How Can Localization Help You Reimagine Your Business Growth? (Guest Contribution from Jennifer Hahn Masterson)

The following post comes to us from Jennifer Hahn Masterson, an experienced content strategist with a focus on business communication. Learn from Jennifer how to effectively use localization to grow your business.

The pandemic’s impact continues to be felt worldwide. Still, after surviving the last two years, businesses of all shapes and sizes, especially small business owners, have had to adapt to a new way of working and ensuring brand growth in the long run.

There’s a new way of responding, rebuilding, and reimagining business growth in an era where customer interactions tend to be online, and the user experience is more important than ever.

Globalization has made it easy for consumers to access nearly any product or service, and with speed too. Geographical barriers aren’t nearly as restrictive as they were a decade ago, and thanks to more accessible professional translation and localization services, language isn’t a stumbling block in business either.

As small businesses start moving towards new business models, there has been a drastic rise in the demand for language services covering professional localization as brands try to regain ground after closing physical stores.

Although small business owners and corporates alike might have had to rethink their marketing strategies over the past two years, there’s a proverbial goldmine they can tap into when they rethink the direction of their brand’s growth. And this is why localization is so important.

Understanding Localization Services

The concept of localization services really isn’t anything new or radical. If you’ve ever sold a product or service to a different regional market, you’ll understand that it requires various stages of adaptation in order to have your brand accepted. Essentially, it’s a localization process.

But a decade ago, we didn’t refer to it as localization services. Instead, it fell under the umbrella of global marketing. However, the idea is the same. Adapt your message to a new audience to achieve better results. If you’re unfamiliar with why localization is a vital aspect of business growth and expansion into international markets, here’s a look at the benefits it brings to the table:

Localization Services Increase Market Share

Even if you’re a small business owner, simply having a website means you have access to global markets. Buying and selling online isn’t something reserved for the supergiants any longer.

If you’ve already got an interesting product or service in your home market, you’ve got a chance of succeeding in the global market too! But you won’t achieve this by offering your product or service solely in English and ignoring the wants and needs of potential customers in other countries. You’ll need the help of a professional language services provider to help you roll out the most effective software localization and website translation projects if you’re targeting multiple languages.

Did you know that just around 27% of transactions on the web happen in English? If you only market your brand in English, it means you’re missing out on a huge potential market. A good starting point is using professional translation services to translate your website into the local language of the region you’re targeting. That’s step one on the website localization process.

That act alone will already give you a better opportunity of accessing the remaining 73% of internet users and potential customers. But it doesn’t end here.

Website Localization Gives You Competitive Advantage

Rewind to 2010, and website localization gave you a pretty sizable advantage over your competitors. But ten odd years ago, getting a college degree separated you from your peers. These days, you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t have one.

It’s not an optional extra anymore; it’s a prerequisite for succeeding. And the same goes for localization services.

Roughly 75% of global consumers prefer to purchase from a website that caters to them in their native language, even if they speak English. This is because consuming content that’s relevant to them and their cultural norms build trust.

So, in short, if you still have an English-only website or a poorly translated version of it, your potential customers are just a click away from supporting your competitors.

Professional Localization Services Boost Your Ranking

Localization is excellent to ensure your audience gets the right message, but it’s about so much more than that! It also optimizes your content for international SEO because you’ll optimize your website around global site speeds, local keywords, and culturally appropriate images.

Here’s an easy way of understanding it. Let’s suppose your business sells clothing. If you’re focusing on attracting international customers, the first point of action is increasing brand visibility. And if your brand doesn’t show up on the first page of the audience’s SERP, you can kiss their business goodbye.

And optimizing with popular a keyword like “pants” won’t put you on the radar in a country like the UK. Why? Because Brits wear trousers, not pants. And they don’t search the way Americans do.

The Localization Process Keeps You Away from Cultural Taboos

The realm of global branding has witnessed its fair share of epic failures. And although some regions are more forgiving when it comes to marketing mistakes and minor flaws in website localization, the Middle East and Asia simply won’t give you another shot if you’ve crossed the cultural taboo line.

Localization services and software localization projects focus heavily on the language your target market speaks. It also takes national holidays, beliefs, ideals, and fears into account. Using a thumbs up might seem A-Okay to an American audience, but it’s offensive in some corners of the world. And professional localization services will ensure you stay in line with expectations and regulations.

Go Global

Businesses that rely on a single, geographical market were the hardest hit by the pandemic as they had to operate within the constraints of lockdowns. In contrast, international companies were more insulated from the economic impacts.

Why? Because they could shift their focus to markets with less harsh lockdowns and regions that recovered quicker. Brands that explore opportunities for market diversification have the best shot at sustaining business growth by ensuring their content is localized according to consumer behaviors.

Revisit and Review Current Efforts

Competition between brands in a post-pandemic world will likely be much fiercer than in the past. And if you’re ready to jump at the opportunity with professionally localized offerings, you’ll have a distinct advantage.

Now is the time to revisit and revise any localization project you ran in the past and ensure your current efforts are ready to deliver max ROI. From software localization to website translation, it’s essential to review what your translation and localization efforts have yielded thus far.

If you want to expand in South Africa, for example, your content must be localized to penetrate the South African market. In developing countries like these, big international brands are already present on the scene and have multilingual websites and mobile apps optimized for the target language/s, so you need to put in every possible effort to compete with them.

When you localize your content, you’ll show your new audience that you’ve catered to their language and cultural needs, and this builds brand trust and credibility. And once you’ve won the trust of your customers, you’ll gain more long-term, repeat clients instead of once-off purchasers.

Wrapping Up

Website localization services are the secret sauce of the future for small businesses that want to sustain long-term growth. Our interconnected and globalized world requires every organization to step up to the international stage if they’re going to thrive in a post-pandemic world.

If there’s one takeaway you get from this post, let this be it – website localization is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. Regardless of what industry you’re in, globalization has stiffened the competition across the board. If you want to outperform your competition and gain more customers, there has never been a better time to tap into the power of website localization services!

Penetrating foreign language markets requires high-quality translations from a reputable localization agency or translation company that understands cultural differences and culturally sensitive material that might impact brand presence in a new market. Localization is no small feat, but it is worth all the effort if you’ve got your eye on global growth!

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About the Author: Jennifer Hahn Masterson is the Lead Content Strategist at Spread the Word Solutions, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever-so-competitive business arena, insisting on long-term sustainability rather than on some questionable get-rich-fast scheme. You can check her out on LinkedIn.

2 thoughts on “How Can Localization Help You Reimagine Your Business Growth? (Guest Contribution from Jennifer Hahn Masterson)

  1. Good post, Jennifer. Would be helpful for a follow up on the how to find a reputable localization company. Is it a matter of google translate & search in targeted market for small businesses?

    1. That’s a great suggestion! We’ll definitely get to work on a follow-up article that provides some advice on identifying a reputable vendor who can help with this. I imagine Jennifer has more insight to share, and that this is a critical decision for a business to make. As always, thanks for the encouraging comment!

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