Posts

Digital Transformation Influences Growth for Global Brands

How do global brands take advantage of today’s digital influence in achieving their growth objectives? Whether expanding in existing markets or reaching into new territories, digital is transforming today’s customer experience.

Much of a buyer’s journey today takes place online, making it imperative for any global brand to manage each digital interaction in every market in a personalized way. In order to capitalize on this trend, it requires the experience to be positive and that starts with localization!

The term digital transformation can be used to describe anything from automating internal processes, creating a fully responsive mobile website or even developing a customer feedback strategy via social media. It spans the whole business.

Digital is also driving continuous change in customer behavior. To succeed in the digital age, global brands must focus more on the customer’s online journey through the user experience, data analytics and targeted marketing campaigns. Brands are now using the online customer experience to gain feedback through user generated content (UGC) and develop new products and service.

One example of this is the recent comment made to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk in social media about an owner’s experience at a charging station. The customer’s complaint on Twitter led the CEO to make a change in their supercharger stations. His not only responded, “You’re right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.” He took action and instituted a change within six days. This is truly what is referred to as digital transformation. Online content leads to a process change, which is then communicated via digital channels.

The question that needs to be addressed to CEOs and marketers, would this change taken place if the “tweet” was in another language or in another social medium that dominates a particular region or market?

Back in the 1990s when the Internet and digital content really took off, marketers started the digital process by registering a domain and creating a website, moving forward with e-commerce. Now technology dominates our lives, especially with the prolific growth of mobile devices. There are a multitude of digital touch points in the customer journey. The main website may still be the digital mast head for a lot of global brands; however, digital marketers have to manage all the other interactions, in every target market and language.

For content marketers, there are three key areas that are influencing digital transformation and driving growth strategies:

The Customer Journey

Good global brand marketing must support every single interaction a customer may have with a brand. Map out the whole digital customer journey. Many of these interactions are now digital, which has created new challenges for brand marketers. Most branded content can be found and viewed by online users all over the world. This means content must be searchable and linguistically correct for the local audience and culturally adapted to have the right impact.

Every digital touch point must be managed from a brand perspective. This includes online search, website, white papers, e-books, articles, blogs, customer reviews, banner advertising, UI, customer support, payment process, shipping and delivery and customer feedback. Global brand marketers have to be aware that someone searching for products in Spain may have a totally different approach to someone in Canada. It isn’t just language that makes them different but cultural habits and preferences. This is why any content that creates a digital touch point must be carefully created and positioned to meet the requirements of the local customer, while still delivering the overall look and feel of the global brand.

Transcreation is a key technique used by many global marketers and localization professionals to culturally adapt content. Local versions may not be 100% faithful to the source; however, the overall message and branding is still the same. Read: The Phenomenon of Transcreation in Localization

As brands establish digital customer experiences, this builds valuable behavior-based customer data that can be analyzed to develop future sales and marketing activities.

Develop Global and Local Brand Strategies

Core brand values are often set centrally, driven by teams based at a company’s headquarters. The main logos, taglines and brand values are developed by creative and business teams, in the source language, then subsequent marketing materials for local markets are localized and translated accordingly. This can lead to problems with the localization process as a lot of major brands and branded content does not translate into other markets. It is important to have local knowledge not just of the language, but also local buyer behavior. Key to success considering localization right at the start.

For many digital marketing strategies, a local campaign must be developed to get the best reach. This applies to all activities from keyword search, banner targeting and SEO work. Each language and cultural market searches and reacts to different content. It is important to partner with a specialist who has expertise in driving multilingual digital marketing strategies.

If a brand is destined to be global and and influencing buyers in all continents, then localization of the brand must be considered at the beginning of the creative discussions.

Embrace Social and Real-Time Marketing

Social ad spending has doubled over the past two years as channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become increasingly effective at delivering a targeted reach and frequency. This puts real-time marketing and social channels at the center of digital transformation for many global brands.

Immediate feedback for many digital-centric product and services mean that marketing promotions can be rapidly adapted based on performance and results. This has a big impact on the overall customer experience.

For global brand marketers, this is one of the biggest challenges for developing central and local marketing strategies. The sheer volume of UGC posted through social media channels can make real-time marketing a challenge, especially when data is coming in from multiple language and target markets. This is where digital transformation can have a disruptive effect on marketing and localization strategies.

How much do you translate? What levels of quality do you translate? How do you monitor all digital content to ensure nothing is detrimental to the brand? There are a growing number of techniques, using automated and machine-based translation that can help global marketers harness the power of UGC to help build more brand equity and reach new markets. Read: Welocalize Guide for Global Content Marketers to User Generated Content (UGC)

Embracing digital transformation to drive global brand strategies is a challenge for most businesses. There are so many potential new markets and areas that customers can be reached with brand marketing through digital channels.

To achieve successful global brand marketing and maximize your influence in growing your business, partnering with language and digital marketing experts is essential.

For more information on Welocalize multilingual digital marketing solutions, click here.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Trends in 2017 Impacting Marketing Localization

As we move into 2017, we look at some of the emerging and ongoing trends that will affect global marketers who are responsible for targeting new markets and driving digital branded campaigns to audiences all over the world.

Growth in Messaging Apps

Messaging apps are growing very fast and more businesses are looking to embrace this trend and seek revenue opportunities. Monthly active users across WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack and WeChat have grown a lot faster than some social networks such as Instagram and Twitter. Facebook Mobile Messenger now has one billion active users and Snapchat, only five years old, has gathered 150 million daily active users. With the millennial population continuing to increase and influence, use of messenger apps will continue to increase. Global marketers need to engage and listen to what is being said on the most widely-use mediums that are influencing their brands. People all over the world sharing the good, bad and indifferent experiences with global brands over these messaging apps. WeChat in China has such broad functionality, influencing and facilitating online shopping and restaurant reservations. Global marketers have to ensure they drive localized campaigns to capitalize on the leading messaging platforms to gain consumer attention and engagement.

Chatbots

One other growth area is the use of “chatbots.” Chatbots are computer programs that you interact with by “chatting,” by providing information or helping humans with certain tasks. They can resolve issues, answer questions and give the consumer the feeling they are speaking with a human. Chatbots are gaining popularity and are becoming a useful tool for global marketers. Chatbots increase consumer interaction and enhance the overall user and brand experience. With a global market, full of impatient consumers who want things done immediately, a chatbot can assist straight away. They are also an important tool for collecting data and analysis of consumer habits and purchasing patterns. From a localization standpoint, a chatbot needs to speak and type like a real person – and that means speaking and typing in the target audience’s local language and culture. If chatbots are to play an important part in global digital marketing campaigns, then language and localization play an increasing key role in their development to ensure you are reaching your global audience.

Video Revolution

More and more multimedia is being consumed on a daily basis, driving communication and influencing global business in B2C and B2B. According to YouTube statistics, 3.25 billion hours of video is watched on YouTube each month. Innovation in this area is rapid with many of the large technology platforms like Amazon and Netflix are delivering addictive content in new, exciting ways. This will continue to impact how CMOs, content producers and learning managers will develop and distribute media to audiences around the world. Budget has always played a key influencing role in localization of audio and video content types. Producing quality brand videos is getting easier and less expensive for global marketers, as new production software and media channels open all the time. We will continue to see video playing a bigger role in marketing communications in 2017.

From a localization perspective, we’ve seen great advances in multimedia localization, which have reduced the cost and time of developing multilingual videos. Text-to-speech (TTS) and increased use of transcription and on-screen-text (OST) has enabled more brands to distribute more language versions. For certain communication pieces, the quality levels required for the translation and localization of video are now more flexible. For high impact-branded materials, quality still needs to be high; however, there are options for lower level productions such as internal communication, social media campaigns and or quick-turn training videos. Techniques like TTS, subtitling and OST can deliver the right message and quality levels, making production costs realistic and within budgets.

The video landscape is continuing to change for markets. In late 2016, Facebook Live rapidly grew to be a key video streaming service for global marketers and advertisers. With 1.5 billion users worldwide, Facebook has one of the largest interactive content platforms for UGC and brands. Innovations in this space will continue to drive new user experiences in 2017.

Ad Blockers

Ad blocker usage will continue to grow into 2017, which will result in the reduction of banner ad consumption in certain geographies. According to Ogilvy, ad blocking jumped 34% during 2016 in the US. The continued growth in ad blocking may see a decrease in banner advertising, forcing advertisers to think differently in their outreach. Global marketers have to stay ahead of technologies and trends to ensure that their message reaches the right people. More effective content campaigns will become standard and enable global brands to reach consumers and not be blocked. For global marketing campaigns, this means knowing which markets are affected by ad blocking technology and ensuring any local campaign is built with this in mind, from a content, platform and media perspective.

Measure ROI Not Website Hits

Digital marketers have often looked to Google Analytics to measure website hits, clicks and sessions, as an indicator of campaign success. Global marketers will have to look at new ROI metrics, viewing digital marketing content from the perspective of consumption, engagement and investment. Measuring website hits from static web content is not a true representation of success today, as clicks can be “managed” to produce low quality returns. Whether marketing activity drives leads or engagement, revenue is a measure of success. Some dynamic content, like user generated content (UGC), must be monitored in all target languages and markets to get a good measure of consumer satisfaction and levels of engagement in social media campaigns. Global digital marketing is no longer just about generating static web content, it is analyzing online interactions and bridging the gap between content and ROI. Welocalize’s Adapt Worldwide specialize in helping global brands in defining ROI programs for digital marketing, PPC, social media and web SEO. Click here to learn more.

What do you think will impact global marketing and localization in 2017? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Welocalize Ranked in Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry by EContent Magazine

econtentWelocalize is featured in the new 2016-2017 EContent 100 list of most important companies in the digital content industry. The ranking was compiled by EContent Magazine, with special inclusion of digital content translation, localization and globalization categories.

View the ranking here: The Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry: The 2016-2017 EContent 100

econtent-coverNow in its 16th year, the EContent 100 list features companies that matter most in digital content, with reflection on trends in the industry that will impact success in 2017. Most content today is published and distributed digitally, impacting overall global and multilingual content strategies for multinational organizations. It is a key challenge for digital content professionals, along with creative and product managers to develop global content that meets the language and cultural needs of targeted “local” audiences. Going global requires language support across the entire content journey. Welocalize and Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital agency, work together with global brands all over the world to create, develop and publish econtent in more than 175 languages.

As part of this year’s report, EContent Magazine published expert insights from Jamie Glass, Welocalize CMO and EVP of Global Services Lines, in a featured View from the Top article, Why Brands Need Expertise to Support Globalization Strategies.

Read full article: Why Brands Need Expertise to Support Globalization Strategies, by Jamie Glass, Welocalize

Growing globally is a big challenge for businesses and a common strategic imperative driven by the C-suite. Each local market has its own unique language and cultural preferences and brands need expertise to support their globalization strategy.

At each stage of the globalization journey, brands leverage language services to drive multilingual content development, from intellectual property through to go-to-market tactics, such as multilingual SEO, website translation and digital marketing campaigns. Today’s leading enterprises outsource many globalization and localization activities due to the specialized knowledge and language technology tools requirements. It is our role at Welocalize to support your content strategies that adapt your material to the local needs of your customers, partners and employees around the world.

To engage interadapt moving aheadnational audiences, many global content marketing professionals work with our global content experts at Adapt Worldwide. They are unique multilingual marketing experts that assist global brands in the cultural adaptation of content across all digital channels. Expert teams provide SEO, transcreation, linguistic copywriting, app localization, mobile, web and paid amplification for a multitude of languages.

Welocalize, with our subsidiary Adapt Worldwide, has the unique ability to add tremendous value during every stage of the globalization journey. We are ranked the seventh largest global language service provider in the world. We have the scale, diversity and wide range of specialty language services required to meet changing customer needs, making us more than a language service provider. Many leading global brands rely on us as an integral part of their organization, critical partners to the enablement and success of their globalization strategy.

Click here to view the 2016-2017 EContent 100

Click here to read full article, Why Brands Need Expertise to Support Globalization Expertise by Jamie Glass, Welocalize

For more information on Adapt Worldwide, click here

Growth of E-Commerce in China

Rising incomes and populations across Asia are creating a growth in consumers with disposable income. A significant amount of growth comes from China, a country with considerable purchasing power, with large sums of money being spent online through e-commerce sites.

From technology, media, electronic goods, travel, gaming, clothes, beauty and health products, and entertainment, China’s rising middle-class are driving demand for online consumer sales. In 2007, about 46 million people in China purchased goods online. In 2015, that figure increased to 413 million (Statistica). In 2015, e-commerce shares of the FMCG markets grew 37% in China (Kantar Worldpanel).

Digital Opportunity

Many global consumer brands are looking to develop an online presence in China or establish partnerships with online marketplaces, such as the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. It is often cited as the largest e-tailer in the world.

A growth in connectivity and purchases initiated by social media sites, such as WeChat, has also increased the number of e-commerce transactions. An estimated 41% of WeChat shoppers purchase personal care goods via the WeChat payment platform (McKinsey & Company).

Although China is the world’s largest and fastest growing e-commerce market, with an estimated $650 billion sales in 2015, consumer companies have to act fast and embrace a number of business opportunities to penetrate the Chinese market. Developing accurate content in Chinese for all e-commerce related content is one area that global brands must consider to take advantage of the growing market.

In Common Sense Advisory’s report, Digital Opportunity: Top 100 Online Languages for 2016, Simplified Chinese is ranked second and Traditional Chinese is ranked 13th in terms of digital opportunity. We know the business opportunities are there; however, global brands also need the knowledge and expertise to create content to reach and influence Chinese shoppers.

Growth in Online-to-Offline

In certain product areas in China, there has been a growth in online-to-offline (O2O) services. O2O is where companies create awareness online with digital advertising, then entice the customer into a physical store to make a purchase. Full e-commerce and O2O are two business models that complement each other, as consumers prefer to see goods and sample items in a storefront before purchase,rather than wait for a package to be delivered and then possibly make a return. This indicates that certain brands may still need an investment into bricks and mortar stores.

Both O2O and full e-commerce models make it clear that digital marketing to local Chinese markets is at the very foundation of brand awareness and reaching new customers. Any digital marketing materials must be developed in the right writing style and dialect to suit the Chinese culture. The same applies to product and brand images and detailed considerations, such as humor and use of color. E-commerce and digital content must be culturally adapted to target the right preferences and tastes for Chinese populations.

China is Not One Market

The profile and habits of Chinese shoppers are continuously evolving. China is not one market. Digital shoppers in urban areas and cities are the main target as they have the most spending power. This has to be represented in any digital marketing content, product placement and distribution system. Cities in China are classified by “tiers,” with the top tiers being Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, e-commerce activity of low-tier cities (tier three and below) now rival or surpasses high-tier cities. Low-tier total spending on e-commerce matched high-tier cities for the first time in 2015. For savvy e-commerce brands, cities such as Beihai, Changzhou, Dongguan and Foshan may provide significant future growth. See Nexus-Pacific blog for a full list China’s City Tier System.

Mobile Population

China’s digital shoppers are more likely to use their mobile devices than their PC. Sometimes the path to purchase involves multiple devices, PC’s and smart phones. Analysys International Enfodesk reported that nearly two-thirds of retail and C2C e-commerce sales in China in Q4 2015 took place via mobile, up from 55.5% the previous quarter. This rise in mobile as a purchasing platform is ongoing. For any e-commerce retailer, content must be developed to format in each platform. From banners ads through to UI, Chinese digital shoppers must be able to research and purchase from their mobile device.

On a final note, one key component in any e-commerce strategy must be discover-ability. How will China’s 413 million online shoppers find you? The main Chinese search engine providers are Baidu, 360 Search and Sogou, with Baidu taking up about 71% market share. Plugging into these search engines with the right search terms will help e-commerce operations be found by the target digital shoppers.

China’s e-commerce market is a growth opportunity and a marketplace that will soon become crowded, so if you are going to grow, go now!

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

For more information on developing multilingual digital marketing strategies and search (SEO) campaigns, in China and any other target market, contact Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency.

Understanding the Consumer Journey for Successful E-Commerce Localization

istock_000078763713_mediumOne of the key steps in the overall globalization process is to map the consumer journey by identifying content touchpoints. This step is very important, as it allows global brands to fully understand the overall consumer experience and their interaction with consumers via published content and communications, both verbal and written.

Many global retailers and B2C e-commerce organizations are surprised at the number of potential touchpoints that can influence the purchasing habits of their consumers. Touchpoint strategies factor into developing a targeted and successful localization program for companies within the consumer industry. In order to maximize the reach potential, each touchpoint should reflect a truly “local” experience, supported by content localized and culturally adapted for target audiences.

Based on our broad experience in working with global consumer brands, we have identified content areas that need focus and attention throughout the localization process:

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS: First and foremost, does your main website and e-commerce sites speak to all your local markets in the right language? Localizing the main website is a critical step in reaching global markets. Web translation must be an integral part of a global content strategy because websites provide a direct route of communication with billions of potential online consumers. The main .com destination is probably the single most important digital touchpoint for most global brands. Each aspect of the website must be localized for target local markets, including: web content, UX, payment systems, product descriptions, marketing content, corporate messages, as well as legal and compliance information.

Every piece of content on a company website may potentially influence brand perception and purchasing power. For major online retailers, the website is the main shopfront and window to goods and services; therefore, all web content must be in the appropriate language, tailored for each geography and culture.

DIGITAL MARKETING AND SEO ACTIVITIES: As well as the main .com presence, online digital marketing campaigns can achieve a wide audience reach. Banner advertisements and sponsored online search activities, as well as digital online promotions can reach consumers all over the world. They are common place today for generating site traffic and influencing, if not directly impacting, sales and revenue. Multilingual digital marketing is crucial for today’s digital retailers. Each campaign must contain consistent concepts and brand messages and should be adapted to meet the local nuances and cultural preferences. The same applies for search engine marketing, also known as paid campaigns. Each geography has different leading search engines and terms, tags and meta data may need to be localized, as consumers will search for different phrases, depending on where they reside.

Special Note: Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide, works with a number of leading brands to develop multilingual digital marketing campaigns and SEO programs using professional linguistic copywriters and clever global search engine specialists to ensure online marketing campaigns maximize their potential.

EMAIL MARKETING: Reaching consumers through email is a valuable one-to-one communication tool. As many online retailers are reliant on collating consumer information, tastes and preferences, email is still considered an excellent medium to reach consumers with incredibly tailored messages based on previous purchases and other demographic information. To keep a consistent consumer journey, if websites and online purchases have been made in a local language, follow-up promotional and contact email communications must also be in the same “originating” language, style and tone.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND UGC: Social media and user generated content (UGC) has experienced a meteoric rise over the past decade. As more global consumers have gained access to the Internet, they have also gained a “voice” where they can easily publish their opinion and reviews of products and brands. This online experience is then amplified through use of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Development of multilingual social media and UGC programs are often not a priority localization strategy. This is likely a result of volume. There is so much UGC to consider and content marketers are often unsure how to approach the localization of UGC. Plus, there’s the perception that the localization budget won’t cover the translation of millions of word of UGC. The facts are, perception is not reality.

Welocalize processes millions of words of UGC for global brands using automation and language technology to minimize costs for our clients. Machine translation is one way organizations can use language technology to translate and republish UGC. This can reap benefits as online consumers are more likely to trust third party opinion rather than company paid media campaigns. Social media is an excellent way to gain visibility and reputation in new geographical markets. See Welocalize white paper, A Welocalize Guide for Global Content Marketers to UGC.

CONSUMER SUPPORT: Consumer support is a critical touchpoint for retailers and e-commerce organizations. Consumers remember good post-purchase support and it can reduce operational costs with lower levels of product returns and problem resolution. The online marketplace is so competitive, consumer loyalty is essential. The ability to talk to a support representative in a native language, whether over the phone or in online chat, will increase consumer happiness and loyalty. Other consumer support materials, such as FAQs, must also be localized to gain loyalty in your target languages.

RETAIL OUTLETS: Many e-commerce organizations, such as Amazon and E-Bay, also maintain traditional bricks and mortar outlets. From in-store promotions to billboard advertising, any content featured in physical stores also requires localization. Point-of-sale or point-of-purchase is a key process in retail transactions and communications at this stage must reflect a truly local experience.

Understanding the consumer journey and identifying touch points is critical for success for retailers and consumer organizations, in particular those conducting business through e-commerce. Each brand interaction must be tailored and personalized to consumer preferences and this means localizing different types of content to suit each unique language and culture. If you want to really connect to the buyer, speak their language!

Monique

Monique.nguyen@welocalize.com

Based in California, Monique Nguyen is Regional Enterprise Sales Director at Welocalize.

 

 

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.

The Globalization of Online Shopping

Online Shopping Purchasing Commercial Electronic ConceptRapidly evolving technologies, changing demographics and consumer preferences has created a wealth of change in the consumer product industry. According to an annual survey of more than 5,000 online shoppers by United Parcel Service Inc., for the first time, US consumers say they bought more of their purchases on the web than in stores. The survey took place in early 2016.

Shoppers now make 51% of their purchases on the web, which demonstrates how the adoption of online shopping is accelerating. The same study outlined how 44% of smartphone users said they made a purchase from their device (63% being millennials). A study by Forrester estimated that more than half of the population, about 190 million US consumers, will shop online in 2016.

In 2015, B2C e-commerce sales worldwide totaled $1,700 billion with sales forecast to reach $2,356 billion in 2018. Statista

This shift in online purchasing patterns, driven by technology, has created a challenge for online and traditional store retailers and consumer organizations, impacting their overall globalization strategy. Here are a few facts to support the trends of growing e-commerce.

EVERYONE CAN BUY ONLINE

Providing there is access to the Internet, consumers can access most online stores and brands. This means retailers who were locally-focused now have the opportunity to serve and communicate with a global audience. This impacts the overall business and marketing strategy as product, marketing and delivery as the retailer now has to speak to a wider local audience. Digital communications, websites, pricing and delivery pages, advertising campaigns and customer support have to reach local audiences. If a brand doesn’t have an online e-commerce presence, then as the statistics indicate, they soon lose out to the competition. This has altered the business model for many retailers. The overall landscape of the high street has changed as many retailers are investing in the e-commerce side of the business.

IMPACT ON BRAND LOYALTY

Visiting a local mall or shopping center may provide buyers with two or three like product choices. There is relatively limited purchasing decisions. Online, the choices can be endless. Consumers are far more in control of their purchase. From the comfort of their own home, whether on a laptop or smartphone, they can browse many product options, compare prices and also undertake extensive research on products and what other consumer’s think of each brand. They can also publish feedback once they’ve made their purchase or what they found online.

The online market is more crowded than ever and online consumers have more choice. This severely impacts brand loyalty. Online consumers are less loyal to brands due to an increasingly busy and competitive online marketplace. Developing targeted digital marketing campaigns is one way to make your products and services stand out. Global online marketing is an important component of the overall globalization process. Campaigns have to be culturally and linguistically targeted. Simply translating the text will not get the right results and outcome. Each campaign has to be adapted by marketing and localization specialists.

LOCAL IP, PATENT & LEGAL REGULATIONS

With increased e-commerce activity, consumer product companies must ensure legal and regulatory communications are in the right language. This could include basic requirements, for example, publishing terms and conditions documents in the relevant language of each country. Any online commercial activity must meet the necessary commercial, legal and regulatory requirements of each country they trade in. Companies must also ensure their patents and IP are protected in all the countries they are trading in to prevent possible infringements.

CULTURALLY ADAPTED DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

To reach a global audience, content must “speak” the local language. In addition to legal and regulatory communications, any branded or company information published online must be appropriate to its target audience. If products and services are sold around the world, then any interaction with consumers has to be in the right language and culturally appropriate. Websites, payment systems, advertising, terms and conditions, customer support, product packaging, social media content are all content types that require careful localization to meet local consumer and legal requirements. The content should go through a cultural adaptation process.

If you install a billboard in a particular city, then you know what language the people walking past it will speak. In an online e-commerce situation, certain content will be accessed globally and needs to pass the drive-by billboard test.

BEING DISCOVERED

In a physical consumer outlet and store, retailers know the local competition and have a good idea of the volume and demographics of potential shoppers. Online, brands must take special considerations to be easily found to get consumers to “visit” the online store. Multilingual search optimization strategies are critical if the outreach is intentional and expected to return measurable results.

For e-commerce organizations, online real estate is crowded and expensive and large amounts of money are invested in paid search listings to get high ranks on the popular search engines. Localizing SEO is also an vital. Getting people to visit your online store means getting into their mind-set on what they might enter in their search engine, in the right language. Audits of key words by language and geography are essential. Don’t just translate your keywords, research them. Utilize the experts like Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide.

Although the landscape of the “big box” and local retailer is changing, the future of bricks and mortar is still strong as many retailers and consumer product outlets need a physical presence as well as an online one. E-commerce giant Amazon opened its first brick and mortar outlet in Seattle in November 2015. However, to gain the attention and dollars of consumers, over and above the competition, organizations in the consumer products industry must focus attention on online shopping and recognize the importance of globalization and culturally adapting all consumer touch points to succeed in a very competitive environment.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize

 

A Welocalize Guide for Multilingual User Generated Content

user generated contentOne of the significant growth areas for global content marketers to influence buyers and enhance the customer experience has been the rise in user generated content (UGC). Every second millions of network generated comments, blogs, posts, and reviews are published digitally on hundreds of media platforms and channels around the world. How should global brands respond? The challenges of being faced with the volumes of real-time experiences can be overwhelming. Yet, there are many organizations that realizing there are great benefits in localizing, testing, adapting and translating content in multiple languages.

Welocalize has released an extensive guide with valuable insights for content marketers and localization professionals on how to manage multilingual UGC.

Get your copy now! Click here: A Welocalize Guide for Global Content Marketers to UGC

UGC gives many organizations the chance to promote brands and share product knowledge on a global scale, reaping significant rewards in terms of brand awareness and increased equity across our expansive digitally connected world. From social media to product forums, this network generated content is highly valuable as it can build brand equity in highly competitive markets, help promote further sales and penetrate new and emerging markets.

In fact, 25% of search results for the world’s largest brands are links to UGC (Kissmetrics) and 84% of millennials report that UGC on company websites has at least some influence on what they buy (Bazaarvoice).

Ready to learn more? Welocalize’s new white paper looks at all aspects relating to network and user generated content and its role in today’s online digital marketing strategies.

What you will learn in A Welocalize Guide for Global Content Marketers to UGC:

1. OVERVIEW
2. THE RISE IN USER GENERATED CONTENT
3. CHANGE IN BUYERS HABITS
4. THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
5. CREATORS OF USER GENERATED CONTENT
6. WHY GLOBAL MARKETERS SHOULD LOCALIZE USER GENERATED CONTENT
7. CHALLENGES CREATED BY USER GENERATED CONTENT
8. BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN CONTENT MARKETING AND LANGUAGE SERVICES
9. METHODS TO CULTURALLY ADAPT AND LOCALIZE USER GENERATED CONTENT
10. UGC CASE STUDY
11. WELOCALIZE USER GENERATED CONTENT SOLUTIONS

This white paper is a must-read for digital content marketers and localization professionals who want to maximize the impact and value of any UGC.

DOWNLOAD A Welocalize Guide for Global Content Marketers to UGC NOW!

You may also like:

Nine Really Interesting Statistics Why Localizing UGC Matters

Ten Reasons Why Companies Need Multilingual UGC

UGC in Modern-Day Localization

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.

 

Six Reasons Why You Need a Global Web and SEO Strategy

Global computer communication conceptA strong international web presence containing useful, unique content that has been optimized for all local markets makes a good global web and SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Being mobile-friendly helps too when you are reaching out on the worldwide web. It’s all about making a great online customer journey that is relevant and experiential to your brand. It begins by knowing your audience and putting them at the forefront of your global digital experience with the alignment to targeting your reach, driving awareness, and increasing engagement.

To develop and drive a successful global web and SEO strategy, it also involves many multi-functional players within the entire organization. It starts with marketing, and for the best results should include product marketing, translation, globalization and localization, product management, development, corporate communications, HR, web design and creative agencies, IT and finance. Each team has different skills, processes and disciplines and important messages they want to communicate to their targets, whether partners, employees, consumers, industry leaders or competition. Web should be inclusive to be global.

To work together, there must be shared goals and objectives to create a harmonious working environment. Here are six reasons why you need a global approach to your web and SEO strategy:

#1 – Making your digital marketing activities and websites accessible, appealing and readable to local, multilingual audiences will increase your global reach. Having a website in one language with one SEO approach will restrict potential users. The more potential customers you engage and are visible with, the more your brand equity will rocket.

#2 – A multilingual and multicultural web and digital marketing approach helps you establish and grow your brand. It will facilitate new sales inquiries, e-commerce transactions, global customer support and order fulfilling processes.

#3 – Having multiple websites automatically generates big data. Global sales and marketing organizations can use web analytics to analyse data and online user activity to further develop international product and service offerings.

#4 – Multilingual websites can facilitate local product reviews and customer feedback. This will get you higher SEO rankings. The more network generated content that is posted by third parties, the more unique content the website is showing. Most leading global search engines really like this!

#5 – Country targeted digital marketing campaigns in local language will have local language landing pages. Generating Spanish banner digital campaigns with customers clicking through to the English language website will put people off. It is a bad online experience and one that will be ended quickly.

#6 – A global web and SEO approach provides a better online experience for customers. Delivering value and satisfaction to the customer is an overall objectives shared throughout any global organization. A culturally adapted web experience, that can be easily found, will delight customers, establish loyalty and keep them coming back.

When you achieve good web presence and SEO ranking in target search engines – don’t stop! Good global SEO can be short-lived and something you need to have an eye on at all times. There are ever-emerging technologies and algorithms being adopted by search engines. Unique, relevant web content must be posted regularly to keep the leading search engines happy. Team up with a partner who can create source and multilingual content with good optimization and they will make sure SEO rankings and user sessions stay at the desired levels.

For more information on Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide and their expertise in multilingual SEO practices, click here.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

FURTHER READING:

Why Multilingual Digital Content is Really King by Robbie Reddy, Creative Director at Adapt Worldwide

Digital is the Primary Global Media Channel by Huw Aveston, Co-Managing Director at Adapt Worldwide

SEO & Search Localization for Global Digital Marketing by Gurdeep Gola, SEO Director at Adapt Worldwide

 

 

 

Ten Insightful Tips for Good Web Content Localization

Creative abstract global computer communication and internet business telecommunication concept: macro view of crystal Earth globe on laptop or notebook keyboard with selective focus effect

For every web user, it’s all about content and experience. Regardless of where a user is based, the “quality of translation” will mean nothing to them. Web users simply want good content that gives them a natural online experience. Translated web content should not be considered an extension of the original source content. Each language website is a separate and valuable digital asset. Web content must be tailored to target, multilingual and multicultural audiences.

Here are some industry expert tips for website localization:

  • Know Your Audience. First and foremost, know who will be reading and engaging with your web content. This must include definitions by country, language, demographics, cultural preferences, access to technology, dominant payments systems, legal and financial regulations and much more. You may need more than one language variant for each country. For example, in Switzerland, there are four language spoken with varying cultures. Giving the user the option to choose a language rather than country allows better targeting.
  • Cultural Adaptation. Local language web content must be developed for that specific audience. This process will involve a combination of localization, translation, internationalization and transcreation. Some technical content, for example product support FAQs, must be accurately translated and stay close to the source. For more subjective marketing content, linguistic copywriters can provide content, which retains the overall concept and brand values, utilizing marketing copy that is written specifically for the target, local audience.
  • Teamwork is Global. Work with cross-functional teams. This means many internal teams working towards similar goals and objectives. Localization and language service buyers, as well as marketing, IT, web design, development all play an important role in developing web content and must establish good communication and teamwork. Sharing the same goals and objectives at a cross-functional level will help working relationships and produce effective multilingual web content.
  • Be Discovered. Having an awesome multilingual web experience is a waste of time if no one can find you. Multilingual SEO and SEM are keys to success. It’s not a case of translating key words used for the source web content. Unique key words for SEO purposes that are specific to the target audience must be identified in advance of publishing our web content.
  • Support Local Payment Systems. Not everyone uses PayPal. In China, Alipay is the most widely used online payment method. In the Netherlands, people are used to paying through the secure e-commerce payment system, iDEAL. If e-commerce is part of your web experience, understand the security and global restrictions in currency and payment methods.
  • Listen to Users. Once you have launched multilingual web content, pay attention to what users are saying about you in social media and online forums. If there is a glitch or cultural error in web content, you can guarantee it will be openly discussed. Understanding user generated content (UGC) in all languages can help stay aligned to users and customers.
  • Reading Styles Matter. People consume web content in different ways. In the west, many people read a web page in an F-shaped pattern. Arabic countries read right to left therefore F-shape approach will not work. The same layout for every language version will not work.
  • Text Expansion Rules. Allow for text expansion in spacing. Russian is 40% longer than English! How much character room do you need on a web page for it to be consumed and adherent to your style guidelines? Prepare and plan for all languages or you will need to create customized sites per language.
  • Use Internationalization Standards. The process of adapting software to different languages to meet national standards. Elements can include UI, date displays, calendars, currencies, public holidays, address layout, telephone number format and much more. Good internationalization not only meets the needs of users, but also may be a legal requirement for local regulatory standards.
  • Accommodate Mobile Platforms. If users are accessing web content via mobile devices, then your web content has to be adapted for mobile too. Reading content from a mobile device is totally different from reading content on a laptop. Mobile users tend to look at images more than text – remember they could be on the move. The same applies for scrolling. Key messages have to stand out at the top with concise messaging to avoid scrolling.

One final word of advice is remember to keep refreshing and developing new content for all websites. This will keep online users engaged and also keep sites ranked high in the relevant search engines, whether it is for Google, Baidu, Qihoo 360, Naver, Yandex or Yahoo! Japan. When you need expertise in web localization, give us a shout! Our web experts can help guide you through the right questions based on best practices and proven digital marketing industry leadership.

Good luck!

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Four Tips to Increase Effectiveness of In-Country Reviews

By Bruno Herrmann, Digital Globalization and Localization Director, The Nielsen Company

hermann-bruno-300x300_compressed-compressorLocalized content has to be engaging to be effective. This cannot be achieved without a robust content supply and value chain. In a governance model built on central management combined with local empowerment, the in-market review and sign off phase remains truly challenging and pushes all parties to move out of their respective comfort zone. For global content owners and globalization leaders, it means ensuring reviewers make the most of their time and keep consistency and coherence across various markets. For in-country and market reviewers, it requires a blend of local centricity and global awareness.

Here are a few words of advice to pave the way to in-country review effectiveness and success:

#1 – Select the right reviewer profile: Every multilingual person is neither a linguist nor a reviewer by default. It takes skill and experience to sign off on localized content, especially when someone else has written the source content. Reviewers need the expected level of proficiency in all languages he or she has to review content in, including the source language. How could someone be requested to review content in his or her mother tongue without understanding the meaning of the original message? This is even more important for narrative or descriptive content often contained in creative, marketing documentation. Reviewers must master what makes content engaging and memorable within their market. To do this well, they have to walk in the shoes of local customers and see localized content primarily through their eyes.

#2 – Increase awareness and understanding: Delayed traction and poor quality during review efforts are often caused by a lack of control. This lack of control often comes from unnecessary iterations, wrong assumptions or missed actions. The globalization framework and objectives must be explained relentlessly and thoroughly. Reviewers have to grasp localization enablers and drivers to feel energized and equipped to work well.

#3 – Enforce standards, guidelines and conventions: It goes without saying, yet not without doing. There is no question that reviewers must be guided by the necessary brand standards in linguistics, style and terminology. Equally important are guidelines and conventions in areas that can make or break local content experiences. Any content is likely to be seen in a subjective fashion – so is localized content. It is crucial to instill rationality, context and centricity in review phases to make them time and cost effective. Localized content is produced for local customers and this imperative should be kept in mind throughout the whole localization process. In-market reviewers have to sign off on localized content on behalf of their customers, not in their own names. It is quite difficult for human beings to move away from subjective considerations so they need guidance and tools to remind them about how far and deep they should go. Guidelines related to local customer segments, demographics, market requirements and content types must empower reviewers to make changes in order to make content effective, not more personally enjoyable. They must focus on changes that add value and are corrective instead of preferential. For content owners, providing guidelines and in-context information is a safe way to ensure the integrity of localized content from a multi-market perspective. Creativity is important globally and locally too. It has to be balanced with content effectiveness and customer experience at all times.

#4 – Plan carefully and automate wisely: Another source of stress and inefficiency lies in planning weaknesses. Managing localization in a timely manner remains a challenge. In-country review phases sometimes turn out to be major pain points as they involve people who usually do not participate to other phases of the localization process. Therefore they may be looped in too late and face conflicts with other activities. These conflicts may be worse if signing off on localized content is a hidden responsibility and side task within their role. That is why proper planning should go hand in hand with official recognition. Counting on people’s good will or luck will not work. Planning and streamlining localization phases can be facilitated by automation. In-country review may be incorporated into the workflows of a translation management system (TMS) to make it more fluid and connected. If such a system is not in place, it may be more automated by leveraging some features in the content management systems (CMS) or with simple tasks, for example, sharing calendars.

DSC01302Regardless of the type or number of initiatives that are taken to enhance in-country reviews, reviewing localized content in the interest of all parties is paramount. That involves cross-functional teams communicating and working together to achieve shared objectives. You have to gain global buy-in to get quick wins and achieve sustainable performance for all localized content.

Bruno

Bruno Herrmann is Digital Globalization and Localization Director at The Nielsen Company. Bruno took part as a panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2016 in Dublin for the session, Optimizing In-Country Reviews.

 

What Localization Buyers Really Really Want

stevem_dublin2016by Steve Maule

Traveling back from Dublin after attending another great Welocalize LocLeaders event and Localization World conference, I thought about some key content I gathered from the various presentations, discussions and meetings. Simply listening and talking with localization colleagues and clients, I learned so much more about key topics within the globalization and localization industry and what keeps localization leaders up at night.

At LocLeaders Forum 2016 Dublin and LocWorld31, I spent time with many of Welocalize’s valued new and long-term clients and there were a number of thoughts that circulated before, during and after the event. In addition to the main discussion points that took place at LocLeaders Dublin, here are some of the main questions that cropped up and that we addressed in our conversations last week. I added some of my own insights. Sharing these will help other organizations to understand the latest common localization issues.

Questions from Localization Buyers at LocWorld and LocLeaders:

I would like to learn from other companies and localization managers what their biggest challenges are in trying to mature the localization process within their organization.”

LocLeaders 2016 Dublin SmithAttend industry events like LocLeaders and LocWorld! You will get open, transparent discussion and shared experience from colleagues and experts. Follow language service buyers and industry thought leaders on social media, including @Welocalize @Adaptww and @ParkIPTrans. Read reports from relevant research and industry organizations like Common Sense Advisory (CSA) and TAUS. There are valuable publications and news updates you will receive from Multilingual Magazine and Slator News.

Smith Key Performance Indicators LocWorld“What quality KPIs and hierarchy of operational and production metrics do other clients use?”

Localization buyers were very frank, tt varies. Quality is a moving target. In today’s globalization activities, it depends on content type, industry and business goals. One approach to quality and KPIs does not suit all. Different content types and industries have different quality expectations. For technical content, you need high levels of quality and more rigid KPIs, for more creative and low impact content, quality will vary and needs to be flexible. Expecting an industry standard for all ignores the requirement to align quality to business outcomes.

“What internal team structures have proved successful for other companies?”

In Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell’s opening presentation at LocLeaders Dublin, he referred to the fact that localization can have a centralized and decentralized approach and be successful. There has to be some form of central body and responsibility; however, there are many organizations where decentralized models also work best. The shift we see is moving toward a more variable cost balance to help clients manage risk to achieving business goals and targets, which may require smaller numbers of full-time employees supported by resources that are provided by an LSP (language services provider).

“How do I get buy-in from the rest of the business and demonstrate cost-efficiencies within localization?”

Communication and education are fundamental. Talk to colleagues and stakeholders on the importance and benefits of localization. It is always surprising how many people are not aware of the importance of a good localization program and how it can help to increase international revenue. Take part in presentations, share results and analyses and distribute internal communications. Having an internal web presence will help give the localization function brand identity. Running joint internal marketing programs with existing LSPs will also help get additional buy-in and support. Any internal communication campaign will get increased visibility of globalization activities, especially if you can include expamples of how you are helping others in the organization achieve their goals.

“How can I measure the return on content?”

For some content types this is tricky and it is bundled up with the overall sale of a product. For example, if you have developed a number of technical manuals to enter a new language market, you could attribute all new sales to localization. There are other factors involved in launching a product in a new market. Localization is one success factor. For multilingual digital campaigns, you can measure the return on translation investment by calculating cost per click and conversion rates for each language variant. Huw Aveston, co-managing director of Welocalize’s multilingual digital agency, Adapt Worldwide talked about how localization translates to sales and revenue. If you’re translating digital content, you can easily measure click through and conversions using some basic analytic tools.

“What are the latest options in terms of CMS integration and improving context for translators working with CAT tools?”

In-context translation and review is now recognized to be an importance factor in successful localization. There are many technologies utilized by Welocalize which help get the right information and metadata to the right people, enabling CMS to work with TMS. We develop many connectors to enable data to flow between the various translation and authoring tools. READ MORE HERE.

Understanding what buyers of localization want is of utmost importance to Welocalize. The challenges, issues and strategic goals that drive globalization must be shared within the industry and LSPs have to continually gather inputs to make sure we continue to deliver excellence. There were some great conversations in Dublin. Thanks to everyone I met and who provided me with insights. Look forward to seeing you all again next year in Barcelona!

Steve and Emma at LocWorldSteve

Steve.maule@welocalize.com

Steve Maule is Business Development Director at Welocalize.

 

 

Evolution of Transcreation in Digital Marketing

Flowchart on a chalk board. World globe.

When businesses look to globalize and publish digital content to reach local audiences, a common stumbling block is the simple confusion between direct translation and transcreation. Although they may sound similar they are very different and can ultimately make an impact on the success of your brand or product in your desired target country.

Transcreation is not just a term used by advertising and marketing professionals, it is an important part of the overall globalization and localization program. Transcreation is the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. Think cultural adaptation.

A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language. Increasingly, transcreation is more commonly used in global marketing and advertising campaigns as advertisers seek to transcend the boundaries of culture and language. It also takes account of images and multimedia used within a marketing message, ensuring that they are culturally adapted to properly engage the target audience.

The growth and development of transcreation in content marketing has helped many companies to grow expand geographies, open new markets and carry on conversations in new languages. However, as the world becomes more connected and technologies continue to grow, the transcreation process has to adapt to meet the many changing digital touch points of a consumer’s buying journey. The growth of technology and smart devices has spurred the growth of mobile marketing. Mobile marketing encompasses paid advertisements on apps, making their ads, promotions and videos on formats suitable for mobile and tablet devices via Internet browsing, social media and emails.

A large growth area for transcreation is within mobile app localization. According to a report by Statista Apple’s app store is growing by over 1,000 apps a day and there are over 1.5 million apps on the iOS app store already. The growth at which the app market has grown and is maturing makes it harder apps to be visible among millions of global online shoppers. To ensure your app will be found and downloaded globally, app store localization is becoming a crucial part of app store optimization.

With the uniqueness of app localization and continuous adaptations and updates to meet changing requirements and algorithms, localization of apps are predominantly carried out using a transcreation approach. Mobile apps have low content volumes and minimalist UI’s so they require a high level of transcreation and are not suited for MT or straight translation. Mobile app localization encompasses transcreation of the app store description page, app title and keywords for SEO purposes.

The Common Sense Advisory published a report in January 2016 titled “Mobile App Localization,” which stated that “companies are increasingly offering more choice in terms of languages and dialects for their mobile apps, recognizing the personalization and uniqueness that smart devices offer individual users.”

If you don’t localize your digital content for your target market, whether it’s social media, banner advertisement or mobile apps, it may be automatically translated by Google when viewed from a foreign IP address. This translation may turn out to be completely inaccurate and have the exact opposite results by losing your global audience and consumer.

To learn more about transcreation and app store localization please take a look at other Welocalize blogs, What is Transcreation, Examples of Successful Transcreation, Welocalize Guide to App Store Localization and Welocalize Tips for App Store Optimization.

Emma

Emma.cox@welocalize.com

Through Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency, we help brands expand their global reach across markets and platforms. The Adapt Worldwide ASO service include multilingual market localization, keyword research and analysis, description optimization, screenshot creation, online PR and much more.

 

 

SEO and Search Localization for Global Digital Marketing

175_CreativeFocusIncDigital ads will lead the way for global media growth in the next four years, accounting for 33% of total advertising revenue, nearly catching TV in the process. So it’s no surprise that marketing dollars are widely being invested to make advertising more relevant across global markets and languages using translation. A lot of advertisers can get localization and translation wrong, especially in the digital and search marketing space.

There are few situations where direct translation works, and international search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) efforts are not examples. Translating English search ads and into Spanish may seem like the quickest way of having a local presence, but what you really have is an English-turned-Spanish text, which has gained no more local relevance from its language-switch, and may even end up costing you sales due to this cultural detachment. Tailoring digital content and SEO and SEM strategies to target local search queries in the culture and language you are writing for is the key to success across worldwide markets.

So how can you write digital marketing copy that helps you keep up with the Jones’, the Garcia’s, and the Schmidt’s?

Knowledge is Power

The Internet is a world unto itself, one where each country operates in its own distinct way, and where language is more powerful than ever – as is knowing how to use it.

This is particularly true across many regions and continents, with DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) being one of them. These countries may share the common language of German, but all use it in a very different way online. The word for “pencil case”, for instance, may translate to federmäppchen in Southern Germany but would be known as federtasche in Northern Germany, and federpennal in Austria. Not being able to accommodate for these variations may mean that, while your translation is working well in one part of Germany, you’ve lost out in the rest of the DACH region.

Keywords aren’t particularly resilient against translation, so having local knowledge of what people are searching for, in their native language, is imperative. This is far beyond what simple translation can achieve and requires active research into the market you are looking to become part of, all of which will pay greater dividends than any translation job.

Running local keyword research is vital to understanding these nuances across markets. This research can also tell you what doesn’t actually need any translation at all. For example, Italian jet-setters scouring the internet for their next flight commonly include the English words “low cost” rather than the Italian equivalent. If you opt for a straight Italian translation, you’d miss opportunities and potential sales. English buzz words like this hold relevance online in a wide range of countries, perhaps more so than their native terms.

All these issues are easily avoided by adopting the target language from the beginning. Redirecting the time and resources placed on translation into transcreation results in fully authentic content for the market you are aiming for. Driving a multilingual digital marketing and SEO strategy will successfully negate the cultural barrier that may stand between you and your customer, your webpage and your Google ranking, and ultimately online conversions and sales.

Words and Pictures

Wrestling with word limitations is also likely to stop your translated text in its tracks. Translations for search can appear clumsy or overly ‘wordy’ and needlessly eat up your allocated word count in an SEO and SEM campaign. A bit of localization magic can give you effective, fully relevant ad copy that falls within your word limit and better suits your target market. For example the phrase, “Half price” is replaced by “half off” in American English. That’s two precious characters in SEM ad space wasted on a term that isn’t even relevant for the US market. For languages that use different alphabets, then Google’s pixel limitations will also need to be taken into account. In Russian, for example, the vast majority of English translations will be far too long.

Optimization also trumps translation in the wider picture of your website. Alt tags on imagery, for example, are easily overlooked when translating a page. Writing in the target language from content conception with optimization at the point of production means every inch of your page will be optimized for your country of choice.

Success in Search

Whether it’s lowering your cost per acquisition, or generating incremental revenue, optimization across search can maximize your spend efficiency. Using keyword research can help you to target the most appropriate multilingual terms across markets. This saves wasting budget on keywords that are directly translated from English with no guarantee of relevance.

Integrating optimization into the overall localization strategy ensures that SEO presence is perfectly tailored to local markets, and highly visible across all search engines. This allows your onsite content and online ads to get the greatest amount of impressions, clicks and conversions.

From an SEO perspective, optimized content will drive incremental traffic and maximize visitors from organic listings, allow them to find and fully engage with authentically created content and ultimately, converting to sales and revenue.

Gurdeep

Based in London, Gurdeep Gola is SEO Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency. To contact Gurdeep, email gurdeep.gola@adaptworldwide.com

Adapt 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

 

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

 

Adapt Worldwide Bridges Language Gaps in Digital Marketing

Interview with Huw Aveston, Co-Managing Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency

Huw AvestonIn February 2016, Welocalize announced the acquisition multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide, formerly known as Traffic Optimiser. Huw Aveston is one of Adapt Worldwide’s co-founders and now co-managing director. Huw is a digital marketing veteran having worked with more than 500 clients across travel, retail, finance, technology, consumer products, as well as marketing and advertising agencies. Welocalize Global Communications Manager, Louise Law, caught up with Huw to gain some of his latest insights into global digital content.

You founded Adapt Worldwide (formerly Traffic Optimiser) in 2010 with Chee Ho Wan. What inspired you to set up the company?

We felt that there was a gap in the market for digital expertise combined with language skills. The digital marketing space is changing all the time and it takes a lot of different people specializing in different fields for an agency to keep up with the pace. When you add in an international component, then it really becomes difficult to execute at a high level and that is where we saw the opportunity. We set out to build an agency that could do both and deliver multilingual digital marketing.

We created a core team in London that now covers all the core disciplines in digital marketing combined with native language speakers from over 22 different countries. Now that we are part of Welocalize, we are supported by a vast global network of offices and resources to deliver solutions to the world’s leading brands.

What are the current key drivers in global digital content?

I think the biggest driver is engagement. There are still far too many companies producing content that no one wants or that that people cannot find. In the rush to create content, a lot of companies do not find out what type of content people are looking for before they launch a campaign.

By taking a data-driven approach, you can produce great results from your content marketing. Pay attention to third party data like Google AdWords, YouTube statistics and social media analytics. This data can help companies decide what content should be produced and in which language. Companies must also use their own analytics and understand the various data points across their own platforms and websites. Look at website bounce rates, dwell times and levels of interaction with the different content types.

Content should always be tracked to a conversion point. This will help identify how content is contributing and whether it is helping overall sales and revenue targets. The data is out there already. Think about content before you produce it and you can nearly always exceed the performance of your rivals.

How will global brands continue to develop and publish digital content?

Content is really only just getting started; however, in a world where so much content is being produced, it can be hard to make an impact.

What we will see develop are the niche topics. You can see this happening already. If you type into YouTube – How Do I repair a dishwasher – you will see thousands of amateurs and small publishers creating content designed to help people. These are typically the smaller companies or individual bloggers. Brands will move into the content space with a greater focus on being knowledge leaders rather than self-publicists; their growing budgets will allow for greater quality and more authoritative content.

The success of this content will drive brand strength, which in turn will lend more weight and credibility to their content.

How do you consume digital content and media?

This depends on where I am and what I’m doing. When I’m in the gym, I’ll listen to podcasts from the Economist. When I’m on the London Tube, I’ll be reading blogs and if I’m on a long train or plane ride I might watch YouTube videos. When I’m in my living room, I’ll cast things straight to my television. I like to be able to access and use content in a way that suits me.

What’s your favorite type of digital content?

Video. I’m dyslexic and I prefer to learn audibly rather than to read large block of information. When I’m brushing up on the latest trends in my industry I’ll usually listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video.

What gadget can’t you live without?

My phone. It sounds a bit boring; however, modern smart phones have really become so good that I can complete 95% of my job from anywhere in the world. I think that WFP (work from phone) should really be introduced as a new acronym into our workplace.

How many languages can you speak?

Fluently, just one. I can get by in most of the countries I visit. Before I land anywhere, I always learn and rehearse the basics, please, thank you, yes, no, hello, goodbye etc. It’s no substitute for knowing someone’s language, though if you can at least showed that you have tried, I find it goes a long way to getting good reactions from people you meet.

You’re travelling a lot at the moment and being introduced at a number of Welocalize and key industry events. Which country or city are you looking forward to the most?

San Francisco. The unrivaled center of the digital world and still the where most of the innovation is happening, It is great to see that all the cities I’ve visit recently have their own tech and start up scenes. Our industry will become less centered on the West Coast as it grows, but for the time being the Bay area is still where it’s at when it comes to marketing, digital, technology and the like. We are spending this week in Portland and San Francisco at a series of Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize LocLeaders Local events. Join us and let’s get digitally connected.

Can you share some of your vision for Adapt Worldwide?

Adapt_Logo_Color-72ppi-300We have two main goals for the next three years. Firstly, to continue to build out more operational offices around the world. Having teams on the streets and near the clients is really important to building relationships and understand the culture of the central and local marketing departments.

Secondly, build on our crowd platform of digital marketing linguists. The crowd will give us greater scale, flexibility and more competitive costs which we can pass onto our clients.

Huw Aveston will be joining Smith Yewell, Welocalize CEO and Paul McManus, Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize, to host Welocalize Locleaders Dublin 2016 event. As is tradition with LocLeaders, we will be hosting a series of moderated panel discussions with localization leaders from leading global organizations with a theme of Expanding Your Global Reach. Welocalize LocLeaders Dublin will be taking place on Wednesday, June 8 a at No. 6 Kildare Street, home of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland since 1864. For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Adapt 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 16 global offices, Welocalize acquired Adapt Worldwide in 2015. Adapt Worldwide was formerly known as Traffic Optimiser. www.adaptworldwide.com

To contact Huw, reach out to huw.aveston@adaptworldwide.com.

Six Expert Insights on E-Commerce Localization

Launching global e-commerce sites is a relatively fast and effective way to reach new markets, compared to the traditional brick and mortar retail business models. Online retailers know that adding language sites, with the right delivery and support infrastructure, helps to expand market share and grow revenue. Trading online can also have its share of challenges and risks. Your valuable brand needs global representation if you want to maximize sales. You want to properly invest in knowing your buyer in each target market, including language preferences. This begins by evaluating the relevant marketing psycho, socio and demographic details of your target consumer in order to gain brand awareness, consumer engagement and revenue growth in each market.

Online commerce is a highly competitive market and online consumers can be fickle. With so much choice, they often lack loyalty and will think nothing about switching brands if you don’t deliver your “brand” promise. Because e-commerce giants have so much buyer power, if you are competing purely on price, then you have a challenge on your hands. You need to differentiate your e-commerce by creating a personal and unique online experience and a good localization strategy can help you achieve that by speaking the language of your target buyer.

To reach international markets, successful e-commerce goes way beyond simply translating a website. There are many different factors that any new or existing e-commerce organization can consider as part of their strategy:

INSIGHT ONE: Have localized knowledge on online spending habits

Knowing the demographics and culturally preferences of your target audiences is crucial. As is knowing when popular online shopping days take place. You can then time online promotions and pricing models accordingly and if necessary, increase delivery operations if increased demand is expected.

The Thanksgiving holiday (celebrated in the US on fourth Thursday in November) and the following “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” days at the end of November are days where online retailers cut prices to encourage mass spending. E-tailers make the most of the fact people are not at work and are looking for bargains in the run up to Christmas. In 2015, online shoppers spent $4.45 billion online on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. This surge in online shopping also takes place in the UK. Shoppers spent a record £1.1 billion with UK online retailers on Black Monday. UK retailing giant, John Lewis, said Black Friday was its biggest day of retailing.

China has a similar day, known as Singles Day. It is one of the largest online shopping days in the world. Sales on Alibaba sites in 2015 reached $14.3 billion. Take advantage of shopping days around the world.

INSIGHT TWO: Develop and localize a mobile app

M-commerce is outpacing e-commerce three-to-one (pymnts.com). According to a report by PayPal, mobile accounts for 20% of its overall purchase volume worldwide. 33% of online shoppers say they’ve used a smart phone to make a purchase. In a recent article on Computerweekly.com, PayPal’s director of mobile commerce warns retailers that mobile payments should be a top priority to provide the experience consumers want for shopping online.

Any online retailer must consider purchasing or developing an app to enable mobile purchase for all languages and local markets. All web, product, marketing and customer support information has to be readable and accessible in all target languages for the relevant mobile platforms.

INSIGHT THREE: Awareness of trading laws and local regulations

Localization of e-commerce is not simply translating the website into another language. International and local trading laws and regulations. For example, taxes, product returns and refunds, financial transactions, currencies must all be localized. Any purchase instrument, which acts as an important part of the e-commerce site, must be able to trade with local currency and process whatever credit or debit cards are used for each country.

INSIGHT FOUR: Build localized digital marketing campaigns for each market

Rolling out a global digital marketing campaign does not mean creating one campaign then just translating words. Build individual campaigns from scratch. Directly translating existing campaigns will not work. Marketing materials like PPC and banner campaigns need to be recreated to meet cultural differences and the different online consumer habits. This approach applies to online search-ability. Simply translating keywords won’t get you discovered. Multilingual digital marketing requires knowledge into local buyer behavior and how local shoppers think. What words will be keyed into which search engine? Someone in China will go to a different search engine than someone in the US and both will use different keywords to search for the same item.

INSIGHT FIVE: Social media listening and localization of UGC

The e-commerce model is pretty much driven by consumer reviews, ratings, social media posts and forum discussions, what is defined as user generated feedback (UGC). Online consumers have so much information at their fingertips, they can read product reviews by people all over the world – good and bad. Today’s savvy online shoppers will be vocal about the e-commerce experience. Online retailers can benefit from understanding what is being said about their service and products. Machine translation (MT) can help quickly translate high volumes of content so e-tailers can be aware what people are saying about them and act accordingly. This information can be used to improve product and the overall online experience. Social media monitoring enables global organizations to continuously develop, learn and evolve the online shopping experience.

INSIGHT SIX: Website localization

The main landing page is very important to any e-commerce organization, including the domain name. Online consumers want to see .co.uk, .com, .fr, .cn when they land on the site. Having a country specific domain is a key part in the overall localization process.

For the main landing page, the content on the homepage is very valuable and must reflect local tastes and habits. For example, big retailers like Amazon will often promote top-selling electronic products on their main Japanese page, because this is the main product group people in Japan are searching for. The landing page for Amazon in the UK or Amazon in the US will differ, depending on current tastes and trends.

Establishing a globally recognized e-commerce brand involves many strategic marketing decisions about localizing websites and UI , executing multilingual digital marketing campaigns and intelligently analyzing social media posts to drive influence. Many of these activities are best achieved by teaming up with a strategic localization partner to provide expert insights, helping guide you to success. Welocalize experts work with many leading e-commerce brands, to create a truly global strategy that feels local and personal to the individual online shopper. Welocalize recently announced the acquisition of Adapt Worldwide, a multilingual digital marketing agency, to enable global brands to reach online consumers in multiple digital channels. Click here for more information.

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Mobile Marketing and Social Media are Required for Global Reach

175791939The usage of smartphones phones is on the up and global marketers should make a resolution to use mobile as a key branding platform in 2015. The dramatic increase in the use of mobile as a platform has altered the business and marketing environment.

According to a report by eMarketer, the global smartphone audience will have reached 1.75 billion by the end of 2014. In a 2014 report by Nielsen, US adults spend on average 34 hours per month using the mobile Internet (compared to 27 hours using PC Internet). This shift towards mobile has changed the way we access content and marketing materials. This presents global marketers with new and exciting ways to engage with customers and generate sales. Teamed with the rapid growth of social media, these two modern-day phenomena’s have changed the way we market to our customers around the world.

Here are three reasons why you should integrate mobile social media marketing into your global marketing strategy:

It is Widely Used for Communication

Reaching local customers globally is tough, so mobile marketing is hard to ignore. It’s safe to say that the mobile phone is one of the most popular methods of communication. Use it to your advantage. Marketing via mobile shows that you are in touch and up-to-date with your industry and audience. If your audience is using mobile as a primary form for learning and communication, then so should you.

Social media now touches most of our lives with billions of posts and views every day. According to a recent Shareaholic study, the eight biggest social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube) contributed 31.24% of total traffic to Web sites in December 2014, up from 22.71% in December 2013.

These social media channels allow the ability to create and share of pictures, ideas and information. Running a social media campaign, using mobile as a key platform can be a good way to reach new, international audiences. If not you, consider your competition. People are constantly checking their various social media feeds and most of it is accessed via a smartphone. This type of marketing, for B2C and B2B, is proven effective for starting conversations and building brand awareness.

One very important consideration for publishing social media content through a mobile platform is language. If you are running a mobile marketing campaign, consider how the content will appear on a mobile platform and device. Smartphones have relatively small screens, so be selective with source content and make sure translation won’t lead to too much text expansion or misalignment. Plus, social media is a two-way engagement. You must be mindful of feedback and comments that may not be in the source language.

It is the Reality of Our World Now

Accessing social media networks via a smartphone actually boosts a user’s activity. You are 79% more likely to visit Twitter several times in the day if you access it via a smartphone. Three times as much content is shared via mobile than on a PC on Pinterest. Social media is becoming an important part of a marketer’s everyday life.

It is important to know how much of the world you can touch in a given tweet, post or share. Today, content needs to be thought of as universal and localized to benefit the global opportunity. Language is key, along with cultural awareness to ensure your content is viewed relative and favorably for your brand.

It Extends Your Reach to Growing Markets

Disregarding social media and mobile marketing means you are alienating at least two groups of people: adolescents and twenty-something’s, along with many of the inhabitants of BRICI countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia).

The BRICI countries (who are accountable for almost 15% of global GDP according to Boston Consulting Group) have four times as many mobile phone subscriptions than PCs, making mobile marketing extremely lucrative.

Smartphones and social media are the domain of many adolescents and millennials. Referred to as the “Net Generation,” this group spend a significant part of their day using social media. If you can tap into social media, you can tap into their world. This makes localizing your social media campaigns even more important. Campaigns will need to be adapted to meet the demographics and extend into BRICI country languages and cultural requirements to really be global.

Younger generations who have grown up on mobile, social media and the Internet will also have different content expectations. Some of the YouTube generation may expect content to be published in only English and therefore you may NOT have to translate the content. For other social media content, translating it to very high quality standards may be a waste of time and money. As long as users get the gist of product reviews, then they’re OK and it won’t reflect badly on the brand. This is viewed as customer sentiment.

These two groups are particularly important and opportunistic, as they promise longevity for your brand. Market to the younger generation and you have the opportunity of keeping them as customers for a longer period of time. Market to the BRICI countries and their surging economy can only mean market expansion.

Whatever medium you choose to market and communicate with your customers, whether it is through social media or your website, you can safely assume that your customers are likely to be accessing this through a smartphone. Including mobile social media marketing into your global marketing campaign not only means being up to date, it also secures your company’s brand recognition in the future. As well as formatting social media campaign to be compatible for mobile platforms, global marketers must also ensure they are speaking the right language, linguistically and culturally.

If you’re a global marketer looking to generate simultaneous global campaigns, find out more about Welocalize’s Global Marketing Localization Services, info@welocalize.com

Other Welocalize blogs on global marketing you might find interesting:

Go Local to Go Global: The Importance of Localized SEM for Global Marketing Campaigns

How to Localize Global Marketing: Welocalize & Videojet

Top 10 B2B Marketing Trends for 2015

What is Transcreation?

Examples of Successful Transcreation

Localizing Multimedia Learning Content: 6 Best Practices for Quality Audio Recordings

Hugh_headshotHugh Barford is Managing and Creative Director of HBV Studios – a production and consultancy house specializing in multi-language audio and video content for the localization, e-learning and digital marketing industries. HBV is one of Welocalize’s vendors for multimedia services. Hugh began his career in the industry as Senior Audio Director with Irish localization company Transware, before opening HBV Studios in 2008. Hugh is a professional voice talent himself, whose most recent projects included voicing Standard Chartered Bank’s global TV commercial campaign, and TV and documentary work for HBO and BBC.

In the first of a monthly series on best practices in localizing audio and video, Hugh looks at how to deliver quality audio recordings to clients.

Audio content (voiceover) has always been an integral piece of the localization solution. Many moons ago when I first started directing multi-language voiceovers, e-learning was the new frontier. Content creators were designing highly interactive course content, with any number of characters acting out role-plays and simulations. It is fun to work on; however, labour-intensive, cumbersome and expensive for the client.

Then the backlash… E-learning audio content was pared back to the basics. Gone were the multi-character role-play and in came a single voice to narrate the course content. Video content was nowhere to be seen.

164471532Since then, the wheel has turned again. Vastly increased bandwidth, new delivery platforms and the explosion in social media is resulting in a demand for media-rich content across a wider range of markets: digital advertising and marketing as well as traditional e-learning. And a lot of video. So in 2014, what are the best practices for developing quality multilingual audio?

Best Practice #1 – Start by Listening. Determine exactly what is required in terms of quality expectations and budget. E-learning content for an internal audience may have different budgetary and production requirements to, say, sales and marketing content. A top-end advertising piece for TV will require very high production values and will have a budget to match. From these discussions, a suitable solution can be arrived at.

Best Practice #2 – Voice Samples. To get the right quality, all candidates must undergo a stringent audition process, at which they must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with different types of audience. A tough sight-reading test will identify those who have the ability to deal with large volumes of unseen script. The client can review a selection of voice samples, and choose which voice(s) they feel work best for their product. It’s also an opportunity to sign off on a voice talent’s accent.

Best Practice #3 – Creative Quality Assurance. New voice talents should record first sessions under the direction of an experienced audio directors who can direct sessions where delivery style and tone are key – for example a marketing piece.

Best practice #4 – Linguistic Quality Assurance. A second native-speaker – the Language Monitor – should be present at every recording, to monitor the quality of the target language recording and to catch any errors that the talent may make.

Best practice #5 – Linguistic Accuracy. How many different ways are there to voice ‘HBV Studios’ in French? How does the client want it voiced? Prepare a pronunciation glossary for the client to review and sign off on, before the script ever gets into the studio for recording. A thorough glossary can prevent time and money being spent on avoidable re-records.

Best practice #6 – Directions. For scripts in which talents must communicate particular emotions (e.g. a role-play dialogue), work with the client to identify the required delivery, and then add a note to the script so that the talent can capture the right read in the studio. If necessary, an audio director can be scheduled to direct the session.

If you follow these best practices, you should have multilingual audio content that fits the budget and quality requirements. And if the client’s happy, then everyone is happy.

Next time out – best practices in localizing video content.

Hugh

Top 10 Tips to Successfully Translate and Localize Multimedia Learning Content

tom gannon

The convergence of such factors as mobile technology, Web 2.0 breakthroughs in social networking, easy to use content creation tools such as Articulate Storyline, fast wireless and sophisticated learning management solutions has created the consumer expectation that learning content will be informative, engaging, interactive, seamlessly translated and fully localized.

Fundamentally, people learn better in their native tongue and when content is culturally relevant. A good rule of thumb is to create multimedia content and graphics with localization in mind. You’ll save money and get better results if localization is part of the plan right from the start.

Having worked with major global companies in this space for years, I fully understand the challenges and complexities associated with the seamless delivery of localized multimedia and learning content. Here are 10 of the most common pieces of advice I find myself giving to our clients:

  1. Create content that is universal and can be used across all target markets. This avoids the requirement to source and integrate costly market specific content such as images and copy.
  2. If the source is created in English, assume that the text and audio will generally expand when translated. Most languages are longer than English by about 15% (languages such as Russian take up to 40% more space). This should be taken into account when storyboarding, developing and integrating components such as text boxes, graphics and audio.
  3. Before you start localization, ensure that all content is final. Failure to provide clean, final content can be costly.
  4. When recording the source audio, allow extra time for voice over language expansion through the use of pauses or a deliberately slower speaking pace. This will create space in a video to accommodate the longer localized audio.
  5. If music is integrated with spoken audio, ensure that the style of music is appropriate and will adapt seamlessly to support an expanded localized voice over track. The use of music that supports the easy addition of loops is recommended.
  6. Take care in the source when syncing an audio cue to a word. In the localized content, the word order may change, requiring costly re-creation of an animation to match the sync word. Consider syncing to a sentence or paragraph.
  7. Use accurately timed audio scripts to keep voice over language expansion to a minimum. During translation, the timings help create translator awareness of the time limits available for the localized audio. If the translation is longer than the source, the voice artist can compensate with increased pace during the recording process. Failing this, there are post recording solutions available, such as the stretching of static scenes or the use of additional video edits to add cuts and make time.
  8. Choose fonts carefully – in graphics, animations and subtitles. Consider the target languages for localization and the associated character sets. Alternative fonts may need to be considered for some target languages, and it is best to consider this at the content development stage.
  9. If using video subtitling, the source video should be prepared with the lower third of the screen free. This will accommodate the subtitles. The style of the subtitle in terms of font, layout and colour should be agreed at the outset.
  10. Be careful when integrating screenshots of software or product content in a source video. You’ll need to replace with the localized versions. Equally, avoid the use of culturally specific graphics or images, as these may require expensive rework when being localized.

Good luck and let us know if we can help you in localizing your learning content.

Tom

Welocalize will be at Stand 94 at the Learning Technologies 2014 event in London, 28-30 January 2014.