Small and medium business enterprises are always looking for fresh avenues they can go down to find new audiences and it’s no secret that using the internet is one of the best ways to do this. Internet marketing is highly targeted, which means that it often has a much greater reach than traditional advertising methods such as newspapers and radio ads, and of course, it’s almost always cheaper.
Even so, a website can only take a business so far – there are only so many potential customers out there searching for your products and services online, and once you’ve reached the number one spot on search engines, where do you go from there?
The logical answer, of course, is to target foreign markets, and to do so, you’re going to need to chat them up, and do it well.
Hittin’ on Them
Chatting people up sounds easy right?
Well, only if you’re fluent in multiple languages or your translator knows what he or she’s doing. The thing to remember is that there’s more to translating a website than simply changing the text from English to Chinese, or whatever language it is that you’re targeting. Just as with romantic relationships, things are not always that simple!
Even if your company website is successful at home, there’s a very good chance that translating your site’s content word-for-word into the target language won’t be able to replicate that success. You see, you’re forgetting one essential element – website localization.
When translating your website – or when hitting on a girl for that matter – you need to think carefully about the ‘target audience’ and what kind of ‘content’ is appropriate for them. Sure, the overall message needs to remain the same, but the method of delivery will almost certainly be different each time.
The way in which a website speaks to its audience isn’t that different from how you would approach a girl in the bar – in both cases, you have one chance to impress, so you’d better make sure your chat-up line is not just a good one, but also an appropriate one.
Translated websites need to be made linguistically and culturally appropriate for the target audience, just as your chat-up line would need to be ‘toned down’ somewhat if you’re trying to hit on a girl in a more conservative country. As far as your website goes, the only way to ensure this happens is by having the translation done by an experienced, native language speaking copywriter who is familiar with the marketing techniques used in that country.
So don’t go presuming that just any old translation agency can do the job for your website. You need to be sure they have what it takes to ‘impress’ your target audience in a way that leaves them totally dazzled – just like you do when you’re hitting on girls at the bar!