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How to Expand Your Business with Localization

September 13, 2019

In today’s globalized world, the ability to expand your customer base often means being able to communicate with new customers in their own language. To reach these new customers, you need to adapt your business materials both linguistically (via translation) and culturally through a process called localization. Here are four of the most popular ways to localize your business in 2019.

1.  Penetrate new markets with website localization

The practice of regionally targeting website content is extremely popular and there are no signs of it slowing down. As such, high-quality personalized site experiences are becoming a central focus for businesses that wish to reach new audiences. To achieve a successful online user experience in new regions, you’ll need to consider translating and localizing all of your online content – from blogs and buttons to forms, videos and captions. If you use WordPress or Drupal as your CMS, check out these translation plug-ins that can help you manage regular updates.

It’s important to note that when you start planning for website localization, you need to consider what you can do to ensure that all of your carefully crafted content will actually be found by the various search engines available in different regions. For example, less than 2% of internet searchers in China use Google. If you want to expand your business into China, you’ll want to consider optimizing important keywords for Baidu’s search algorithms – not Google.

2.  Attract new users to your app

If you want your software application to gain more users worldwide, you’re going to have to localize your user interface (UI) for multiple markets. Localizing your app is especially recommended for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and multi-player gaming apps.

Make sure you use local metrics, relatable images and appropriate content. Always adjust the text length to fit correctly in each language’s UI, and don’t forget to localize the copy for push notifications (which are a rich opportunity for building relationships with consumers).

Lastly, if you maintain a web and mobile version of your software, consider using Progressive Web App (PWA) development to combine your apps into a single simple-to-maintain platform that allows users to work offline.

3.  Simplify customer service with chatbot localization

A chatbot is a computer program that runs off a pre-set script in order to simulate conversation with human users. Chatbots (or bots) are becoming increasingly popular as a way to provide instant responses to online customer inquiries. This rise of real-time messaging has led to a fundamental shift in how people prefer to communicate – they don’t want to wait on hold on a customer support phone line. They want to go online, see a product, type in a question and get an instant response. In fact, a recent report found that chatbots are being used by people from all 195 countries in the world, and 41% of those chatbot users are business executives.

Here’s some food for thought: While AI and machine learning are clearly the driving factors behind a chatbot’s abilities to do its job well, none of that matters if the script it runs off of is awkwardly written or incomprehensible. After all, chatting — whether with a person or a bot — requires a common language. So if you hope to close more deals and increase customer satisfaction by adding a chatbot to your website, it’s critical to ensure that all of your chatbot scripts are translated and localized correctly.

4.  Embrace eLearning for more effective training

For businesses that operate in multiple regions (or in regions where multiple languages are spoken), eLearning is one of the most effective and versatile training tools at your disposal to connect with learners. You can use eLearning modules internally to conduct employee job training or externally to deliver product guides and information to your clients, and much more.

Effective localization of an eLearning course means reviewing every element of every slide, including text, images, captions, image text, videos, scripts, audio narration, subtitles, quizzes, example scenarios, etc. For a deeper dive into how to optimize your eLearning content for translation, check out this blog.

Use an expert LSP

There’s a lot to get right with eLearning translation, chatbot scripts, and website/software localization. If a translation is wrong or laughable, it can quickly go viral — turning a well-meaning company into an overnight laughingstock. Even if a poor translation doesn’t turn into a meme, it could still hurt your business if the content has not effectively delivered your message and branding.

As a result, it’s really in your best interest to partner with an LSP that has localization expertise in your industry. A qualified language partner like Morningside Translations can provide a step-by-step plan to ensure that all of your online content is successfully and efficiently prepared to hit the right targets.