These days, smart global B2B e-commerce brands are leveraging content marketing in ways that rival the best practices pioneered by B2C marketers years ago. With their longer sales cycles, B2B organizations especially benefit from the continual creation of content that provides value, creates differentiation and keeps their brand top-of-mind for prospective customers.
But this kind of storytelling isn’t just vital for a company’s domestic market. The best B2B marketers are extending their content strategies to international markets—and are often seeing notable results among new global customers. What’s the secret to their success? Translated, localized online content.
The Importance of Translation
Communicating with international buyers in their preferred languages is one of the most resonant and expedient ways to build relationships and provide value. But companies need not create dozens—or hundreds—of assets from scratch to serve these buyers.
Savvy companies translate and localize their existing marketing materials for global audiences.
The benefits of translating and localizing content include:
- Increased trust from global customers
- A consistent brand experience across all markets
- Support for in-market teams, distributors and partners
- SEO benefits that drive increased local search results
- A platform for testing new markets
While often treated synonymously, translation and localization are distinct aspects of translation. Conventional translation is what most folks think it is: rewriting content—often in an easily understandable, region-neutral way—in another language.
Localization goes a step beyond word-for-word conversion and uses words and phrases that resonate within specific markets. Regionally flavored translations sound more authentic and generate more interest and engagement among customers. Localization can also include cultural elements, like date and time formats and transactional elements like currency.
Knowing why you should translate content is important, but even more critical is knowing what content to get in-language first.
Prioritize Your Website
The most recommended—and valuable—asset to localize first is your organization’s website. Why? B2B buyers are increasingly behaving like mainstream consumers; nearly 90 percent of them turn to the Internet to conduct product research and make purchases.
Ideally, a fully translated website provides an immersive, authentic user experience, but global B2B e-commerce sites should prioritize translation of product and service descriptions so customers can make informed purchases and have a smooth, convenient transaction experience.
It’s also critical to provide localized contact information for global markets, such as phone numbers, email addresses and mailing addresses for regional sales or support teams and a translation of legal requirements, if applicable.
B2B companies can demonstrate further commitment to local markets and fluency in local culture by customizing website content for specific markets, such as:
- Market-exclusive promotions and campaigns
- Recognition of local holidays, celebrations and customs
- Support for local currency, payment options and shipping methods
This attention to detail is often rewarded with brand trust, increased engagement metrics and repeat transactions. Translated websites are also an indispensable resource for in-market sales teams and can also become recruiting tools for local talent, partners and distributors.
But to truly have a global, digital impact, it’s important to translate assets beyond your corporate website.
Reaching Global Customers Everywhere
Research says potential customers need to be exposed to your brand at least seven times before they commit to a purchase. That means you need to use as many channels as possible to reach global customers wherever they are and use localized omnichannel assets to reach them.
Localized omnichannel content builds brand credibility through consistent messaging, increases visibility and discoverability and provides more platforms for customer engagement. These benefits ultimately expedite the buyer’s journey and increase conversions.
Possible channels and benefits include:
- Digital and printed documents: Create valuable resources for on-the-ground sales reps
- Mobile apps: Increase brand visibility related to keyword searches in app stores
- Social media: Increase global discoverability and brand awareness through mentions and shares
With multilingual online content, global B2B e-commerce brands can drive more sales, attract more prospects and keep more customers engaged.
To realize your company’s full potential in online global markets, look for translation partners that can help localize all of your digital content. The best ones can save customers money by repurposing previously translated content (such as material translated for your website) for social media posts, email content and more.
This can help accelerate your global content marketing efforts and make them cost-effective.
Craig Witt is executive vice president, Go-To-Market: Global Sales, Marketing, Customer Success at MotionPoint, a provider of technology and services designed to help business sell online to international markets. Follow him on Twitter @motionpoint.
Motti Danino is chief operating officer of Oro Inc., a provider of open source commerce platforms focused on B2B e-commerce and CRM. Follow him on Twitter @oro_inc.Favorite