The world is becoming more and more globalized through the use of technology, which brings countless opportunities in the world of business, making it easier than ever for companies to expand internationally. And, what’s more, you don’t have to be a huge company like Apple or Coca-Cola anymore to successfully enter a foreign market.
If you are running a successful business, growth is most likely one of your main objectives, and localization is what will allow you to grow internationally, giving you access to a wide range of new markets. Localization refers to everything a company does to prepare to start selling their products or services in foreign markets or the steps software companies take to make their products suitable for users from other countries.
Businesses can expand internationally easier than ever, but going global takes a lot of work. It’s not as simple as targeting people in other countries on social media. To enter foreign markets, it’s recommendable to invest in building a strong and detailed localization strategy, rather than winging it. Localization can easily be confused with translation because translation is a very important part of it. However, to start selling your products globally, you must do many more things than simply translate.
When you are localizing, you are adapting and tailoring content not only to make up for the linguistic differences but also for any cultural differences, as well as meet any local or international legal requirements. Localization involves translation but also adaptation of any text, visuals, currencies, dates, measure units, and so on, or in some cases, even if the product itself, to fit the expectations of the new target audience.
People are more likely to trust a brand, and buy a product or a service if they can relate to it. And with ads or other content translated using only Google Translate, it doesn’t sound natural and your brand won’t sound reliable or relatable. A truly localized product shouldn’t feel foreign. Any translated content you offer on your website, on social media, on your app, etc., should sound as if it was originally created in the target language by someone who understands the culture and the target audience.
It’s common knowledge that English is one of the most spoken languages in the world and that it’s the most commonly used language for communication in the world of business. However, according to research, many consumers prefer being able to get any relevant information in their native language, even if they can understand English.
As we mentioned, localization will make any content available in the target language, not simply translated but also tailored to the expectations of the target audience. So, while technically you can sell products even if you only use English, if you invest in a localization strategy you will be able to sell more, and even eventually grow in this new market.
With half of the world’s population on social media, we constantly communicate with people from other countries, especially thanks to the fact that so many speak English. This can give us a false impression that cultural differences don’t matter in communication. However, when you want to launch your products in a different country, you have to take them into account. Localization helps businesses prepare for any cultural difference that may be relevant to what they are trying to do in the new market.
For instance, if your business wants to have a sale for a popular holiday, it’s important to know the holidays celebrated by the locals instead of offering discounts for a holiday that is not celebrated in their country. Thanks to localization you will be able to better understand, communicate and negotiate with suppliers, potential partners, employees, etc. Most importantly, this process will help you adapt to any legal restrictions and regulations, whether they’re international or local, that may apply to your business.
Customers today love buying online, and they are no longer limited to buying locally. So going global often isn’t simply about growing but sometimes even about surviving. To grow, international businesses need a localization strategy because no matter how great your product or service is, you won’t be able to expand globally until your brand, products or services relates well with your target market, and the audience is able to understand what you are offering.
That’s why it’s important to invest in localization. As a part of the early stages of expanding into international markets, localization will prepare you to reach a wide audience, attract their attention, and ultimately turn them into clients.