In an era where globalisation is affecting all business activities, it is getting more and more important to meet your audience where they are. However, engaging with a new audience is a process that should be managed carefully and there are certain aspects to consider such as the culture and the language. Indeed, you are only addressing a limited percentage of your target audience if you rely on only one language that everyone doesn’t understand. Although English is a universally spoken language, the world doesn’t just speak English.

You will, therefore, have to become part of your target customers’ community and communicate with them in their own language to grow your business across foreign countries. Here’s how translation services can help you do so.

Reach a wider audience

To grow your business and increase your sales, you will need to address a larger number of potential customers. Of course, engaging with them in a language they fully understand is the best way to attract them, retain them and build a relationship with them.

Translating your website, marketing campaigns and all sorts of documents will therefore, allow your brand to expand and cross borders. Being recognized beyond the borders of your local country will make your business more trustable to foreign customers and will increase your credibility, which is great for company image.

Improve company image

Being a cross-border brand can considerably increase your credibility and can make you stand out from your competitors. Having a multilingual website will increase your online presence, as customers from several countries will have access to your company online when browsing keywords in the local language. This can make you look more reliable and relevant.

Communicating in the local language is essential to make your target customers feel considered and appreciated, which will lead to a better customer experience as well as an increase in customer loyalty.

Build trust

By addressing your new potential customers in their own language, the messages you convey will be more understandable and therefore more memorable. Your audience will be more easily touched by your brand and will be able to relate to it.

Your marketing and advertising campaigns should not only be translated but adapted to your target customers. They are what defines your brand identity and will obviously resonate more in the minds of your customers if they are translated into their local language. However, it is not just about translation. All marketing materials must be localised and adapted to fit the local market.

Slogans that have specific rhymes or play on words, for example, should not be translated literally but tailored to remain accurate yet still have the intended impact. Many companies learned that the hard way and experienced major failures due to that kind of mistakes. The brand Ford, for example, launched the Ford Pinto model in Brazil without changing its name. Little did they know that “pinto” meant “tiny male genitals” in Brazilian slang, which shows how important it is to proceed carefully when translating marketing campaigns.

Translating your website is also an important step. It is technically your first point of contact with your customers. It is therefore essential for you to make a good first impression, as first impressions are hardly changeable and determine how customers feel about you at first sight. If your website is not understandable to them, they will quickly switch to another one rather than bothering to look more deeply into it as it only takes them a few seconds to decide whether to shop on a website or not.

90% of online shoppers claim that they spend most of their time online on websites in their native language. You don’t want them to shop on your competitors’ websites, which is why you should make yours available in the languages of the markets you target.

These translations should, therefore, be done by professionals and reach out to translation agencies to help you is the best alternative. That’s how you will build a long-term relationship of trust with the new markets you are targeting.

Humans outperform machines

To translate any type of documents or messages, humans are the best positioned to make translations reliable. Native professionals who have sector-specific knowledge depending on what your business needs to translate are the ones able to localise messages and tailor them to the local culture, rather than just doing word-for-word translations.

Marketing campaigns, for example, require a whole creative process to be transcribed into another language, as some things just can’t be translated literally. A translation software won’t cut the job and won’t be able to go through transcreation processes to transform slogans and word plays. Human translations are therefore the best way to deal with this process as accurately as possible.

As you can see, reaching out to professional translation services when growing your business is a real investment. Having actual humans translate your business and marketing materials is what guarantees the accuracy and reliability of the work. To succeed as a growing business, to widen your audience and to increase your sales, you must engage with your potential customers in their language and adapt to them, instead of expecting them to adapt to you. The right approach is therefore to localise your website, marketing campaigns and everything involved in the process of expanding your business, which professional translation services can help you with.

Sophie Oppong
Sophie is the Business Management Lead at Content Intelligence Media.