Interested in growing your business beyond your local market but not sure of the steps? Are you concentrating heavily on your digital content to attract new clients? Do you need a way to grow your business exponentially? What if there was a way to answer all of these questions using just one word? There is. The word is translation.
Yep, that is what I said. Translation. In a world growing smaller, people moving, immigration increasing and languages colliding on a daily basis, one of the top – if not THE top — things a company should concentrate on is translation.
And they should think about translation early on in the game. There is no time like the present to begin. In order to see why it is so important, let’s look at the numbers.
61.8 million US residents speak a language other than English.
With a population of 321 million people, that is nearly 20% of the US that you could reach. 72% of consumers spend most of their time on websites in their own language and are much more apt to buy products in their native language.
If 56.2% of those same consumers believe that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price, why aren’t more people using translation to help grow their bottom line?
In fact, there is a direct correlation between an organization’s financial performance and whether or not its website is multilingual.
One study showed organizations with websites translated into 17 or more languages landed at the top of the Forbes Global List of financial performers; those with 4.1 languages per website wallowed at the bottom of the list of 1,000 organizations.
In 2014, even the online professional network, LinkedIn, saw its revenue increase by 45% due in part to venturing into global markets.
Few American organizations are conducting business outside of US borders today, despite the fact that 21 languages make up 90% of today’s online spending power. There is a lot of untapped possibility.
52% of companies surveyed are either not translating at all, or only translating into one language.
Only 14% of organizations create original content, and employ local marketers in the countries where they are seeking to expand their business. That is a small number considering what treasures there are to find.
When companies do translate, most of the translations of their websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, digital marketing, social media advertising, video and gaming content is designed for use in their own country.
The most common languages for US businesses are Spanish and French, for the home market, as well as Mexico and Canada.
And while American companies translate for local audiences, they are less focused on other parts of the world. They translate for Europe and Asia, but much less for South America and Africa.
Perhaps this is a market worth some research and translation?
Enter the Global Market
Studies show that organizations have clear and definite intentions to expand the reach of their digital content because they know this is key to boosting their bottom line.
According to a survey done by IDG Connect, global content targeting over ten countries will grow from the current 42% to 68% by 2017.
Some companies are focused on addressing new market opportunities, but an even greater number want to match the demands of their current customer base – perhaps targeting their customers who spend more money, for example. Reach them through translation and their revenue grows.
Challenges they face
When asked, organizations reported that the largest obstacles they face in expanding globally revolves around three factors:
- Organization: How to centralize translation across multiple teams
- Staffing: How to get the necessary in-house resources
- Budget: How to find the appropriate resources
A professional translator is the answer to all three concerns. But, as with anything, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
When it comes to the cost of using a professional translator, many wonder why they should bother if there are free online translation services. Yet most of us know that free doesn’t mean good or accurate.
And machine translation has ruined many a website, ad campaign and reputation. You get what you pay for. When it comes to your company’s brand, look, and image, it should be done professionally.
Making sure your company communicates with others well is paramount to success.
Trained and ready, with both an understanding of languages and subjects, professional translators have all the tools to make your digital content “sing” in another language. In the end the benefits of using quality translators will outweigh any upfront costs.
Ultimately, organizations looking to expand their digital content need a clear strategy on how best to proceed. Bringing in translation professionals is crucial and should never be an afterthought.
Making translation a budgeted priority will ensure that your company will grow and tap into the vast riches to be found all across the globe.
Ilona K wrote and illustrated her first novel when she was eleven.
Her latest creations include website user guides for the Federal Aviation Administration and blog articles for a language service provider.
Ilona can handle both the serious and sublime. And she does them all with professionalism, wit and a song in her heart.