Localization is one of the pillar stones of successful international products. Statistics say that about 65% of people want to use any product or service in their native language. No company wants to lose this ¾ of their potential customers and users.
So, what is localization? How to choose a localization service to make it a seamless process incorporated into your product or service development?
Here’s a quick overview of localization, who needs it, when to use it and how localization services work.
What Is Localization?
Localization is adapting a product’s content, features, marketing materials for foreign markets. The main goal of localization is to make products or services look and feel native in various regions. So, people shouldn’t doubt, at least from first sight, that this product has been developed within the local market.
Localization vs. Translation
Sometimes localization is considered to be a simple translation. However, that‘s not true. The translation is a simple linguistic process when content is translated from one language into another. Basically, translation is one of the parts of the localization process.
Localization covers much more changes in the product or service. When we talk about localization, we consider changes in time zones, currency, units of measurement, and geographic references. Also, localization includes considering national holidays, local color sensitivities, product or service name translation, and adaptation if needed.
So, it’s essential to remember that localization is much more than just direct translation.
Who Needs Localization
You might think that localization is something that people do as they have no more urgent tasks and business goals. That’s clearly not the case.
Basically, every company needs localization. Or, more precisely, every company that wants to be successful and profitable. We bet you are among those!
Localization can improve a company’s number and even increase revenue. One research proves this: after the localization, CTR and conversion rates of campaigns from within Appia’s ad network saw a 42% and 22% increase, respectively, reaching 3.34% and 9.08%.
So, the short answer for the question ‘Who does need localization?’ is every company willing to be successful globally.
When to Start Localizing
Of course, localization is not the first thing you need to do when developing a product or service. But it’s worth considering it at the very beginning of building a product; at least plan when you’ll start localizing.
For most companies, it’s not necessary to localize all content at once. It’s better to start small and test new target markets with localized messages. It’s an excellent strategy to work on the microcopy first: localize motos, slogans, ads, customer messages, and CTAs. Then you can measure the conversion rates and how well your localization company worked in every region.
You can consider localizing entire experiences after analyzing all the figures you get from these tests. Don’t spend big budgets on localization — at first, test, analyze and only then act. Think big but start small.
Who Participates in Localization
It might seem that localization is a mission of your content or localization team. However, it’s not exactly true. To be effective, localization needs to become a part of every process of developing your product or service.
Localization concerns everyone inside your team — from developers to business owners. Here are some roles that need to take part in the localization process:
- UI/UX designers. They need to make interfaces relevant and native for the new markets, for example, change the layout to a right-to-left one for Arabic markets.
- Software developers. They need to make the code implications for multiple languages.
- Marketing and monetization specialists. They need to create ad campaigns that will work across various markets.
- Product managers. They are responsible for setting out the strategy and deadlines for localization for new markets.
- C-level managers. They need to set the business goals for different markets and determine the tactical perspective of localization.
What Is a Localization Workflow?
Localization workflow might vary from one team to another, but it usually has the next stages:
- Developers supply the source code
- Product managers or marketers get this source code and submit it for localization
- Translators localize the content
- Localized content is reviewed by marketers or product managers
- Developers incorporate newly translated text into their source code
- Localized content is delivered to end-users
How Can We Start Localization?
Deciding that you need localization and creating a marketing strategy for new foreign markets is the first step in the complex localization process. But how exactly do you start localizing?
Well, you have several options here. One of the options is to get your in-house localization board. It might be an option if you have a huge budget and constant workflow for this unit. Another option is to hire freelancers who will localize the content. It’s a cheaper option; however, you have a risk of getting worse quality as freelancers might not know all the details of the foreign markets.
The best way to do localization is to use professional localization services. Choosing to work with a localization company allows you to save time, get a high-quality translation, and make localization a seamless process.
Usually, the localization company not only translates all the content. The team also proofreads your texts, discusses the context with you to meet business goals, clarifies the message to your target audience, and tests the localization, so the localized strings display correctly.
As you see, localization is not a whim but an objective necessity to build a successful global business. But don’t forget that in this localization journey, you need an experienced partner to ensure that everything is done properly.