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fevereiro 13, 2019 |

How Startups Can Localize Their Content on a Budget

If you run a startup, you can’t afford to start small anymore, especially when you’re aiming to disrupt the tech world. If you want to impress investors and reach more customers you need access to a global audience. And to get that, you need content localization.

Content localization enables you to expand your reach in local markets where people aren’t comfortable using English or don’t speak it at all.

Many startup founders are tempted to ignore the importance of content localization, due to the misconception that everybody speaks English. Don’t fall into this trap.

Almost 75 percent of internet users don’t speak English, and that number will only get higher. The internet penetration rate is growing in emerging markets from Asia to South America.

Content localization is money well spent if you follow these five best practices that allow you to work on a budget.  

1. Build with Content Localization in Mind

Localization means making your product or service appealing to local markets everywhere. In plain English, you need to translate and adapt your content and product to suit a local audience.

Apple VoiceOver, for example, supports over 30 languages, and its website is available in 126 different languages. This way, the brand connects to local audiences on a deeper level, encouraging loyalty and increasing awareness.

When you start localization, you need a flexible product that can be easily customized to meet locals’ expectations. As a startup, you have the chance to build everything with localization in mind. This means that you can design an international product.

Depending on your niche and product, you need an internationalized website, software, app, or all of the above. This means you prepare your brand and content for multiple changes to meet local requirements.

When it comes to software, this means no hard-coding, flexible design, and leaving enough space to support various text lengths.

If you need to localize your website or app for marketing purposes, you should also choose neutral colors and visuals, and write content that can be easily translated.

Companies with a strong brand history spend significant resources on internationalizing their brands. Luckily, as a startup, you can build a flexible product right from the start, saving your team time and money.

2. Research the Market

When you start content localization on a budget, you can’t afford to pick random countries from the map and hire translators based on intuition.

Use in-depth analysis of countries and regions to identify the places where your startup could win market share fast and with less effort. When you make data-based decisions, you’re more likely to launch a successful product in local markets.   

What may seem like an unnecessary expense may be the solid foundation on which to build a global strategy for your startup. It also shows that you have long-term plans, which is exactly what investors are looking for when choosing startups to support.

3. Know Your Priorities

Content localization projects are complex processes that involve multinational teams of programmers, linguists, translators, and engineers. If you don’t have well-defined processes and consistent workflows in place, you risk losing control over the project. You may find yourself missing deadlines, incurring extra expenses, and having no viable product to promote.

When you run a startup, everything seems vital and urgent for the success of your project. And you want everything done now. That’s why prioritizing is crucial when startups localize their content.

Translating your entire website into a dozen languages may seem like the right thing to do. But is it what your startup really needs to get customers?

Start with a limited number of languages and identify the texts that need to be translated. And perform any updates before localizing to avoid having your translators working twice on the same content!

4. Work with Professional Translators

Startups are too poor to buy cheap things! So when it comes to content localization, you can’t afford to hire people with poor skills just because they cost less. Bad translations can cost you more than the resources you spend on content localization.

Any failure can put your entire business at risk by damaging your global reputation. You could lose the trust of your potential clients, as well as investors that may see any slip as a lack of interest in delivering excellent products.

When you start out on content localization, you can’t rely on machine translation or people with no professional background. You have only one chance to make a first impression. Don’t waste it!

5. Use Automation to Save Resources

As a startup founder, you’re already familiar with how technology can streamline workflows and kick start projects. Choosing a company that uses software localization tools can help get rid of repetitive tasks. This way, they can speed up processes and increase the quality of work.

Moreover, thanks to automation, you should be able to track the progress of your localization project in real time. This means that you can identify any obstacle that slows you down and solve it in time to avoid missed deadlines, misunderstandings, or communication errors.

Reach Broader Audiences with Content Localization

Making your startup global on a budget is hard, but definitely doable. All you need is a highly-effective team, some organization, and prioritization.

Having clear, attainable goals, aligned with your overall strategy, adds more weight to your content localization project, making it easier to follow and complete.

The advantages of a global online and offline presence for your startup are obvious. You put your product in front of broader audiences and create a reliable brand that generates engagement and loyalty worldwide.

It’s an excellent way of winning regional market share and investors, thanks to your ability to create business opportunities outside national borders.