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Six Key Considerations for Social Media Localization

global communicationThere has been a huge growth of social media usage across the world. With booming social media e-commerce and the increased sophistication of social media paid amplification tools that allow you custom personalization and targeting, social media is now one of the key digital channels for global brands.

Building a localized social media presence with a strong and engaged loyal community around your brand can be a powerful way to expand globally, increasing awareness and getting people to your website resulting in lead generation and increased revenue. However, identifying which markets and channels to drive a localized social media presence can be a daunting task. It is important to make sure you look at a range of things to develop your localized social media strategy to make sure you get the best return on your investment.

Define business goals

First, determine what are your long-term objectives that you would like to achieve through social media. For example increasing awareness, building a long-term community, driving people to the website, increasing leads, or providing a localized platform for customer queries. Certain activities like paid ads can be done from global channels but if you want to build a long term community, then localizing your social media channels is key.

Undertake competitor analysis

Understand the markets and channels your direct and indirect competitors have localized social media. Identify if there are any other local players that do really well and on which channels they are present on.

Pull out data in terms of performance of your competitors’ localized channels in terms of followers and engagement. Which channels do your competitors perform the best on? Map your overall goal of where you would like to be in terms of followers and engagement compared with your competitors if you were to localize social media activities.

Once you have identified the top performing channels and local markets for key competitors, understand what content types and themes perform the best in terms of engagement. This will give you insights into frequency of posts, type of content, how content is localized and what are the key seasonal events that you should be aware of.

Observe general market social media statistics and trends

Understand what are the most used channels in local markets by number of monthly active users vs total channel users and identify what social channels show a growth in terms of usage. Understand whether the overall opportunity is large enough to make it cost effective. Although competitor analysis can give an indication of which channels are popular with competitors, there might be other channels that show future opportunity that others haven’t started taking advantage of. A better understanding how people consume content in your market, for example desktop vs mobile, ecommerce usage, can also be a key insight when building a localized social media strategy.

Scope out resource capability

Understand how often content should be produced, the time taken, the type of resources needed and the required budget. Good performance on a few, key social media channel is much better than posting poor, irregular content on a large number of social media channels. You need to look at content creation, imagery, channel monitoring and customer management to make sure that resources are in place to produce effective, culturally relevant quality content. If localized content is posted, any landing page or website must be available in the appropriate language. If you drive people to your website in their local language, you have to carry on the language experience to keep them there and gain conversions.

Understand local market regulations

Certain markets, like China for example, have tighter regulations for opening social media accounts without a business presence in China or when running activities like paid amplification. Before you open a channel, make sure you’re aware of the necessary local regulations and have all the relevant documentation available.

Develop a list of prioritized social media channels

Finally, based on all the above insights define a prioritized list of social media channels and markets that could provide best return on investment for your global digital marketing activities.

Alina

Alina.anghel@adaptworldwide.com

Based in London, Alina Anghel is SEO and Social Media Manager at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency.

 

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

 

 

 

Key Social Media Phrases for Localization Managers

482103455Consumers are becoming increasingly connected through various sorts of social networks. Decision makers no longer act independently of one another. They are increasingly connected with other consumers from all over the world and with other brands via social media platforms. The development of social media has changed global digital marketing by shifting the scalability of influence and the ways in which consumers share, evaluate and act on information.

Social media as a business-to-business marketing tool has been rapidly growing and social media marketing has become an essential part of online marketing strategies among global businesses. According to Statistica, 10% of marketers spend 16 to 20 hours per week on social media marketing. By 2025, it is estimated that 75% of the workforce will be millennials (those born after 1990), who have grown up living and breathing social media, digital marketing, mobile technology and the Internet. Localization of user generated and social media shared digital media content is essential for global targeting success.

As organizations use social media to reach consumers in a wider audience, marketing, sales and localization departments must work closer together to drive global campaigns and learn to speak each other’s language. For example, your business may be growing fast through Twitter; however, if you wish to enter the Asian market, Twitter is a poor social media platform. Essentially, it is blocked in China. The most commonly used platform in Asia is Weibo and content is in Chinese.

There many terms relating to social media that are used on a daily basis. By understanding some of the most used terms, all departments, especially localization professionals, will be in a better place to understand and work with their global marketing teams. Here are some of the most common phrases used in the social media marketing world:

Hashtag #: This is referred to a word or phrase preceded by the “#” sign. They are a great way to mark a topic or keyword and make them discoverable. Twitter use hashtags for searching and for trending topics. It is important to note that hashtags are also used on the platform Weibo in Asia; however, when using a hashtag the symbol must be at the start and end of the word or phrase. If it is not used at the end it will have lost its meaning and will confuse the targeted audience.

Analytics: Most social media platforms allow the user a basic level access to their accounts analytics, showing data on engagement, audience, followers, likes, shares, posts and other data bits. Analytics helps you track your follower audience so you can see how your social media platform is growing, breaking down information such as demographics and geographic location so that you can see which posts perform better in different locations. Analytics can also help you to understand if there are any key demographics that are engaging with your post which you did not expect or target.

Engagement: It is the act of talking to, messaging, liking, sharing and interacting with other people and posts on social media. It is a broad term and encompasses different types of actions. It is a core part of any social media strategy. You want to engage with your target audiences to generate interest and drive action. By evaluating the engagement you can identify, which posts perform better than others and obtain data to see from which country your key “engagers” are located. Different cultures respond and engage in different ways on social. If something interests you, you are inclined to share it. This may be inappropriate in some countries and cultures and a simple like may be the best engagement you will receive. Countries that “Like” the most on Facebook are Germany, France, Philippines, United Kingdom, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and the United States.

Feed: The social media data format (depending upon which network) that provides users with a steady stream of updates and information is the feed. This can also be found and referred to as your homepage.

Handle: also known or referred to as your account name, for example Welocalize’s is @Welocalize. It’s important to keep your handles consistent as it helps with discover-ability across platforms.

Impressions: This is the number of times a tweet or post on any social media platform is promoted or displayed and how many times it has been seen.

Influencer: A social media user who has a significant audience or following that can help promote and drive awareness about specific topics, trends, brands or products is an influencer. It is important to identify the different influencers that you may or wish to engage with in different countries. Different content types are more preferable within certain countries than others. It’s important to know what your market wants and send the right message in the right format to the right audience. For example, in high-context cultures (for example Japan, China, France, Latin America), individuals respond better to graphics and images with implied meaning. In low-context cultures (England, Germany, United States, Australia), individuals respond better to clear and explicit communication.

Organic Reach: This is the number of unique people who have viewed your content without the use of paid promotion such as Facebook Ads or Twitter Cards.

Trending: This refers to a topic or trend that is popular on social media at a given moment. When on Twitter, you can narrow this by entering a specific location into the Trends section on the homepage, this will then allow you to see what is popular in different regions throughout the world. It’s a great way to see local news and trends and can help you to adapt your message in the right country. You cannot search within Twitter for Germany in order to view all tweets. If you wish to view or see what’s trending in Germany you can search within the German language. It is important to consider this when promoting or producing content on this platform.

Knowing common social media terms and phrases can help localization professionals and divisions succeed on many levels.  Not only can localization teams use social media to extract important data on target audiences and the performance of each marketing campaign, it means that internal teams can understand and work towards the same business goals.

Emma Cox

Marketing and Sales Support Manager
emma.cox@welocalize.com

 

Related Reads:

A Brief Introduction to Digital Marketing Acronyms

Global Digital Makreting and Multilingual Videos

Transcreation and Linguistic Copywriting for Multilingual Digital Marketing

 

 

 

Priorities for Chief Marketing Officers in 2016

Marketers are constantly challenged today by the demands to grow globally. Effectively reaching a global audience requires a marketing strategy that produces and distributes value-driven content directed to a defined audience. Localization and translation must be core to an effective global marketing strategy.

Horizontal alignment across internal functional divisions is crucial for successful globalization.  In particular, it is important for localization leaders to understand the overall globalization strategies of an organization so they can work closely with marketing teams to ensure the organization meets their goals and objectives. One of the places to start is for localization and marketing teams to plan together, share knowledge, and develop best practices for ensuring all branded content is culturally adapted for international markets.

At a recent CMO Leadership Forum, marketing brand leaders from global enterprises spent a lot of time discussing the future. They also used the forum to exchange ideas around a series of questions. What are the 2016 future priorities for CMOs? Who is my global audience? Do I have the right strategy and plans in place to reach my target market? How does localization play a role in the overall strategy?

Here are five priorities CMOs highlight as being at the top of their list in 2016.

  1. Using Data for Smart Decisions: CMOs are looking for ways to use data intelligently, not be overwhelmed by it, and make smarter business decisions. One panelist at the event noted that we need use intelligent data to “shift the thinking from how do you reach the most people to how do you reach the right people.” Using smart data can help guide marketers to decide which new markets to enter and help make the right localization decisions for marketing activities that can deliver the best results.
  1. Know Your Customer Journey: If we are all going to truly personalize the brand experience, we need to thoroughly know our customer’s journey. It is important to know the journey at the prospect level, as well as, through the buying experience and during the support and retention phases.  What you understand from the journey empowers you to build upon the customer experience and ultimately make it better. Where are the key touch points? What language and culture needs to be represented at each touch point? Marketing and localization teams can work hand-in-hand to ensure all touch points on the customer journey are consistently and correctly translated and targeted to the right audience.
  1. Engagement: It should not be a buzz word for being current in marketing. Engagement applies to every facet of marketing. Use engagement for listening, to create differentiation and to ignite relevant conversations. Through every touch point, there should be a strategy of how you will engage and measure the results – for every local language market.
  1. New Marketing Techniques: Mobile, virtual reality, advanced video, app indexing, wearable technology – these techniques are changing how we consume content and also provide marketers with new methods to convey marketing messages and deliver brand experiences to a wide audience. Although video has been used for a number of years, it will continue to be used as one of the most effective mediums to reach international customers. Techniques for localizing video content have advanced significantly recently, with increased use of text-to-speech technology. These new techniques make video a cost-effective way to reach international audiences, using the clever media-sharing platforms, like YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo to reach customers.
  1. Rising Costs of Advertising.  Because of industry consolidation, there is a change from the “pay per click” era to the “pay per action” and results. Global marketers will need savvy SEM and SEO campaigns to produce results, not just clicks – for all locales. Read our Welocalize blog Brief Introduction to Digital Marketing Acronyms.

Marketers are curious by nature and love to build upon other’s successes. An open exchange of best practices, ideas, challenges and opportunities empowers us to plan for the new and possible. The key is that you must never stop learning. As we get consumed in doing, learning makes us smarter in what we do and learning from each other has great reward. We are in a digital era, with data moving at lightening speed in remarkable volumes. This creates opportunity and this needs global thinking and sharing.

What are priorities in 2016?  Let’s connect and share ideas https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamieglass.

Jamie

Jamie Glass, CMO and EVP, Global Service Lines at Welocalize

Jamie.glass@welocalize.com

You can read the complete wrap-up “Learnings from The 2015 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum” here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/learnings-from-2015-chief-marketing-officer-leadership-jamie-glass.

Disruptive Economics in the Localization Industry

By Chris Grebisz

LocLeaders SV 2015 InfoPack 10 8_Page_1At the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015: Game Changers event in Silicon Valley, Chris led the afternoon session, Game Changing Disruptive Economics, with the help of panelists Andy Jacobson from Blackboard and Loïc Dufresne de Virel from Intel. In this blog, Chris summarizes some of discussion highlights.

The overall thesis on the subject of economic models in the localization industry is that existing economic models have stayed relatively static, while the demand and expectations for global products and services have changed radically. The language of products have changed dramatically which means we can no longer be too utilitarian about our approach to translation and localization. End-users and translators can’t experience separate pieces of content or digest disjointed information. They need to be able to join the dots to create an overall experience.

One of the themes that ran through LocLeaders and Localization World 29 was the fact that localization now deals with customer experience. Organizations don’t build products anymore, they build customer experience. There’s no finite start and finish point for each interaction. The overall customer experience cycle is continuous and this impacts the localization model. It’s all about engagement now and adapting our economic models to fit customer and translator engagement.

Business Outcomes not Translation Output

We have to look at outcomes and not output. If we simply view the overall localization strategy as a series of translation projects, based on word count, then we fail our clients. We have to look at outcomes; for any project, the supply chain must know the impact of the content and have context which relates to the bigger picture. Translators and reviewers are brand communicators and they have to feel like they are more than just translating words and providing a linguistic service. As content becomes more and more personalized to engage end-users, translators can’t no longer successfully perform blind translation – not having in-context information will produce a “commoditized” (low quality) output, not a desired business outcome.

We need to shift the current economic model to include engagement and training programs so translators feel part of a mission and know what we’re trying to achieve. If we have engagement and translation takes place in-context, then we get the quality levels right. Getting the QA teams to talk to translators will help hit the right quality levels quicker. Translator training and providing in-context information can be built into the current price per word model. In his presentation, “How to predict the future”, Smith talked about how we can use predictive analytics to create better, more efficient localization programs. If we know who the translators are going to be, then we can train them and match them with the right in-context information and training. You can then predict and invest in the future.

We discussed at length the fact that localization is no longer just about word count anymore. It makes sense to seriously consider implementing financial models to reward translators and reviewers based on contribution and outcomes, rather than simply paying by word count. This disrupts the industry as we have been built on a “cost per word” (CpW) approach for many years. This requires a change of mind-set from both the language service provider and translator. Monetizing a business outcome is hard. Providing financial rewards based on value rather than word count impacts many parts of the overall workflow. Measures and matrices must be adapted to suit new models and technology plays a key role in this process.

If we’re going to disrupt the model and supply chain, then we need technology tools to talk and integrate with whoever the translator is going to be. To further develop this model of anticipating projects and matching the right translators, then we have to engage with technology to adjust the supply chain. Not only do we have to provide excellent in-context information, we also have to gather important data points on final translations to complement remuneration models.

We’re entering an exciting phase in our industry. The word disruption is often used to describe something undesirable. But for the localization industry, disruption and emerging economic models should be welcomed – they will enable us to provide better programs and further meet our client changing needs, today and for the future.

Chris

chris.grebisz@welocalize.com

Chris leads Welocalize’s Innovation team, with responsibility of bringing customer-centric solutions to market that help global organizations achieve their business and customer experience goals.

andy jacobson 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Translators Engaged in the Whole Localization Mission

Andy Jacobson is Senior Director for UX Operations at global education technology company, Blackboard. In this blog, Andy shares some of his thoughts as a panelist at the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015: Game Changers. Andy drove some of the key discussions from the session on disruptive economics and he also took part as a featured panelist at the Localization World 29 keynote presentation, hosted by Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell, “How to Predict the Future.”

andy jacobson 3At the core of the LocLeaders discussions on disruptive economic models was how we change our approach to the role of translators and QA resources. Translators must be a part of the whole content creation and localization process to achieve future success. It is no longer just a linguistic process or completing a set of translation tasks.

At Blackboard, our focus is on the learner experience. To create a natural user experience in other markets, original content will require more than just linguistic translation. Any translation or QA talent involved will need access to information that outlines the overall purpose of the content to enable an accurate translation or transcreation process. Giving ongoing contextual usability information empowers translation and QA resources. They become an integral part of the overall team and by fully engaging resources in the bigger picture, exceptional global content keeps flowing which means overall strategy and business objectives are met, not just standalone translation tasks.

Blackboard produces products and support materials in many languages to meet the needs of learners around the world. We create learning experiences for our end-users and our approach to localization reflects this and our localization supply chain is a part of making that experience. The success of our program is measured not by linguistic accuracy, but by customer satisfaction. Translators and reviewers all have to be part of the Blackboard mission if we are going to measure ourselves against customer satisfaction. Even if content creation and localization process is outsourced to external partners and vendors, these people are a part of the big picture and can ultimately determine the success (and failure) of our business.

The flow of contextual information is not a one-way street. Translators and reviewers can give feedback on elements of the product that they think could be improved and further adapted. They play a key role in contributing to the development of products for international users.

It’s now all about engagement and experience and we have to adapt existing economic models to accommodate this shift. Empowering translators and QA resources so they are part of the overall company mission will produce results now and for the future.

blackboard-corporate-logo_tcm21-12923Andy

Andy Jacobson, Senior Director for UX Operations, Blackboard. http://www.blackboard.com

Rise of Content Marketing in the United Kingdom

ThinkstockPhotos-523289443The United States is not the only Anglophone country to embrace content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) conducted their annual Content Marketing in the UK report which shows the United Kingdom is truly on board with driving content marketing strategies. The 134 respondents featured in the report are from mainly B2B for-profit UK organizations in the marketing, publishing, technology and financial services industries.  What else can we learn from this recent content marketing survey?

ENGLISH IS NOT THE ONLY EUROPEAN LANGUAGE

Content marketing is certainly beneficial for an organization. Although English is the most commonly spoken foreign language in Europe (38%) and deemed the most useful foreign language to learn by several European countries, only producing content in English excludes billions of other people. Just like “not all content is equal,” not all English is equal. Considered as different language pairs in translation, there is US English and UK English.

It is important for UK companies to remember that as a part European Union (EU), their member state counterparts use a total of 22 other officially recognized languages. To have real clout in the European market, UK companies must speak the native languages with whom they do business.

EFFECTIVENESS OF TWITTER FOR CONTENT MARKETING

The most surprising statistic of the report is the effectiveness of Twitter. It was top-rated as the most effective social media platform in the UK, usurping LinkedIn. It is noted, 75% of marketers think the micro-blogging site is effective compared to LinkedIn’s 61%. YouTube was rated as the third most effective with 50%.

Although Twitter was rated the most effective social media platform, LinkedIn is the chosen one to distribute content with 96% of organizations surveyed using LinkedIn. When launching content globally, be aware of which platform to use because they vary from country to country within Europe. For example, when wanting to target the German-speaking market, LinkedIn may not be the most effective professional social networking site. Xing seems to be far more popular for the German market, so it is worth doing the research.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS KING FOR CONTENT MARKETING

The most used content marketing tactic used by respondents is social media. It can be difficult to use content in different languages on social media; however it tends s to be a ‘view translation’ button which allows content to be machine translated. This enables global customers and prospects to understand the gist of the content.

Other important content marketing tactics including online news and updates, with 88% of UK marketers using eNewsletters (which has increased from 82% last year). eNewsletters have great potential to be translated in several languages and distributed globally with the help of a language service provider (LSP). Blogs, articles on websites and case studies were the next most commonly used content marketing tactics.

ENGAGEMENT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GOAL

Engagement has overtaken brand awareness as the most important content marketing goal this year. Brand awareness slips into fourth place. Lead generation and lead nurturing come in at second and third respectively. Content marketing is going from passive to active. Where we were once happy with the prospect of simply creating awareness of our brand, we now expect the content we deliver to make the prospect approach us. For this to happen, a content marketing strategy needs to be documented, consistent and relevant – in all relevant languages.

Looking forward, to reach new customers and territories marketers in the UK and around the world must work on creating more engaging, consistent and higher-quality content on all main platforms – especially mobile. The key to creating first-rate content is to make sure that you are aware of the needs of your target market, including preferred and native languages. Find out what social media platforms they use and which type of content they prefer. Having content in the right language for your target market may seem simple; however, it can be a time-consuming and costly task without the help of experienced global marketing language service providers such as Welocalize.

Louise

Louise.donkor@welocalize.com

Louise Donkor is a marketing communications specialist at Welocalize.

cmw_logo2015_2001Welocalize is taking part in the upcoming CMI Content Marketing World event in Cleveland, Ohio, US in September. Join us for a discussion on global content marketing strategies and how our experience in localization and translation can help you to reach your global audience. Visit http://www.contentmarketingworld.com/ to learn more about the event.

Four Key Highlights from TAUS Industry Leaders Forum 2015

tausWelocalize VP of Technology Solutions, Olga Beregovaya, recently attended the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum in Berlin. Olga participated in the forum as a panelist on the topic of “The Many Uses of Machine Translation Technology.” In this blog, Olga explains why she likes the format of TAUS Industry Leaders Forum and highlights her top four presentations from the event.

As I was flying back to the US after a month of traveling around Europe, I was browsing through my notes from the TAUS Industry Forum, which took place in Berlin on June 1 and 2 at the Harnack House, at the Max Plank Society’s Meeting and Conference venue.  I have been coming to TAUS events for many years, starting with the historical TAUS meeting in Taos, New Mexico in 2007, where many discussions took place that would later shape the industry.  After each event, I know I will always come back home with something that is highly relevant to my daily work, our customers’ requirements and my idea of what the future of our industry will look like.

olga_beregovaya_4I have always liked the format of the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum. It gives the stage to both the buyer and the services provider side of the equation. The event promotes free idea exchange between those otherwise competing in their everyday work, those looking for a partner to help them meet their global content needs and those who enable innovation through developing cutting-edge technology. The gathering in Berlin, which according to the university records took place in the very auditorium where Einstein first ever presented his theory of relativity, was no exception.

Working for one of the world’s top Language Service Providers, I am always very keen on participating in discussions about the present and the future of the localization industry. At the end of the day, what we really care to talk about is what challenges the industry is facing. How do we overcome these challenges and how do we forecast the “next big thing”, the “next big thing after that” and anything after that that helps the world become a truly global space?

All the TAUS presentations were extremely interesting and highly relevant to what we do day-to-day. For me, as someone coming from the vendor-side, the biggest gain is always to learn about the challenges our clients are presented with by their business requirements. As an LSP, it is essential for us to be relevant as a trusted partner and deliver value.

Apart from the very exciting announcement of the official release of the TAUS Quality Dashboard, which was the “opening act” of the conference, the following four discussion points and presentations were of particular interest to me.

  • Katrin Dreschner (Symantec) “Moving linguist to the Center”. Katrin made some interesting points in this discussion. Now, when content chunks are getting smaller and are published as a constant flow, it is more important than ever that the content is correct and engaging. Translation efficiency and output quality have now become unique differentiators for globalization. The linguists producing this global content need to be at the center of the process, having direct access to the source content creators, being able to exchange ideas with each other, regardless of what vendor company they work for, and cross-checking their work with the SME community.  KEY TAKEAWAY: In our field, great work comes from engagement and ownership.
  • Irene O’Riordan’s presentation on the use case for MT at Microsoft. Irene talked about the way content is handled between MT and human translation, where the decision on whether human translation is needed is made not before the content is published, but 5-10 days after publication, based on content performance. KEY TAKEAWAY: There is no better way of assessing the content importance than tracking its actual impact.
  • Stephane Domisse from John Deere shared his perspective on the use of MT for translation of non-conventional content that is not authored professionally. In case of John Deere, it is support queries from their in-country dealers. Stephane talked about the users not being linguists; they are not interested in detailed error type analysis or the standard evaluation “adequacy and fluency” categories. KEY TAKEAWAY: The MT engine is only as successful as the output is useful.
  • Finally, the panel discussion, hosted by Karen Combe from PTC on “How to implement an enterprise-wide language strategy.” Panelists included Jack Welde (Smartling), Renato Beninatto (Moravia) and Paul Mangell (AlphaCRC). The panelists discussed the “comeback of terminology,” which is again playing a key role in the enterprise language strategy, even more so when content has literally gone wild in its diversity. This makes terminology management one of the key components of ensuring brand consistency. KEY TAKEAWAY: You can’t necessarily control all your content creation channels these days, but you can manage the terminology consistency through the available new generation of tools.

In a nutshell, the TAUS forum was another interesting event with a lot of notes to go through and ideas to reflect on. It would be great to see more companies from a wider range of verticals join the discussion next time.

Olga

Olga Beregovaya is VP of Technology Solutions at Welocalize.

Welocalize are sponsors of TAUS. Please find the latest edition of the TAUS Review.

How to Build, Influence and Leverage Your Network

From Rapport to Credibility

By Molly Wendell, President of Executives Network

Molly Wendell 1Molly Wendell, international relationship expert, led the morning session at the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015 in Berlin, to demonstrate how organizations and localization professionals can develop and use their sphere of influence to help achieve their global business goals. In this blog, Molly summarizes the key points from the session.

Someday, some way, you’re going to need something from someone. And that something might not even be for you. It might be a favor for a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or someone’s son or daughter. The more you focus on building relationships, and the more real relationships you have based on that focus, the easier you’ll find it to get things done. Are you ready for that someday?

Most people think networking is only important for salespeople and job seekers. I’m here to tell you the ability to build relationships is a lifelong skill that helps you succeed in anything you do. It also helps make you indispensable.

I had the great opportunity to spend time with the Welocalize team and clients at the LocLeaders Forum 2015 in Berlin, talking about sphere of influence – what is your sphere of influence and what it should be? Most of the people in the room had a network; not necessarily one they’d given much thought to. So that’s where we started. We started with the “Who”. Who do you want in your network?

This question sounds pretty overwhelming and is probably the easiest to answer. Who you want in your network depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. As my sixth-grade teacher used to tell me, To be specific is terrific. To be vague is the plague. This is just as true in networking. Without a specific plan around whom you’re targeting, you may end up with an extensive network, but is it the network you want or need?

How do build a more proactive network?

You can look at building your network and sphere of influence in a number of different ways.  It could be based on functional area, like engineering, product development, marketing, sales and the like. It could be based on industry. Most people in a particular industry have contacts in their industry; however, they struggle a bit with contacts in other industries. There’s so much to learn from other industries!

It could be based on business model. Maybe your organization is has a typical supply chain – manufacturer to distributor to reseller/retailer to end user.  What lessons could you learn from others with a similar or different business model? Another way to look at your network is from your own ecosystem.  How connected are you with your organization’s suppliers, buyers, competitors or substitutes? How much could you benefit by knowing others in your very own supply chain?

The key here is that you need to not only build your network internally, you also need a network externally. Sometimes you might even use a connection outside of your organization to get connected to someone within your organization.

We didn’t stop with the “Who”.  Then we talked about the “How”. How do you start the conversation? How do you continue the conversation? As the participants found out very quickly, it’s all about the questions you ask, not the answers you give. It’s all about smart, thoughtful questions – and the ability to get people talking about themselves. Most people won’t naturally just open up, but if prompted in an engaging way, they’ll tell you more than you ever thought you needed to know. Which is great, because who do you already know a lot about. That’s right. You! And how much more time do you need to spend listening to yourself talk? Probably not much!

We then took a look at different ways of presenting information, and how to be conversational and still viewed as more of a thought-leader. With only 5-7 minutes to prepare, it was pretty impressive what they came up with in their presentations.  We have a group that is practiced in “selling” the benefits of what they can do for others internally.

We closed with Molly’s Seven Rules of Relationship Building:

  • Rule #1 (The Golden Rule): Networking is not about you
  • Rule #2: Build the well before you need the water
  • Rule #3: Be there and aware
  • Rule #4: Be interesting by being interested
  • Rule #5: Assume positive intent
  • Rule #6: Attitude is everything
  • Rule #7: Let them win

locleaders berlin molly wendell sessionSome participants were attending the LocWorld28 conference, held after the LocLeaders event. Some were headed back to the office. Either way, they had the beginnings of a more proactive, focused plan on not only how to build a better network, but how to leverage it appropriately.

Remember, building relationships is about focusing on the other person. It’s an unselfish act of actively listening to the other person. Of figuring out what you can do to help them; what you’re doing to build your value in the relationship. Is it a lead, a contact, an idea? What’s in it for them?

At some point or another, someone always asks me, What’s in it for me, Molly? My answer is always the same: Everything. With the right relationships, you can do anything. The right relationships expand your thinking. The right relationships expand your personal growth. The right relationships open doors. The right relationships expand your opportunities and horizons. So, create them. Develop them. Share them. And enjoy them. And most of all, keep up the networking!

Molly

For more information, Molly Wendell has written a book, The Networked Organization – why companies can and should create a culture of networking to increase collaboration and performance.  

 

Welocalize Prioritizes Engagement, Logistics and Usability

We recently held another great LocLeaders Forum in Berlin.  I opened the forum with a discussion of the priorities upon which Welocalize is focusing: engagement, logistics and usability. The common refrain of faster, better, cheaper is often heard across our industry; however, practical answers on how to achieve these goals are sometimes hard to come by.  Here is my take on it.

Engagement

I have learned over the years that a fully engaged team is the leading driver of success.  This includes all roles in the supply chain.  How do we promote engagement?  We have to reach out and work with folks to try and make their jobs more satisfying.  Welocalize routinely surveys both internal and external team members to log benchmarks and build continuous improvement plans.  We organize forums for staff, vendors and clients – quite often including all three in one room.  We invest in training, such as post-editing machine translation training for our translators.  Investments also must include technology to make tasks easier to perform and this ties into the next area, logistics.

Logistics

We move a lot of things around all over the world: files, words and people.  The details are complex and attention to detail is very dependent upon tools and technology.  We endeavor to link the automation of logistics to engagement to produce a more positive experience by making people’s jobs easier to perform.  To be most effective, the approach needs to be centered on interoperability and open architecture.  With the entire supply chain linked in an interoperable way, we can look at defining new frontiers.  For Welocalize, that new frontier is increasing the efficacy of logistics management through predictive analytics.  To use the weather forecast analogy, we want to be able to inform our customers when to carry an umbrella.  We want to take risk management to a new level through machine learning and predictive analytics supported by big data.  In this context, we can inform decisions around what matters most to end users, usability.

Usability

We translate content.  So where and how that content is used is the leading driver in the time, cost quality equation.  This is where multiple levels of quality and pricing models are beginning to be supported by data rather than emotion.  We are trying to drive answers around business outcomes – not simply translation metrics.

In summary, to move the time, cost and quality imperative to the next level, we need to integrate the three focus areas above in ever deeper ways.  And this is where it starts to be a lot of fun!

Thanks to all who took part in the LocLeaders Forum 2015 in Berlin. I look forward to continuing the conversation and meeting up with you all again.

Smith

 

 

Welocalize 2015 Language Services Buyer Survey

ThinkstockPhotos-487156365Feedback from the localization community is very important to Welocalize.  Engagement with our clients and the industry at large helps us define new solutions, find innovative approaches to solving client challenges and knowing what valuable expertise is of greatest interest to our buyers.

Welocalize recently asked companies spanning several different industries about the localization challenges they face and topics of interest related to language services.

There were six questions in the Welocalize 2015 Language Services Buyer Survey. The results are summarized below.

What key challenge motivates you to purchase translation services? The top three notable challenges identified by the survey respondents were increasing revenue, keeping up with the competition and (internal) client requirements.

We also inquired into the benefits companies have experienced as a result of translating contentOver 42% stated greater customer satisfaction was the biggest benefit. Higher SEO rankings along with increased website traffic and improved revenue were also noted as benefits.

We asked, what are your primary company objectives for 2015 – 2016? Almost half of the respondents chose revenue growth. Other options chosen were website localization, customer retention, improving profit margin and increasing brand awareness.

Our fourth question was what content do you currently translate? The results were varied showing diversity in content types across global organizations.  Web sites are the most popular form of content translated by respondents. Other types of content translated that were selected by buyers were audio and video (multimedia), documentation, legal content, mobile and apps, along with software.

When asked about language topics of interest, survey responses focused on four areas budgeting and cost, globalization and language technologies, followed by Industry best practices, Quality and return on investment also were mentioned with high interest.

The final question we asked in our Language Buyers Survey for 2015 was what is important to you when considering a localization provider? 20% of participants answered translation quality, 14% selected turnaround time, the number of languages and cost. Other options chosen were subject matter expertise, customer service, and streamlined processes.

The survey results also revealed that translation quality is of utmost importance to global organizations when it comes to choosing their language service providers.

For those that participated in the survey, thank you! We value your input and your feedback is very valuable to Welocalize. We will continue to listen and inquire with language buyers to learn what is most important.  It is our intent to use this type of feedback as focus on exceeding our client’s expectations in quality, customer service, global teamwork, and innovation.

If you have questions or would like further information about the survey, contact us at marketing@welocalize.com.

Global Marketing Highlights from the Marketing Nation Summit

marketo summit 2015Welocalize Global Marketer Lauren Southers recently attended the Marketo 2015 Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco. The Summit is an annual event for marketing professionals, who drive global marketing campaigns and strategies. In this blog, Lauren shares the three main themes from the summit.

As a marketing and localization professional, attending the Marketo 2015 Marketing Nation Summit helped me further understand challenges faced by global marketers today and new techniques that global brands are using to increase sales and grow revenue through marketing strategies.

The Summit included high profile speakers, including Phil Fernandez, Marketo President & CEO, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and John Legend, nine-time Grammy and 2015 Oscar winner. All shared their experiences and inspirational stories.

The following summarizes three key global marketing themes highlighted throughout the Marketing Nation Summit:

1. Engagement Marketing

Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez opened the summit with a motivating keynote speech highlighting the topic of engagement.  He noted, We need to focus on marketing that is built on a real relationship with customers. We need to stop spending so much time as marketers talking and listen more.”

Phil spoke about how the fast pace digital changes will only continue. The way people are interacting has changed. We view and share more data than ever. Marketers need to move away from mass advertising, which is simply irritating our customers. We need to start having conversations with them on a personal level, reaching them everywhere they are located.

With the growth in digital marketing, this means our customers can be anywhere; therefore, localization must be part of the overall global marketing strategy. He also explained that email campaigns are becoming a thing of the past: engagement marketing is the future. We need to start listening to what our customers want and provide a personalized journey from start to finish. And personal means speaking to customers at a local level, in their language.

The shift to engagement marketing and technological advances completely changes marketing as we know it. According to Phil, marketers will not be able to recognize their jobs in years to come.

2. Inform, Inspire, Entertain and Empower

Best known as founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, President and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, gave an inspiring opening keynote at the Summit, filled with anecdotes, lessons and nuggets of wisdom for marketers.

“We create content to inform and inspire; to entertain and empower,” declared Huffington. The Huffington Post created a site entirely focused on their audience and this is where marketing is now. We need to move increasingly into engaged marketing. “We recognize that it’s not enough to do just top-down presentations, we need to engage customers,” said Ariana.

One lesson was adding value to people’s lives: “by adding value to people’s lives, you can move from being useful to indispensable.” Arianna also spoke about how The Huffington Post continues to disrupt itself to deliver news to an audience that no longer wanted to just read news, but who wanted to consume news and share their own news.  By creating trust (“trust is the new black”), recognizing the world was changing and being able to deliver news that people are preoccupied with for personal consumption. The Huffington Post has managed to create a community of loyal readers all over the world. The Huffington Post wants to accommodate for all their readers, for example they created new sections such as the “divorce section” and to show they are not cynical, a wedding section followed. The online news site certainly embraces global audiences. There are 13 editions of the Huffington Post in 12 languages.

3. Collaboration! Teamwork! Inspiration!

John Legend wrapped up the mornings keynotes with a fabulous performance and sharing his journey to success. He spoke of his experiences and lessons he has learned: “To be great you have to study the greats. I studied Al Green, Stevie Wonder and Billie Holiday to name a few and they taught me what I needed to know to be great at song writing.”  

Legend stressed the importance of time, collaboration and inspiration. “Always be open to inspiration and schedule time for creativity.” He schedules song writing sessions and explained his reasons is to hold himself accountable for his time, forcing himself not to procrastinate.

As marketers, what we can take away from the closing keynote is to look at the people who inspire us, their successes and failures and apply those lessons to our own jobs. Finally, always be looking for inspiration, take time to brainstorm and collaborate with others, “It’s not always about structure, it’s about inspiration,” said John Legend.

It was inspiring listening to marketers and industry leaders talking about customer engagement at the Marketo summit. In my role as a global marketer in the localization industry, this summit continued to stress the importance of building relationships and engaging with all your audiences in all key languages and cultures.

We, as marketers, should always remember to inspire, empower and most importantly listen!

Lauren

Lauren.Southers@welocalize.com

The Future of the Localization Industry by Smith Yewell

Smith at LocLeaders 2014The air is crisp and cold and the leaves are just about done falling here in Maryland. Fall 2014 was a busy conference season for Welocalize, and our LocLeaders Forum in Vancouver was the standout for me. We had a great turnout; great speakers and I think a lot of value gained by all from discussions with so many talented peers across our industry.

I kicked off LocLeaders with three interrelated topics that I see as key in the future of our industry: Logistics, Engagement and Usability.

Logistics

Industry Challenge:  We have disconnected “plumbing” systems across our industry supply chain. This is inclusive of clients, multi-language vendors (MLVs) single-language vendors (SLVs) and translators. The impact is cost friction, velocity drag, inconsistent quality and incomplete business intelligence (BI) for buyers. The resultant environment is heads-down task oriented rather than broadly engaged business outcome-oriented.

Our Goal:  We are striving to innovate with clients to make it easier to solve business requirements in the context of what I refer to as “more than words.” We are working to connect disparate systems and resources to provide greater velocity and deeper business intelligence in an environment of openness, community and interoperability versus today’s “walled-garden.”

Engagement

Industry Challenge:  We see the need for a more engaged and responsive community built uniquely for each client rather than the traditional translation conveyor belt. Linguists, the central resources in our industry supply chain, are largely operating in a disengaged “black box.” Many others in a traditional value chain operate in a heads-down, task-oriented workflow. This task and black box orientation creates challenges in job satisfaction, consistency, quality and scalability. The industry requires more visibility and engagement across the supply chain to support greater accountability, quality and overall satisfaction at all levels.

Our Goal: We are striving to move beyond the traditional focus on the “word” and move to a focus on the “talent” and incentivizing deeper engagement across the value chain. We are developing an online application called TalentSight to provide transparency into the linguistic “black box” and evolve beyond traditional vendor management into the more valuable discipline of comprehensive talent engagement.

Usability

Industry Challenge: Today, it is often reported that 20% or more of clients’ budgets are allocated to old-school translation reviews with questionable ROI and value.

Our Goal: We are collaborating with clients to reduce the standard review budget to a more efficacious business requirement-driven “sampling” approach organized around quality tiers. We are planning to augment sampling with a specialized usability offering to add greater insight and value around true localization requirements.

The three topics I describe above are mutually interdependent. To tackle one, we need to mutually tackle all three. We are striving for a fresh approach to the old-school problems and frustrations across our industry so we can deliver strategic value and true localization.

vision welocalizeOur Vision: We see the need for a more engaged and responsive community rather than the traditional translation conveyor belt. We are building our reputation around connected and engaged talent across the value chain rather than a traditional “words broker.” By connecting various systems in more efficient ways, we are working to reduce friction and provide more than “reporting” across isolated supply chain functions. We are pushing for deeper system-wide analytics that can inform critical decision-making and validate the impact of various choices on business objectives.

Thanks to all who took part in the LocLeaders Forum 2014 in Vancouver and I look forward to continuing this conversation with you.

I wish you a great holiday season!

Smith

Three Reasons Why You Should Localize Your Website

187454050The simple answer is because it’s the world wide web.  According to independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory, 72% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language and 90% choose a native language website when available. Only 27% of Internet users speak English as their first language. Globalization experts note the fastest growing consumer market opportunities today are in developing countries.

The web provides a direct route of communications and business to billions of potential global customers. A company website is typically the main digital marketing asset utilized by an organization to reach people. The content on a company website forms the basis of a global business – not just branded marketing materials, it often contains e-commerce and customer service features.

A company .com presence has the highest reach potential impact of branded material, accessible by anyone, anywhere, providing they have Internet access. According to the United Nations, nearly 3 billion people around the world will have access to the Internet by the end of 2014.

When we want to buy something or have a query about a product or brand, what’s the first thing we do? We reach for our laptop, phone or tablet and look for that information on the web. The Internet is crammed full of sites and content, all competing and vying for attention and hits. Localizing your website, its content and user interface (UI), demonstrates your organization is truly global and shows respect to your international customer base.

What are the main reasons for website localization?

To create the best user experience possible. A localized website will increase web visitor retention or “stickiness.” Creating a web experience at a local level speaks directly to your customers and makes them want to buy into your brand promise. We all want to create the best user experience at every touch-point customers have with our brand.

Scaling up global reach of your website will scale up your global business activity. Launching multilingual versions of your company website is a quick and (relatively-speaking) economical way to expand global business operations. Localization can lead to growth and increased brand equity. Content posted on the main website can also be linked and accessed via the growing number of social media channels which enable more two-way conversations with customers. This also means you have to speak to your customers, in their language, in all communication channels that stem from the main website.

To reduce risk. Publishing material in the native language reduces the risk of content being misunderstood and misrepresented. Each geographical territory will have varying levels of standards, best practices and legislation as well as cultural and religious norms that have to be met in order to do business around the world. Access to support documentation in the native language prevents any ambiguous interpretation of content, technical and otherwise.

Many modern websites today go way beyond static information. Many host numerous dynamic elements, often including multimedia components such as video, audio and graphics. As well as hosting a variety of content types, a website also needs to be found and accessed on all popular platforms. Translating keywords is not enough. SEO localization is a key component of a website localization strategy as is adapting website content to be accessible and readable on all platforms, including mobile. Effective website localization requires a multi-tiered global team of web localization experts including globalization advisors, linguists, content reviewers, SEO specialists, web engineers, testers and project managers.

The return on investment of website localization can be measured directly by monitoring the increase in site visitors and sales to each language-version. This makes website localization easily integrated into the overall global business strategy and any budget justifiable to key stakeholders.

Louise Law, Communications Manager at Welocalize

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Welocalize specializes in website localization, working with the world’s leading global brands in driving awareness, reach and engagement across the globe. Contact us today if you would like further information about our web localization experience and expertise. Click here to see Welocalize’s Guide to Web Localization.

 

Impacting Your Global Communications Strategy

Global CommunicationsEvery organization that reaches across their borders through words to educate, explain, engage or encourage others to consume their content requires a well-defined global communications strategy.

What are the important considerations for defining an effective multilingual communications strategy?

1. Return on Content (ROC). First and foremost to every global communications strategy is how does it align to corporate business goals?  Alignment to outcomes related to market reach, revenue and event profit margins should drive the top line global communication planning to effectively demonstrate meaningful ROI.  We call this impact.  Global communications is more than a marketing approach; it is a roadmap to achieving success in your organization.

2. Defining Your Target Audience.  One content type does not fit all.  Along with demographic definitions and assigned attributes, there are requirements to understand socio-graphic and behavioral traits. These can amount to hundreds and imagine defining these across multiple geographies.  It requires time, market experience and research to match target to content. Culturally, there are differences in approach, positioning and key market messages that without proper definition can offend or create irreparable harm to your brand or organization.

3. Logistics and Statistics.  Global communication strategy requires an understanding of how information is consumed by your target audience, where and through which medium.  Mediums for delivery are not universal.  We can all cite the growing number of mobile devices; however, there are places in the world where certain types of content are not effective for a mobile consumer. There may also be times where content will be primarily delivered via mobile, impacting a buying experience if the content is not easily consumed and understood.  Common Sense Advisory* research indicated, “…billions of people don’t read English at all or well enough to make buying decisions, so they’re increasing information in other languages to reach many more prospects.” Data matters and the experience can impact your overall ROI simply by not following through the entire customer communication experience.

4. Language Trends.  In the language services business, we encourage people every day to translate their content into every language.  There may be exceptions.  Certain languages may find a specific content media acceptable in the source language.  This requires analysis, testing and research; however, what has highest value should always be considered when evaluating opportunities, budgets, timing and impact of language requirements.  Equally important is the need to understand demand on a global scale of languages that have the greatest opportunity. What are the trends in emerging markets?.  We produce a report every year to evaluate our language trends.  You can read the highlights here: Welocalize Top 10 Language Trends.

5. Rate and Regularity.  Understanding frequency and timing of your communications can also help dictate tactics for global reach.  Language tools and automation can assist in getting translation done faster and more cost-effectively when the driver is close to real-time frequency.  As an example, building machine translation programs, terminology technology and content source analysis can assist in meeting growing demands for fast translation user-generated content (UGC).  Every communication type will have a demand requirement that can be matched to your supply for “global” reach.  Public relations may have an immediate need; whereas, software updates may have a planned communications strategy over several months.

6. Your Brand. There are times when brand overrides all decisions related to speed and time-to-market.  For example, transcreation of content may be less frequent and require a much higher devotion to ensuring there is absolute brand-alignment and adherence to your global brand standards.

Global communications strategy requires a customer-focused and data-driven methodology to maximize reach and impact with your audience, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C).  Welocalize language services help global brands evaluate, plan and execute their strategic communication initiatives to produce the best ROC results.

What is making the biggest impact on your global communications strategy?

By Jamie Glass, Senior Director of Global Marketing at Welocalize

Also posted on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140507160656-149124-impacting-your-global-communications-strategy 

*Report: Can’t Read, Won’t Buy by Common Sense Advisory