In a highly globalized world, localization is needed for survival. If you can’t adapt to the global economy, do not be surprised if your business starts to lose its hold in the race.

Localization is the future, but, are you prepared? Getting your content translated is one thing, but, there’s more to this localization game; far more than what you can see.

Before you begin working on making an impression in local markets, you need to make sure your business undergoes a certain level of digital transformation.

Why?

According to a 2016 survey, a user-focused approach and personalization provide businesses with a competitive edge. By 2019, the survey predicts, we will see mobile ad revenues grow to be worth $18 billion, globally.

In other words, there are plenty of opportunities across the globe, but, in order to exploit them, you need to localize on the digital front first.

Here’s how you can start.

Focus on context

The first step to localization is to understand that each country has its own culture. It’s efficient to simply translate your marketing material as it is. However, the consequences of being hasty can be punishing. Just Google “content translation fails” and you’ll know what we are talking about.

The context of your translation matters a lot. You need to go beyond the basic step of converting material from English to multiple languages.

You also need to focus on aspects such as user preference. For example, is the currency shown for your Japanese Customers in “Yen”?

Pay attention to your foreign customers and address needs accordingly. They have individual requirements that vary drastically from customers back at home.

Transcreate

Transcreation refers to the practice of translating content into multiple languages while adapting the original meaning behind the message. It is one of the most basic elements of localization.

Transcreation matters a lot when it comes down to mobile app localization. There are certain limitations with regard to mobile app UI that inhibits language translation. This is where transcreation comes in. Transcreation focuses on context rather than exact translation. So, a full sentence in English can be replaced with a single word in another language as long as the original message and meaning behind it are still maintained.

Incorporate the human touch

At the end of the day, all said and done, business is about dealing with people. You need to make connections with them and build relationships.

So, when you are localizing your digital assets, make sure your localization teams are focused on the emotions of your local audience. See how you can tap into their emotions and leverage that towards promoting your brand/product/service.

This will help you create a map work that can guide you towards understanding the local audience better. You will be able to build a more effective campaign once this information is available to you.

Knowing when and how to navigate local culture is critical to the success of any marketing campaign. These are sensitive aspects of the localization process and you need to traverse these roads with finesse.

Build trust

The Global Website Assessment Index, 2016 tells us that the language of a website is directly related to how successful that business will be. Customers are likelier to buy from websites that communicate in a language that they are familiar with.

This is because customers trust brands that speak in their native language. But, it doesn’t end there. Trust also depends on how you communicate and whether you are in line with cultural sensitivities.

So, take the time to break down and analyze the data that you gather from your social media pages and websites. Use this data to gather a perspective on how the local customer sees things. Then, use that to build effective digital campaigns.

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