The move to digital—everything online, always-on—has brought massive opportunities for supporting your global product launches. We're talking product descriptions, videos, blogs, websites, marketing content, and social media, to name a few.
Success means getting your digital content to markets quickly—the faster the better to entice buyers, inspire them to buy, support them after they become customers, and make them loyal fans. Not to mention beat your competitors to the punch.
Every marketer knows that sometimes it can take ages for content to be ready for other markets—so long that it’s frequently outdated by the time it goes live. The good news is that with a little planning and the right approach, you can remove the biggest obstacles to getting your content out there fast. Here are seven principles that’ll do the trick:
1. Do the right content at the right time
Not all content has equal importance. Identify what to localize and what to leave alone—at least for now. Your website? Promotional videos? Social media posts? For high-profile content like these, of course you need to pull out all the stops. But do you really need all your reviews translated right away? Leave those for a second pass.
2. Develop quality tiers
You can speed up translation for certain content types. For example, if your users will get along fine with a translation that gives the gist—like customer reviews or FAQs—then you can use a process that gets the content out there faster, like machine translation (MT). (Don’t try this with high-profile marketing content, which benefits from the full, creative human process.)
3. Run content operations from a central office
You don’t want offices in each country running their own mini campaigns. You need a central office to head up the program with the big picture in mind. That way, you can keep your brand consistent while your in-country teams take care of the nuances for their markets. Central management will save you time and money in lots of ways: for example, you’ll manage and distribute translation memories and facilitate production tasks like file prep that apply to every language. That means you only do it once. And lastly, your central group can ensure standardization on processes, technology, and vendor management—all saving precious time. Check out this post on how to centralize.
4. Use productivity tools for translators
Tools can help professional translators speed up their work. Here are just a few: Translation Memory (TM), language quality tools, and glossary management tools. Translation Memory tools reuse past translations, speeding up work considerably and saving money as a result. Glossary tools can plug in approved terms and translations, boosting uniformity. And language quality tools can flag errors and consistency issues that humans inevitably miss.
5. Let technology help with project management
Running lots of localization projects in parallel quickly becomes too much to handle. Project management tools can help you speed up project coordination and communication tasks. For instance, they’ll automate workflows for you, route files, manage review cycles, centralize queries, manage QA checks, and provide analytics and reporting. They’ll even handle time-consuming file conversions, and automate testing. All of that means Project Managers can focus on higher-value tasks.
6. Streamline linguistic approvals
Approvals can be painfully slow. Your in-market approvers usually don’t have time; they have to do their ‘day jobs’ first and foremost. Also, they’re not linguists with experience performing reviews. Preferential changes can sneak in, and errors will not be categorized consistently. There’s a fix: outsource this to dedicated, on-call reviewers who can validate translations quickly and systematically log errors so they don’t keep sneaking in.
7. Automate testing
Your product or website loses all its power if it doesn’t work like it should. Why bother translating it just to have it frustrate users in your market? Localization testing—making sure that your product or website has functional and linguistic integrity and that it’s user-friendly—is an important step before market release. Much of it can be automated (taking screen shots, running scripts, comparing screens and identifying changes, checking functions), and iterated quickly when changes occur.
Content production and consumption are at an all-time high. The sooner your content goes live, the sooner it can bring you returns—whether that’s sales, engagement, conversion, shares, views, or anything else you want your users to do. And when that happens, you can find out what works and what doesn’t—then tweak the latter.
Cut out the delays, smash the bottlenecks—and start getting your best content out to your audience the moment they need it.