They say only 1 in 7 people speak English as their primary language. That leaves about 6 billion people who do not. That is a lot of people who can’t understand your English-only content and therefore, are unable to buy your product or service. What untapped potential this is! Savvy marketers need to look over the horizon towards new lands and explore the opportunities beyond. So, hoist the sails! And grabs this, your new nautical marketing map, to help you chart your course around the world to reach new audiences and gain untold riches.
First, find the right berth There is no one way to speak to various international markets as you launch your new campaign. Every port of call where you anchor your marketing campaign ship is different in size, potential, language and culture. You can’t just look at it from afar. Get in your dingy and set your sea legs to land. Even figuratively. Walk around and experience the culture. See how the people receive their messages, where their interests lie, what messages resonates with them. Basically, this is localization. Be selective and strategic. You can always translate all of your content for all markets you enter. We at aiatranslations would be more than happy to help you with that. But realistically, it is impractical and costly. So, figure out what you want to say and to whom and consider the range of your content. How many people can you reach if you translate your content in Portuguese or Bengali, for example?
Figure out the right sail for your ship Once you set your location priorities, you need to consider using the right sail, the right solution to reach your goals. Consider your translation options:
Professional translation involves human translators producing the most accurate translation possible. To ensure the highest quality, the translations are proofread and sometimes passed through an editor as well. Professional translation is perfect for nearly everything from marketing websites and mobile apps to most documents.
Machine translation may be good for short, easy to read, non-nuanced material such as social media posts. Anything that does not use figurative language may be translating using just machines. Machines are getting better at this, but it really is not the best option for accuracy. Often machine translations are used in conjunction with professional human translators. Called adaptive machine translation, it helps ensure the quality of the translation.
If you are translating taglines and ad campaigns or something highly creative, you probably want to use transcreation. It is one-part creative copywriting and one-part translation. Transcreation’s more creative approach can help you maintain your brand’s voice by slightly altering content such as slogans in order to avoid insulting or confusing your new audience(s).
Select a qualified crew Set out to find qualified, above board translators. Be sure they know what your goals are and where you want to make berth. This is especially true with transcreation. Make sure they know you and your company and what messages you are trying to convey.
Also confirm that they have the necessary smart software to do the job. Your translation technology management solution must allow for automated and customized workflows that include different combinations of human and machine translations. Make sure they have multiple translation options. Also be sure they use a database of previously translated content, or translation memory, to can help reduce per-word costs.
Keep it between the navigational beacons Now that you set your course and you are on your way, you need to keep a weathered eye on the horizon. Are you headed in the right direction? This is where analytics steps in. How effective is your new content? Use effectiveness measures to understand where and when your translations are working and where they are lacking.
If it isn’t simple smooth sailing use optimization to make improvements. Do you need to try a different tack or toss some jetsam overboard? Should you feature your best content more prominently while working to improve upon the content that is lacking? Do you need to revisit the shores of your new land to learn more and revamp your message?
Global marketing is an exciting journey to undertake. You get to discover new lands which hold countless new clients. All it takes is reaching out to them in their native tongue. Content is the soul of every brand, so getting it translated accurately and effectively make take some time with all hands on deck. But once you get underway, you will connect with new consumers on a deeper, more personal level, learn a lot and hopefully find some treasure.
By Ilona Knudson