Going Global With Your Business Website

Translation Services for global business

The world is getting smaller by the hour, and it is more and more difficult to succeed in the global economy. There are literally thousands of options and directions to take; there is more information than ever before- more than can be consumed. With new markets, new ideas and new trends, it is difficult to reach potential customers and run a successful business. Before you set off into the world of global business, there are six things you should do.

1. Have a clear, strong plan.

When it comes to global business, the power of analytics is tremendous. Decide on your primary goal. There is absolutely no time to waste. The world is changing at jet speed, and you have to stay in the game. Steer clear of blurred ideas, mixed up plans and unreliable information. Stay focused and work on achieving your dreams.

2. Be aware of competition.

Competition is out there, whether you like it or not, and it will hit hard. You might experience all kinds of things: someone copying your words, setting traps for you, embracing your current customers, etc. It will be a rat race, but that is how things go, and there is no time to brood on it. Make the best of your situation and head towards success.

3. Localize your site.

Meet the cultural norms of a market you are about to reach, and make sure your website is translated into several languages, depending on the region you target. By translating your web site, you will increase the chances of success by 70-80%. English is not the supreme Internet language anymore; you have to broaden your scope of influence. Also, proper keyword placement will make sure your site is picked up by search engines.

4. Follow the trends.

The most important thing is not to stay behind with the times. Stay in tune with the latest in design and check on everything that is currently happening in the online market. You never know what you might come across. Expand; go beyond what is popular and interesting. Offer discounts and incentives. This way, you will give your customers and visitors something to look forward to.

5. Have a strong social media presence.

Having a website is not enough anymore. You have to include social media buttons on your site, and make sure your customers are able to “share” anything they like. This will make you closer to thousands of people and enable you to draw many potential customers. Know that some countries do not use Facebook (Russia, for example), so be sure to include buttons for all major social networks.  Consider providing the Spanish, German, Portuguese, Chinese and French translation of your popular content.

6. Make your web design shine.

It is all about the appearance and ease of use, so you have to pay attention to your website’s design and functionality. Keep it simple, yet interesting and engaging. Remember that the design should go well with your web content and the overall appeal of your site (funny, serious, casual, etc.). Choose the colors wisely and follow the latest trends and templates.

Once you cover all that we have mentioned, there’s no doubt your website will maintain a strong global presence and attract plenty of customers. Your job is to lay down the groundwork.

Cutting Edge Marketing Strategies of H&R Block and Quicken

The majority of taxpayers in the United States never think about their personal income taxes until the very last minutes, and then never want to think about them again until the next time they are due. With this being the case, tax preparation companies like Intuit and H & R Block have an uphill battle when trying to promote their tax preparation products and services to the intended market.

Among tax preparation companies, H & R Block is the largest in the U.S. and offers a full gamut of products and services to meet the needs of just about all classes of taxpayers. English and even many non-English speaking tax payers who seek to simplify the time consuming and difficult task of doing their own taxes can go to one of the thousands of H & R branch offices and have a tax professional with Spanish translation skills do the work for them. Alternatively, people who are comfortable preparing their own tax returns and can select an English or bilingual online solution from Intuit or H & R Block that can help in simplifying and automating the task.

While tax preparation is one of the most dreaded life experiences, tax preparation suppliers have established a reputation for using communication strategies that employ translation companies such as The Marketing Analysts Translation Services and modern technologies such as social media to reach multilingual target audiences. For example, in a recent promotional campaign H & R Block hired a French translation services company and employed a range of strategies to reach their target customers: videos on YouTube, a YouTube contest, Facebook, and Twitter.

However, H & R Block’s creative communication strategies don’t simply revolve around technology. Using Web 2.0 resources, the company created a multilingual two-way communication method where the company listens to customers as it communicates. For instance, the marketing team follows Twitter users that have raised tax questions online, with the objective of keeping an open ear to their target market. Occasionally H & R Block employees reply directly to tax questions, and occasionally employees simply offer words of comfort and encouragement.

The use of social media and web 2.0 technology by H & R Block has surprised many veteran marketing professionals and translation professionals because in the past the tax preparation industry has been viewed as a conservative, old fashioned industry. Even more interesting is the fact that H & R Block has generated some interest in the field of tax preparation.

Why Your Business Website Needs to Be Translated

languageIt is no secret that the more markets you reach, the bigger your business becomes; and the more targeted your marketing efforts are, the bigger your impact is on your target audience. Today, because more and more businesses are realizing the value of social media, they recognize that they cannot survive without a website.

A virtual representation of your company is a necessity: people look for you in search engines more than in the malls or on signboards while driving around town. Furthermore, a website and social media can be easier to manage and maintain than conventional advertising tools.  Without question, today’s generation of young people are comfortable and skilled with web tools and expect nothing less than instant information.

Though many people may take it for granted or assume automatically that everyone can understand English, the fact is that most of the people in the world are still more comfortable browsing the net in their native language. If you plan to reach a global audience and expand your market to as many people around the world as possible, you need to get your website translated. But do not make it a word-for-word or literal translation the way some automated programs on the Internet do. Instead, you should make it as targeted as you can, specific to the context of the country you are trying to get your message across to.

Make the marketing messages, the ads, the photo captions, and even the videos palatable to their tastes and traditions. Because specific words have their own cultural connotations, the direct translation from English to Portuguese, for example, may strike a different chord from the intended effect. Instead, find the right word to convey the same message to the culturally different listener or reader. This is a skill that a person from a professional translation service has because he is expert enough in both languages to avoid unfortunate language choices that may offend potential customers.

The process of localization—adjusting the look and feel of a product so that it appeals to the target audience—is an important part of going global. Imagine that you want to use a particular advertising feature in a new foreign market that perfectly projects your message and suits your needs, but you resort to a  mechanical translation that offends or insults your potential customers or presents your product in an unfortunate or inaccurate manner.  Manish Bhargava, Product Manager at Google, gave a good example of such a case. When Google provided the Swedish translation for Google Maps, the icon “Get Directions” was translated to a Swedish word that meant “Instructions.”

As is common with mechanical translations, this word isn’t entirely incorrect, but it didn’t serve the purpose or convey the exact meaning it was supposed to. A native English speaker would understand why “Instructions” is not as accurate as “Get Directions” in a situation when you resort to Google Maps. As an indication why precise, culturally-specific language is essential to profitable business, Google theorizes that this translation resulted in the Swedes not using Google Maps as much as Google projected.

Bhargava also focuses on how much of the market you may miss if you do not globalize or if you think that the English-speaking market is adequate for growth in today’s world. In fact, Bhargava estimates that missed sales opportunities may mount as high as 86%. Furthermore, as illustrated in the example above, if you are careless or sloppy in translation, you will waste your time and fail to achieve your business goals. Thus accurate, nuanced translation is essential.  Employing a professional translation service for your website can give you the value that you demand and the market shares that you initially just dream about.

PREPARING FOR SOCIAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION FOR MULTILINGUAL MARKETS

Just a few years back, business communication was usually discussed in the context of publishing or broadcasting. This was most frequently done by a company producing carefully worded communications that were targeted to a mass audience that usually had only one or two ways to react to the message. In the same manner, the intended consumers usually had limited and no means to interact among themselves, solve problems, raise doubts and offer assistance to other consumers with similar concerns.

In more recent times, an assortment of solutions have been introduced that have successfully worked to improve the business communication. Unlike the way of thinking previously mentioned, this fresh approach that uses a social media style is collaborative, dynamic, conversational, multilingual and culturally sensitive. As translators with The Marketing Analysts Translation Service explain, classic methods of publishing communications using fixed, ordered and primarily one-way channels are becoming extinct.” The intended consumer has stopped being an inactive receiver of information. Instead, the intended consumer is now a dynamic and engaged member in the discussion. In the same way social media represents the latest advancements for the internet, Social Business Communication is a good terms used to describe this new style of business communication.

While the new style of communication might seem to some as a few simple tools (ex. blogs and wikis), the new style is greatly transforming the way business communication is conducted. For instance, previously business messages were carefully worded and tested by advertising agencies and professional writers and the sent to a translation company and then sent to sometimes targeted or untargeted passive audiences. Using the social business communication style, the principles have been radically transformed; no presumptions should be assumed.

Obviously, no organization, regardless of how passionately it adopts the Social Business Communication mentality, will allow itself to operate in a way that gives everyone a voice to be heard. Rather, a business will more likely employ the conventional approach for certain communications (ex. marketing plans, product strategies and other documents) and use the Social Business Communication approach for other types of communications such as instructional and support communications. Throughout the next set of blog entries, we will include a variety of discussions that concern the new style of social business communication and how it influences certified translators, consumers and stakeholders.