2020 was a year that will go into the history books for many reasons, mostly the wrong ones. A worldwide pandemic has tragically led to huge losses of life, a global recession has followed and political polarisation seems to have grown exponentially. This fractious division has dramatically carried into 2021, as seen stateside. Not only that, but with the Brexit trade deal signed and sealed, trade with Europe has been made more difficult by additional layers of red tape.
However, now more than ever is a time of optimism. Yes, organisations that do business with Europe are facing more challenges than ever, but this presents huge opportunities for savvy operations and for those that understand the value of high-quality communication.
With Brexit finally tied up, leaning on the same old approach will no longer cut it. It’s time for a New Year’s Resolution, suitable for a new Europe. Make 2021 the year you overhaul your approach to translation across the key stages of the B2B buyer’s journey, from awareness to purchase.
By doing so, you’ll make it possible to not only survive these trying times but thrive as an international business.
Awareness – getting the attention of your target market
Awareness is the first stage of the buying journey. Without an awareness of your brand, your target audience in any given overseas market simply won’t be able to purchase your company’s products or services.
There are many marketing channels you can turn to in order to raise awareness of your brand’s presence in a new market and as such, your localisation and translation strategy should consider these channels too.
- Radio, TV, Print
- Word of mouth
- Online ads
- Email Prospecting
- PPC (Pay per click search ads)
How you configure and translate the combination of tactics you pursue will depend on various factors.
Understanding the norms of the marketing practices in the sector your business operates in is crucial. But you need to go one step further than redeploying the tactics that grew your business in your home market, as these methods may not work so well in the same sector in a new market, culture and competitive landscape.
Researching the local competitive landscape thoroughly will help as this will inform your business of how much market share is up for grabs and which marketing channels are favoured in your sector by which competitors.
Another important point to comprehend is that, during the awareness stage of the buying journey, your potential clients are looking for a solution to their problems. This means that, rather than pressuring your target audience into a quick sale, at this stage, the most important job is to demonstrate to the reader that you understand their problems and have a solution.
What might this look like?
Zoho, the CRM platform, showed the way by creating a landing page which answered the
questions their audience wanted to know. Their page prominently featured stats about how
their service can solve brands’ problems, rather than simply listing product features. For
instance, they included the following solution and goal-oriented statements: ‘53% higher conversion rates’ and ’23.1% higher annualised growth rate’.
Consideration – product and service comparison
At this stage in the B2B buyer’s journey, your target audience will be interested in your products or services and be intending to make a purchase. Before they will be comfortable to do so, they will want to understand what sets your offering apart from your competitors.
Below are the main channels used by marketers during the consideration phase:
- Email Marketing
- Blog (you’re on our blog now! Read all blog articles here)
It can be useful to think of the consideration stage as the end user’s investigation phase.
With the internet at their fingertips today, businesses and consumers know that the information they need to solve their problem is just a click away.
Reviews are the backbone that brand reputations are built on. Setting up a reviews account on the most prominent platform in the market is a key first step in a new market when you start making sales. Reviews in the market’s native tongue build authenticity for your business and provide social proof for readers, showing them how a business or individual with a similar problem benefitted from your service.
Testimonials featured on your website is another approach. For B2B organisations sourcing testimonials from your clients, and even building detailed case studies to show how you solved their problems and added value to their business demonstrates how your target audience will generate a return on their investment.
If you don’t have a blog in your new territory, you should consider adding a blog feed to your website. If there are shared characteristics between your home market and the new market, you will be able to kick off the blog’s success with translated articles. Choose your blog’s most popular articles and get started.
As your business grows overseas you have most likely built up a mailing list of interested customers. This is not a time to celebrate success. Instead, you now have a key opportunity to engage with these interested parties and nurture them into paying customers. So, what type of emails should you create to nurture visitors into buyers? Welcome emails are the solution; a series of emails welcoming the reader to your brand, in which you tell them as much as possible about the value you deliver in the least time possible.
Our professional translations service can help you achieve this. As our translators are native speakers, they understand the language nuances of your target market, enabling them to write concise and compelling email copy. This skillset is important and optimally suited to a medium where attention spans are low, and buyers are looking to quickly establish trust.
Purchase and advocacy – turning customers into fans
Your lead will now have completed the consideration and research phase of their buying journey. The difference between a B2B buyer and a consumer is that the decision process is often always under review. They might have received management buy-in for this financial year, or quarter, but what happens when budgets are tight?
It’s crucial to ensure your product or service is irreplaceable. When this is the case, your lead stays with your service for a long time and becomes an advocate for your business, promoting your service to people in their network.
Remember the B2B buying journey is often longer and more involved than the consumer buying journey, as it requires departmental and management buy-in, which is why the B2B buying cycle usually lasts between 6-12 months. As a result, it pays to offer your leads as much guidance and information as possible when using your service. Your job isn’t over when you’ve secured a new client; the real work is in retaining clients for the long term.
The main question here is what do you translate to make sure the on-boarding of new customers and the operation of your product or service is optimal? Anything from welcome emails to instruction manuals, video walkthrough captions to FAQ’s need to be translated to enable high retention.
Make it a New Year’s Resolution that lasts
Most New Year’s Resolutions are over by the second week of January. But, if you are looking to attract and retain new B2B clients in these vastly challenging times, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels.
By revamping your translation and localisation efforts for each stage of the buying journey, you have an investment that will pay you back in increased converted leads and boosted brand image goodwill in your market. In turn, this leads to positive reviews and self-sufficient word of mouth marketing performed by your clients on your behalf.
Get in touch with us today to transform your localisation marketing throughout the buying journey and across your overseas markets. With expert translation services, you’ll be one step closer to your expansion goals.