Don’t be lost for words in International Markets
Directors & Founders of the No Fuss Group Ltd, Claire Snowdon and Norma Foster provide their tips for customers to change their behaviour and adapt to the rapid shift to digital environments and take the next step to internationalisation.

Coronavirus has changed the experience of being a customer, employee, citizen and human, and it is changing the way we live.

Businesses are being forced to look for new ways of working as customers change their behaviour and shifting rapidly to digital environments.

In our recent webinar polls the percentage of attendees said:

  • 67% say that they are stressed about business development and winning new sales
  • 36% say they had already started to adapt their international marketing strategy
  • 29% say they’ve had to change their product or service offer

Globalisation is clearly a way to increase revenue opportunities and grow a business and this is achieved by reaching out to new markets and new international customers.

Customers are no longer simply local to your town, city or country, they are scattered all over the globe and local to their own town and city.

Localising your Digital Platforms

Successful international businesses understand that the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work when delivering products and services across different markets. Creating goodwill and establishing credibility with local markets is critical if you want to prosper.

To be able to reach these customers and establish credibility, your online presence is a key tool and your website sits at the heart of your online presence.

Global competition demands that your website is properly localised in order to succeed internationally and be able to compete on a local level.

Localisation is where a business actively seeks to differentiate its global products, services and communications to individual markets and regions and to embrace and accommodate those cultural and language differences. Done correctly this leads to improved results such as increased ROI, awareness and engagement.

How to make sure your website works for you in your chosen international markets

Globally when it comes to language, only 17.6% speak English, so what is the business case to include other languages on your website and in your international marketing, these statistics should help you to make that decision:

  • 74% of online searches are not English (Internet World Stats – March 2020)
  • 400% more visitor conversions on e-commerce sites presented in a local language (IDC Research)
  • 90% of Europeans prefer to use ‘local’ websites (Eurobarometer – The Gallup Organization)

Global English

As a first step to localising your website language content you could consider the use of Global English (sometimes referred to as International English).

Here are 7 examples of how you could implement Global English on your website:

  1. Reduce the volume of content
  2. Keep the sentences short and simple
  3. Simplify the language – e.g. staff not human resources
  4. Avoid jargon, acronyms, slang & “insider talk”
  5. Provide visual support when possible
  6. Use bullets, underlining and bold
  7. Don’t make assumptions

Translation Project

When you are ready and have made the business case for a particular market and language, think about how you are going to approach the translation project. Be mindful of having the content trans created, this is the process of adapting a message from one language to another, whilst maintaining its intent, style, tone, and context.

Here are 6 steps for developing your localised language website content, as a guide:

  1. Write in Global (International) English
  2. Finalise English version of copy
  3. Translate the content professionally – Transcreation is the key
  4. Use local language copywriters to create the local content
  5. Proofread the content professionally – don’t do it yourself
  6. Check the copy with ‘local’ team members, agents, distributors or partners

Top tip: When translating and trans creating the content for your website, remember to have the meta data translated as well. The search engines also have their language preferences to be able to deliver SEO for your site.

Finding a strong voice in international markets for your offer is a key part of your business development and customer service activities and these tips will help you to keep on track.