Four Ways Localization Transforms a Digital Marketing Campaign Results

In days past, companies that wanted to sell products or services in a global marketplace only had to create their marketing campaigns and advertising in English because everyone speaks English.  Right?

Not quite – while many places through the world speak English in one form or another, digital marketing has changed customer expectations to a more user-centered approach.

Even when companies did give a passing thought to multilingual marketing, the results were product inserts or packing translated into several languages in a word-jumble of mixed phrases, diagrams, and intention that frustrated even the savviest buyer.

This stone thrown in the water approach to localized marketing will not work anymore.  Every step of marketing must seek to embrace a buyer with culturally respectful images, common use phrases, and customer-centric marketing that addresses them specifically as a buyer and aims to directly solve their problem.

Just as many American companies are experiencing push back about sending customer service features like chat and call centers overseas where English is not a primary language, customers are exhibiting a growing requirement to interact with localized sales and marketing representatives.  Whether the interaction issue is cultural like constantly referring to a female customer as Sir or technical in the inability to properly provide a solution due to language barriers, the customer immediately feels the discomfort of this standardized marketing approach.

The fact is that customers have learned that they are in charge of the buying process from initial contact through final sale.  With this knowledge comes the overwhelming realization that companies must reach out across many languages to localize marketing content and boost advertising results to dominate the marketplace.

Here are four ways localization can transform your digital marketing campaign results:

  • WEBSITE.  According to “Can’t’ Read, Won’t Buy,” a Common Sense Advisory study, “across the 10-country sample, 56% of visitors either spend more time on sites in their own language than they do in English or boycott English-language URLs altogether.”  The message is clear.  Any company seeking to own the marketplace for their industry in a global environment must have a website translated into the primary languages in their selling location.  More than just simple translation, localized marketing is a deeper process because the words, images, and meanings combine to reach a buyer in his native environment.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA.  In a presentation about the effects on social media on, We Are Social notes that “the country with the highest social media penetration is Taiwan.  In fact, 77% percent of the population uses social media, compared to just 59% of the population in the US. South Korea has the highest number of social media users, with 38.4 million active accounts.”  While most companies think of social media channels, with built in translation services, as safe zones for the distribution of English-based marketing materials into non-English speaking regions, this can be a fatal mistake for a brand.  Social media certainly means the actual post or tweet, but the expanded meaning behind social media can include the cultural and localized efforts to portray the brand in proper context in content that is not automatically translated like branded images, blogs, videos, and podcasts.  Although your tweet might (or might not) be translated accurately, an inappropriate image or link that leads to non-localized content can be the death of a sale.
  • MOBILE MARKETING.  If you are betting that the USA, Canada, or the UK own the smartphone growth market, then it might be time for some surprising facts.  As estimated by eMarketer, “China alone accounts for 28.3% of all smartphone users on the planet. Asia-Pacific’s largest smartphone market has gone through its most dramatic growth period, and there are now signs that it is maturing with 38.6% of residents in China will owning a smartphone in 2015, for a user base of 525.8 million. By 2019, that figure will reach 687.7 million—almost half (49.8%) of the population will own a smartphone and use it at least once per month.”  Without doubt, the Asian-Pacific region is poised to take over ownership of the smartphone, mobile market and companies that are properly prepared with region specific localized mobile marketing content – including social media – will be at the forefront of customer conversion.
  • DIGITAL ADVERTISING.  In SEO and marketing circles, there is always a discussion about whether localized digital advertising yields better than English-only (or primarily English) ad because (it is assumed) that Google has a higher indexing and traffic source in English spoken countries.  In fact, as pointed out by MarketingProfs about a case study by Appia, specifically across France, Germany, and Spain, quite the opposite was true.  “86% of the localized campaigns outperformed the English campaigns in both click-through and conversions. The average click-through rate for the English campaign was 2.35%, with a conversion rate of 7.47%. Meanwhile, local ads had a click-through rate of 3.34%, with a conversion rate of 9.08%.”  While this does not conclusively prove that a digital advertising strategy with localized content yields higher results every time and in every marketplace, it is a telling benchmark that shows higher results in localized campaigns in CTR and conversions that would be imprudent to ignore.

 

The truth is that the real growth and escalation of sales happens when a customer feels a connection to a company, brand, or product/service.  Even more important for the always-connect millennial generation who were born with a smartphone in hand, localization will not be a competitive option.  Localization will be a requirement for the current and future generation buyers because they have increased access to competition in real-time.

CONNECT GLOBAL provides premium translation and localization services in over 100 languages to help you reach and engage your customer around the clock.  With the innovative CONNECT PORTAL cloud-based language technology, we take the worry of translation and localization efforts out of the equation by providing a pool of comprehensive qualified project managers with access to over 1,500 native professional linguists around the world.

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