Of almost eight billion people on the planet, less than 6 percent of them are native English speakers. The fact is, most people are speaking a different language.
This presents a huge hurdle for app providers like you who are dreaming of reaching a worldwide audience with your app.
To realize this dream, you’re going to need a localized app or two. Whether your app is your product or an added service for customers, translating is the smart thing to do. Here’s why.
Localization Helps You Connect with a New Audience
Let’s suppose your business launched a new product in a South American country. This product comes with an app that helps your customers make better use of it.
Without app localization, your South American customers are unlikely to find it helpful. They may not be able to understand the instructions for how to use the product which can be extremely frustrating.
For app makers, the situation is even worse. A game might flop in a new market because it doesn’t appeal to the right people. The instructions might also not be clear.
Realistically, any app you want to introduce to a wider market needs to translate across languages and cultures. When you translate the app, you’ll be able to connect with your audience more efficiently.
Whether you want your app to entertain or educate, translation helps.
Localized App Content Increases Engagement
Your newfound audience is now paying attention to your app because it’s in a language they can speak. The other side of translation is adapting the content to be more relevant.
Business is conducted differently in Hong Kong than in Los Angeles. Decision-makers in these two locations won’t relate to the same examples and situations. By localizing your app content, you can make the app more relevant to each of these groups.
People tend to engage more with content they identify with. If the business people in Hong Kong see themselves reflected in your app, they’ll likely use it more often.
Improve Your Visibility with Keywords and Metadata
Just like people respond to localized content in your app, they also use the Internet in a localized way. They’re using different keywords when they search the app store. As a result, algorithms change too.
Translating and localizing keywords and metadata can improve your app store optimization. In turn, your app’s visibility will improve.
This can help you discover what people in different markets are actually looking for. It also helps them discover your app and how it could help them.
The end result is more downloads from a wider variety of potential customers around the world.
Localizing is Cost-Effective
Another reason to consider localizing your company’s app is that it can save time and money. As you already know, development is costly. It can also take far longer than you might expect.
Why start from scratch when you have a functioning app already?
Tailoring an existing app to a new market is much more cost-effective. It can also help you enter new markets faster.
Keep in mind that you will want to invest in more than app translation. True localization considers a wide range of aspects, including:
- Color schemes
- Preferences for symbols
- Localized content
- Translation that considers context
For example, if your app is aimed at teenagers, you don’t want to use formal language. Using current slang and popular phrases can help tune your app to the right audience.
Finding the Right Translation Service
There are many dangers associated with translation and there is no shortage of famous examples of poorly translated marketing efforts from big companies. Poor translation can be funny, but it can also offend people.
Using machine translations is one way to ensure your app will have some serious translation gaffes as they tend to be much less precise than human translations. However, even some human service providers may not do a good job if you choose the wrong one for your project.
When you’re looking for a business translation service, keep in mind that you’ll want a team with expertise. They need to know not only the language itself but also the culture. Doing some research on your target audience is also a good idea.
If you can, conduct a survey to see language preferences. Business executives, for example, might prefer more formal writing. Teens, on the other hand, will want to see more casual and informal language, as well as current slang.
How Much Localization is Enough?
As you consider translation and localizing your app, you might wonder how much you need to do. It’s one thing to change the color scheme of your app. It’s another to redesign the interface.
You may also wonder how many different languages you’ll need to provide. If you’ve only entered one or two different markets, this may not be a concern. If your aim is to go global, you might consider more.
Often, adding one or two languages is enough. If you add Mandarin and Japanese to your English app, for example, you can reach a large percentage of the world’s population. Spanish is another popular choice.
Remember to do your market research. If you’re taking your app to Canada, adding a French Canadian version is a must. In Belgium, there are three official languages. Always understand the complexities of your new market.
Don’t Let Your App Get Lost in Translation
Whenever you plan to expand to a new market, you should make plans for a localized app. As demonstrated, even a simple translation can help you reach a wider audience. The more localization you do, the more the app will resonate in the market.
If you’re planning to enter a new market, you may need to translate more than a single app. Marketing efforts should also be carefully localized. Even your business’s website may need to be translated.
Don’t leave your foreign market customers out in the cold. Provide them with high-quality translations and localized content. Get in touch with us to get started.
Nick joined the team in 2017 to spearhead Argo’s expanding marketing initiatives. He graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL with a BA in political science and a minor in global studies. Previously, he worked as a digital strategist for innovative marketing agencies in Chicago and as a political consultant for domestic and international clients in Washington, DC.