You want to position your startup for big things. This means preparing to operate your business on a global scale. It’s something you want to do right from the beginning. The last thing you want to do is think about globalization a year or more from now. Create the right globalization strategy now, and you are more likely to build a larger customer base. Further, investors are going to be more interested if they think you can scale your business worldwide.
One of the key things you’ll need to do to accomplish your goals is to localize your content. This allows you to reach audiences in local markets in ways that are relevant to them. You also communicate with your worldwide audiences that you care about communicating with them effectively. That’s important, considering that most internet users aren’t native English speakers.
Many of your competitors are likely only focusing on their English speaking audience members, and treating that audience as a cultural monolith. Localize your content to stand out.
It should be clear now that content localization should be important to any startup team. The challenge is making content localization happen on a startup budget. Good news! It’s doable. You just need to implement the following strategies.
Conduct Market Research Before You Spend Money
Chances are, you won’t be able to target every market you want to at once. You’ll have to start small, and use smart strategy to identify the regions you want to target. Do some market research to find the regions where your products and services are likely to make a big splash, quickly. Of course, this strategy isn’t just helpful for your content localization efforts. It will help you with your overall, globalization strategy.
Consider Content Localization from the Beginning
The last thing you want to do is create loads of content, then find yourself scrambling to translate and localize it for new audiences. Even if you aren’t targeting any new markets right now, there are things that you can do to make the process easier when you are ready.
You can do this through a process of internationalization. This is the creation of content in a way that makes it easy to localize later on. You can internationalize your content right from the start to make the localization process easier, and much less expensive. Here are some tips to help with that:
- Avoid slang or anecdotes that are only familiar to a single culture.
- Write clearly. Avoid abbreviations and acronyms.
- Use the active voice. It helps translators who may struggle with determining the subject of your writing.
- Make sure any symbols or images add to your content make sense on a global scale.
- Create a style guide to help localization professionals and translators.
- Be aware of your use of currency symbols, date formats, etc.
- Create a translation and localization dictionary to make clear any terms that may be ambiguous or unique to your niche.
By considering content localization from the start, you can include the cost of it in your budget planning. That’s smart, financial foresight that investors want to see.
Find the Right Localization Professionals
Sometimes, the most financially responsible thing you can do is spend money. When it comes to proper, content localization, this is true. Don’t rely on machine translations for this or crowdsourced translations. Be very wary of bargain-basement firms that hire translators, interpreters, and localization specialists without properly vetting them.
If you fail to use qualified, localization talent, you risk:
- Damaging your reputation by publishing content that doesn’t resonate with your target audiences.
- Spending more money to fix lackluster, localization efforts.
- Leaving customers and investors less than impressed.
It’s worth spending the money for a reputable, localization service such as Pick Writers. They will get things right the first time. This will save you time and money that you would otherwise spend on revisions and damage control.
Test Early and Often
Imagine publishing a user manual on a subdomain targeting a new geographical market. Rather than helping your customers better understand your product, the manual becomes a source of frustration. Your call center is inundated with phone calls.
Now, imagine publishing a series of blog posts to that same subdomain. These were a big hit with your local audience, but you get almost no engagement with your new audience. Worse, some people find your content a bit offensive.
Create a powerful, localization strategy now. By doing so, you can best prepare your startup to grow on a global scale. The tips here will help you to accomplish this while maintaining a lean budget.
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