3 Content Localization Tips for Expanding Into New Markets

March 25, 2021
Contributor: Rupal Bhandari

Geographic expansion can be tricky. Software providers need to understand new market nuances and should focus on content localization to increase success.

Software providers frequently seek growth through geographic expansions. In a survey, 44% of tech CEOs highlight that their main reason to expand to a new market is new customer acquisition, and 41% state that it is part of their strategic planning for growth (full research available to Gartner clients).

However, preparing for geographic expansions can be tricky. Software providers will need to understand the new market and its consumers, navigate the legal and regulatory framework, and possibly do all of this in a non-English language. Even if the primary language in the new market is English, getting a foothold can still be a challenge because every market has its nuances and unique characteristics, and consumers there might respond differently. 

According to the same Gartner survey, 27% of tech CEOs wish they had created a dedicated marketing resource to develop regionalized marketing campaigns. While the sheer number of moving parts in creating regionalized marketing campaigns can be daunting, focusing on SEO, language and consumer preferences can be an easy baseline starting point. 

Optimize SEO for the new market

Expanding from one English-speaking country such as the U.S. to another English-speaking country such as the U.K. doesn’t mean the SEO will automatically convert. Search engines serve results based on a user’s location. That is why it is critical to reset the SEO strategy based on the country being targeted and not just the language. For starters, get a local domain name, such as .uk or .au, to have an SEO advantage in the new geographies. 

Additionally, the top keywords vary from one geography to another. For instance, the top keywords for HR software in the U.S.* include small business HR software and HR and payroll software, whereas, in the U.K.* they are HR software systems and HR software UK.

Top keywords for HR software in the U.S. and the U.K.
Top HR software keywords in the U.S. and U.K.

Any software provider moving from one country to another will have to redo its SEO strategy based on the search trends on the target market, even if the primary language stays the same. 

When moving from an English-speaking to a non-English-speaking country, it becomes trickier to plan the SEO strategy. For instance, in France logiciel de signature électronique would be a much better keyword than electronic signature software. 

Software providers can deal with this by localizing their website content for the target audience. Because full-scale new websites take time and could be out of budget for some, there is the option to create localized landing pages and invest in translation and PHP redirect services for certain parts of the website content. 

Change language for prospective buyers

According to the Gartner Digital Markets 2021 COVID-19 Impact on Business Strategy** survey, 62% of buyers think it is moderately to very important to have vendor communications in their primary language. And 66% of buyers think it is either moderately or very important to have vendor websites and landing pages in their primary language. 

Localized communication website and landing page importance

While website localization and landing pages might get taken care of during the SEO efforts, it is important to undertake content localization for the rest of the digital content such as emails, social media content or promotional articles. A localization strategy is even more critical for customer care and product support content because buyers rely on those to use the products. 

Content can be translated with the help of translation tools and software. However, it might be a better idea to set up an editorial practice in the new country to ensure no linguistic nuances are missed. If possible, providers should also explore creating a team of local writers who can create content from scratch for the new market. 

Adjust marketing strategy as per buyer considerations of the new market

A software provider will also need to focus the content localization efforts on softer aspects, which include buyer considerations. It is a good idea to build a thorough market landscape to understand user preferences and behaviors. The provider can also run a detailed survey in the new market to understand perception about its products and brand. Content localization efforts can then be adjusted according to the finding of the research. 

Here is an example of how buyer preferences can vary from one geography to another, and how software providers can deal with this. Buyers in France looking to buy new software have a higher preference for market-leading brands, whereas, in Germany, they have a higher preference for software providers they have already worked with. 

Buyer localization preferences when purchasing a new software product

A new software provider entering the French market can target businesses open to exploring non-branded products by showcasing the technical prowess and cost-effectiveness of the product. The provider can also create sales and marketing material such as functionality and pricing reports to present the product as a cost-effective alternative to well-known brands.

Key insights on French and German software markets

A new software provider entering the German market, on the other hand, should focus on presenting a clear product roadmap, with elaborate online training material, implementation guides and case studies. The provider should also invest in training the customer service staff and highlight excellent customer support on all their marketing collateral. 

This would help because German users often switch products because of unclear product roadmaps, unfulfilled service commitments and poor customer service. 

Next steps?

For any software provider entering a new geography, website localization or local landing pages, a localized SEO strategy and renewed messaging are essential. However, the list doesn’t end there. 

Software providers can also explore setting up a local content team to produce content specifically for the new market. They can leverage insights from the customer success and sales teams, to understand challenges unique to buyers in the new market and address them via new processes. They can also explore making product improvements or changes to certain features. 

 

Create marketing strategies that reach and engage audiences in new markets with this post, "3 Global Marketing Tips to Expand the Reach of Your Software."

Rupal Bhandari

Rupal Bhandari covers sales and account management markets. She received her master’s degree from the University of Delhi, India, and has created content for some of the world’s leading technology products and companies. Connect with Rupal on LinkedIn.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*These Google trends results are dated 25th February, 2021.
**Gartner Digital Markets 2021 COVID-19 Impact on Business Strategy

Results presented are based on a Gartner Digital Markets study conducted to understand the current practices around demand, buying practices, and investment practices pertaining to software solutions. The research was conducted online from November through December 2020 among IT decision-makers across companies in Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and India. 

Gartner 2020 Technology End User Buying Behavior Survey

Subscription Decisions and Customer Experience Results presented are based on a Gartner study conducted to further understand how technology subscription purchases are bought and renewed. The research was conducted online from November through December 2019 among 1509 respondents located in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, and Brazil. Respondents were required to work within organizations with more than 100 employees and $50 million in revenue, in industries other than those deemed “high tech.” Organizations must have purchased or renewed a technology subscription agreement in the prior 24 months. Respondents were involved in vendor evaluation/selection for new purchases AND involved in vendor review for renewals for at least one following categories:

• On-premises software via a subscription model
• Software as a service (SaaS)
• Managed services
• Other technologies (hardware, services, etc.) using a subscription model

Get the Gartner Digital Markets Newsletter

By clicking the "Subscribe" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.