Motivate buyers, stir the emotions of your followers in social media, retain clients, win over visitors to the website, inspire users... the list of requirements and tasks for a successful content marketing strategy is long. All the better when the strategy comes off and those polished messages galvanize your target group into action.
Assuming your subject matter, your product or your service has, by its very nature, a chance of success in international markets, the answer is Yes. Provided the translation is good. When the translation is merely accurate, the answer is No.
What? An accurate translation is not always the right solution? Correct. There are indeed some types of text, such as operating manuals, where a content-related and linguistically accurate translation is enough to fulfil the brief; however, translations generally need to convey more than just the subject, verb and object.
The marketing content created by communication specialists not only conveys the information in the main body of the text but also – and very often most notably – between the lines! Texts like these are blended with a sound that will touch you in a way that a word on its own cannot. This is where striking the right tone is extremely important – and that applies as forcefully to the detailed description of your services as it does to crisp headlines, creative product names, and a catchy list of advantages.
If you need your content to be not just understood but actually felt, a literal translation is not enough. A stylistically polished translation will be much more appealing. But even this won’t go far enough if you want the text to be fully effective. Ultimately, we are talking about content that should touch people from other cultures. For this to happen, the subject matter must be understood and felt at a deep level – and the translation of the text needs to be adapted not only to sound similar in another language but to be credible in the other culture too.
Experts in international content marketing have known for a long time that target groups like to be addressed in their native language. It’s the only way for companies to really connect with their clients. Anyone who still thinks English – as THE language of international business – is all that is needed to succeed abroad is being short-sighted. Different countries, different customs, different feelings. If you really want to strike a chord and take cultural differences into account, you need translators with linguistic and cultural skills – and, on occasion, editorial skills too.
By making these adaptations, truly well translated content may actually differ rather starkly from the original text. The more linguistic and creative freedom translators are given, the easier it will be for you, as the client, to achieve your international marketing goals – and the more your click figures will soar, call to actions will grow, conversions will increase, cancellations at the check-out will drop, and emotional connections will grow... By addressing your clients effectively, your marketing content now has the potential to help you succeed internationally.
Even if at the end of a long process of getting your content marketing produced you don’t have much time to get the translation done, you should pay particular attention to one point at the very least, and right from the outset: when actually choosing or briefing your translation service.
Texts for your content marketing should be translated by translators who have editorial skills or are proficient in advertising copy, particularly for digital formats. Ultimately, online texts generally work better if they are briefer and more stimulating than traditional advertising. And content for your press work needs journalistic skills. When you choose your translation service, check that they have this expertise.
Also, for each job, specify again which type of text it involves and how the text will be used, to allow the translators assigned to it to work to your briefing.
When you place your order, make it clear how much leeway you are giving the professional translators. Should the translation hew to the original text as closely as possible? Or can it depart from it to increase the effectiveness in another language?
Are there perhaps certain parts of the text, such as the headlines, that need to be entirely reworded if they are to work in other cultures? Weigh up these things up for your company or your strategy and also seek advice from your translation service.
Few creative agencies or communications departments in companies can avoid deadlines. E-commerce and online marketing in particular often demand swift action. If deadlines are particularly tight, your company should be able to fall back on an express translation.
For your translation job to be given top priority, you will need to pay an additional charge; however, depending on the length of the text and target language, you can expect to receive your formatted content within just a few hours, guaranteed.
Good content generally goes hand in hand with good design. Make sure that your translation service employs specialists in the checking of galley proofs and desktop publishing (DTP). The former ensure that hyphenations and breaks make sense from a stylistic and content perspective and take care of these straight away.
The DTP experts understand media design and how to arrange the texts and images correctly in your preset layout file in a way that is also aesthetically pleasing. This lets you save valuable time on your own graphics or agency whilst also ensuring that your content is optimally designed in the file format you require.
There are many translators out there, and given the countless quotations to be had online, it can be hard to find a provider you can trust. The best way is to opt for an established service provider, which will ensure that your content is translated by professionals who have learnt the tools of their trade and have sufficient experience. This also helps reduce the risk of getting a translation that doesn’t match your actual objectives.
Check that your translation service works only with qualified translators. Ideally, service providers should be certified and be able to confirm, backed up by official evidence, that they deliver consistently high levels of translation quality, work in orderly processes, and guarantee the highest level of data security.
Getting a text translated is not rocket science: Upload content, select target language, add comments in the briefing, send order, receive translation – job done. But for recurring and complex translation jobs, the workflows should be discussed with you. Ultimately, cost traps and quality killers lurk around every corner.
Termbases and style guides, for example, can help your company consistently adhere to specialist terms, wording and design requirements from one document to the next. Setting up plug-ins in content management or product information systems can help your website to exchange translation data directly, error-free and loss-free.
If you want your content marketing to succeed internationally, it is worth looking for the translation service that is ideal for you. A professional translation can boost the effect of your content strategy enormously. Whether you plan to communicate at a global level on your website and shop system, intend to develop your social media marketing, deploy your search engine optimisation (SEO strategy) in other languages, roll out your corporate publishing worldwide, or kick-start your email marketing in a second language, your good content deserves a translation with maximum impact. Ask more of your translation service, to ensure your content marketing appeals at the international level too.