Why Communities are Critical: Influencing Local Demographics
Localised content is the craze for brands across the globe, but it often foots a heavy bill. Is there a way to make it affordable, and what are the benefits?
In the era of globalisation, brands are looking to expand across the globe into markets previously untouched. Essentially, localisation refers to the process of taking a brand or product and adapting it to a new market. New markets bring with them the challenges of language, culture, and habits. This could be done by translating your content online, to recreating ad campaigns in line with customs in that part of the world. This process of transcreation or transliteration is often expensive, and thus global market expansion is often considered only the forte of multinational corporations.
Meeting your customers’ language expectations is the norm of modern E-commerce. In terms of global website content localisation, the most ideal option is to have content localised professionally by a native speaker. Whether you sell your own branded products or act as an online reseller, localization can help you connect with your shoppers more, and expand like never before. According to data published by Shopify, 75% of online customers prefer buying goods in their own languages, with 59% rarely buying anything from strictly-English websites.
However, just like everything else, there’s a best practice, and there’s the reality of conducting business. While translation is the path taken by most businesses, it isn’t the most effective marketing strategy.
The Drawbacks of Translation
Translation isn’t always the answer, and it very often limits more than it opens avenues. For example, translations are done by native speakers who don’t understand the goals of a brand. Businesses then have to deal with the challenge of negative impacts on SEO performance, which directly affects sales. Global audiences tend to search for content in their native languages over others. Search engines themselves favor content that is in the same language as the one in which the question is asked, over English. In order to cater to these hard SEO rules, brands will have to ensure they not only fully translate content according to all local languages in the markets they want to explore, but also translate meta description and alt tags. After all these steps, brands are still left with an impersonal marketing strategy, that isn’t unique.
Adapting user-generated content to local markets can also pose a serious challenge. While fixed content can be translated for a short term, user-generated content is ever-changing. Thus, while brands may fuss about the best available practices for websites and market campaigns, they don’t apply them to user-generated content. This can once again be due to the costs of professional translation, or the time it takes to continuously adapt marketing material to local. Because of this challenge, brands keep global websites UGC in English or the source language on their local sites. The SEO problem runs in parallel to this language dilemma, and brands are forced to choose extreme costs or face losing business.
A Successful Case of Creating a Community- REVOLVE
If brands have a deep understanding of their target audience, they will approach a platform where they are most potent. The brand Revolve, a clothing company, used influencer marketing successfully to explore new markets. One way Revolve does this is by actually using influencer content on their product pages, creating a bond between the shoppers and the shopping experience. Instead of traditional ad campaigns and marketing, Revolve uses its community of over 3500 Instagram influencers to market its products to over 3.3 million Instagram followers.
When asked about why they use anecdotal marketing, Mente replied, “with the democratization of content production, we can create imagery that really connects with the consumer on an emotional level, delivers our core message of aspiration and a great, happy lifestyle, and ultimately do it in a way that’s more authentic.” Revolve’s decision to opt for influencer marketing has helped them penetrate global markets from their US-based headquarters.
Creating a community is what has helped it happen. By opting for UGC, brands first create a community of influencers, who vouch for the product. This triggers a domino reaction of referrals: the influencers’ personal communities of followers buy the product, who then recommend it to their friends and family. Word-of-mouth marketing spreads fast among millennials, who are looking for an authentic experience. Eventually, all the buyers come under one large, interconnected community- that of the brand, and the chain never stops.
Even with certain advancements, if the community wish to grow globally, the fact is that machine translation is not perfect just yet.
Finding a Solution
The biggest problem with Localisation of marketing is translation-related, be it non-relatability or SEO drawbacks. To combat this, FavourUp proposes localised user-generated content, curated to create a community on multiple scales.
Social proof plays a large role in the way brands are perceived globally. The more reviews, comments, and user testimonials under a product, the more likely potential customers are to buy your product. One-time customers turn into brand loyalists, and a reputation is created across the globe. Localisation efforts can effectively spread your reach to different regions and countries, especially in places where people may have drastically different cultures, or not belong to predominantly English-speaking localities. By localising a brand using UGC, we open the door to an abundance of social proof possibilities for your website.
Testimonials and reviews written in English will certainly have a better effect on English-speaking audience than those written in German or French. Similarly, allowing local customers and influencers to provide reviews brings two benefits to a brand: one, it produces content that needs no basic expenditure on translation, and two, the content is custom-made for the target demographic and therefore need not be tailored according to traditions. Localisation lets you go beyond simply translating your website or slogan, and instead lets you get deep inside the brains of the consumers you’ll be targeting in your new market.
Localisation impacts SEO and should be considered as a key factor for growth for global brands. By using local influencers to vouch for products, brands create a bond with the customer that passes through the influencer: when the endorser reflects their values and aesthetics, customers naturally assume that the brand reflects similar values.
A scalable Approach to Build Localised Communities- FavourUp
Localisation of UGC goes far beyond offering the same products in another language. It provides personal experiences to consumers across the globe, who find it possible to stay true to themselves while staying global. FavourUp’s services offer brands exactly this advantage: using a scalable approach to help you automatically create content, and build a long-lasting community of loyal customers.
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