By now, you’re probably an expert on localization. Or, at least, you have a pretty good idea of how to go about localizing your website, mobile app, or software. But when it comes to localized content marketing, have you got it all figured out?
After all, it may not be as easy as a Field of Dreams type philosophy “if you build it, they will come.” You can localize your content, tweak your design and create a flawless user experience. But if you aren’t working your localized content marketing, you won’t get eyeballs on your site.
If you’re not sure how to start your localized content marketing strategy, maybe you need a few points to convince you of its importance. Check out these five vital facts you need to know about localized content marketing.
Related Post: Why Localization is Vital in Global Marketing
1. One of the highest causes of bounce rates is misleading information
Let’s get into the first cardinal sin that a lot of companies commit trying to win new market share overseas. They create social media campaigns or PPC ads, perhaps a localized landing page in the right language. But, when the new site visitor likes what they see and clicks through… they get hit by a wall of English text.
What happens next, you can probably guess. They X out of your site faster than you can say “new site visitor” and never come back again. A misleading title tag, meta description, or advert will cause your curious visitor to bounce away from your site with all the dexterity of a Japanese gymnast. You failed to deliver on your localized content marketing.
One of the highest causes of bounce rates is misleading information. So, before you start your localized content marketing, make sure you can follow through. Every important page your new visitor will land on, from landing page to quote form, needs to be in their language.
They need to be localized with regional vocabulary. Your prices must be displayed in local currency, weights, dates and times, and your whole experience should walk and talk like a native.
If you can offer multilingual customer support, all the better. But, don’t lure visitors to your website and then make them feel like they’re the only one at a fancy dress party not wearing a costume.
2. You can’t sell in English to people who don’t speak it
Just in case you haven’t been doing your research, let me refresh what localization is all about. It’s not about finding new markets for your product and service and then taking the same model to them. Changing the URL structure, adding an Hreflang and hoping for the best.
It’s about creating an experience that feels 100 percent native. From your wording to the color scheme, you need to appeal to your customer’s psyche. So, if your plan is to roll your site versions into Europe, Asia and Africa without localizing into the native languages, let me burst your bubble.
You can’t sell in English to people who don’t speak or read in English. According to Common Sense Advisory research, a massive 87 percent of people who can’t read English won’t buy from an English-only website.
They simply won’t place their trust (or money) in a website that doesn’t speak their language. So, if you were under the impression that the whole world speaks English, you were misguided.
Ethnologue estimates that around 13 percent of the world speaks English. While we’re still talking about a lot of people, you’re selling yourself and your localized content marketing strategy short if you don’t fully commit.
Related Post: Add Hreflang Tags to Localize Your Website
3. Not everyone uses the same marketing channels
So, you realize now that your localized content marketing needs to be backed up by localized material. But, while you’re preparing all your assets and researching the right images, message, and promotions to use, keep one vital piece of information in mind.
Not everyone uses the same social media channels or search engines. So, if you’re only creating campaigns for Facebook and Twitter, or optimizing your localized content marketing for Google, you’ll crash into another barrier.
No one said that localization was easy. Each new market you enter comes with a brand-new set of requirements, legislation and user preferences. You may be comfortable with Facebook. But if you’re heading out to China, you’d better learn your way around WeChat and Weibo, or find someone who knows.
Why? Until fairly recently, Facebook was non-existent in this country. Even today, it’s only used by a handful of its mega population, with around 730 million internet users.
As for search engines, get ready to be flexible in your localized content marketing strategies. Google doesn’t exist in certain markets. In others, they have a clear preference for sites like Yandex (Russia) and Baidu (China). Localized content marketing must consider all these factors.
There is a plethora of preferred search engines in the world. If you aren’t following their best practices for content optimization, your site will fly under the radar.
If you’ve never heard of Seznam, Naver, or Qihoo 360, it’s back to the drawing board before launching your localized content marketing on a global scale.
4. The world is increasingly mobile
In 2016, mobile internet usage overtook internet usage on desktops, now standing at 51.3 percent against 48.7 percent. This is a pretty massive swing in how people are consuming your information. Especially when you consider the multitude of offices and business around the world.
StatCounter CEO, Aodhan Cullen, told the Guardian, “This should be a wakeup call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not.”
Ensuring that your website is optimized for mobile is essential. Not only because the majority of your traffic is likely to start with a mobile. But also because some search engines, including Google, favor mobile-friendly websites in their mobile search results.
Creating a localized content marketing strategy isn’t just about your web presence on a laptop. With the growing tendency to browse from our handhelds, and apps that make it easier to pay on-the-go; you need to ensure your site is flawless on all devices.
You need to factor in mobile in your localized content marketing and ensure that when you localize into a new language, none of your design parameters are broken. When localizing your website, you should be aware of the need to leave extra space to allow for more letters or characters of foreign languages.
This is even more pertinent in mobile websites, where you have less room to play around with. Your mobile version may look perfect in English, but localize it into German and watch the wording grow by as much as 40 percent! Broken CTAs or text that runs over images will make your localized content marketing campaign fall flat with your target audience.
5. Localized advertising campaigns outperform English ones
If you’ve gotten this far in this article, it should probably come as no surprise that localized advertising campaigns outperform English ones. When you keep in mind that almost 9 out of 10 people who can’t speak English won’t but from your site, and that if you’re on the wrong channels, they won’t see your ads.
According to recent research, 86 percent of localized content marketing campaigns studied outperformed English campaigns. This was in terms of both click-through and conversion.
Not only will you create a message to get your new audience’s attention. But, you’ll also ensure that your localized content marketing gets seen. Search is increasingly local. When you make sure that your different site versions are optimized for local markets and that the content is locally relevant, your SERP ranking will increase.
So, when you’re crafting your localized content marketing campaign, a key thing to remember is your choice of keywords. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking all languages are spoken the same way around the world. Selling to a Colombian audience is very different from selling to a Spanish one.
If you’re offering winter promotions in summer, or failing to use the right keywords and vocabulary in your localized content marketing, you’ll fall short of the mark.
Localized content marketing is gaining traction
As the number of global internet subscribers grows on a daily basis and the world gets increasingly mobile, localized content marketing is essential to win over more customers. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
Even with travel bans, the dissolution of the European Union and the throwing up walls, people still want to be connected! And global tastes are merging, increasing demand for your product.
According to the Centre for Next Generation Localisaton, the language industry is the fourth fastest growing in the United States. And the global language industry was valued at $40 billion in 2016.
So, guess what? The tendency isn’t slowing down and it isn’t going away. You need to get comfortable working with localized content marketing if you want to achieve global success.