Marketing is one of the most important tasks your business has to undertake. It has the ability to make or break sales, can completely define what type of image your business puts forward and creates your first impression with potential customers. If you need to translate your marketing materials into another language, you’ll have to make sure your marketing message is clear in all regions and cultures. A translation company is an essential part of achieving this. Their expertise can help to smooth your transition into new territories and to avoid any pitfalls.
There are companies that render marketing translation services to ensure that any marketing or localization needs are properly delivered. As such, below are the top five tips for finding the perfect marketing translation professional so that you can capture new customers in any language.
Assess Additional Skills Along with Translation
Marketing professionals tend to wear many different hats. The best marketers have a keen understanding of how people interact with advertising messages and what motivates them to buy. In short, they should be marketing psychology experts. Top marketers will also be skilled in helping to create those messages, which can be especially helpful during the marketing translation process.
For instance, a marketing translation professional who is skilled with desktop publishing software can typeset a brochure as they are translating the piece. Some may even be skilled in photo editing software, so can update and localize the photos in ads even as they translate. These are just a couple of examples of why you should ask about a marketing translation professional’s additional skills. You never know what they might be able to bring to the table in addition to their marketing translation prowess.
Check Social Media Marketing Translation Experience
Nowadays, you just can’t deny the dominance of social media over the digital marketing world. More than ever, we turn to sites like Pinterest to find inspiring home goods to buy, or Instagram to find beauty product recommendations. And how many of us have raced to find something cool that a friend on Facebook just purchased?
Companies are certainly capitalizing on these habits: according to an announcement by Instagram in 2017, their advertisers have increased from 1 million to a whopping 2 million over a 7-month period. So, if you need marketing translation, social media will most likely be a large part of your campaign.
Marketing translation professionals who are versed in social media can help your campaign reach the right demographic in any language. For instance, each social media site has its own rules for how to post. Some sites are more image-heavy. Others are tolerant of somewhat longer messages. A great marketing translation professional will be an expert at navigating these differences across sites and cultures.
Consider the Translation Professional’s Transcreation Experience
Transcreation is a marketing term that refers to the process of changing a message from one language into another, while making sure the tone, style, context and objective of the message all stay the same. In short, it’s the part of the translation process that keeps the overall feel of the ad the same, though the copy itself, along with colors, images and even the company name and/or logo, may change significantly. While talking to potential translators, ask them about their experience of transcreation and if/how it would apply to your campaign.
Another good way to assess this skill is to look at the past work of the marketing translator. While you might not be an expert in other cultures or languages, you can see how the same message transfers across to the different cultures during the professional’s translation process.
Yet another way to assess this part of the translation professional’s background is to get references and testimonials pertaining to their past work. By actually speaking to a referee, you can ask how the translator handled the transcreation aspects of past projects. You can find out specifically how the overall feel of the marketing campaigns changed from culture to culture and how that influenced sales.
Ask About Localization in Addition to Translation Skills
Another important part of marketing translation is localization. Localization refers to the process of adjusting a message so that it works in the target region(s). It’s the part of the translation outside of just switching around the language. That means it encompasses how a message may be perceived culturally, whether certain references translate well into the new region and whether certain terms may be offensive, as a few examples. Localization can also refer to smaller moving parts of a message, such as changing currency symbols to fit in with a different region.
This is another area in the translation process where looking at past work and getting information from past clients can be beneficial. You can find out first-hand how different aspects of the marketing translation looked in different cultures and how knowledgeable that person is about the region for which you are translating your marketing campaign.
Go Through a Translation Agency for Peace of Mind
Finally, don’t be afraid to go through a translation agency instead of hiring an individual marketing translation professional. Going through an agency can have multiple benefits:
- An agency can match you up to a marketing translation professional who is well versed in the region and language you are translating a message into.
- Well-known, established agencies have built a reputation, so it’s easier to find people who have worked with them and get an opinion beforehand. Many agencies may also have independent reviews online or be listed with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
- Many larger agencies can devote whole teams to your project, so you may have someone handling the actual ad translation, multiple editors and people who specialize in desktop publishing all working on your project, as well as an account manager to oversee it all.
- Because of the volume of work that they have, many agencies run on tight, organized schedules. This can mean your project sticks to a detailed timetable.
- Often, great agencies attract the most experienced talent, which means less recruiting effort for you.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using an agency. However, whether you go with an agency or individual for your marketing translation needs, following the tips above can help you find the top marketing translation talent that you deserve.
Louise Taylor is a professional writer with a passion for languages. She has been writing about translation for the past seven years and remains fascinated by the topic. When not writing about translation, Louise can be found researching and writing about everything from exotic holiday destinations to the global property industry.