You know what you want from your marketing translations, but maybe you’re feeling a little nervous about where to start. Perhaps you’ve had translations before that missed the mark and want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. You’re in the right place.
We could spend all day talking about marketing translations… well actually a lot of us do. But rather than hearing from us, we decided to go to our clients. With experience working in both in-house marketing teams and agencies, they have some fantastic insight. From how to streamline the translation process to making sure you get the best results from your multilingual marketing campaigns, here’s their advice.
8 rules for marketing translations:
1. Pick the right translation tool for the job
Understanding different translation methods helps you choose the right approach for your audience, budget and deadlines.
‘Low impact’ content – such as user-generated messages – can be translated quickly using machine translation, but don’t forget to use a human editor to make sure the end result is accurate and appropriate.
Marketing messages that are carefully crafted to have an emotional impact require a more sophisticated approach. If you’ve been frustrated by poor quality or slow translations – or your campaigns have failed to achieve the results you anticipated – you may need to localise your content more. Read more about how localisation can turbocharge the results you get from your marketing campaigns in our downloadable guide: Making every marketing communication count.
2. Reuse, repurpose and recycle
Before briefing your content writers, think about the type of content that has cross-market appeal. Marketing materials that are relevant in multiple territories can be translated more quickly, cost-effectively and easily.
3. Appoint a champion in every market
Local sales and marketing teams have a vested interest in the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Accurate, compelling, timely translations help them win new business and nurture relationships with their customers.
Ask them to help define the scope of each project to ensure your campaign runs smoothly and successfully. Giving them an active role at the start of the translation process can help you save time and money in the long run.
From helping you to develop localisation briefs to fine-tuning translations, your international colleagues are key to ensuring your marketing messages are on-brand in every market. You’ll find practical tips on how to harness their power – and keep them on side – in our blog: Global marketing: the role of local market reviewers.
4. Find a partner you can rely on
Look for a translation partner who has experience in all your markets, who can grow with your business and who is in tune with your values. Not only will it save you time, money and the hassle of briefing multiple translation providers – it’ll make managing your translations much easier.
By centralising the translation process in-house, so it’s managed by just one department, you can streamline the process and reduce the risk of errors. For tips on how to share content with your translation provider take a look at this handy blog.
5. Build a library
Use style guides, glossaries and review guidelines to achieve consistency and quality across multiple campaigns and markets. Time spent working alongside your translation partner to get these documents right will be time well spent: your branding will be more consistent, your translations will need fewer changes and your local market experts will value your translations more.
6. Use translation memory
Translation memory (TM) software captures ‘pre-approved’ translations for terms, common phrases or regularly used paragraphs of text. Make sure your translation partner uses TM software, and use feedback from your local market colleagues to keep it up to date, to save time and frustration in the future. Read more about translation memory software and how it works here.
7. Design with translations in mind
Designers play a valuable role in preparing the original design translation. Ask them to consider how their artwork will be used in other countries before they finalising their designs.
Translated text is normally longer – especially if it uses different characters – so it’s good practice to allow 35% more space in the initial design and in templates to accommodate expansion.
Remember to check that any images, graphics and symbols that aren’t globally relevant can be quickly replaced. It’s easier for your designer to separate text layers in the source file than it is to replace embedded text in graphics later on. Whoever is tasked with producing the translated graphics will thank you for it, and you’ll save money too!
8. Know your numbers
Translation and localisation should always save you time and money. But how do you accurately measure ROI so you can justify and secure a marketing budget for the future?
Our downloadable guide, kickstarting international growth with an effective translation and localisation strategy, contains popular ways to measure ROI. Check it out for useful metrics that’ll help you prove the value of your campaigns.
How can we help?
Our FREE downloadable guide – Delivering effective multilingual marketing campaigns – is packed full of practical tips to help you streamline your translations and get better results from your marketing.
For advice and help with translating your content in over 200 languages, call us on +44 (0)1926 335681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.