In the era of fast technology developments and globalisation, even locally based SMEs bravely approach international markets via their digital means such as website, hoping to explore those new markets and acquire foreign customers. This however, is often easier said than done.
Building a strong brand abroad is not an easy task and requires thorough preparation. One of the most significant aspects of growing your business internationally is approaching potential customers in their language. The number of customers who purchase goods and services from businesses based abroad is constantly growing. Importantly however, over 90% of those customers claim they feel more inclined to finalise a purchase if the information about a product or service is available in their native language. As you can see, the importance of professional translations is very significant and a professionally translated website can strongly influence consumer behaviour.
Translations: a growing sector
In fact, professional business translations are a rapidly growing sector. Although there is a number of free translation software such as Google translate available, companies, especially larger and more experienced, recognise the true importance behind professional translations and how they can affect their company image abroad. Free translation software isn’t always accurate and so even the smallest mistake in your text or material can damage your reputation. Website content translated inaccurately could be very harmful to your sales, especially if your reputation isn’t yet established abroad.
Customers who aren’t yet familiar with your products and services will most likely be affected by even the smallest factors. If your website isn’t translated accurately, the professional image of your company may weaken in their eyes and therefore customers won’t trust your brand as a whole, consequently dropping your sales.
A step beyond translations
Additionally, working with an agency which offers translation services will guarantee that your content is not only accurately translated, but also carefully localised. There are a number of factors which can vary from location to location and these can directly influence consumer behaviour. Although your website or marketing material worked perfectly fine in your home market, this may not necessary be the case abroad. Colours, messages, dialects and even currency and time zone can be a significant factor which can influence your customers but will not be localised by the free translation software. A great example of this could be the use of colour white within your marketing material. While in Europe a symbol of cleanliness and purity, in China and other Asian markets a colour symbolising death. As you can see, small nuances such this can have a strong impact on your campaign. An expert translation agency will ensure that these fine touches are seamless and ready to address your chosen market.
Aniello Attianese, senior project manager from one of the UK’s leading translation agencies, Language Reach, says that ‘’The number of London based SMEs looking to translate and localise their marketing material and websites for international audiences has noticeably increased over the last few years. What’s interesting to see is that the SMEs aren’t only focused on penetrating the European markets, but also bravely approach the fast developing markets in Asian and Africa.”
It’s also important to remember that the language itself can vary, depending on geographical location. For example, Portuguese spoken in Portugal will differ from Brazilian Portuguese similarly to Arabic differing across the middle east countries.
With this in mind, accurate translation and localisation services are more important than ever. From branding and upholding a professional image of your company to customer acquisition and sales, working with a translation agency can be a very significant part of your internalisation, and although this is something that will have to be incorporated within your initial budget, it will save time and money in the long run.