Doing business in another language is more important than ever in the current climate. Businesses are unsure what Brexit is going to mean for them, and British businesses are going to need foreign language speakers in order to get the best deal possible when working abroad.
For businesses who are assessing markets overseas, these tips should help you move past the language barriers more easily.
Use a localised translator when starting business in a new country
Dialect changes around the world, regardless of what language is spoken, and different countries even have populations that speak multiple languages. For example, South Africa has 11 official languages, while Singapore and Switzerland have 4 languages each. It’s important to have a translator or interpreter who knows the local language of where you’re looking to do business.
A localised translator will have extensive knowledge of the local language and dialects, and will be able to make sure you get the best deal possible for your business. Discussing their localisation services, Global Voices define a localised translation as one that “involves the adaptation of your business’ content to suit a particular culture and/or language.” This goes beyond language too; traditions, symbols, numbers and dates can differ in significance all over the world.
Having a localised expert of the language will also help steer your business in the right direction. A translator will be able to help you in different aspects of the business, as well as being able to interpret conversations and translate documents. A localised translator will be able to assist in any market research, as well as advise on how best to reach out and advertise to the new market. For example, a new audience may want to see something different to your original audience, and a translator with expert knowledge of the new area will be able to help you identify what the local audience wants to see.
They will also be on hand to help you understand the local culture, news, and laws, and will ensure everything is moving in the right direction for your business.
Research your new market and think about what the audience wants to see
It’s important to be specific when targeting a new audience, and research before you launch. One of the biggest problems businesses face when going global is rushing into expanding abroad, without thinking about their plan. Before launching in a new country, you should consider your strategy for breaking out, and plan efficiently by researching keywords and what the audience wants to see.
When marketing your product or services, research into what works best for that audience, and how competitors are reaching out to their audience. This will help you plan an effective marketing strategy for your own business. For example, the most popular social media channels change from country to country, with Facebook taking the lead for the most popular social networking platform in the world. However, the biggest social network apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are banned in China. This means that businesses looking to break out in China will need to create whole new social network accounts to reach their target audience.
Use visual methods of communication
Humans are visual creatures. Half of the brain is directly, and indirectly, devoted to processing visual information. Communicating visually can also help reduce any language barriers, as there is less that needs to be translated, but can still get your message across. Having a strong visual campaign makes it easier for your customers to remember who you are, and the digital advertising industry is only growing bigger and bigger. The industry is expected to grow to an annual spend of over $355 billion by 2020, despite a 0.06 per cent average clickthrough rate of displayed ads.
You could also make yourself and your business known by visiting the country you want to expand in, and attending trade shows and exhibitions. This can help industry experts hear about your brand, while also giving you the chance to scope out the competition and network. Taking part in trade shows can also introduce your business to your target market in a visual way, and can help you understand your new market a little better.