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3 Localization Tips for Startups on a Budget

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Digital growth has created a continuously evolving global community, within which companies, including startups, can expand beyond their borders much easier than in the past. Several startups dream big and this is where localization comes into the picture, opening the way to the global market. Products or services planned to go global should not only speak the local languages, but also engage with the targeted audience through a locally customized content. Now that we established the necessity of localization in order to go global, what about the budget? In this article, we will share three localization tips for startups that will help you create an effective and financially feasible localization strategy while staying on budget.

1. Prioritize languages

When building your localization plan, set goals regarding the local areas your company wants to reach. A good idea is to investigate the case of languages that cover bigger populations, being able to help you expand significantly with one and only investment. Spanish and Chinese are two very interesting examples. In general, you should first identify the markets you want to reach and then set up your strategy accordingly. This way, your localization plan starts to be clearer and better defined. You can then focus and make a thorough research on the specific markets before finalizing your plan.

2. Prioritize types of content

The various types of content have different levels of visibility and serve different purposes in the audience reach process. As localizing everything in all targeted languages is usually not possible in the first place, you can start with some categories of your content, according to your needs. The translation/adaptation of a website is a good example as a starting point. A website is usually the basic tool for brand awareness in a local market. At the next stage, you can leverage the data from your website’s interactions and determine your future actions.

3. Take care of technical aspects

There are some technical localization tips for startups that can help you leverage your localized content even more. First of all, you should create simple and localization-friendly content in your language, ideally with the help of professional developers. This will prevent future problems with layout, design and functionality during the adaptation to local markets. For example, a user-friendly text avoiding idioms, collocations and other similar patterns facilitates the translation efforts and eliminates the need for further clarifications. This and more similar aspects should be seriously taken into account, either in software or in website and marketing content.

Next, you should think about the steps that lead people to your website or any other promotional content you create. A simple search in Google is usually a good starting point for attracting new leads, so a well optimized content for globally used search engines is quite important. And of course, everything should be clear and absolutely functional in order to guide users to what they want to find, through a few easy and straightforward steps.

One step at a time

There is no doubt that localization is key if you want to grow globally. Using well customized content to sell online can make your products or services well known and rapidly increase your audience. However, as cost is usually a limiting factor, the localization tips for startups set out above can help you begin with a basic plan and reconsider your more specific needs at a later stage.

Let’s always keep in mind that markets continuously evolve, especially in our fast changing digital world. A full and apparently perfect investment in localization from the beginning could therefore prove less efficient than a progressive approach. You have to stop and evaluate your results from time to time. This way, your next steps will be based on a more solid foundation.

Localization is a continuous project that should develop in parallel with the company. Your strategy should be constantly optimized as you gain more and more experience. And remember, the most difficult part is to create a strong presence and stay in the global market, maybe not as a startup anymore!

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