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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.

 

5 Tips to Drive an Effective Global Marketing Strategy in 2016

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

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

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

EMBRACE THE POTENTIAL OF ONLINE CONTENT MARKETING

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

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

INTEGRATE LOCALIZATION INTO GLOBAL MARKETING

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

DEVELOP BRAND AND CONTENT FOR A GLOBAL AUDIENCE

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

UTILIZE INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

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

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

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TO CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES

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

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

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

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

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

Louise

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.