By Stacy Milman, on May 1, 2019

3 ways to optimize your global localization strategy

Recently the Contentful team had the opportunity to attend Smartling’s annual user conference, Global Ready™, in San Francisco. The conference brought together marketing, technology and global localization leaders from various industries, along with thought leaders from Forrester, Google and Slack.

One of the key topics was the importance of delivering localized content in order to achieve globalization and meet customer expectations. It’s not enough to operate in one language. To truly capture the attention of your customers, you need to speak their language.

Global localization is about taking your global marketing strategy and making it relevant to local audiences to increase engagement, conversion and loyalty. This includes website localization, app localization and software localization.

How do you follow your digital strategy and meet the demands of customers at the same time? Here are three ways to optimize your global localization strategy.

1. Use technology to decrease time to market and increase speed to revenue

Successful businesses are the ones that adapt to change as it happens. They choose technology that enables them to create and launch ideas quickly.

Technology can help shorten the distance between content creation and deployment. This is especially important when delivering content on a global scale. Simple and powerful tools can make global localization faster and more efficient.

One example is the partnership between Contentful and Smartling, which integrates Smartling’s Translation Management Platform with Contentful’s content infrastructure to localize content efficiently and at scale. Joining these two cutting-edge systems allows content to be built, translated, and delivered in a quick and streamlined fashion, making it easier for organizations to expand into new markets, improve conversion, and better communicate with their customers in a localized fashion.

2. Think globally, speak locally

Have you thought about your customers’ native language, culture and local trends? In a few years, nearly everyone on the planet will own some type of mobile device. Mobile is driving globalization — and to reach those people, you have to speak the way they expect you to. Simple translation won’t cut it anymore.

Users anywhere in the world expect to find products on the internet fully available in their language — not just translated, but localized. The best products on the market, don’t feel international, they feel local.

To provide a cohesive experience to your users, put yourself in their shoes and think about the experience they are having. The business that master global localization will be the ones that find success in this global marketplace.

Don’t forget, content increases brand awareness, and helps drive traffic to your site. If you aren’t providing a localized experience, your competitors probably are.

3. Streamline workflows to deploy content faster

Content translations are moving at the speed of light. Smartling’s CEO, Jack Welde, mentioned that 1,000 words are translated every minute by 175,000 users on Smartling’s platform. To stay on top of such a high demand for website localization, organizations need efficient workflows.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen teams move from a waterfall to agile project management, where teams gain speed by working in parallel. Contentful is built to support parallel workflows and collaboration so that you can deliver content faster, whether you’re an editor, marketer, product manager or developer.

A central content hub empowers smaller teams to manage content across locales, products and devices without duplicating effort or having to repeatedly and paste content. Integrations with translation platforms and advanced localization features make it easy to create, translate and deliver content on a continuous basis.

It is more critical than ever for organizations to prioritize creating a global localization strategy. Luckily, new advances in technology can help you do more than just hit translate button. Make sure your customers don’t just hear you, but understand you.

Learn how Contentful can give you a competitive advantage.

Stacy Milman

Stacy Milman is a Sr. Partner Marketing Manager at Contentful. She loves geeking out on the latest and greatest in technology trends. She has deep partner and developer marketing experience from her prior roles at Marketo, Magento and Yahoo!. Stacy earned her B.A. from Penn State University (We are!), and her M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.