Should Startups Invest Their Marketing Budget in Localization?
Launching a new venture usually involves making the most of a limited budget. Each cent must be spent to maximize your return on investment, which inevitably leads to difficult decisions and trade-offs. Some of the startups’ most common marketing expenses include traditional advertisement, website development, digital marketing, and product development.
However, there are some marketing activities that encompass all marketing channels, as their goal is to allow a startup to market itself successfully in different geographic markets. One of these tactics is known as localization.
Let’s dig into what a localized marketing strategy is and how startups can gain significantly from investing in it.
What is Localization?
The term localization refers to the process of adapting a business or product to the needs of a particular geographic market by taking into account its language, culture, social rules, and legal requirements.
It involves translating content into different languages, adjusting imagery and cultural elements to fit the target market, as well as ensuring that the product or service is suitable for use in a specific country or region.
Localization goes beyond translation by taking into account country-specific cultural nuances and preferences. For example, when localizing a website for an international audience, it’s essential to consider how colors, images, and text are perceived in different countries. A template that evokes optimistic feelings in the UK may have a completely different effect on Japanese audiences.
By pursuing a localized marketing strategy and adapting products and services to the needs of different cultures and regions, startups can increase their visibility and appeal to potential customers globally.
What Are The Most Important Localization Tasks for a Startup?
Examples of localization tasks for startups are creating geographically tailored versions of websites or apps, choosing the right images and videos for advertisements, and optimizing local search engine rankings. They also include the cultural adaptation of products and services to ensure they are relevant in different markets.
For instance, a documentary produced by a small, independent media production company may be marketed with different titles and covers in two other countries based on considerations of what the local target audience finds most attractive. Or let’s say that your startup plans to sell its proprietary software in a country with a different language, cultural features, social norms, and business practices. Would simply translating its current website in the target language and pursuing a global SEO and paid search engine advertising strategy achieve the same results as creating a website that is tailored to the new market and targeting attractive search engine queries that are specific to that part of the world? Probably not.
Comparing the estimated return on investments of the two scenarios (localization vs. no localization) should help you decide which approach to pick, and, more often than not, localization appears to be the best way to go.
What Are the Main Benefits of a Localized Marketing Strategy for Startups?
By localizing their product or service, startups can make them more accessible to customers and generate significantly higher revenues.
Localizing a product also reinforces its presence in the target market, increases brand recognition, and makes it simpler for customers to find information about the product or service. It opens up new markets and targets potential customers who have no or limited access to the product.
Localization also helps improve customer experience by providing localized support services such as customer service, technical support, and documentation. This ensures that customers can get the help they need quickly and easily in their native language and in a way that takes into account their specific cultural features and interactional habits. Moreover, providing your products and services in a way that your target audience perceives as “local” can significantly increase the level of trust customers have in your brand.
Finally, localizing your product or service can help protect against potential legal issues or restrictions related to language and the country’s regulations.
In conclusion, localization is an effective and cost-efficient way for startups to expand into global markets and increase their visibility and revenues. By understanding the local culture, understanding the target market’s needs, and creating a tailored product or service, startups can make sure that their products and services are a success in the target market.
What Are the Main Challenges a Startup Faces During Localization?
Localization also comes with its set of challenges.
One obstacle could be the cost associated with quality localization and translation services. This applies in particular to small businesses that don’t have access to large budgets.
Another challenge faced by startups is introducing new terminology into different languages. This can be particularly difficult when dealing with technical vocabulary or industry-specific terms that may not have an exact equivalent in other languages. For this reason, it’s crucial to work with skillful providers of localization services. One example is Circle Translations, a company that has accumulated years of experience in localization strategies for businesses operating in different industries. This has given these experts a deep knowledge of business practices in each target country and a great degree of creativity and adaptability when looking for effective solutions.
Finally, another challenge faced by startups during localization is ensuring that translated materials accurately reflect the company’s brand identity and message. It’s essential for companies to maintain a consistent voice across all translations to avoid confusion or misinterpretation among customers in different markets.
Tips for Choosing the Right Localization Experts
Choosing the right localization experts can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s important to know what to look for when comparing localization specialists. These tips to help you make the best decision.
- Look for experience and expertise – Make sure that the localization expert you choose has extensive experience in the field and is knowledgeable about the language and culture of your target audience.
- Check their portfolio – Ask for samples of their work so you can get an idea of their style and quality.
- Consider the cost – Localization services can be expensive, so make sure that you get quotes from multiple providers before making your final decision.
- Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their process, timeline, and any other details that may affect your project.
- Read reviews – Check out online reviews from previous clients to get an accurate idea of how reliable and professional they are.