If there’s any chance that your software may be useful to people in different parts of the world, then it’s worth it for you to consider localizing. Of course, you have to do so thoughtfully. Simply translating your content into different languages won’t necessarily pave the way for you to break into international markets.
Start by developing a smart strategy and shopping for the right technology to reinforce your localization ecosystem. With all of your ducks in a row, you’ll be on your way to leveraging the benefits of software localization. It won’t be easy, but if you know how to do it right from the start, you’re already way ahead of the competition.
Consider the Benefits of Software Localization
Localizing your product opens up a whole new world of opportunities. That’s why it tends to be a significant investment. When you slow down to look closely at the possible benefits, you discover compelling justification for committing to this complex and rewarding path.
With an expertly localized product, your competitive advantage is an obvious boon. Now, more than ever—and tomorrow even more than today—the software market is vast and aggressive. It’s one thing to differentiate yourself in your familiar territory, but that market has its limits. Choosing to break into as-of-yet unfamiliar markets is an ambitious undertaking, but the rewards will not disappoint.
When you can commit to a sharp and sustainable localization strategy, you stand a real chance of differentiating yourself in foreign markets to increase your return exponentially. The truth is that a lot of the competition is already out there, or they’re on their way. With as fast as things move in the industry, you may be behind the curve before you’ve even realized it.
Wider Reach Around the World
There may be a wide audience who will never even try your software because it isn’t available in their market or in their native language; they’ll never have the chance to discover whether they like it and need it. You may assume that you won’t see high-volume use in certain locales, but until you actually dig into the data to determine which markets are worthy, you won’t know. True localization isn’t just about converting the words from one language to another; it’s about understanding how the local market would best engage with the product.
Users have become more discerning, worldwide. They’re investigating reviews, availability and quality of support, the professional look of the product and the marketing. So, there’s a much heavier burden on today’s product and development teams—and the localization teams too. Plus, there’s way more at stake because the use of software now, compared to any time in human history, is massively more per capita. The way to meet the immense expectations of tomorrow’s software users is through smart localization. It’s the best option for cost-effective, high-quality scalability.
Greater User Engagement
True localization doesn’t just remove the barriers to access; it also allows users to understand and really feel the benefit of the product. Otherwise, they’ll abandon it and look for another tool that does the job. A comprehensive software localization strategy involves internationalization to ensure optimal functionality, careful market research, and content adaptation that allows local users to understand and get the most benefit from your product. Your entire localization team—which includes developers and reviewers and C-suite—needs to be committed to consistency, brand integrity, and the highest-quality content.
The ideal user experience means that they are engaged with your software and that they are going to keep using it and recommending it. And the more you get to know your markets, you can develop an even deeper brand connection. You can go beyond translation alone and introduce clever ways of communicating so those local users feel your commitment to them—to connecting with their interests and meeting their needs.
Global Presence and Reputation
When you can achieve global status, you’ll have reached a critical industry milestone. You may not have traction in many of your international markets yet, but even just having software that’s available in different locales is impressive to those judging your importance. The more accessible your product is, the more users you gain, the more you are seen as an authority worth listening to.
How to Access Localization Benefits
These benefits all depend on software localization done right. Just as you want to reap the rewards, you also want to avoid the consequences of missteps.
As we’ve established, real software localization is no minor endeavor. To harness the benefits, you’re going to have to get serious.
- Be ready to make a long-term commitment to localization. Do your research carefully to prioritize your markets because, once you start down a language path, you need to stick to it. If you make your app or software available in Japan, for example, then every user is going to expect localized updates for every new version you release. Remember: it’s not just about securing users in the first place; it’s about keeping them engaged.
- Be smart about how you approach localization for each market. Are you going to localize the software and then stop short of localizing your marketing content or your support and documentation? You may be able to cut corners in certain markets if you’re smart and deliberate about it, but you wouldn’t want to undercut your chances for success if the potential is vast.
- Have a solid strategy and localization ecosystem in place. There are so many benefits of software localization, but you may never reach the coveted level of success if you don’t have a robust and sustainable system in place. Lean on the experts, and learn from their experience.
You have every great opportunity ahead of you as you’re poised to go global. But the next steps you take are critical to whether you’ll overcome the hurdles and, ultimately, reach your target markets.
Bureau Works is a partner you can trust to give you honest and reliable advice. By choosing a management platform that is already set up to deliver results, you’re closer to the benefits of software localization than you would otherwise be. Contact our team, and we can explore what your company needs to get started.