Expanding your business into new, international markets in search of wider audience and potential customers often seems like an expensive venture, however, it doesn’t need to stretch your company’s budget. One of the most important aspects of such expansion are professional marketing translations and approaching the target audience in their native language. Managing translation costs and organising a sensible business plan, enables you to develop a marketing strategy and cradle your investment.
In recent years, the scope for business development and approaching foreign audience has grown exponentially. Today, even small and medium sized businesses with a website and a reliable logistics partner can potentially expand and penetrate oversea markets.
Naturally, expanding your business abroad is much easier said than done. There are number of obstacles and difficulties your company will have to face before successfully trending in a foreign country. One of the most important factors to consider during an international expansion is translating your marketing materials, such as website or brochures into the native language of your target audience.
Although in the B2B world English is still the language of choice, when dealing with customers directly, you must take into consideration statistics which reveal that over 56% of customers never buys goods from websites which are written only in English. Furthermore, over 72% of respondents say that they feel more incline to a purchase if the information about products/services on a website is provided in their native language. You can the survey here.
A recent report by the BBC gives more insight into the importance of website and marketing translations. Arena Flowers, one of the leading online florists in the United Kingdom, is currently expanding into European markets including Germany, Holland, Belgium and France. Will, Wynne, the managing director of the company, when asked about marketing translations said: “I think the language is a no-brainer. You’re not going to have any success if you don’t adapt to the local language. It’s almost a matter of respect. If you think there’s 60 million people in France and 80 million in Germany, and the idea that they would use our website if we didn’t translate is probably a bit ambitious.” Fundamentally, the ‘one-for-all’ approach doesn’t work any longer. In a saturated market, your global customers deserve a great experience and its common courtesy to offer them content in their mother tongue. The sensible approach is to structure a marketing strategy that enables you to cradle your budget whilst you test the water.
Developing a marketing strategy
Although some costs are involved in professional marketing translations, modern solutions help to reduce costs significantly. Professional translation agencies work with locally based linguists who are not only native speakers of your target language, but also experts within the marketing field, reducing the potential costs for mistakes.
Structuring and planning an in-depth content strategy targeting your chosen foreign audience can also limit the amount of page content which would require translating. Indeed, it is not always necessary to translate your entire website into a foreign language. Limit your project to the most relevant and valuable content.
Decreasing the number of products initially offered to the foreign consumers may not fit your grand plan, but as a short-term solution it gives you the opportunity to test the market and determine whether your project is worthy of further investment or identify potential opportunities with other products and services.
Translating marketing material
Translating your website is definitely an important step in business international expansion, which should also perhaps be an initial step. Nevertheless, translating other marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets or even business cards can also be a strategic aspect. It’s key to clarify your overall business aspirations and number your priorities. Once you align your to-do list with a cost sheet, it is easier to structure a content strategy on a month-by-month basis. How you structure your content will determine which documents and marketing materials you need translating, so consider your goals carefully; are you looking to raise product awareness, develop leads or establish a local sales team? Some of the leading translation agencies based in London, such as LR or TS24 will be able to not only translate your material, but also assist and help you in making decisions by narrowing the scope of your project. For instance, linguists with specialist knowledge of the target market can offer advice about local needs and the perceived consumer reaction to your product. There may also be legal regulations and local laws to consider, and working with a translation agency specialising in providing marketing translation service can in many cases be extremely beneficial. Such agency will also be able to advise you in regard to social, economic and political aspects of your chosen country and carefully localise your marketing content, as such aspects can have a direct impact on your expansion.
As you can see, international expansion looks much easier on paper than it is to accomplish in real life. Nevertheless, with the help of professional translation companies, you will be able to carefully plan your business scope as well as translate and localise your marketing materials, ensuring that your company image is fully suitable for your target audience.