. It is important to take into account the demographics and levels of usage of each form of social media and each social networking site by German companies as a whole, in order to plan an effective campaign. Almost half of organizations in Germany use social media for marketing purposes, and a further 15% plan to use it in the near future. Facebook, Xing, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, LinkedIn and Google+ are the most commonly used social media tools in Germany. Contrary to a large proportion of Europe, Xing is more commonly used as a business and professional social media tool than LinkedIn.

As with all international marketing campaigns, localizing SEO, tags and keywords must also form part of the digital marketing campaign. Never “just translate” keywords from original language materials. Each country and culture will use different search phrases and engines. Some key German search engines include Google Deutschland, Yahoo! Deutschland, Bellnet.com, DeuSu (ad free and financed by donations), Fireball (only allows submissions from German URLs) and Suche Freenet.

Web Design and Development

German consumers and business owners value a well-designed website that looks good, provides unambiguous and to-the-point information and is easy to use. Setting up a website in a duo-lingual format is a necessity, so as not to marginalize otherwise lucrative markets. A website should always be tailored towards its intended audience. The UI must also be customized for the local language, and in the case of Germany and the rest of the DACH region, you have to accommodate the high number of long words within the German language. Text expansion is common when translating into German and this must be taken into consideration for any marketing materials, online and offline. The DE website should be clear and easy to navigate, as complicated web page designs are likely to put off the German consumer.

Logos & Digital Branding

With all localized marketing materials, it is important to avoid symbols with a specific meaning to your location, as they may not be understood in the target market, or may even be deemed offensive. For Germany, most standard symbols, such as the thumbs up sign, are recognized. However, business should be cautious before deciding on their branding technique. Germans generally demand a simple logo that reflects the company and what it represents. The top worldwide German brands, such as Audi, BMW, Siemens and Adidas all have logos that are instantly recognizable not only in Germany as well as around the world.

Email Marketing Campaigns

It can be very challenging for marketers to reach new customers and clients in Germany through email marketing campaigns, as approximately one in five emails are blocked or flagged as spam, due to the high priority and value most Germans place on online security. It doesn’t mean to say you don’t use email marketing in Germany, it just must be highly targeted with localized content.

Once a market and consumer base has been established, setting up a digital marketing campaign in Germany can be rewarding, but it requires the expertise and knowledge of a language provider who has in-depth knowledge of German marketing techniques, not just German translators, to ensure any campaign meets the unique needs of the German consumer.

Matt

Matthew.johnson@welocalize.com

Matt Johnson is a member of Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Operations Team. Matt is a fluent German speaker and lived in Germany while completing his studies.

Transcreation and Linguistic Copywriting for Multilingual Digital Marketing

Best Practices for Localizing Global Marketing Content

iStock_000081558501_MediumOne of the biggest challenges of localizing global marketing campaigns is recreating content to generate maximum impact in local markets. When localizing marketing or advertising content, linguistic accuracy is no longer a priority. Maintaining the meaning and concept of a campaign is the priority to ensure the end-user has the right experience to evoke the desired response.

Traditionally, translation aims to linguistically match the source content without changing meaning. Creative and marketing content is often based on popular culture and contains local elements and demographics that consumers can relate to.  For certain target audiences, marketing content has to be bespoke so it sounds completely natural to the target audience. This applies to online and offline marketing campaigns. For many global marketing campaigns, transcreation, linguistic copywriting and use of multilingual digital marketing are key techniques used in the localization process. Different skills and resources are required to meet the requirements of a localization strategy that is driven by marketing content.

TRANSCREATION AND LINGUISTIC COPYWRITING

Transcreation takes the concept from the source content and adapts and recreates it for specific target language markets. Linguistic copywriting forms part of the overall transcreation process.

Transcreation techniques are often used for global marketing materials because the success of a marketing campaign often depends on factors like tone, style and emotion rather than literal and factual information that you might find in a technical manual. Product names, taglines, billboards, pop-ups, banner and video advertisements, brand messages, web copy, email content, social media and online multimedia – all content that may need to be recreated to suit a local market and effectively reach the intended target audience.

Transcreation teams will differ from straight translation teams. The review process varies from traditional methods and how quality is measured will also vary. When translating a technical manual, translators are engaged who have relevant technical and subject matter expertise. It is still a creative linguistic process; however, one that is more focused on quality and accuracy that stays faithful to the source content.

Cultural adaptation specialists and copywriters are still linguists and have in-depth local knowledge of local markets. They also have expertise in creative marketing and are able to generate copy, design ideas and content from scratch, while still maintaining the key brand and product messages. Any linguistic copywriter and reviewer must have the required skills to validate and ensure the appropriate re-creation of marketing content for specific markets.

ONLINE DIGITAL MARKETING

Key to the success of any online digital marketing campaign is search-ability and discover-ability. Straight translation of keywords and tags from the source content in search campaigns will not work! Extensive knowledge of key search engines for each target area is vital to the success of any digital marketing campaign. Different markets have different search engines, content publishing platforms and social media outlets. In the US and parts of Europe, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn attract millions of online users everyday. Publishing the same digital content to an Asian audience requires new keywords and tags and knowledge of how to gain presence and good rankings in the leading Asian search engines and social media platforms.

In China, leading search engines include Baidu, 360 Search, Soso and Sogou and in Korea, Naver is the top search engine. In Japan, Yahoo! Japan is the biggest search engine because it is more localized and responsive than Google. For social media, key destinations include Renren, Youku (China) and Mixi (Japan). Defining a search strategy is part of the overall transcreation process and multilingual digital marketing experts are required to create targeted marketing content that generates measurable and desired impact in new language markets.

To achieve successful, measurable global marketing, integrating the localization and creative marketing process is key. Marketing activities and localization cannot operate independently. The two disciplines must work together as a global team. This may involve the collaboration of a number of different creative and technical teams, including translation, localization, digital, design, copywriting, web development, agency account managers and more.

In summary, multi-discipline teams need to learn to speak each other’s language. A localization manager would benefit from learning SEO jargon and multilingual creative teams need to learn more about the localization process and localization technology. This ensures a complete understanding of global business objectives and enables maximize impact and return of marketing and translation assets.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Further Reading: Brief Introduction to Digital Marketing Acronyms

 

 

5 Tips to Drive an Effective Global Marketing Strategy in 2016

Thanks to the Internet and online technology, a global presence is possible for any business in 2016. Clever use of digital content marketing and a wide range of innovative online marketing tools can enable any global organization to create and build a brand that will reach new geographical markets.

Localization is a natural part of the overall marketing process for reaching a global audience. Welocalize helps many brands develop and localize marketing content to target local markets in more than 157 languages. Localization of marketing materials is never simply a straight translation process with the goal of achieving linguistic accuracy. It is about creating a buying and selling customer experience that is culturally adapted to the local level, as well as retaining brand integrity.

Here are five tips for marketers to drive successful global campaigns in 2016:

EMBRACE THE POTENTIAL OF ONLINE CONTENT MARKETING

When you publish content on the Internet, you can publish to the world. One piece of content can reach anyone and everyone. Publishing content online in the form of blogs, videos, webinars, graphics, social media, white papers and thought leadership articles can position a product or service well ahead of the competition. Driving a content marketing strategy is key to establishing a global brand and forms an integral part of any globalization and localization strategy.

According to Sirius Decisions, 67% of the buying cycle is now conducted online. Buyers now conduct research before talking to sellers. Content creates a rich dialogue and many buyers find out about a product and company before they actually speak to a salesperson. Global marketers have to provide compelling information to persuade the global buyer, for both B2C and B2B. Content can be pushed out of a number of media outlets, reaching a wide audience and gaining measurable ROI. Generating regular content creates awareness and encourages engagement to initiate the buying process and establishing a long-term relationship to secure ongoing purchase. Content marketing is a key tool for global marketers and will continue to be so well into 2016. The combination of content marketing and localization is an effective way to enter new markets and create impact for all target markets.

INTEGRATE LOCALIZATION INTO GLOBAL MARKETING

Integrating marketing and localization efforts can create an overall global impact that is greater than the sum of individual efforts. Developing marketing materials in silos at a country level duplicates effort and can also dilute the core values of a brand. Integrating the localization team into the overall global marketing division enables central content to be generated, tailored and translated for individual markets. Having localization experts as an integral part of the global marketing team can help content to be created and developed that can easily be adapted to a global audience. Centralize your efforts, and at a minimum your collaboration and communication for the best localization workflow.

DEVELOP BRAND AND CONTENT FOR A GLOBAL AUDIENCE

Develop marketing materials with globalization and localization in mind. Use of neutral language and graphics that can be easily translated and localized can produce good marketing content that works in all languages and cultural groups. Identify core brand values that can be easily translated and applied to wide geographical markets. So many mistakes can be made at source, at the content creation stage, that can be costly to rectify when the content goes through the localization process. By considering localization at source, global marketing campaigns can be developed and executed smoothly without having to invest large sums of money in separate campaigns and can be subsequently pushed out into media outlets that are accessed globally.

UTILIZE INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

There are so many new technologies now available to global marketers to enable marketing content to reach wider audiences. One of the key success factors in modern marketing is knowing how to harness innovation and technology to build brands and reach new markets; therefore, gaining maximum coverage and exposure in these markets. Creating a personalized online experience through marketing requires technology as well as creativity. Tools like marketing automation platforms, content management systems, translation management systems, web content management and digital asset libraries are all technologies that the modern global marketer must embrace and implement. A good understanding of all platforms and apps that consumers use to access information and content is also crucial. If customers are accessing information through mobile devices, then all content, regardless of language, has to be readable on a mobile platforms.

Having the right technological process in place for global marketing and localization is as important as the content itself. Marketers need to become savvier about technology, data and analytics to drive global campaigns and also measure marketing success and ROI.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TO CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES

In its early days, social media was not seen as a viable marketing tool for B2B conversations. Some platforms were weak and still in their infancy, taking a while to establish themselves as credible content publishing platforms for B2C and B2B targets. This year will most likely see more change and continued evolution in social media but one thing is certain: global marketers need to add social media to their strategy. An infographic produced by eMarketer showing their predictions for changes in social media demographics over 2015 and 2016 shows that in 2015, there were 179.7 million social media users in the U.S. and the largest increase in social media users was in the 65+ age group. According to TechinAsia, Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social network ended 2014 with 175.7 million monthly active users. As different demographic and geographical groups emerge and embrace social media, new opportunities will open up for organizations looking to reach wider audiences.

Localization of social media activity is crucial for many global brands. Providing translated versions of posts can capture a wider audience as many customers often look for information and opinion from other customers. Simply understanding what is being said about certain products and brands in international markets can also help an organization to use feedback to further improve their products and services.

A summary of the top  recommendations for global marketers in 2016:

  1.  Use digital content to reach new markets
  2. Centralize content production and integrate localization expertise into the global marketing team
  3. Develop content with a global audience in mind
  4. Be a marketing technologist, using the latest tools to develop, distribute and measure global marketing campaigns
  5. Don’t be afraid to use multinational social media strategies in the B2B sector

For more information, click on the following link to register and download the Welocalize eBook: Reaching Global Audiences: How to Localize Your Marketing Strategy.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Welocalize Sponsors Brand2Global Conference 2015

Frederick, Maryland – September 23, 2015 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, proud to sponsor and exhibit at Brand2Global, taking place at the Doubletree Tower of London Hotel in the United Kingdom, September 28 – October 1, 2015.

Welocalize partners with the world’s leading brands to reach audiences all over the world through targeted multilingual content in all formats and for all devices. As exhibitors at this year’s Brand2Global Conference, Welocalize localization professionals, including Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell, will be on hand to share best practices and customer experience examples of how to grow market share using languages. From translation to transcreation, Welocalize develops customer-centric solutions for local audiences in the right language to achieve successful global brand management.

“Welocalize is delighted to be one of the sponsors at the Brand2Global Conference and meet with some of the world’s largest brands responsible for driving globalization and localization strategies,” said Jamie Glass, VP of Marketing at Welocalize. “Welocalize experts will participate in discussions on how to expand a brand’s international footprint, increase return on content and protect and promote one of their most valuable assets, their brand.”

Welocalize recently published an e-book, “Reaching Global Audiences,” which will be available at Welocalize stand #6 in hard copy for all global marketers attending the event.

Brand2Global is an brand2global whiteannual event designed for professionals who drive global marketing, brand, customer experience and digital media decisions for international growth and revenue. For more information visit: www.brand2global.com.

About Welocalize – Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative translation and localization solutions helping global brands to grow and reach audiences around the world in more than 157 languages. Our solutions include global localization management, translation, supply chain management, people sourcing, language services and automation tools including MT, testing and staffing solutions and enterprise translation management technologies. With more than 600 employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan and China. www.welocalize.com

10 Steps to Building Localization into Your Global Marketing Automation Program

Marketing automation platforms (MAPs) are a necessity for any B2B or B2C company. A marketing automation tool is software that not only allows you to market via multiple online platforms, it also helps to manage campaigns, nurture leads, track website visitors website and much more. Research suggests B2B marketers have an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads vs. non-nurtured leads after deploying a lead nurturing campaign.

Making sure your content is translated and localized to your target market’s specifications is unfortunately not one of the features MAPs automatically possess. However, building localization into your marketing automation program can be easy if you plan ahead and it is definitely effective for reaching a global audience.

Welocalize’s resident marketing automation expert Lauren Southers guides us through with 10 steps on how to incorporate localization into your global marketing automation program.

  1. Understand the importance of localization. Localization is key for successful global marketing strategies and communications. It’s quite simple, if you are trying to sell something to someone, you have to be able to speak their language. This applies to products, services, ideas and even internal programs. It’s all about personalization. How can you relay a message if you can’t even speak their language? Common Sense Advisory says that customers are six times more likely to buy something in their own language, so to become profitable in local markets, it makes sense to localize.
  2. Be willing to invest the time and resources. Good quality translation and localization are important for protecting your brand and message. It’s essential to commit to a good quality translation program and event better if it integrates with your global marketing automation tools. It is the optimal way to drive the best return on your content marketing investments.
  3. Segment buyer personas. As with language, buyer personas can vary from country-to-country. Sometimes it can vary region-to-region. You must make sure that the research is done into your target markets and you understand all the demographic, sociographic and behavioral characteristics in order to best approach them. Marketing style guides should also change according to buyer personas.
  4. Be aware of salutations and cultural norms. This really does depend on the chosen language and how the communicator, whether sales or marketing, wants to address their clients and prospects. Marketing automation tools should allow you to store salutations in several different languages. For example, we utilize the German Herr and Frau. Both are stored and ready to be used with German, Austrian and Swiss client communications. Graphics should be reviewed, as well as use of language-specific phrases and abbreviations.
  5. Be prepared to restructure your material. Languages are as different from each other as are humans. In some languages, words and sentences could be longer or shorter, or use completely different characters. When localizing, ensure that the content fits well on the page and screen. Don’t be surprised if you have to move things around based on different languages to get the right fit. This can impact some of your predetermined formats and templates.
  6. Make use of your allies – sales people. The sales department and the marketing department should always be collaborating. It requires a constant outreach effort to lessen the gap between the two and learn to work together. One way is to leverage your talented sales resources and their in-market and in-country knowledge and experience.  Let them review translated and localized content before going out to prospects and clients. Sales people know their market, and marketing knows how to speak to them. Global teamwork always pays off.  Did you know that 2/3 of the sale is already done before a sales person even picks up the phone – if marketing have done their job properly?
  7. Send campaigns out at different times to maximize reach. We send our campaigns out according to time zone. Not only does this let us choose the optimum time per country to launch a campaign, this staggered approach ensures that if there are any mistakes in the content we can correct the succeeding emails in the later time zones, minimizing any impact. It’s also a good idea to separate campaigns by language to observe the performance analytics and final return on content.
  8. Memory can improve quality. Translation memory (TM) can help your brand to keep consistent by recognizing specialized vocabulary throughout your content, increasing its quality. TMs also ensure that you are spending less money the more you translate!
  9. Test, test and then test again. As mentioned before, the different characters and lengths of languages can mean that you have to restructure your content. It can most certainly impact the quality of your communications. If you don’t test and test often, your MAP may automatically do it for you, leaving the user-interface skewed. Test, test and test again to make sure that your content fits on the page and on the computer, mobile and tablet screen. Formatting can greatly differ depending on the device used for consumption.
  10. Embrace the future of marketing automation. The future of marketing automation will be about value. MAPs will continue to move in a target-based direction. Budgets and ROI will be tracked and scrutinized as we become more dependent on MAPs to deliver our corporate and branded communications.  We will be able to see the cost of marketing more directly, down to the single click, in every language, across every channel, in all geographies. Monetary targets can be set for each campaign and we will actually know if we have met them in real-time. The cost per lead, click and open can also be set up to monitor performance. This can all translate into revenue, cost-savings and increase market share for your business.  This is a great opportunity to shift your globalization and content marketing programs into revenue recognition activities versus the cost-side of the business.

Sending marketing communications has never been so easy with the growing number of sophisticated MAPs. However, if your brand needs to take that crucial step that guarantees its exposure to the global market, then you will have to put in time and resources into localizing your content and even your systems. Localization should be an integral part in any global marketing automation program, and it is not a difficult task to make sure that it is included, if you follow these 10 recommended steps.

Another important tip is to make sure that you work with an experienced language services provider that can help you by connecting your systems through APIs and integration technology.  This will further automate your translation management and marketing programs.  Welocalize can provide recommendations and demonstrate how we have integrated and connected marketing automation and language translation management systems like GlobalSight for global brands.

If you have questions about how to integrate your MAPs program into your translation and content management programs and processes, please drop us a line.  We can also share our experiences in setting up automation tools to reach a global audience.

Louise Donkor and Lauren Southers, Welocalize Marketing Team

marketing@welocalize.com

Getting to Know Welocalize Marketing

welocalize marketing teamThis month we are sharing the words and experiences of our global team members in our Getting to Know Welocalize series. This blog focuses on the Welocalize Global Marketing team. We thought we would put a financial spin on successes and interesting facts about how we drive awareness, engagement and increase influence in our market space.

Marketing at Welocalize is similar to marketing at most of our global brand clients. Whether we are producing a new video, providing training or creating new communications to share best practices, we work every day with the mission to ensure our company achieves our global business goals.  It’s a collective team effort that expands beyond our marketing team members who represent Welocalize, Park IP Translations and Agostini Associati.  We rely on internal subject matter experts to share ideas, operations to close our feedback loop and sales to provide a front-line marketing effort in talking with potential buyers. Our goals are related to how we facilitate and manage these outcomes.

As marketers, our daily activities and tasks are like our clients, which helps in our ability to “translate” what they do and how Welocalize can help. It is an effort that similarly depends on all the elements of great translation and localization managed services, including project management to automation.

At Welocalize, the Marketing Team truly is global one. We are scattered across the world, from New York to Cheshire, and Milan to Arizona. We are a small, nimble team with decades of experience and tons of enthusiasm. We are made up of industry marketers with expertise in all marketing disciplines including sales operations, market research, public relations, content development, creative services, event management, social media, branding and so much more. We also welcome some amazing interns into our team each year, who bring fresh ideas and lots of energy!

Our successes are measured by the numbers. We measure how we are creating new conversations, engaging with our target markets and driving awareness of our global brand. We deploy a complex content marketing strategy that includes all content types and capabilities, from technical documentation to multimedia. We look at awareness through the lens of our brand and how we connect to our clients and buyers – in multiple languages.  To view how we’re done in the first half of the year, here are some numbers that relate to what we do:

  1. We approach marketing through an 18 touch point strategy, ranging from thought leadership to RFP support, to maximize our return on marketing investment.
  2. We have sent out more than 1/2 million outreaches this year, sharing industry trends, updates and capability best practices.
  3. We have generated 12,000 new leads to engage buyers and talk about the benefits of language services.
  4. We created news 24 times this year and we have more news to share.
  5. We have gathered valuable feedback from thousands of buyers at events and through client surveys which helps inform us of our client’s top priorities.

One is the most important number in marketing! The key to our marketing success is the one-to-one personalized approach to meet our clients’ exact needs. We use segmentation driven by preferences and language as part of this direct marketing strategy to begin that journey. We look for those touch point opportunities to initiate ideas, share best practices and elevate awareness which is suited for each client and buyer. We want to know, how can we help you?

No matter how you measure the marketing data and tactics, marketing works when it is collaborative and part of the corporate strategy. Marketing at Welocalize functions as enablers. We want to enable our clients to succeed and enable our team members and company to achieve our goals.  Each day we do this through a variety of activities, a lot of listening, careful planning and commitment to strategy.  As they say, together we do achieve more!

So what is it like working in the Marketing team? Here are some words from members of our team on their experiences at Welocalize:

“It’s a great team to work with at Welocalize. I’m always doing something different where I can learn. Not only that, I can learn from the other people on the team as they all come from varied backgrounds and between them all have a range of ideas, skills and techniques. As a global team, we can have a global perspective on our ideas and how they sit within geographic regions. I really do feel like I’ve learned something new every day!” – Emma Cox, Welocalize and Park IP Translations Intern

“Albert Einstein once said, ‘Creativity is intelligence having fun.’ and in our small global team here at Welocalize this is what we do.  We use our creative minds to come up with fresh ideas, stay relevant and provide value. Working in the marketing team is truly amazing. I am constantly inspired by my team, learning new things and challenged to think differently.  No two days are the same. – Lauren Southers, Global Marketing and Business Support Manager

In the end, it is how we engage with our entire global audience, both internally and externally. Whether we do this through collateral, promotional campaigns or events, we only succeed when we find the precise way to help each client and team member achieve their respective business goals! We do this by reaching new target markets, creating new conversations and increasing customer loyalty by staying connected. We work to make a difference. We focus on innovation, customer service, global teamwork and quality as means to achieving our goals, all pillars for our company. More than just words, results matter.

The Marketing Team

marketing@welocalize.com

MORE GETTING TO KNOW WELOCALIZE

The Getting to Know Welocalize blog series highlights our team members around the globe and the work they do for our valued clients.  In their words, it gives you a look into how Welocalize’s diversity, culture, and expertise empower us in doing things differently. You can view all here Getting to Know Welocalize posts here: http://web.welocalize.com/Getting-To-Know-Welocalize.html

Getting to Know Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-ceo-smith-yewell

Getting to Know Welocalize in Germany – Day in the Life of Antje Hecker, Production Business Director at Welocalize in Germany http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-germany/

Getting to Know Welocalize and Agostini Associati – Day in the Life of Guido Panini, Sales and Marketing Manager at Agostini Associati, a Welocalize Company http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-and-agostini-associati/

Getting to Know Welocalize Quality and Training -A Day in the Life of Liz Thomas, Senior Director of Quality and Training at Welocalize http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-quality-and-training/

Getting to Know Welocalize in the United Kingdom – A Day in the Life of Joanna Hasan, Enterprise Program Manager http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-the-united-kingdom/

Getting to Know Welocalize Marketing http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-marketing/

Getting to Know Welocalize Business Development Europe – A Day in the Life of Steve Maule, Welocalize Business Development Director in Europe http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-business-development-europe/

Getting to Know Welocalize Interns by Louise Donkor, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-interns/

Getting to Know Welocalize Business Development in North America – A Day in the Life of Monique Nguyen http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-business-development-in-north-america/

Getting to Know Welocalize in China –An Interview with Alex Matusescu, Director of Operations http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-china/

Getting to Know Welocalize in Japan -Interview with Kohta Shibayama, Senior Project Manager in Tokyo http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-japan/

Getting to Know Welocalize Development -Interview with Doug Knoll, VP of Software Development at Welocalize http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-development/

Getting to Know Park IP Translations Operations – A Day in the Life of Nicole Sheehan, Regional Director of Operations at Park IP Translations, a Welocalize Company http://parkip.com/getting-to-know-park-ip-translations-operations/

Getting to Know Park IP Translations http://parkip.com/getting-to-know-park-ip-translations/

Getting to Know Welocalize – Ten Interesting Facts You May NOT Know About Welocalize http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize/

Getting to Know Welocalize Staffing – A Day in the Life of Brecht Buchheister http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-staffing/

 

Centralizing the Localization Function Leads to the Right Balance

By Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation at Dell

LocLeader Logo on blkWayne took part in the recent Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015 in Berlin as a featured panelist. In this blog, he summarizes some of his key thoughts related to the topics and discussions.

The process of localization in any organization, whether enterprise or small-medium business, is complex. It involves technology, people, and processes. Content types can vary and often subject matter expertise is required for much of the content. All this takes place under budget and time restrictions.

Dell_Logo-300x299In a large organization like Dell, where we have over 110,000 employees and numerous product lines and brands, the volume of content is HUGE. If all our localization activities were decentralized, it would be chaotic and negatively impact the Dell brand, which is worth billions of dollars. It is difficult to position localization as a strategic function when it is not centrally managed.

At the Welocalize LocLeaders event in Berlin, a lot of the discussions centered on engagement and creating a “sphere of influence.” How do you raise the profile of localization within your organization? How do you make sure all company content comes through a central point, in other words – YOUR team?

Whether you are an enterprise organization like Dell or a tech start-up like Optimizely, this is no easy challenge. If you do have a centralized model with one or two multi-language vendors, you may find yourself in the occasional battle with procurement or internal teams when a small single language vendor is found to be cheaper. In the long run, when managing deliverables across multiple languages, the reduced overhead, consistency, and single point of accountability of a centralized localization function and strategic relationship with a small group of MLVs, leads to the right balance of cost, quality and velocity.

You do have to make sure you continue to market your team and services internally, to all divisions and stakeholders, to make sure they benefit from the central activities – translation technology, translation automation and machine translation (MT), translation memories, glossaries, consistent translation teams, tried and tested workflows and expertise. We run a unique, industry leading MT program for Dell.com, managed by Welocalize. If we had a fragmented approach to localization, this would not be possible. Having one division “championing” globalization and localization activities makes sense. We are the experts and we provide critical services to help our organization succeed globally.

Globalization and localization are imperative. Available in over 180 countries, Dell.com is a global e-commerce site generating billions in revenue. The more effective the localization that my team and Welocalize delivers – the more we are able to engage customers in their native language – the more revenue we generate.

It is tricky to measure the ROI of localization. Key to measuring the effectiveness of localization is to learn how to use the vast amounts of data we produce. At LocLeaders Berlin, Smith Yewell, CEO at Welocalize, talked about predictive analytics and how we can use it to identify more localization opportunities and measure localization ROI. With the ability to predict localization requirements, we can get the right resources in place to meet future demand.

The open discussions at LocLeaders Berlin were inspiring and it was refreshing to move away from the more traditional operational topics and focus on how to position the overall localization function. We have to innovate and sell our services internally, meet and influence stakeholders and see localization as a strategic function, aligned with corporate objectives.

wayne-bourlandWayne

Wayne Bourland is Director of Translation at Dell, responsible for managing the translation of Dell.com and marketing materials.

Internet of Things Means More Data for Global Marketers

 

ThinkstockPhotos-160304837The Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M have been used in certain niche industries for many years, ever since Internet technology became more widely available. Now, IoT is starting to filter into our everyday lives. From how we do business to how we interact with each other and the world around us.

The central theme of Localization World 2015 in Berlin was The Internet of Things.  Localization leaders, futurists and globalization experts led discussions and presentations at LocWorld28 on topics related to how IoT will affect global business. One key area that the IoT will impact is global marketing and how we communicate with customers around the world. Localization will play a critical role in the interconnectivity of all things.

IDC forecasts that the worldwide market for IoT solutions will grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.  Cisco estimated that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. To put that in perspective, that’s six devices for every one of the eight billion people expected to be on the planet.

As the IoT continues to filter into our everyday lives, global marketing will move beyond email and laptops to engaging with their “Generation Z” customers through smart, wearable devices and tablets through digital media. The challenge for marketers is to develop a view of customer habits which will help create enhanced brand, messaging and services which add value to the user experience and can be delivered through these new devices, in a language that is understood by all those accessing it.

A byproduct of the IoT is the huge amounts of data generated by all the users. Global marketers must be able to use this data to make informed localization decisions. It will impact future revenues and product launch strategies. The more data that is amassed about the user, the more invaluable the product becomes.

Mark Holden, head of futures at media agency Arena Media UK, says, “Clearly this data could be useful for brands, helping to build rich profiles of user behavior and to do more intelligently manage pricing. However, if connected products are to collect data on use, we’ll have to ensure there is a value exchange for users: that we’re using the data to better tailor brand experiences, improve products or reward loyalty.” If content relating to products or marketing campaigns are being accessed in wider geographical markets, then marketers must localize this content.

Harvard Business Review recently published an article about how connectivity will allow brands to crowdsource their advertising, gain real-time feedback on products and have an ongoing dialogue with their customers – through their products. This has huge implications for the localization community. To have an ongoing dialogue with your global customers means you need to speak and understand their local language and have the right people, process and technology in place to make this happen. And this could happen almost real-time with immediate translation.

Welocalize CEO, Smith Yewell, recently shared insights on the future of the localization industry.  He noted that you need to use existing IoT data and harness predictive analytics to be able to forecast localization needs for marketing campaign materials. It will define how content is translated, by whom, when it is delivered, and the at what level of impact.  It will define true return on content (ROC). It’s the future and it’s now.

Global marketers who embrace the IoT will be the winners, creating products, online campaigns and services that learn from the way consumers use them. Collecting data and monitoring user behavior is nothing new; however, the growth of the IoT means the amount of data we are collecting will significantly increase.

Analyzing user behavior gives a company more value and allows global marketing campaigns to be more tailored for better engagement. From a localization perspective, we can start to use this data to help shape localization strategies and even pass on data, in understandable forms, to the translators and linguists so they have a better idea of who they are translating for and in what context.

The prospect of a world where everyday objects can communicate with each other has unleashed an avalanche of amazing innovations. Such innovation also presents market challenges. Security is a big issue, both on a personal and business level.  How can we ensure our lives are secure when everything is connected? If someone hacks into our fridge how can we make sure they can’t access our entire network?  This will also have to be addressed through a “local” connection to the user – in their native language.

The amount of data we will have access to will increase exponentially.  We need to start thinking which data is most valuable to us and how we use that data to add value to our consumers. Companies need to consider how they will store, track, analyse and interpret the vast amount of data available and use it to their global benefit. Where does localization play a role? Everywhere in the Internet of Things.

IoT creates as many opportunities as it does challenges for marketers. The opportunities are endless. The challenges we can overcome by working collaboratively and connected.

Lauren

Lauren.southers@welocalize

Lauren Southers is a marketing specialist on the global marketing and business support team at Welocalize.

Text-to-Speech Localization for Global Brand Marketing

By Darin Goble

ThinkstockPhotos-488281659Multimedia is on the rise, permeating areas never reached before, thanks to the growth in technology and also the prolific rise of video and audio sharing technologies and platforms. For many global brands, use of multimedia is growing fastest, eclipsing standard sales and marketing techniques.

According to video-sharing website, YouTube, not only do they have over 1 billion users and 4 billion video views per day, but 60% of a creator’s views come from outside their home country. It is no surprise that video and other multimedia techniques are increasingly being used by global companies to drive brand and social media campaigns.

Audio and video is already used heavily in learning materials; however, with the growing influence of sites like YouTube and Vimeo, using video to build a global brand has become an integral part of any marketing campaign.

Before the Internet and YouTube, using video and television advertising to reach global audiences would have been outrageously expensive and out of reach for many brands. Now, many of the top global brands are consistently using video to reach global audiences. According to Pixability*, 99 out of the top 100 global brands are on YouTube and the top 100 brands have invested approximately $4.3 billion in the creation of video assets to drive global marketing campaigns. For Generation Z (those born after the turn of the century) viral brand videos and social media campaigns through various devices is part of everyday life.

In the localization industry, we are seeing more and more requests for multimedia localization, especially video. Localizing multimedia content can be a lengthy process and expensive. Hiring multiple voice talents, studios, sourcing the right editing, sound and engineering expertise can be a significant investment in terms of time and money. However, latest developments in text-to-speech (TTS) technology has also opened up multimedia localization as a viable option for many global brands. Certain video content does not have to be localized to the same high production standards as a film or television advertisements.

Innovations in TTS are saving global brands time and money.  Rather than have people sit in a studio to record the multilingual versions, scripts can be loaded into synthetic voice software, turning the written word into phonetic text. Years ago, TTS wasn’t an option for many companies, the technology was quite clunky and the output too robotic. Recent technological advancement has meant audio track localization is well within reach, using TTS techniques. Plus, the more scripts you feed and train the TTS engine, the more intelligent it becomes, enabling clients to leverage linguistic assets and further reduce translation costs and improve quality.

In addition, marketing and brand videos that are distributed via social media sites are different to the polished TV advertisements of the “Mad Men” days. Certain video content does not have to be localized to the same high production standards. Techniques, like TTS, produce localization output that is perfectly acceptable to the target audience and will trigger the desired response.

Welocalize has recently developed a specialized solution for text-to-speech, weVoice, which we recently demonstrated at Learning Solutions and Expo this year. We’ve seen some great success with global brand clients. If you are interested in a demonstration, please contact us and we can show you how global brands are utilizing weVoice technology today.

TTS demonstrates one of the many localization techniques that are evolving to meet future client needs. As global brands adapt content, we adapt localization strategies to help their globalization strategy.

Darin

Darin.goble@welocalize.com

Darin Goble is Senior Director at Welocalize. Based in Portland, Oregon, he has worked in the language services industry for over 15 years and leads a global team focused on driving unique localization strategies for a number of high profile global brands.

Further Reading: Text-to-Speech for Localization of Learning Multimedia

*Top 100 Global Brands on YouTube PixTV30, Pixability

Good Localization Habits from Top Global Brands

When it comes to global brands, image and reputation is everything, especially with consumer products. Brand messages should transcend language to really have an effect anywhere in the world. Globalization and localization is not just about linguistic translation. It includes lifestyle, values, culture and many more local concerns.

Here are some global brands featured in Interbrand’s Best 100 Global Brands of 2014 list and how they have managed to keep their appeal worldwide.

Coca-Cola
The beverage producer Coca-Cola comes in at number three on the best global brands list. It is easy to see why, with its iconic logo and effective marketing campaigns. The company describes itself as a “global business that operates on a local scale.

Coca-Cola has managed to stay at the top of their game for 129 years by responding to their consumers’ wants and needs. Coca-Cola Life is the company’s answer to the global market becoming more health and eco-conscious. First distributed in Argentina in June 2013, their Coca-Cola Life advertisements focused on the bottle being recyclable. The drink contains a third less sugar than Classic Coke and has 89 calories in a can; something heavily emphasized in the United Kingdom.

Although Coca-Cola noticed the change in attitude in the global market, they also realized that these changes differ from country to country. A good example of how global brand localization is not always about straight linguistic translation. It must also,consider many factors that contribute to the success of a global product at a local “geo” and language consumer level. Research helped Coca-Cola to market their new drink based on each country’s specific consumer desires and requirements.

Toyota
Toyota is the automotive champion in the Interbrand’s best 100 global brands of 2014 report, rising two places to number eight. The car manufacturer overtook fellow automotive brand BMW in 2013 and has stayed in the automotive top-spot ever since. Toyota also came in at number two on the Best Global Green Brands of 2014 (perhaps due to its famous hybrid car the Toyota Prius). In 2013, 75% of all hybrid cars bought in Europe were from Toyota.

Toyota has two marketing companies: one primarily for Japan and one for the rest of the world. This was done in a bid to make their marketing materials more specialized.  It forms a part of their “genchi genbutsu” principle, which means “go and see” in Japanese. The meaning behind it is that in order to solve a problem you must go to the place where it occurred. In order for them to have marketing material and communications that appeal to the global market, they create a marketing brand especially for purpose.

H&M
H&M, a recognized international brand leader, has recently responded to consumers becoming more aware of how their products are made. The Swedish fast fashion retailer (number 21 in the best global brands of 2014) released its Conscious Collection line in 2012. The line consists of clothes made from hemp, organic cotton and recycled polyester. The messages of the Conscious Collection line was important to the campaign and varied in each country. In the Anglophone world, the seriousness of workers’ safety and growing organic cotton is discussed, whereas for the Chinese market polyester fiber was described as a demanding fiber to cultivate and un-recyclable.

As with Coca-Cola, H&M has not simply translated their global marketing campaign into another language; they considered the lifestyle, values, and even concerns of their target markets.

H&M has 3,500 stores in 57 markets around the world with and throughout their website, sustainability seems to be one of their core values. Their website has only eight languages; however, with first-tier languages such as English, Chinese and French, they can reach a large percentage of the consumer market.

From these examples it seems as if dedication and research of a market is the key to success in localization. A global LSP, like Welocalize, can show consumer global brands the best way of communicating with a targeted global customers in local markets – not just in the right language and dialect but in non-verbal ways too. Considering all brand characteristics and adapting them to local markets is essential if you are to successfully present your brand to the world.

Special note, Welocalize does not currently work directly with the brands mentioned in this post.  We are offering general industry observations about global brands listed in the published report Interbrand’s Best 100 Global Brands of 2014. The opinions expressed in this post are not an endorsement nor representative of a customer relationship.

Louise

Louise.donkor@welocalize.com

Louise Donkor is a Marketing and Communications Specialist at Welocalize

Emerging Content Types in Manufacturing

ThinkstockPhotos-168810325In March 2015, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published their annual report on content marketing trends in the manufacturing sector. The report revealed that 82% of manufacturing marketers are using content marketing[i]. It defined content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content.” Creating content that directly appeals to your audience is becoming an acknowledged business discipline, including in the manufacturing industry.

Marketing in the manufacturing sector is slowly changing from the company seeking customers, to customers seeking the company. Customers, direct and indirect, are more informed these days and companies can take advantage of that by being the ones to inform them. Providing relevant content also allows you to constantly be on a buyer’s radar without explicitly asking them to buy from you.

The buying cycle in the manufacturing sector can usually take anywhere from six months to a year or perhaps longer, meaning that you have a very small window of opportunity to pull in that prospect via trade shows or sales calls. Publishing educational and value-driven content can help make sure that your company’s name is thought because you were viewed as the expert. Although content such as instruction manuals, maintenance documents and data sheets are still widely published, the usage of various other types like e-blasts, blogs and social media has become extremely popular for educating a supply chain, distributors, procurement, employees and consumers.

Social media content has taken the manufacturing sector by storm. Manufacturers are embracing the mega-platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even though manufacturing is viewed more as a traditional market sector, there is definitely a place for it in social media. Companies, especially those in product manufacturing, are able to offer demonstrations of products, virtual tours around the facility and present safety procedures, fabrication processes and equipment. Being open about how your company works gives it credibility and build confidence from your buyers, whether direct to businesses or consumers or through a channel.

YouTube was rated the most effective social media platform for the manufacturing sector and videos were the most used content marketing tactic in the 2015 CMI report. It’s no wonder when this video-sharing site has four billion views per day,and is the second largest search engine in the world. YouTube can work for B2C and B2B companies alike. Your videos can be aimed at investors, engineers or the general public. The content of your videos are very important. They must have a purpose and should engage, educate and differentiate.

LinkedIn is also a highly effective social media platform which can establish your company in the B2B manufacturing community. LinkedIn is a professional social networking site with over 200 million members worldwide. There are 1.5 million LinkedIn groups, and some of those will be groups pertaining to the manufacturing sector. Initiating conversations and getting involved with discussions in industry groups show other businesses that your company is interested and up-to-date with the trends and events currently happening in the manufacturing sector.

The 2015 CMI manufacturing report revealed that when asked what their most important goal was for using social media, the manufacturing marketers answered brand awareness. Social media is an effective global marketing tool. Whether updating clients, building your brand, educating an employee or engaging with potential buyers, you have to make sure you can communicate globally – in the right language.

Welocalize specializes in providing manufacturers global localization and translation for all types of content. Our specialized language services include multimedia translation so that videos can be watched  in English as well as in dozens of other languages, websites are catered to your audience when your brand has a presence on the global stage, and of course accurate translation for traditional and vital technical documentation and corporate communications.

Louise Donkor, Communications and Marketing Specialist at Welocalize

louise.donkor@welocalize.com

[i] Responses presented are from 217 B2B manufacturing marketers in North America.

What is Transcreation?

513355289Do you want to promote your brand globally in a way that really ‘speaks’ to your customers? If yes, then you may want to consider transcreation. In this blog, Louise Donkor talks transcreation, what it is and its role in global marketing.

Transcreation combines two words: translation and recreation. The process involves both. Sometimes called creative translation, the aim of transcreation is to adapt a message into another language. The transcreation process involves a lot more creativity than straight translation. There is not the obligation to stay linguistically faithful to the source text, as long as the key message is still conveyed.

Transcreation takes the source text and translates it so that the original message and intent are still explicit. This goes beyond just literal translation. The source text may need to be completely ‘recreated’ so it has the same effect on the target audience. The transcreation process can completely alter the structure, images, even the subject in the source text in order to fit with the target culture and evoke the same emotions.

The origin of the word transcreation is disputed. Some say the term came from the foreign language copywriting specialist agency, Mother Tongue, whilst others say it was coined by the former head of Silver Advertising Ltd, Bernard Silver. Whatever its origin, the word transcreation is widely used in the localization, marketing and advertising industry and has become increasingly popular over the years.

The use of transcreation depends on the source content and it is often something that is used for marketing materials. Technical documentation is more logical and may not be suitable for transcreation as linguistic style is not important. Being accurate and faithful to the source text is higher priority for more factual, engineering content. Transcreation is mostly applied to creative texts, such as television commercials, posters, websites or even comic books destined for international distribution.

When the Indian version of the comic book, Spider-Man that was released in 2004, instead of adhering to some parallels of the American version, an in-country [Indian] copywriter simply created a completely new comic book story, but kept the overall Spider-Man voice and key story characteristics faithful to the original.

Using transcreation in a global marketing campaign displays your brand in a more intimate and personal way to your local customers around the world. Although this may mean that your brand’s marketing communication may look different from country to country, its voice and message will be consistent, something that basic translation may not be able to do.

Transcreators are often specialist copywriters and designers with a good knowledge of at least two languages to give locale and cultural guidance. They consider how the linguistics of the source text will affect the target text and recreate content to better suit the local market.

Launching a global marketing campaign, global marketers have to consider whether translation, localization or transcreation is right for the brand and marketing materials. As effective as transcreation is, it is also costly and time-consuming. This may not correspond with time restrictions or budget.

Transcreation is also best used when you feel that your brand’s voice and message is the most important thing you want to come across when communicating with customers, quite often in the B2C market where advertising and media budgets can be millions of dollars.

When reaching out to a global audience, there are a variety of ways, methods and tools to do so. Teaming up with the globalization and localization specialists who have in-country linguists with knowledge and resource for transcreation services will ensure maximum impact for any high profile global marketing campaign.

For information about Welocalize transcreation services, click here: Welocalize Transcreation Information

Louise
Louise.donkor@welocalize.com
Louise Donkor is a member of Welocalize’s global marketing team.

Five Tips for Publishing Global Content and Protecting your Brand

509030725Brand equity is often seen as not measurable, intangible and almost an ethereal part of any business. Yet, brand can be the most valuable asset many companies possess as noted in the recent Economist article, “What are brands for?“.

Companies build brand equity through the infinite touches and experiences that users and consumers have with any aspect of our company and its products and services. Each touch represents a promise and as you build a brand, each promise lays down certain expectations that must continue to be met and exceeded, to all audiences.

Next week, the doors to Content Marketing World 2014 will open in Cleveland, Ohio. Leading the discussion topics will be over 80 brand marketing experts from all over the world. One of the key topics for discussion is the role of brand in the overall global content marketing strategy. Welocalize will be on hand to discuss what the ability to publish content online has meant for companies who have gained immediate access to a global audience without having to make huge investments in physical storefronts.

Whether marketing, corporate, product or technical communications, global content plays an integral role in building brand equity and has a direct source of revenue. New digital publishing and e-commerce channels are great for reach; however, there are some fundamental things to be considered before going global with your content.

Here are five tips for developing and publishing global content:

  1. Develop Content with Localization and Translation in Mind. If you create source content taking all target languages into consideration, then localized materials will be more cost-effective. Clever use of video and animated images and graphics can help communicate more effectively with a global audience and minimizes the amount of content that requires translation. Do be aware that heavy use of multimedia can create a complex localization workflow. A single corporate video with multiples voices can result in having to use A LOT of multilingual actors for the localized versions.
  2. Centralize the Global Content Strategy and Team. One central body to ensure all global and locals needs and legal requirements are met and that all brand messaging is consistent. Think of the global content team as one big virtual editor, checking that anything published is truly representative of the brand.
  3. Integrate Processes and Workflows across Content Departments. Everyone in the content creation and localization supply chain has to be connected. Having authors, designers, agencies, translators, engineers and project managers all working in silos can result in a mess. Connecting the localization supply chain with open technology and shared practices will keep content and brand consistent.
  4. Consider ALL Content. Not just the obvious million-dollar digital marketing campaign, but all content that touches and shakes all your audiences: consumers, employees, fans, followers, dealers, distributors, stakeholders and investors needs to be considered for it’s global appeal.  This includes training videos, technical and product documentation, internal and corporate communications.
  5. Monitor and Measure User Feedback. Never has there been such a good time to have a two-way conversation with your global consumers and communities thanks to social media and UGC. Use feedback to improve and manage the brand and also prevent potential brand disaster and decay. This means being able to understand all feedback but also being able to quickly respond in all target languages. Your brand fans, again thanks to social media, mobile devices and 24 hour online access, can be your greatest advocate but beware, bad news tends to travel faster in the virtual world so keep an eye on what is being said about your brand.

Now is a great time to publish global content that will reach all your international and multilingual audiences. As an example, I’m not too sure exactly which of my local sports shops in the UK sells Nike running shoes; however, for the past four years it has been a pleasure to take part in the Nike online experience through web, apps and social media and then go on to repeatedly buy Nike footwear – thanks to some awesome global online content. I’m part of this global brand’s target and the content is rich in resources and precise in it’s local reach. As noted, their global content has me talking and more importantly, buying.

How is your global brand reaching and impacting your target audience? It is crucial that in order to maximize your global content marketing and brand equity, you manage and monitor your global content strategy using the right team, in the right place, with the right technology.

Louise Law, Communications Manager at Welocalize

Welocalize will be at Content Marketing World which takes place September 8-11, 2014 at the Cleveland Convention Center, Ohio. To discuss global content strategy, come and meet the Welocalize team at booth 31.

Reaching One Global Content Consumer at a Time

Global Content MarketingAs we produce more and more content to reach all our intended content consumers, the value of our mass production is still measured by reach.  Your content is as good as the number of individuals that consume it — one open, one click, one view, one page at one time.

The end goal is to make sure we have a lot of individuals that collectively measure up to a higher quantity value.  In marketing, we call this mass marketing or mass communications.  One consumer does not make for a global content market strategy.  It takes hundreds, thousands and if you are lucky – millions!

The fastest way to get more like consumers is to increase the global reach through language. With billions of words being produced in nanoseconds, how will you create the greatest value of your content simply thinking about every individual consumer? In the shortest of terms, knowing in detail the consumer is critical when determining your content approach and it is how you will ultimately measure success.  You then apply the single attributes to the broadest market in one or more selected languages to go global.

Where do you start?  As you think about your reach and global content consumer, you have to be able to define the attributes of the consumer to know where they individually and collectively reside. It helps in producing the “mass” and expanding your geographic boundaries for consumption.

The first step to define your global content marketing strategy begins with detailing your target audience, that global individual consumer.  It is a simple exercise, you can remember as 4W’s and how.

Who – Who is my audience and how can I define them demographically?

Where – Where are they located?

Why – Why will they be interested in my content (using socio-graphic and psycho-graphic assumptive data)?

When – When do I need to publish the content to make sure I get the most views?

How – How will they consume my content and in what format?

Knowing the answers to each of these questions can then be applied toward your content development strategy.  Where you define the greatest mass should determine your opportunity to produce the most views.  Once your consumer is defined, you can determine the actual required resources, input sourcing and expertise requirements and output schedules for delivering the content.

The same 4W’s and how questions can be utilized to map your strategy to the content type production. Content types are important in maximizing your production strategy.  This is where you will get to costs and timelines. You need to know the media formats, authoring requirements, frequency of updates and languages for delivery.  Selecting multiple languages may help you exponentially increase the value of each word produced, as well as increase the number of views – as long as it supports your overall target market strategy.

If you are producing new content, you can simply use the 4 W’s and how to ensure you have your global target defined.  If you are going back into your content archives to determine if there is extended value in your content in multiple languages, a good first step is to conduct a content source analysis.  In localization and translation, this step is important in creating glossaries and term guides for time-saving translation memories and machine translation applications.  It is a way to get content to market faster in new geographies and languages and increase your individual global content consumer count.

Mass marketing requires an individualistic viewpoint, then applied broadly.  Marketing to each global content consumer empowers you to maximize the values of the masses and gives you the greatest return on your content investment. One word, one view at a time and then measured across the globe.

Join Welocalize at Content Marketing World 2014 to discuss your global content marketing strategy.  We are sponsoring and exhibiting at this year’s conference in Cleveland, September 8-11. Drop us a line if you plan to attend!  marketing@welocalize.com 

Jamie Glass, Senior Director, Global Marketing at Welocalize

Pushing Boundaries at LocLeaders and LocWorld Dublin 2014

ogla blOlga Blasco, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Production Business Units at Welocalize, led the discussion “What Not to Translate” at the recent LocLeaders Forum in Dublin. At Localization World 2014, Olga took part as a featured panelist at the LocWorld keynote discussion on day two, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” which detailed how to best manage disruptive innovations. In this blog, she shares her key takeaways from both discussions.

As I reflected on our LocLeaders Forum in Dublin and the LocWorld conference that followed, one overriding thought emerged: The power of “what if” is constantly accelerating the pace of change and disruptive innovation in our industry.

Today’s market economics have forced all of us to reassess how to maximize return on global content by whatever means possible. We have collectively evolved from articulating the challenges created by an ever increasing demand for product content diversity and consumption across the globe. This means we need to actively pursue alternative approaches to the time, quality and cost equation so that we can make wider and speedier brand reach more possible.

How many of us got to this point with a bold “what if” conversation? What if we could significantly improve turn-around-times (TAT) on marketing content whilst maintaining high quality? What if we could rely on brand enthusiasts to translate the products? What if user-generated content (UGC) could be quickly made available in any language to guarantee reach? What if we could increase the funds available to penetrate new markets while maintaining or reducing the total localization budget?

The key to turning all this to reality is pushing the usual boundaries in relation to what, who, how and why and build flexibility into the supply chain. The most difficult part is to create a sustainable ecosystem where inefficiencies are not just moved from one entity to another in the process.  Emphasis is being put on using technology as a true productivity and sourcing enabler, matching the right talent match to content type and adopting quality evaluation (QE) methodologies that are aligned to content impact purpose.

Here are some of my takeaways from the discussions at LocLeaders Forum 2014 and LocWorld in Dublin:

  • Sophisticated MT programs, especially those that involve high-visibility content, can only be successful if there is continued investment into training both the MT engines and the supply chain to deliver higher post-editing (PE) productivity and consistent quality results. This requires long-term commitment from engine developers and LSPs, like Welocalize. Being able to demonstrate results and linking them to business objectives is directly proportional to over-coming resistance and augmenting adoption across all stakeholders.
  • Access to individual talent credentials is quickly becoming a prerequisite to choosing the right business partner. Building confidence is more effective and has positive effects in the relationship when the black box disappears (see Smith’s blog, Dating Websites, Black Boxes and Translation Quality). Buyers want to be reassured that every single resource working on their deliverables is the best possible choice to deliver the brand message. Not only that, buyers also expect LSP’s to ensure that qualified supply is available, ready and motivated to perform.
  • The importance of attracting, training and retaining talent fit for purpose is a topic that took center stage at a few sessions and is top priority for both clients and LSPs. In critical target markets driving high content demand, we are experiencing shortages in specialized resources and recruitment conversion rates can be low even at the most tolerant SLA tiers. Among the different initiatives being discussed on how to close this significant gap, here are the ones gaining most traction:
  1. Creating greater and better defined opportunity and localization career path awareness through social media campaigns and webinar event presence
  2. Identifying academic champions in key markets that can influence university curriculum that speak to the needs of the localization industry
  3. Invest in client/LSP driven training programs that continuously develop university graduates or professionals from other industries who present the right potential into becoming experts and create loyalty and continuity to deliver returns
  • Crowdsourcing is gaining traction among us as a successful means to cast a larger net on a wider spectrum of talent skill sets and configurations to deliver bilingual services outside of traditional supply chain models. Some leading brands are turning to non-professional, passionate users to deliver some services under professional community moderation. Recognition awards, easy-to-use community on-boarding platforms and tool training modules are a few of the necessary investments to keep the crowds engaged beyond financial compensation.
  • There is a clear demand for innovation in relation to quality strategy and execution, particularly in relation to measuring brand voice and sentiment adherence as part of evaluation process beyond the time-consuming feedback loops between stakeholders, reviewers and translators. There has been significant progress since the launch of TAUS DQF and many organizations have also been customizing their own quality models further to address this need. However, other interesting ideas on the table include dynamically correlating quality scores to user experience ratings and product reach. This will open an interesting dimension to budget allocation and decision-making as regards to maximizing return on content.

Pushing boundaries together is the most exciting part of our business. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Olga

Olga Blasco is Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Production Business Units at Welocalize.

 

Translation Decisions Now Depend on Brand Impact

By Louise Law

This post is an abridged version of my article in Spring 2014 Communicator Journal. [ddownload id=”14921″ text=”Read Now!” style=”link”]

466717015At this time of year, I’m starting to think about summer holidays and how to get some sunshine after the winter months. I look on the travel and hotel sites, read some of the online reviews because they contribute A LOT to my decision making process. Same applies for Amazon.com. Couple of negative comments in the review section can stop me putting a TV into my e-shopping basket.

As online consumers, most of us read user-generated content (UGC) and take it into consideration when making purchases and judgments about goods and services. For global digital brands, having UGC understood by all users in their native language is very important to market growth strategies and revenues. In order to really reach the online global consumer, content must be translated to get full value.

As you evaluate the translation requirements for your UGC, you need to ask:

  1. How good does the quality of the translation have to be?
  2. Does it have to be linguistically and culturally perfect or simply understandable?
  3. What is the brand impact?

As long as I can understand the review, that’s ok for me. I don’t think anything less of the online brand because I know that the review has been written by a ‘user’.  I’m happy just to get the gist. For UGC, brands understand speed matters most. Caution – this does not apply to all content. For high brand value content like a safety training video or point of sale display, high quality will be of utmost importance.

Return on content is a serious buzz topic in the localization and translation industry. It applies to how global organizations look at their content and decide on the value. Value is defined by how it helps the business meet their goals and objectives. They then set translation and quality levels, depending on how valuable the content is to the brand. Global organizations are willing to pay for quality and accuracy of tone and voice when the impact on the brand is paramount. Not all words need to be localized and translated in the same way.

Business objectives must be mapped to the overall localization strategy. Content like UGC may be best suited to a machine translation (MT) with light post-editing solution; whereas, a world-wide product commercial will have more human touch points and a more complex localization workflow. Different business objectives, different content types will affect the localization pricing model.

Here are some of the key factors creating a shift in the localization industry and generating discussion around return on content:

  • HUGE amounts of data! The web contains 3.8 billion indexed pages*. The demand for translation is increasing exponentially. Applying the “one-size-fits-all” approach to translation won’t work as localization budgets are not rising at the same rate.
  •  Mobile Devices: Content is so rapidly published and accessed, 24×7, due to the growth in mobile device usage. Content is published more rapidly but in smaller chunks. LSPs have to be agile and deliver multilingual content across multiple platforms.
  • Translation Automation: MT is coming to the forefront for decision makers. For successful globalization, MT has to be a natural consideration to address the quality, cost and time-to-market equation.
  • Metadata: Data about data. Our translation management systems (TMS) are producing more data and translators need more access to this metadata. Accumulative data from the TMS and translation memories can improve translation quality as sharing data will increase consistency and predictability of certain types of content.
  • Talent Management: Finding the right levels of talent and experience for the different types of content. Post-editing UGC can be carried out by less experienced translation talents as it requires a different skill to traditional translation.
  • Community: Translation is now a collaborative process now. Large, multimedia project will have large teams of translators, reviewers, voice talents, sound and audio engineers. LSP’s have to recruit, align and reward teams based on business outcome rather than translation and project requirements. We need to decide what crowd best suits the content, depending on what the overall impact is to the business.

It does not matter what industry you work in, to be a successful global brand today and in the future, you have to look at all content and decide how your translation decisions will IMPACT your brand. Global content has become a great digital asset. Knowing its potential impact to your brand and business goals will help you get the highest return on your investment and content assets.

Louise Law,
Louise.law@welocalize.com

Welocalize CEO, Smith Yewell discusses Metadata, Talent Management and Community in his blog, “Top 3 Disruptive Trends for 2014”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: ISTC-Communicator_l10nSupplement-Spring2014-LL

*www.worldwidewebsize.com, September 2013