The continual development of the Internet has brought changes in a host of traditional habits, not least shopping, ‘feet on the street’ research and information search, which is an opportunity for businesses to expand their business networks to new markets and target customers. Besides content diversification, it is multilingual website translation that holds the key to markets.
A multilingual website will help businesses sharpen its competitive edge, through expanding its customer base and helping to bring in large sales. This is all the more true in a world more interconnected and convenient than ever.
Here are 10 reasons why a business should have its own multilingual website
#1. To unlock unexpected potential customers
Many amusing and unexpected stories have come up on the Internet recently, such as that of a Vietnamese selling a mu coi (a Vietnamese adaptation of the famed pith helmet) to a customer living all the way in the United States, just because he had posted it on an English e-commerce website. A small tale of an unexpected success. In fact, an untold number of customers have accidentally run into what they are looking for on the Internet and have since forged thriving business relationships.
#2. Websites are truly an economical yet effective marketing tool
The fact that an international customer can understand your services and products in the way you expect is itself a considerable success. This is impossible if you cannot provide him with your content accurately rendered into his languages, or in other words, if you cannot get your message across to your target customers even if you never know where they will be and who they are.
Next to the costs of deploying many other Marketing techniques such as putting adverts on YouTube, Google, Bing or Facebook or even in the press or on TV, that of developing a multilingual website pale. What’s more, when you run an ad, it will only be shown for a short and limited duration and for a cost that may be beyond your means. In contrast, the story is not quite the same for a multilingual Website: you do it once, and you exploit its potential until you decide to give up.
#3. Customers think you are more interesting than they might imagine
Think about it, when you go to a Vietnamese-only website, you will at once see that this business only targets Vietnamese speakers. It is a small and local business. You will have for yourself many questions about them. For example: ‘Perhaps this business lacks international experiences?’, ‘They don’t have the budget for content development?’, ‘I wonder how they do business there?’, ‘How about I go and see the way another business goes about their operation?’, and so on.
These are quite subjective matters, but will very probably happen to you. Customers may easily leave your website when they haven’t got to know much about you, which is a shame because they may be looking for, comparing and putting their trust elsewhere, where they have the fewest questions in mind.
#4. Increase traffic to your website
This is obvious because translating your website into another language means doubling the amount of your content. Moreover, customers in target markets will find and visit your website through the keywords they use.
#5. To better support customers
Many international customers may have questions for you and they can find their answers in their own language on your website. This is great because you’ve made a good impression. Besides, your customer service or support staff won’t have to worry about having many calls asking about the same thing.
#6. To improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
This is actually something that many marketers are interested in. When combined with a series of vigorous media campaigns, a website serves as an ever-spread net to capture and take advantage of the effects of those campaigns. A multilingual website will certainly improve the expected effectiveness of your business.
#7. To improve the brand value of your business
The brand value of a business lays not only in the products and services it provides, but also in the way it presents them to the world. Look at global brands, they always have multilingual media campaigns going, and from there you can usually figure that those brands are very valuable.
#8 To help your corporate culture reach a larger audience
You may have lots of good articles in Vietnamese on your website, but unfortunately, only a maximum of 100 million people can understand them. But when you translate the posts into English, you get another 1 billion potential reach. As a bonus, those translated articles may be shared into yet more languages.
A notable example is the story of a cow herd (the now world-famous YTiet) counting in numbers. What could have it turned out had he counted the numbers in Vietnamese?
#9 To stay ahead of your competitors
Pay attention, this is a great opportunity to prove your standing. What if your competitors found a large international customer and help them succeed? For sure, they would then possess more international capabilities than you. This would open up an unequal race and you were bound to come off worst.
So why not choose to be the leader? You will be able to lead the game if you are more successful than others. And domestic markets are actually becoming too small. This is the vision of business owners because it is likely that the positive effects may not manifest themselves overnight, but they may suddenly come at some point in the future.
#10 To gain a competitive advantage on search engines
Search engines will lead people to your website. Many countries are favoring their homegrown search engines, Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia and Navesx in South Korea to name a few. And surely, you don’t want to miss out on those markets, do you?
Google, Bing and Yahoo are also popular as very powerful locally oriented search engines. When someone in Japan does searches on these engines, content in Japanese will be prioritized, and the same happens in other markets. This is another reason to consider a multilingual website.
Businesses all have their own development strategies. They may lavish on advertising, but it will be a shame if they neglect the privileged asset of Website. Content on the website of a business not merely provides information, but also creates a good impression on, confidence of and choices for customers and partners.
Translating a website into multiple languages will certainly bring a lot of advantages to a business. These advantages may not materialize overnight, but, like an asset, they may prove valuable at the right time. And above all, be the leader and the game leader.