Global marketing and localization may now be the best of friends, and that’s a good thing. The investment that goes into localizing and adapting pre-sales content — web presence, local social media, blogs, online advertising, multilingual campaigns, etc. — is staggering and increasing. But what set of data should marketing and localization professionals use to speak the same language and understand the impact that localized pre-sales content makes? Let’s look at some of the main metrics.
Customer online engagement
This set of metrics is based on what most savvy online marketers normally track on a daily basis, but it adds the international dimension in order to show the contribution that localized pre-sales content and campaigns make.
These are the leading indicators of whether your localized marketing efforts are likely to succeed, and how likely they are to lead to your ultimate marketing objectives. They also tell you what you may need to do to fix things if you are falling short of your goals.
Good news — there is no shortage of tools that will help you capture and analyze the data to make it easily available. Google Analytics has been the free default tool in this space for a long time, but there are alternatives such as Kissmetrics and Adobe Analytics. Similar data may be also obtained from any advanced marketing automation tool your company uses.
Key online engagement metrics are:
- Number of unique visits from the target locale. Multilingual SEO and localized pre-sales content should drive traffic to the online content you provide in the given locale. That’s their ultimate goal. This metric shows the number of unique visitors from the locale. Analyzing this number will provide further insights listed below.
- Number of visits from the target locale that land on your localized pages, versus those landing on, or actually preferring, content in your source/main language. This will show the quality of your inbound marketing as well as the level of user experience your localized content offers.
- Bounce rates on localized sites/pages. Are they higher or lower than what you achieve for other languages? This is an area where optimization of your local content pays off.
- Average time on site by target locale. Closely related to the bounce rate, this metric shows how much time visitors spend on your localized site. How does the metric differ for individual markets? More time spent on your pages usually points to a higher engagement rate.
- Percentage of new versus returning visitors per target locale. This is the measure of “stickiness” of your local content, as well as the overall quality of the marketing directed to the given market. Looking at the source of your traffic can also tell you what type of content performs best.
- Number of conversions and conversion rate by target locale. Each online page has a role to play, and the number of conversions — visitors that proceed to perform an action, such as completing a form or signing up to a demo/trial that may ultimately lead to the eventual purchase — is an important metric.
The conversion rate — the percentage of consumers that take this further step — will tell you if your proposition is attractive for your targeted local audiences. This is where true customization of the content can really help increase your conversion rates.
- Click-through rates for local content pages or email campaigns. This metric will show you if your email campaigns are properly customized for your specific international markets. However, this is an area where the quality of your list and country specifics play a major role, so it makes sense to focus on improvements in this metric over time.
Customer engagement in social media
This is another set of leading indicators that will tell you if your local social media strategy works and bears fruit. They key considerations, of course, are the social media platforms that are most popular in individual markets, the timing and frequency of your posts, and how relevant your local social media content actually is.
This is where many companies often have to strike a balance between the efficiency of centralized marketing operations and the relevancy of content produced and shared by their local offices.
Local social media metrics will typically depend on the specific goals you have in each country. Is your goal to expand your overall reach and the number of your followers and fans? Is it to ensure your content is shared? Is it to support your specific campaign goals? Or is it to encourage direct communication with your customers via social media, to collect feedback and inquires, to provide online support, etc.? Regardless, some of the most frequently used metrics are the following:
- Social media reach by locale and platform
- Number of interactions by locale and platform
- Average engagement rate
- Engagement rate by post type and language
- Visit-to-lead conversion rate by locale and platform
- Churn rate
- Average page views
- Feedback rate by locale
- Video timing
- Response time of interactions by locale
Making sense of it all
Whatever metrics you decide to use, it makes sense to follow these general recommendations.
- Establish baseline metrics against which you can measure progress over time. This may be the data you used to get before making localized content available, data from similar markets, or the online performance of your main competitors.
- Conduct A/B testing to understand how customizing the content for your local audiences and their preferences helps improve your key metrics.
- Perform UX/usability testing to understand the actions of customers from a given locale within the localized web content and how they navigate it.
- Last but not least, consider the cost of producing localized marketing and content, and set your eyes on the ROI you get from these efforts.
Either way, beware of not seeing the forest through the trees — don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal. Typically, this would be local customer acquisition, so closely link the leading indicators above with the desired trailing indicators such as lead or revenue generation.