Increasing international business with translation services
The benefits of using translation services to communicate with non-English speakers and boost international growth have long been documented. And with much of the world’s economy in shutdown and the prospect of a prolonged global recession looming, it is important for businesses to look for alternative markets to mitigate the long-term effects of the crisis. Here we look at some tips to help ensure the success of international campaigns and how translation services can help boost your export campaigns.
While it may be extremely daunting to start exporting to a new market at the current time, much of the groundwork can be done during lockdown. The first important step before deciding whether or not to go into an export market is to do your market research. This will include an analysis of the competition, potential gaps in the market and growth opportunities, pricing, currency fluctuation, political issues and general attitude to imports. You can find useful information about a wide variety of export destinations and their suitability as an export market here: https://www.great.gov.uk/markets/. The Department for International Trade also publishes exporting opportunities for UK businesses on a regular basis and you can find these here: https://www.great.gov.uk/export-opportunities/
Visiting possible export destinations and attending overseas exhibitions is not an option at the moment but virtual relationships can be built with potential agents, distributors or resellers in the target market so that when travel restrictions are lifted you are ready to hit the ground running.
It is important to bring the same care and attention to representing your brand overseas as you do with your domestic market and effective communications with potential customers and partners in their own language is a vital part of this. According to a survey of more than 3000 global consumers in 10 non-Anglophone countries, 75 per cent of people prefer to buy items from websites in their native language, with 60 per cent saying they never buy from English-only websites. You will need native translators who are not only familiar with your industry and understand the technical language associated with it but who also have a grasp of the cultural and linguistic nuances of your target market. Free online translation tools are usually used to obtain a gist of what content means and may reflect badly on your brand if used with business-critical context. Above all else, remember you should apply the same time and effort spent producing the content in English to the foreign-language versions of your website.
How translation can help increase conversions
High-quality translations of your marketing collateral and website content will help you build connections with potential buyers worldwide. A good website translation will ensure that potential customers overseas will find information on your products and services in their own language, particularly when paired with multilingual SEO, which will help boost your website’s presence on local search engines. Remember, customers in different regions may search differently to their UK counterparts, so it’s really important to factor this into your discussions with your chosen translation partner.
Sometimes, straight translation is not enough, and you may need a service called transcreation for your marketing and advertising copy – a highly creative translation service, somewhere between translation and foreign language copywriting to ensure that your brand is communicated effectively. This service is particularly useful where your content contains puns, local references and other phrases that will not work through translation alone. Transcreation specialists will work much in the same way as a copywriter and will discuss your objectives, target market and desired tone in order to craft a message that works as well in the target market as your English copy.
Following on from that, you may need technical manuals, software translation or translations of contracts in different languages in order to ensure that you provide your clients and potential clients with all the information that they need to do business with you.
Lastly, you may need arrange live remote interpreting so that you can communicate with ease with your overseas contacts. This can be performed through a variety of methods, from straightforward conference calls through to specialist remote interpreter platforms that allow conferences to be held in multiple languages.
High-quality translations by expert native translators need not be expensive – judicious use of the latest translation technology allows translation agencies to keep costs as low as possible while producing the desired results.
We would love to hear how your company is coping with the current crisis in international trade and any advice you may have for other businesses on what can be done now to plan for future international growth.