The premise is quite simple. Make more money by selling more products to more customers. One of the best ways for brands to reach more customers is to reach beyond borders and across seas to introduce themselves to international audiences. The internet has made the world a more flat place. Anything that can be viewed or distributed online is available to anybody with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

If your marketing content is doing it’s job, it is probably attempting to create an emotional connection with your customers. You pull together catchy phrases and thoughtful sentences designed to invoke good feelings in the hearts of all who read it. Problem is, much of that “feeling” gets muddled when translated for international markets. The words mean little if the intent behind them is “lost in translation.”

Val Swisher is the founder and CEO of Content Rules, Inc., a company that specializes in creating a variety of content and optimizing content for translation. Her experience working with companies such as Apple, Google and PayPal over the last 16 years has taught her a thing or two about preparing written marketing content for non-English speaking audiences.

“Companies who really want to make it are going to have to go outside of U.S. borders with their products,” she said. “Because of the sophistication of technology it is no longer acceptable to ship all your content in English. You have to have your content in the language of the country. If companies want to reach more markets they need to spend less money on each individual market.”

She is referring to the fact that over the last year, $30 billion was spent in the U.S. alone on translation services. Much of this money is being spent fixing issues that could have been avoided by companies better preparing their content for global audiences. The real cost translating content is not quantified by only counting the number of words in your document. The total cost also includes how many iterations it takes the translator to preserve the intended meaning of content. Too many review cycles back and forth is not just a pain in the neck for the author of the content and the in-country reviewers, but it also gets costly. Rather than waste money translating content that is not global ready, why not think ahead, optimize your content for the global marketplace, and invest the money you save into other markets?

Val shared some of the most common issues that companies run into and how to be better prepared when it is time to go global with your marketing content with me. And now, I share them with you!

Read the rest of the article on Social Media Explorer.


Social Media Explorer interview by Adam Helweh

Val Swisher