If your company has decided to expand its business abroad, it means that it is time to board the translation train. Depending on the type of content and the languages you are targeting, the translation process may have different costs and implementation time. It is necessary to prioritize your goals and select which are most important to translate first.
There are several aspects of the translation process that you need to consider prior to starting. What is your budget, timeframe, target languages, and the preferred form of a language service provider – a translation agency, in-house translation, freelance translators?
Although this may differ for each individual company and industry, there are five things that most companies should translate first. The list below can help you determine the most important steps of the project and build a coherent translation plan.
The website of a company is its’ portal to the rest of the digital world. It needs to be neat, clear, and attractive in order to catch the attention of prospective customers. It should also contain useful information about the company along with other details like informative videos or blog post that will help you retain the confidence of your clients.
If you are going global, your website needs to follow suit. You cannot expect to establish yourself as a brand name when you don’t speak their language. Therefore, website translation and website localization should be the first step in your translation process.
You can choose between different options of website localization – whether to have a multi-language site where customers can select the language they prefer or opt for the multisite, i.e. to have various sites for each different country using their local domain. Regardless of the option you choose, bear in mind that you may also need software localization services that will guarantee the smooth functioning of your translated website.
Product and Service Descriptions
You should be able to present your products and/or services into the local language of the new target market. Proper translation and localization is the best way to do that. You need to identify the most useful documents related to your products/services and have them translated into the target language. The first thing to include is the actual description of what you offer. This information might also be on your website and already translated. Then also include manuals, guarantees, patent permissions if you have any, compliance documentation and the like.
As it is possible to have a lot of documentation for translation, it is essential to identify the most useful content and start with that.
Essential Company Documents
The next step in your translation process should cover important company documentation. Here we include a variety of documents – from purely informational to strictly technical. Documents such as permission to provide the given service or sell the given product in the country, company establishment act, sample contracts with vendors, partners and/or customers. This is the stage where you can build up the translation of the products and/or services you offer. Depending on your industry you may have a lot of specific documentation like legal compliance, clinical trials, sell permissions. You will need to use an LSP that offers technical document translation services to guarantee the high quality of the end product.
There are also internal documents related to training of employees, company policy, values, and goals. All of your non-local employees need to be familiar with those documents in order to provide coherent work regardless of their actual location.
Customers are more likely to buy a product if it is presented in their own language and its price is given in the local currency. Therefore, it is not enough to simply translate product/service descriptions, manuals and other related documentation. Pay special attention to your price list and offer it in the local currency of the market you are targeting. This will help you gain more customers as they will be able to quickly compare your price with the competition without having to convert one currency into another. Note that it is also important to accept payments in the local currency as this will also boost your market share.
While your company slogan may be just a few words, it appears in many places. Your slogan bears a unique message that sets you a part and gets through to all of your potential customers. The only way to do that is to present it in their own language. Simply translating the slogan, however, will not work. Many times the literal translation of these words representing your brand may literally kill your company. You need a professional translator and a specific approach known as transcreation in order to get the best results. Transcreation is a form of creative translation where the translator has the task to render the idea, the impression, the nuances of a phrase into a foreign language. That is often done by using totally different words and notions than those in the source language. A slogan is almost never translated word for word.
5 more things to translate in order to stand out…
Bonus! In addition to the first 5 things your company should translate in order to have a efficient marketing abroad, we suggest 5 more to complete the picture.
A browser can quickly become a buyer based on testimonials of your company, product, or service. Take some time to translate your existing testimonials into the target language and soon you will also have happy customers from this location. It’s up to you then, to decide if you want those translated in English and posted on your source domain (to us it sounds like a good idea).
A newsletter keeps your customers engaged, so it is a good idea to have it translated into your target languages. In addition, this will help you collect emails of the target customers that can be used for other marketing purposes.
Blog posts are a great way to share valuable information, give tips, and professional advice. They keep your audience engaged. Translating blog posts into the target language grows your potential customer list. You can have your already existing blog posts translated or have them translated while they are written or combine both approaches if you have the budget for it.
A few lines about your company, how it started, what your values and goals are is a good way to attract customers. If done in their own language, then the results will be even better.
In a digital environment we love to know who we are dealing with. A photo of your company team with a short resume will make you more familiar to the audience. If it’s also available in the local language, it will standout as a personal touch.
Here at ICD Translation we believe that great translation of the right documents and ideas is the path to success. You can count on us for all types of translation services into a variety of languages combined with high professionalism and personal attitude.