Language localization involves adapting content to another market so that it resonates with people from a different culture. Translating the words is just a start, since graphics and videos also need to be modified for each different market.
Many large online businesses and corporations make a point of factoring localization into their marketing and content strategies, but they’re not the only ones who can benefit from this.
Any startup that plans on eventually going global should look into localization now rather than later. Take a look at the reasons for this and how to get started on your own localization efforts.
Why Startups Should Localize
Though they obviously start out small, the goal of most startups is to grow their membership fast, reaching as many people as possible. For many startups, especially in the tech world, globalization is a natural part of this process.
Even if your initial plan is to focus on US markets, there’s a high probability that you’ll want to expand your reach once you’ve established a strong footing in local markets. Localization from the get-go can ease your startup’s transition into these other markets — not to mention the myriad US multilingual markets you can reach.
Why not make things easier on your future self by preparing for this ahead of time?
Plus, investors like long-term plans, so if you need their support, planning ahead for globalization is a smart move. It shows not only that you intend to grow, but that you know exactly how you will do so through content and marketing localization.
After all, when you reach out to global markets – which more than half of U.S. companies eventually do – people appreciate seeing marketing materials in their own language.
They also like to see graphics, colors, date formats and other details that make sense to their culture, which is why localization is crucial if you want to get their attention.
How to Get Started
Localizing your content doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can start small, especially if you’re new to the game.
For example, instead of translating your entire website into dozens of different languages, start by translating the most important pages into the language of the first market you plan to reach. Popular pages to translate include product/order pages, about pages and contact pages. Depending on your company and marketing goals, you may find that other pages are more or less important.
Once you have the time and money to spend on more advanced localization, you can begin to expand your efforts to include other targeted markets as well as additional site content such as your company blog or promotional videos.
[Quick tip: Wondering what languages are the most popular among internet users? We’ve got you covered.]
If you want to make localization as easy and fast as possible for your startup, try to keep your messaging concise and easy for a global audience to understand. This kind of translation friendly content can save you a lot of future headaches.
You should even keep localization in mind when naming your business.
Internationalizing website software is another way that many startups are able to keep the localization process simple. This means you should use software that can accommodate the unique characters and mix of text directions and sizes that you will need when you localize your content.
That way, you won’t have to start from scratch when you decide to expand your global reach. Instead, you can take the written content you have and hire a professional translation service to both translate and localize it.
Is localization part of your startups marketing and content strategy?