Insights July 27, 2020

Localised content – the key to success in a crisis?

Living Word
By Living Word

The majority of web content is available in English, so why put money and effort into localising and translating your website or online shop? As it happens, there are quite a few convincing reasons for you to put translation and localisation of web content at the top of your list of priorities – especially during the current pandemic.

Let’s start by looking at some studies and statistics to show why translation services are so important when doing business today. According to the research and advisory company Gartner, for example, companies that use online personalisation technology – which includes translation and localisation services – outsell their counterparts by around 30%. After all, fostering personal customer connection is said to create long-term customer loyalty. A study of Fortune 500 companies seems to validate this: businesses that prioritise localised content were twice as likely to increase their profit, and 125% more likely to grow earnings per share year on year. Pretty impressive figures, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Building customer trust

The many advantages of localising content – be it in terms of culture, language, current affairs, or market-specific or regional affairs and terminology – are widely discussed all over the web. These include catching your customers’ attention, setting out a common ground, and connecting with clients effectively. In short, localisation and translation of one’s services really can boost brand awareness on many different levels.

Let’s face it – if you fail to translate and localise your content, you may not only lose customers and potentially a significant amount of sales, but prospects might never even find out that your brand exists. One prominent example of a big company that used localisation effectively is Microsoft, which today talks about its products in more than 90 languages. The result: it’s claiming huge profits from non-US territories – and this is of course very relevant on a smaller scale too.

On hurricanes, pandemics and other catastrophes

In times of crisis, localisation can be the key to success on many levels. For instance, when Hurricane Harvey hit the US, the Texas-based clothing retailer Tyler’s was quick to adapt, sharing relatable content that local communities would feel strongly about. We are now in the midst of a global pandemic, and while this puts huge demands on all of us, businesses have their very own challenges to think about. When it comes to marketing, for example, companies need to consider urban as well as rural audiences, regional infection rates, legislative changes in different areas, and more.

Creating sensitive content that takes regional and cultural differences into account is perhaps never more crucial than during a crisis – and the key to doing that right is localised strategies. With the amount of uncertainty at the moment, localisation can really help in communicating effectively with your customers and making that special bond future-proof.

Some companies will initially shy away from the task of localising websites, customer support offers and technical documentation, as it can seem like a costly and time-consuming undertaking, but localisation and personalisation really should be part of every company’s business plan. One thing is clear: customers want a brand experience that communicates in line with their own culture, considers their particular circumstances and, more often than not, speaks their own language.