Odds are a successful business undertaking started with a good strategy. Working with business translation services is no different – a great business translation strategy can keep you on track. It can make sure you’re keeping the right tone in your marketing messages, help you stay on budget and keep your content schedule organized, as a couple of examples. Below, we’ll go into the basics of what a business translation strategy is and the success metrics by which you can assess such a strategy.  

 Business Translation Strategy Basics

 What is a translation strategy? Tomedes CEO, Ofer Tirosh, stated in a blog about business translation strategies:

 Quite simply, a business translation strategy is a document that defines why a company is using professional translation services and what the anticipated outcomes of doing so are. The strategy needs to consider how translation activity contributes to the overarching company goals, in order to ensure that it is relevant to the company’s aims and values.”

 The strategy covers concrete details, like personnel needed for the translation project, the budget, any dependencies and schedules for when the translation will take place. You’ll need to take regular translation needs like blog or social media posts into account, as well as larger, one-off projects such as brochures or advertising campaigns.

 The document itself should be clear, concise and well-formatted so that it’s easy for people across the organization to follow. It should include measurable, detailed metrics that will assess the outcome of the translation strategy. You may also need to tweak and update the document as you go along, to absorb any realities of the process, like more realistic timetables or updates to the budget.    

What companies need translation services? Many different types of organizations, from legal firms to marketing agencies, can benefit from the full suite of business translation services, to leverage the international market. Any company thinking about expanding internationally to work with local demographics who speak other languages, can benefit from business translation services. 

Whether you’re working with an in-house team or outsourcing a professional team, good business translation services can help businesses gain a competitive advantage by increasing brand awareness and accessing international clients, thus raising sales figures. An in-house team would be beneficial, since they know the ins-and-outs of their company. On the other hand, a professional translation service already has access to a huge network of established clientele; with their specialized expertise, they can help your business reach across various markets. 

Strategy Success Metrics

 A key part of any business translation strategy is to make sure you have quantitative ways to assess whether your strategy is successful. If you get positive results, you know your business translation strategy is spot on. If you are not seeing the result you want, you may need to tweak your strategy. Below are several measurable components to see if you are getting a positive return on investment from your business translation services.    

 Traffic to your website/conversion rates: If you translate your website for a new market, your most direct metric will be looking at how much traffic you get to your site from that location. If that amount increases from the new foreign market, your business translation strategy is doing its job. You should look at conversion rates, too. Make sure that website traffic is actually turning into sales and new customers. This is also a good metric if you run ad campaigns in a foreign market that direct people to your website.   

 New customers: Another very direct way to assess if your business translation strategy is effective is to look at how many new customers you’re getting. If you see a positive upswing from the new market, your translation strategy is on the right track.   

 Revenue: Pay attention to your financial reports. If your business translation strategy is doing its job, you’ll notice increased revenue from the demographics or regions for which you tailored your text.

 Social media engagement: While not directly pertaining to sales or business growth, looking at social media engagement in the new language can tell you how successful your translation efforts are. If people are reading, liking, sharing or following your content, it means your message is professional and connecting with them. By doing so, you’re increasing brand awareness, which could well lead to increased revenue.     

Market share: You could also judge the success of your business translation strategy by measuring the growth of your market share in the countries you are targeting.

 What to Do if Your Strategy Isn’t Performing

It can be frustrating when you think you have the perfect business translation strategy and yet nothing is going well. Maybe your website isn’t turning traffic into customers. Or no one is engaging with your social media posts.

This is when it’s time to revise your strategy and make sure you are working with the best translation services to deliver it.  

 To start, make sure you are keeping your metric expectations in check. Growth may be more modest during the pandemic, for instance. Or local economic conditions in the new market could affect sales. In those conditions, any growth at all could be a positive sign.    

It’s also possible your budget is too small and you are trying to make do with insufficient personnel – something that is always a threat to the successful implementation of a business strategy.

Remember, as well, that your business translation strategy needs to incorporate localization if it is to be successful. This is the process that makes sure a product or message fits in with the local market. It takes consumer habits into account when translating, updates the layout so it looks good in the new language, makes sure a company is complying with local regulations, updates messages so they aren’t culturally insensitive and changes formatting on detailed elements such as currency symbols.  

 If you still aren’t seeing the results you’d like, it could be that your message or product is not connecting with new consumer habits or communication styles. A good translation agency can help you to undertake sufficiently detailed research to discover what’s going wrong in such cases.