Localization Strategies: Increase Global Revenue with Local Thinking
Growing businesses are often encouraged to think big, think national, and, ultimately, think global. But to increase your reach and revenue in international markets, you need an international expansion strategy that must also include localization strategies.
Yes, we can hear you asking: Why think local when I’m trying to go global? The answer is simple: to be successful, you need to create a frictionless experience for every shopper who interacts with your brand and product throughout the customer journey, wherever in the world they may be.
That's why we put together this comprehensive guide on localization strategies which covers everything you need to know to grow globally. If you have more questions, you know where to find us, and we are always here for you!
Brush Up on the Terminology
Before we go into the nitty-gritty of localization, let’s first take a look at the terms you’ll be seeing in this article:
What is Localization?
Localization is the process of adapting your product, information, content, or marketing campaigns to suit the needs, preferences, interests, and context of customers in a specific country, region, or foreign market. The most critical localization factors to consider are language, culture, religion, politics, and regulations.
What are Localization Services?
Localization services are the tools used to modify a product to adapt to the needs and preferences of users in different regions. Businesses looking to expand beyond their own regions should use these services to build trust and confidence in new markets.
Some good examples of localization services include:
Translating a product into a local language.
Changing units of measurement to suit the intended new market.
Checking whether font and character sizes work in other alphabets.
Re-working visual elements in games to make them resonate with the cultures you’re targeting.
Like search engines or video marketing, the localization process is a subsection of the bigger marketing strategy, which is promoting and selling your products or services. It requires purposeful planning and a commitment to scale your business’ marketing efforts by paying close attention to local factors, customs, and needs.
Global marketing, quite predictably, refers to the marketing strategy, practices, and activities that lead to identifying and successfully attracting customers on a worldwide scale.
A global marketing plan should include specific strategies for selling your product in different countries and regions and an overarching set of goals to achieve sustainable growth on an international level. Therefore, your localization process and strategies form part of your bigger global marketing plan.
A global marketing plan should include your:
It’s essential that your plan includes the “local factor.” What cultural, economic, religious, and political factors will affect your brand identity and success in the markets you’re targeting? It’s critical information you should be considering and monitoring regularly.
What is Global Marketing Localization?
Global marketing localization means taking your international marketing plan and localizing each element based on your different regional target markets. In short, you are making it familiar and relevant to each segment of the population you plan to market.
For example, components of your overall marketing plan should include:
Social media campaigns
Global marketing localization requires an in-depth understanding of customers in many different contexts, such as:
Legal compliance regulations
Why Do Businesses Need Localization Strategies?
It’s pretty evident that you need customers for your business to survive, and what business doesn’t want more customers? The truth is that, with a little bit of effort, you can open up a world of exciting new opportunities. If you can scale up your marketing efforts and reach out to customers in different regions, you will, without a doubt, increase your customer base and grow your business.
A good localization strategy will make customers feel like they’re getting the best possible customer experience. To achieve this goal, you must understand their needs and always consider them in all customer service areas. This is why businesses should prioritize their localization strategy. It is a critical, tried-and-tested tool for improving global revenue and customer loyalty across the board.
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Just a solution as unique as your business’s needs.
The Top 3 Advantages of Localization for Global Marketing
Localization provides a competitive advantage by expanding your reach and improving global brand awareness. For example, customized, localized content is likely to rank higher in search engines because it enhances the quality of results for users.
Seamlessly integrate localization to help your business overcome common scalability problems, such as struggling to retain clients or meeting your growth targets. Good localized content and information are more likely to lead to loyal customers, as the global target audience will feel like your brand speaks to their specific needs. Also, as you sell more products in new regions, you’ll have the opportunity to sell your excellent business reputation by word of mouth with new users.
02. Making Connections
Localization can help to humanize your brand.
If done well, customers in every corner of the world will look at your products and feel as if your brand speaks to them and addresses their needs. Customers are more likely to engage with your brand through social media, your website, and other channels if they see themselves reflected in your marketing campaigns and content. They’re more likely to engage in social media posts that understand cultural differences and reflect their cultural norms.
Localization shows that your brand respects other cultures and values and that you’re making an effort to meet your customers in their world. Most importantly, it shows that you understand them and their needs.
Localization will increase profits, which are, of course, necessary for businesses looking to scale globally. Your investment in marketing is likely to be more effective, as a solid localization strategy will increase the potential for sales across a broader target market. If customers engage with content and information they understand and enjoy, they’re less likely to need customer support. Because of this, localization can also lead to significant savings in the long run, which is a win-win situation.
As your business grows, we’re sure you will find that it makes perfect sense to localize your content). It may feel a bit overwhelming, but here are some localization techniques and strategies to help you implement your localization strategy.
In market-specific copywriting, your content is adjusted by region or country-specific campaigns. The goal here is to make it more appropriate for their particular context and culture.
Transcreation is a term used in the translation world. It means to adapt a message from one language to another while keeping its tone, style, intent, and context the same. Using transcreation will help you avoid confusing, incorrect, or offensive literal translations.
Full Human Translation
Human translation is the “old-fashioned” approach to the translation process. A person will take a text in one language and translate it to another. If you’re going this route, look for someone who knows how to translate idioms and colloquial language and make sure they understand relevant cultural references and norms.
Sometimes, a machine translation process can be used in conjunction with human editing and can save time and money. However, this is only really an option with low-impact content, as the software won’t always pick up linguistical or cultural nuances. If there’s time and budget, make sure a human casts a second eye over the information.
Multilingual and Varied SEO
Keywords aren’t universal. Some may be popular in the US, but not in another country or region. Each market needs its own SEO research and optimization, so it’s key to work this into your localization marketing budget.
No 3rd party integrations. No hidden costs. No wasted time.
Just a solution as unique as your business’s needs.
Getting Started With Localization: 10 Simple Steps.
01. Research Possible Markets
In your global marketing campaign, your goal is to reach as many people as possible. However, with localization, you need to be even more precise.
Assess your different products and services, and match them to specific markets. Focus on the markets where your products are likely to succeed, and invest more resources there. From here, you can begin to research these regions to map out your localization strategies.
02. Choosing a Localization Strategy: Low vs. High-Impact Content
When looking at your localization strategy, you need to consider the impact of each piece of content with which you’re looking to engage your new market. Is the content high impact? Examples are logos or taglines. Or is it low impact, like direct messages posted via social media? In between these two extremes lie online ads, your website, articles, press releases, and social media posts.
Ranking your content in this way can help you decide what level of localization each type of content needs. For example, you might need a localization expert for high-impact content. Alternatively, the lower-impact content may just need machine translation and editing. The more important the content, the higher the level of human intervention is necessary.
03. Educate Your Team
Every member of your team, no matter what their role in the business, should know and understand your localization strategy. Impress upon them why localization is important and how it fits into the business’s overall goals and objectives. A successful localization strategy implemented across every facet of your business will help to increase buy-in.
04. Develop a Plan
For every global campaign, it’s essential to develop a localization plan. This will ensure that the campaign is cohesive in the translation of marketing materials, landing pages, and web copy.
Equally important is the management of translators, maintenance of your website in multiple languages, consultations with localization experts, event management in different locations, product advertisements, Google ads, and any other ways to communicate to your shoppers and potential customers.
As part of your plan, create a cultural guide for each market. This should include several aspects such as consumer behavior, cultural norms, and relevant rules and regulations. This research will dictate the actions you need to take to ensure you’re catering to customers in different markets in a way that will be most effective.
05. Centralize Your Localization Work
It’s a good idea to put one staff member or team in charge of localization and get them to report to the chief marketing officer regularly. This person or group will make sure your localization plans are included in everything the business does, from planning and execution right through to the review process.
Ideally, your entire team should be in on the strategy and training in any new markets the business enters into. Include your designers, developers, marketers, product managers, and business leaders.
06. Assess Campaigns for Localization Accuracy
Next, create a scorecard to measure your campaigns and other activities regarding their localization compatibility. For example, if you’re planning a campaign in a new country, assess each step of your campaign against a pre-existing set of requirements and monitor the data on a regular cadence to ensure you are on the right track.
Has your communication been accurately translated? Is the content appropriate? How does this target market like to buy products? When a campaign meets your criteria, you can move forward.
07. Invest in The Relevant Technology
Many tech solutions are available to streamline global marketing in general and localization in particular. For example, you could use software that has been developed to facilitate translation and localization from start to finish. This provides a centralized platform for your localization team to use.
Having technology on your side, along with research and knowledge of the best localization strategies, will give you an edge in the global market, allowing you to plan accordingly.
08. Build a Localization Kit
Let’s say you hire a translator to work on translating some of your communications into other languages, but they don’t know anything about your business. The solution would be to create a “localization kit” — a kind of style guide.
Each time you need someone to work on localization, they can use this kit, which would include information about the tone of voice, common terms and acronyms, market-specific competitors you like or dislike, and their approaches, as well as grammar rules.
Anyone working on your localization strategies can then use this guide to reflect your business accurately, as everyone will be given the same information on which they will base their work.
09. Focus on the 4 Ps of Marketing
When you start your localization journey, make sure that you’re tapping into all aspects of the marketing mix. The four Ps represent the basic factors involved in marketing a product or service. Focus on these from the beginning to make sure you’re covering all of your bases.
Take a look at how the 4 Ps work in this context:
Product ‒ Adapt your product to the conditions of local markets.
Price ‒ Change your currency to suit the country or adjust product pricing according to the relevant markets.
Place ‒ Consider your distribution channels, retail locations, and web and social media presence in each country or region.
Promotion ‒ Localize your marketing communications across many channels: your website, social media, advertising campaigns, and public relations efforts.
10. With Localization Specialists
Chances are, you don't know a lot about some of the regions where you are trying to build a customer base. This could prove to be a problem as you expand your business. The solution: hire someone who does know these details. Local experts will be able to help you understand your new target audiences’ language, culture, and behavior.
Consider hiring in-country translation or localization experts, or see how you can involve staff members or agencies in your different markets. Cast the net wide, and you may find you have more human resources available than you realize.
Measuring Your Localization Strategies’ Progress
Localization will require significant time and resources. So you’ll want to check that you’re getting the required return on your investment. The best way to do this is to develop a set of KPIs to measure localization success and progress.
For example, you can measure:
SEO keyword ranking
Social media engagement
Customer support cases
When you monitor these metrics over time, you’ll be able to see whether your localization efforts are having a positive impact on your global revenue.
Final Thoughts on Localization Strategies to Increase Global Revenue
As your business scales, it can be easy to lose track of specific regions and markets. You may simply get too caught up in the bigger picture and miss out on some of the finer significant details. However, by using and implementing a sound localization strategy, you can ensure that every potential customer is considered no matter where they are located in the world. PayPro’s extensive localization toolkit can help you sell your product confidently, regardless of your customer’s location, language, or buying habits. So, let’s chat!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the primary benefit of a localization strategy?
Many companies use language localization to help communicate their message to an international target audience while maintaining the brand they want. A well-placed strategy enhances customer experience and allows them access to new markets, where they may resonate with customers more deeply.
Which industries can benefit from localization strategies?
Industries with varying language needs across different countries can benefit from localization strategies. For example, if you are an online retailer of eBooks, you’ll want to reach readers worldwide in languages they know and with currencies they trust.
What is the purpose of localization?
Localizing a product means making it look and feel like it was designed for a specific market while making it accessible for more people. This includes avoiding or minimizing sensitivities in local cultures that might confuse customers by throwing off their experience with your company's goods and services, which could lead them away from buying anything at all!
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