For most of you, a great proportion of your potential customers come from different countries from where you are based. This means that every bit of content you produce is being viewed by people who speak a range of different languages. You can no longer be sure they’ll speak English, and even if they do, will it resonate with them in the same way?
So, as international traffic continues to grow, can you be sure that you will be able to convert the same proportion of traffic into leads as you have in the past? Unlikely, but a few small tweaks to your content marketing strategy to cater for an international audience can have a big impact.
TRANSLATE, TRANSLATE, TRANSLATE!
If you want a translation for a target audience, the basic gist of what you want to say is not enough. I understand it costs money to be done properly (Yes, money! Online machine translation may be free, but as I said, it needs to be done properly). Translation can increase traffic conversion by 4 times, so it’ll pay for itself in an instant. The other excuse I hear a lot is that translating is too much effort and takes too long. Not true, all you need is a good partner who you can just send your literature to on say a weekly basis and they will turn it around for you in a day or two. Simple as that.
So this is the key point for me – if your audience can’t understand the content, then they aren’t going to convert and you have wasted all your time and energy.
When writing for a diverse, international audience, you need be aware of how your own cultural norms creep into the content. You need to make sure any terms or concepts that are included do not need any extra explanation or context – a real challenge. Read out loud what you have written to yourself and imagine you are talking to someone who has just arrived in the country. Does the content still make sense to this wider audience?
You also need to be sure that the content is going to be relevant and understood in the range of countries you are targeting. Take the example above. This may be understood in the commonwealth countries, but it is unlikely to be understood elsewhere. It may also cause offence if the queen in a certain country is only coming up to their 50th Birthday. So what may seem relevant to you, may not be so relevant elsewhere.
If you simply don’t have the time to identify and tackle culturally rooted content then it is wise to have someone do it for you. Otherwise known as localisation. This is where someone will tailor your content for your specific international audiences. And here’s a tip, most translation companies provide localisation for a small extra fee, so have it done alongside your translation.
TAKE CARE WITH SEASONAL CONTENT
I must begin this one by saying, seasonal content is a fantastic idea. I am not saying don’t do it, I am simply willing you to take care when and who you put it in front of. While some may be bathing in the sun in the Northern hemisphere, others in the southern hemisphere may be fighting off bitterly cold conditions. So for some, a reference to ice cream and beaches may be a fantastic idea but to the others that same idea may be the last thing on their mind. The only real way round this is to produce the same piece of content for both audiences, but just don’t put it in front of each audience until it’s appropriate.
If you feel you need Dialogue’s support with any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us +44 (0) 1793 513 321, and one of our team of experts will be happy to help.