When moving into a new global market, using your existing English-language marketing materials is a great way to launch a campaign quickly and save cash. But you can’t simply translate your marketing materials from one language to another.
Customers trust brands that speak their language—not only linguistically but also culturally. If customers can’t identify themselves and their needs in your message, they won’t buy.
This is why it’s critical to culturally adapt your marketing materials to local consumers.
This is called marketing localization. It’s the process of adapting your website, ads and more to the linguistic and cultural sensitivities of your target. Localized marketing materials engage more customers and result in more clicks and conversions. For companies with global aspirations, marketing localization is a core aspect of achieving success in new markets.
In the following guide, you’ll learn how to localize your marketing materials for global audiences, and we’ll explain why marketing localization is such an important part of expanding your business internationally.
The Numbers: Why Marketing Localization is Essential to Success in New Markets
There is a massive difference in engagement between brands that localize and brands that don’t. Without localization, you risk alienating large segments of your potential customer base, making it much harder to establish yourself in a new market.
Just look at these numbers:
- 90% of online shoppers choose to shop in their native language
- Local Facebook pages outperform global pages by over 50%
- Website localization boosts traffic by 47% and conversions by 20%
- Click-through rates (CTR) jump by up to 60% for localized ads
- 87% of global customers would not buy from an English-only website
The numbers are clear. And this is just the tip of the data iceberg.
The bottom line is that marketing localization helps companies make more sales and build a customer base faster in new markets. And, it’s not costly to hire a professional agency to handle your marketing localization. So, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t localize your marketing materials.
Breakdown: The Marketing Localization Process
What does marketing localization entail? It goes beyond literal translation and adapts your marketing content to resonate with specific international audiences.
Here are the key aspects of marketing localization.
Translation is the foundation of the localization process. The data speaks loud and clear when it says that foreign customers will not engage with marketing content if it isn’t written their language. This should be obvious.
What’s less obvious is that the quality of a translation can also have a big impact on engagement. A poor translation makes your brand look incompetent, eroding trust and ruining the intent of your message. The later steps of localization (e.g. cultural adaptation) can’t fix a bad translation, so it’s critical that you invest in professional translation by certified human translators from the get-go.
Customers in different parts of the world use different units of measurement. All units in your content, including weight, length, temperature or currency, must be converted to local standards.
This is a simple yet important step in marketing localization because foreign measurements can represent a huge block to customers who are otherwise ready to buy.
Most customers are unwilling to convert a foreign shoe size or a currency into their own. In fact, it’s estimated that about 13% of all abandoned carts are the result of prices listed in a foreign currency.
This stage involves understanding the nuances of the target culture and tweaking your content to make it appealing and relatable to the local audience. It covers aspects like idioms, humor, historical context, pop culture, and more.
Excellent cultural adaptation is the key to gaining trust fast in new markets. If done poorly, it can make your brand seem out of touch. In the worst cases, brands can make cultural blunders that can be difficult to recover from.
Cultural adaptation should be handled by localization experts from your target region or country. Many brands choose to partner with professional linguists from a marketing translation agency to ensure this step is done right.
How to Localize a Global Marketing Campaign
You know you need to localize your global marketing campaign, but how do you begin? Below, you’ll find a list of marketing content to focus on when localizing your campaign.
However, keep in mind that marketing localization is not a one-size-fits-all process. It depends on the target audience and the scope of your campaign. Always prioritize your target research when deciding how to localize your marketing materials.
- Website Translation: Your website is likely going to be at the bottom of your sales funnel. That means, if you localize other content (such as social media posts) before you translate your website, you’ll probably lose those customers. Have your website translated and localized professionally, and give extra thought to your sales and checkout pages.
- Blog Translation: Localizing existing blog content can be a great way to populate your new or translated site quickly. But you should only translate and localize content that is relevant in the new market. It’s recommended to create additional original blog content that caters to local consumers as well.
- Advertising Localization: Localizing your ads is often much easier than you think. Voiceovers and subtitling may be all it takes to adapt your video ads to a new market. For other ads, cultural adaptation is important—especially in images. Consider using images featuring local people or places.
- Social Media Localization: Social media is where you’ll be growing your fan base and interacting directly with consumers. Because of the time-sensitive nature of social media marketing, localizing your posts and interactions requires ongoing effort. For this reason, many brands hire local marketers or partner with localization agencies.
- Email Marketing Localization: Personalized and culturally relevant emails can drive engagement and conversions. The priorities are CRM emails such as Thank You emails and abandoned cart emails. After that, you can work on building localized email campaigns.
- Multilingual SEO: Your new website and blog content needs to be optimized for your new local market and language if you hope to rank on Google or other search engines. It’s often easier to rank in non-English languages, but the ranking factors may be different. Linguistics agencies that specialize in marketing localization likely offer multilingual SEO services.
Marketing localization is a huge part of expanding your business into new regions. But as you can see, many aspects of localization require ongoing effort. If this process seems daunting, you may want to consider partnering with a marketing translation and localization expert such as Wolfestone Group.
Wolfestone Group has provided marketing translation and localization services to businesses for nearly two decades. One of the highest-rated translation agencies, Wolfestone Group is the chosen linguistics partner of brands like Google, HSBC and Bentley.
Wolfestone Group simplifies the process of scaling globally with comprehensive services that include translation, localization, multilingual SEO, voiceover and subtitling, and much more. Certified translators and localization specialists are available in over 220 language pairs. So, no matter where you choose to do business, Wolfestone Group will ensure that your marketing materials send the right message.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and find out how easy it is to scale globally with an accredited linguistics partner by your side.