Today, perhaps more so than ever before, the world is a globalized marketplace. Nowadays, even small, local brands and organizations are able to reach out to international customers relatively easily and explore foreign markets. With the help of technology and internet, approaching consumers based overseas has never been easier. Nevertheless, before a company could successfully expand and grow their processes abroad, preparing a detailed expansion plan is nothing short of essential.
Not too long ago, approaching a foreign audience consisted of simply extending any current campaigns, documents and materials from the home country into the chosen market. Today however, consumers are much more aware of their individualism, and although purchasing trends are similar across the globe, each market wants to be perceived independently. As a result, companies must prepare a tailored campaign for each of the markets they wish to approach, and one of the most important factors of such campaigns is the use of languages.
Consequently, UK based agencies offering professional translation services became key partners during the internationalization process. Today, organizations from practically all business sectors work closely with translations providers in order not only to convert their content into the market’s native language, but often also to better understand consumer behavior and traits within the chosen marketplace.
What to translate?
A company which is approaching a foreign market might find the whole process somewhat daunting, especially if this isn’t something they have gone through previously. Ensuring that only the essential materials and documents are translated can save time and money, and so preparing a comprehensive blueprint of specific materials to translate is key.
The type of documents you should translate when approaching a foreign market depends on a number of different factors and working with an expert translation agency can truly help you throughout this process. From your chosen market, consumer behaviors or socio-economic and demographic aspects to the type of service or product you offer can all directly affect which materials you should convert into the target market’s native language, and a translations provider should be able to help you with this.
Nonetheless, there are some standard materials and documents which a company must translate, regardless of the above factors.
One of the most important and key corporate elements a company must translate professionally is their website. In most cases, especially if the business does not have a physical presence within the target market, e.g. a store, the company website will be the earliest point of contact between the organization itself and a potential customer. By providing vital information to the audience in their native tongue you can significantly increase the chances of conversion.
However, because translating an entire website might be both time-consuming and costly, especially for SMEs, prioritizing just the right and most important content to translate can be very beneficial. To start, consider which products or services you intend to sale abroad as you will only need to translate information relevant to such items, rather than the entire stock list and corresponding pages.
Apart from the website, translating other digital materials might also be advantageous. Social media, blogs or articles as well as any software/apps provided in the market’s native language can help you in increasing the revenue and market share abroad.
If in addition to the digital, you are also considering a physical presence in the target country, translating traditional marketing materials such as leaflets, brochures or even business cards might be a good idea. By doing this, you create a professional image of your brand, which can be positively perceived by the potential customers and business partners, and this might be essential within a new, foreign market.
Although converting digital and marketing materials can positively impact your sales directly, it is equally important to consider translating any legal or official documents. Whether it’s contracts, terms and conditions or documents such as warranties – by working with an agency to translate them accurately might be very beneficial in the long term, should your business come across any legal disputes or challenges in the future.
I know what I need to translate, now what?
Choosing the right content and material to translate, although a potentially difficult and time-consuming process, is unfortunately only the first step. Choosing the right agency to convert your documents is the next phase, and it can often be equally difficult, especially if you have not worked with a language translations provider in the past.
When choosing the best translation agency for your particular needs, it’s important to bear in mind few important aspects.
Firstly, in order for your documents to be converted accurately, your chosen provider must have a previous experience in translating similar documents and materials. If an agency specializes in creative or marketing translations, they might find it somewhat difficult to reliably translate legal documents, and vice versa.
Nonetheless, choosing a different agency or linguist for each type of content you wish to convert would not only be extremely time-consuming, but also expensive. Therefore, it’s a good idea to choose a provider which offers a wide range of language translation services and has experience translating for a wide range of different business sectors.
Another important aspect to look out for when choosing a language company is whether the agency work solely with native speaking linguists. This, in majority of cases, can prove to be a crucial factor when it comes to the accuracy of a translation. A native speaker will be to not only reliably translate your content, but also carefully localize your material centered around any aspects the market and consumers might be sensitive to, for example, religious, economic or political factors.
How to find the best agency for your needs?
One of the easiest ways to find a trustworthy translation agency is by simply conducing a search online. Whether using a search engine such as Google or a third party review site like TrustPilot, reading reviews and looking at the list of previous clients/projects might give you a good idea whether the linguist has what it takes to accurately convert your materials.
It might also be helpful to ask the agency to provide a small, free translation sample into your target language. You will then be able to see the quality of their work as well as decide whether their ‘style’ is suitable for your brand.