Businesses that sell products and services in far-flung markets are generally experiencing the same phenomenon: having to produce far more multilingual content than ever before to generate the same level of customer loyalty enjoyed by the brands of yesteryear.
Producing more content is not enough, however. It only takes one visible marketing error before you find your brand marked with #FAIL on Twitter.
How do you ensure that your own company’s marketing initiative doesn’t go viral for all the wrong reasons? The answer: language quality assurance (LQA), defined as the process of checking localized products for errors before they see the light of day. But, as with everything else, there are smart ways and, well, not-so-smart ways to do LQA in new markets.
Smart versus not-so-smart budgeting
There’s no getting around the need to invest in market research. It’s the intel you need to appropriately translate—in the broadest sense of the word—your messaging to match local consumer expectations. What are they buying? Where are they buying? How are they making the decision to buy? You’ll have to know the answers to these questions and more to have a chance at getting your marketing (measurably) right.
When it comes to LQA of multilingual content, there are smarter budget alternatives than going it alone. Yes, you could open a local branch office, buy equipment and recruit your own LQA personnel. But that’s far more expensive than finding an established LQA agency with strong roots and a good reputation in your target market. Not only would this agency have the systems and personnel in place, they are likely to be more capable of guiding your business through the regulatory maze that is unique to that marketplace.
Budget smart: Outsourcing LQA to reduce overhead and to get better results, faster.
Smart versus not-so-smart social media
No matter where you’re selling your services or products, your customers are already talking about your brand.
And while many savvy global players curate this “talk” in their home markets—repurposing it via retweets, Facebook shares and interactions on other platforms to boost brand awareness—their multilingual content might not get the same attention.
We’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: every language your community uses should have its own community moderation program. This is, in a sense, another form of linguistic quality assurance. It’s in these locale-specific spaces that foreign consumers are providing feedback on your multilingual content production, so it makes sense to be proactive rather than reactive by monitoring target-market platforms—with an understanding of local user etiquette and critique. (Again, a locally based LQA team that understands the language and platforms will make this possible.)
Market smart: Moderate content in foreign markets as part of your LQA effort.
Smart versus not-so-smart evaluation
While “linguistic quality assurance” is a highly subjective term, it’s nevertheless a meaningful framework for evaluating whether your multilingual content meets company goals. There’s little point to LQA if not to achieve the following:
- To define brand-, product- and locale-specific standards
- To evaluate multilingual content performance against established metrics
- To build systems for scoring, testing and improving multilingual content output
Fast-paced production, ever-increasing market pressures and razor-thin budgets can lead to practices that don’t align with these goals. You don’t want to let “how fast and how cheaply” become the dialogue around localization in your organization, overtaking rigorous reporting that speaks to quality baselines, tracking and trend analyses. If you’re smart about it, the same market pressures that demand multilingual content evaluation can drive a commitment to best practices.
Evaluate smart: Structured LQA that mines data will improve performance.
Our ebook Beyond Translation: Your Guide to Multilingual Content Creation & Delivery takes on these issues and more, so grab your free copy for more ideas. Any questions we haven’t addressed? Get in touch!